Words by Bea Lizarondo Soliman
Seeing how majority of Filipinos presently seem to indulge in the likes of LANY, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish, the trend has made me recognize the transformation of contemporary society’s general taste in music. As we are about to already reach half of the year, I am personally curious to see where music will further direct the local audience in awareness of the disparity in terms of genre existing between the local charts back then and now.
It also brings to question whether or not the music of now will stir up cultural actions that will remain to be in effect in the following years similar to how the music back then stands to be effective now, making the time of the songs’ releases to now appear far shorter than it actually is. To see what I mean, here are ten songs that turn ten years old this year:
10. I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) by Pitbull
Release Date: February 24, 2009
This up-tempo track featuring tribal house-oriented beats and Euro-dance music signals brought this Little Havana-esque, summer-ready energy to Filipinos in as early as February. As is the case with most songs propelled into popularity in the Philippines, this song did not leave the charts so easily. Most likely, you and your co-workers even used this track in a dance performance during your company’s Christmas party in December. If Zumba were as big as it were then as it is now, I hands-down guarantee that this would have made your instructor’s playlist.
9. The Climb by Miley Cyrus
Release Date: March 5, 2009
This country pop power ballad with piano, guitar, and even violin instrumentation work in conjunction with lyrics describing a demanding yet fulfilling journey, ultimately leading to the persona’s mature transformation. Inspirational border-lining on dramatic lines such as “Ain’t about how fast I get there / Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side / It’s the climb” made it the perfect entrance song for every debutante of the year. Facebook profile pictures with its overly saturated filters and multi-colored frames were too often overlaid with lines from this song as well. PicMonkey, anyone?
8. Sorry, Sorry by Super Junior
Release Date: March 12, 2009
This dance pop track with its urban minimal funk, heavy electronic beat, and hints of contemporary rhythm and blues served as one of the Philippines’ first dips into Korean pop music, eventually launching a local fascination towards Korea’s pop culture. It was during this time when a huge number of Filipinos began to imitate how Korean pop celebrities were dressing as well as how they were dancing. (Do you still remember the CPDRC Dancing Inmates’ dance cover of this song?) Barber shop windows were also filled with the faces of Super Junior members as they became go-to hair inspirations for men.
7. One Time by Justin Bieber
Release Date: May 18, 2009
Speaking of barber shop go-to hair inspirations, how can we forget the young Justin Bieber? This pop-soul single with a “moderately slow groove” and hip-hop and rhythm and blues influences introduced the world to this young Canadian pop star in a grey hoodie and an oversized snapback with vocals reminiscent of a young Chris Brown. When this song came out, Filipinos were quick to update their statuses with Justin Bieber-related content, saying that they loved him even more than one time. Best believe that a number of males even caught the Bieber Fever, instructing barbers on replicating the flippy locks. Out of the entire list, this song has to be one of the bests. I’m sorry. I don’t make the rules.
6. 21 Guns by Green Day
Release Date: May 25, 2009
If you’ve never heard your uncle play this song on guitar during a pre-drinking session then you’ve probably heard it from one of your classmates during a school talent show. Either way, you’ve heard it. This anti-war ballad with question-stirring and sentiment-filled lyrics sung by frail yet effective vocals may have been one of the most famous protest songs of the year. When those song books with lyrics and guitar chords were in demand during the time, Filipinos were quick to rush to the content section to figure out whether or not this song was there.