The volunteers who heeded the call of singer-composer Gary Granada to sing his
public interest song “Bayan Muna.” Photo from LAPIS/Karl Ramirez.
On 14 March 2015, Filipino musical artists and composers came together at the University of the Philippines Amphitheater, hemmed between the iconic Oblation and the statue depicting the making of the Philippine flag, and joined their voices for the music video of “Bayan Muna”, a song of public interest composed by popular singer-composer Gary Granada.
Granada calls his new composition “awiting mala-harana sa bayan”, a serenade calling for solidarity in promoting nationalism and genuine change. It’s a song, he said, “tungkol sa pagkupkop sa bayan, at pagmamahal sa sariling kultura.”
“Kahit ang hangin ay lumamig / At ang damdamin di maantig / Ang kalinga at pag-ibig / Taimtim na pananalig / Sa tuwina sisigasig sa dibdib” (first part of the song)
L to R: Cookie Chua, Chickoy Pura of The Jerks band,
Gary Granada, Lolita Carbon & Bayang Barrios.
Their public interest musical agenda can be gleaned from their description of their LAPIS 2015 project, a collaborative Pilipino music album: “an experiment in mixing social subjects (such as gender justice or the plight of teachers and overseas workers) with crowd friendly musical idioms (rock and roll, reggae, blues, even dance). “
“Ako ay lahing kayumanggi / Ang lagi’t lagging minimithi / Ay bansa na masagana / Mapayapa, maligaya / Na kasama ang kasama kong sinta” (second part)
The polyphony of about 140 voices came from members of student organizations (The UP Repertory Company, STAND-UP, etc.), cultural groups (Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Sining Bugkos, etc.), choirs (People’s Chorale, Sing Philippines Youth Chorale), bands (Talahib Peoples Project, Plagpul, Datu’s Tribe, Tukar Sinati, Plethora, etc.), and music enthusiasts of various professions (academicians, doctors, etc.), young and old, who heeded the call of Granada for volunteers through the social media and a YouTube post weeks before the event. A blind quartet responded too, and music artists from the provinces!
Chickoy Pura of The Jerks, the Tres Marias (Cooky, Bayang and Lolita), and Granada were the lead singers in the music video
The technical side of the music video production had musician Monet Silvestre, sportscaster Manolo Chino Trinidad, activist singer-composer Karl Ramirez, Loujaye Sonido and the indie video outfit Munting Media, in the pool of 40 volunteers.
“Bayan muna and dapat pakikinggan/ Bayan muna ang dapat paglingkuran / Bayan muna, di ang dikta ng dayuhan / Bayan muna / di luho ng iilan / Bayan muna (3x).”
“Coming together you can say are common folks bound together by three things they all deeply value,” Granada told the Inquirer days before the shoot. “First is the welfare of the majority of Filipinos. Second is national sovereignty. And last of course is hitting the note. I am very sure about the first two. The third is the thrilling part.”
They came, they ate together, and sang and sang again: “Bayan ang lilikha / Bayan ang gagawa / Bayan ang magpapalaya”
Chino Trinidad with the Tres Marias: Cookie Chua, Bayang
Barrios & Lolita Carbon. Photo from Chino’s Facebook page.
The Gary Granada website administrator informs that they will post “Bayan Muna” hopefully before 12 June, Independence Day, “pag ready na”.