Written by Patricia Yap
Photos by JanJan Capili, Jeanne Dizon and Jessica Tan
After attending the Pinoy Playlist Music Festival in Bonifacio Global City Arts Center, I understood now more than ever why Original Pinoy Music (OPM) is well-loved by Filipinos across genres and across generations.
Lead Singer of Itchyworms Jugs Jugueta singing ‘Ayokong Tumanda’
During the festival, OPM went above and beyond music by becoming one big intimate jamming session instead of a concert.
What separated the event from the usual concert or music festival was the fact that our Pinoy artists were so honest and open to their fans. Artists like Ebe Dancel and Tim Pavino shared about the struggles and pressure they feel as artists and as normal people, too.
In between sets, Dancel would share snippets of his life over the past weeks and months, and you could really feel the trust and appreciation between the artist and his audience in that concert hall. As for Pavino, you could sense how genuine he was every time he expressed gratitude to his fans. You’d notice how both young and old audiences beamed with appreciation and kilig.
(READ ALSO: OPM Songs Aren’t Cheap, They’re Underrated)
Singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel
Pavino even performed one of his songs for his new EP that night, giving fans an exclusive first listen to his new single, Dalangin.
On another note, artists like The CompanY interacted with audiences through gags and laughs (I didn’t expect to be laughing in my seat too actually). They kept joking with the fans and made their performance lighthearted with a hint of comedy. They even surprised the audience when they called on Itchyworms to perform with them—turning the fans roaring in surprise with I-Boogie Mo Ako; a modern take on Pinoy Disco music.
The CompanY asking fans to sing with them
Beyond the music our Pinoy music artists shared that night, what really stood out was the interaction and the feeling of familiarity and intimacy they made the fans feel. And I think that’s one reason why a lot of people resonate with—and appreciate—Pinoy music.
“We need to continue supporting Filipino Music—this festival needs to continue for years to come,” exclaimed Pavino.
More than a generation
As I moved from concert hall to concert hall, enjoying the different genres featured at Pinoy Playlist, I noticed how OPM proves to be timeless. In each concert venue, it was surprising to see a cross-point mix of so many generations of people watching the different eras of artists—there was just so much diversity.
Various OPM Artists pose on stage for recognition
Usually, if the performer came from an older generation of OPM, the crowd would reflect this. Surprisingly, I saw young people singing along to old hits like Wag Ka Nang Umiyak, Ang Huling El Bimbo, and Akin Ka na Lang.
“People are still singing it [Sugarfree’s Burn Out]—it’s the greatest honor a musician can receive,” said Dancel.
Hip-hop/Rap band Assembly Generals performing at the Sun Life Amphitheater
The same goes for young acts as well. It was very heartwarming and endearing to see groups of grandmas wearing matching “fandom headbands and shirts” with Pavino’s face on them. Despite Pavino’s performances being upbeat and pop-centric, these ladies certainly knew how to groove to his modern beats like Happy and Ulap.
Even pop-rock bands such as Imago and Better Days captivated audiences both young and old through their well-known songs and more recent ones. Giving the Sun Life Amphitheater a chill and nostalgic feel to the cool night with Akap by Imago and Sige Lang by Better Days.
Boboy Garovillo and Jim Paredes from APO
Truly, OPM is a music of its own kind. When Pinoy Playlist 2020 comes, there’s no doubt that I’ll be joining again. OPM has just earned itself one more fan—I hope you become one too!
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Pinoy Playlist 2019 by BGC Arts Center
Pinoy Playlist on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/2101514670151465/