The 10 best Philippine bands and singers of all time for Independence Day
Original Pinoy Music started in the mid 1970s and came to represent the musical consciousness of the island nation. Here are our 10 favourites
The Philippines is renowned as a nation of music lovers, and while you’ll find fans of any pretty much every genre throughout the country’s almost 8,000 islands, Filipinos reserve the most respect for their home-grown artists.
Almost every Filipino musical artist owes a debt to the Manila Sound movement, which began in the mid-1970s, peaked in the late-1970s and remains popular to this day. The Manila Sound not only gave birth to the iconic Original Pinoy Music, but also served as a beacon of light during the oppressive era of martial law.
Fast-forward to 2018, the laid-back and unpretentious musical style remains a great influence on many local artists and bands, who continue to experiment with their talent to deliver original and distinct music to enthusiastic audiences.
As the Philippine celebrates its Independence Day today, let’s look at the voices behind those enduring anthems – from the artists who awoke the musical consciousness of Filipinos to those who continue to play music that inspires pride among Filipinos at home and abroad.
Juan Dela Cruz Band
Some of their most famous songs include Ang Himig Natin, Beep Beep, Balong Malalim and Titser’s Enemy No 1.
The Manila Sound was born when Hotdog released music with a fresh, authentic Pinoy vibe in the late ’70s. Their songs, with their exuberant rhythms and catchy Tagalog and Tag-lish (Tagalog-English) lyrics, were adored by millions of Filipinos across all socio-economic classes. Hotdog not only united everyone through music, but also opened the door for local artists who had previously been overshadowed by foreign acts. Among their biggest hits are Bongga Ka, ‘Day, Manila and Annie Batungbakal.
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Freddie Aguilar aka Ka Freddie
Salonga rose to international fame after she was chosen to play the role of Kim in the hit musical Miss Saigon in 1989 at age 18. Her portrayal earned her the 1991 Tony Award win for best actress.
Salonga went on to become the first Asian to play the role of Éponine in Les Misérables and provided the singing voice for Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II.
Often described as the “Beatles of the Philippines”, the Eraserheads knocked aside superficial pop and brought melodic alternative music to the airwaves in the 1990s. The Eraserheads remain the biggest-selling OPM band, with their album Cutterpillow having sold an estimated 400,000 units.
Besides generating buzz locally, they made their presence felt across Asia in 1998 by releasing Aloha Milkyway, which sold out on the first day, and were the first Filipino act to win the MTV Asia viewer’s choice award in 1997.
Francis Magalona aka Francis M.
Pineda shot to international fame in 2007 when he became lead singer for his heroes, US rock band Journey. Guitarist Neal Schon had discovered Pineda on YouTube singing covers of Journey songs and noticed he sounded very similar to Steve Perry, Journey’s former vocalist.
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After a series of guest show appearances and magazine features, Pineda was embraced by long-term fans of Journey. In 2008, the revitalised Journey released their fifth album, Revelation, which went platinum and gave them their highest chart position since Perry left in the 1980s.