I’ll Just Sing. Philippine Music 101, Part 1

Hello. Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

I’ve been reflecting on what I wrote on my previous post. Am I regretting it ?  No, not at all.  I needed to vent…. either that, or I’d  burn my computer table. j/k   No more  political rant, okay ? Promise. I’ll just sing ! ! !


Now  make it worth my agony and distress by clicking the videos.  Ha ha ha !  C’mon. ~_~ You will click them, right ?

Anyway, I’ve been watching  some Philippine music videos on YouTube and find them so interesting  I feel I need to write about it, and I’m going to call this Philippine Music 101.  Let me tell you though,  there’s no such thing as Filipino “language”.  Tagalog has been designated as the official national language, but the truth is, it’s only one of the many dialects  Filipinos speak. What’s so fascinating about this is, Filipinos speak  dialects that are  , shall I say,  as different  as Greek  from Italian.  I can understand Tagalog, which is the lingua franca in Manila, the capital of the Philippines,  but the dialect spoken in Pampanga,  a province that is just less than a hundred miles from Manila,  is like Greek to me.

Now, some of the music videos I saw on YouTube are sung in different dialects, but they have become my favorite songs to sing nowadays, even though I don’t understand the language.

Here’s a sample  of a Tagalog song,  sung by an American  .  The facial expressions of the guy in black shirt are perfectly attuned to the lyrics, as if he understands  the words. lol   ( I’ve memorized the lyrics myself ) The accent  is okay, except that ” t ” sound which we Americans pronounce as  ” ts”  ( sort of )  The song is IKAW  ( You ).  Loving this song. (  sounds karaokish to me,though. he he ) Listen to all the songs here  full volume to appreciate them more.

This  next one is a favorite. I don’t understand the lyrics. The dialect is Chavacano, (  ” bastardized “Spanish )  spoken in Mindanao, the second biggest island in the Philippines .  The title is Porque (  Because ? ) Loving this, too. I’ve memorized the lyrics and singing it as I’m typing here. The girl singing is Filipina, the guy is American. You know what  ,  the girl kinda looks like me.  * scratches head *   ( But then , people of  same race do look alike, ha ha ha )

Though the Philippines is in Southeast Asia, the culture is very distinctive , even in music.  I’m sure it’s the influence of 333 years of Spanish rule . The sound is definitely very different compared to say,  Chinese  sound or Indian sound.

Here’s another old, old Tagalog song, sung again by  an American choir. I saw more than a dozen of this song sung by American choirs. Dahil  Sa ‘Yo (  Because of You )

Perfect accent guys. (  except  that explosion of t’s , he he )

Next is an ancient Philippine folk song in Waray dialect.  This is sung by a Russian choir. If there’s a Russian reader here,  don’t hate me, but this is an awful version.  I think they lost control of the song. LOL !  Cringe -worthy, but fun to listen to.  The title is Waray, waray.  Filipinos who live in that region are called warays,  and it’s sung by a woman  who says waray women are tough as men  and  can fight to the death , who cares what happens, and so what if we look like thugs ,our   kisses are as sweet as wine.

The next is  another ancient Philippine folk song,  Ayayay, O,  Pag-ibig (  Ayayay, Oh, Love ) sung by a German Choir . Okay, at the end of the song, the all-male German choir  raised their hands and said  HEY… and I was like , O_O, (  I thought I heard Heil !  Sorry, sorry,  just kidding !!!!!   ) but that’s the way it’s sung, actually….. at the end of the song,  Filipinos raise their hands too, and  say ‘  Hey ! ”


Here’s another version of Ayayay sung by a Korean choir,  and listen up to the end. It’s a nicer version. Seriously.

It does seem choirs all over the world like to sing  Filipino songs, especially  ancient folk songs, because , I guess, the melodies are catchy and choir material ?  There’s this song Rosas Pandan  that has been sung by  literally hundreds of choirs all over the world, like, it’s supposed to be part of their repertoire.  If you’re a choir, you have to sing this.

Here’s another version by grown – ups.

Russian choir not far behind.

This is all for now. I’ll have a Part 2 next time.

And check out my anime/manga  blog


Again,  a BIG THANK YOU !!  You just saved me.







































45 responses to this post.

  1. Just for a second I thought you were going to show us a tape of you singing your national songs, but still the tapes were really interesting. Like you, I love music, and from every culture and background, so this was nice to hear. 🙂


  2. I like it a lot every time a foreigner sings a Tagalog song. Though it is quite hilarious at first, I feel their sincerity on how much they love our culture. 🙂


    • I chose the ones sung by non-Filipinos so readers can relate.

      I know, we can hear the t’s and the ks and bs, pronounced the American way. I do that, too, though I can check my pronounciation right away. Over-all, their accents are perfect.


  3. Wow, you have so many videos in this post and I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t watch them all, but will return later this week to do so. Thank you!


  4. LOL on this post Ren, i don’t even know some of the songs ha ha 😀


    • Well, before I started looking, I didn’t know about these songs. None. I chose the ones sung by non- Filipinos so others can relate.

      Appreciate your own, sis. They are beautiful songs. ( At least the ones I had chosen , he he )


      • Lol…yes yes…appreciate our own…though the songs you picked are really old and I’ve never heard of them till I saw this post haha except for Ikaw…i just wonder now if these songs are thought in schools…these can be considered as classics…


        • My Mom said they had a subject in Music in Elementary school. It wasn’t like they studied the mechanics or whatnot. She said they just sang stupid songs, ha ha ha.


          • Wahahaha…..yeah we did learn some folk songs too…the common ones…they let us sing these songs while wearing kimonas or Filipinianas hahaha


            • So you’ve never heard of the songs I posted here ? I can understand why they choose Philippine folks songs. They’re very fast, and very catchy. * Tigiding , tigiding, tigiding ” I wonder what that means…. is that the sound of hopping and dancing ? The dialect is Waray, and it’s about a girl dancing and hopping wildly, while the guys are looking and , cough cough, drooling. I wonder if the singers know what the song is all about….. bahahahahaha…. The lyrics has the word “laway” in it, which means ” drool”, right ? Aaaargh. OMG, he he

            • Wahahaha…yeah because these folk songs are really old i guess….yeah but they are catchy…i thought tigiding is the sound of galloping horses hahahaha…i think the singers were at least informed about the meaning of the songs lol…yeah laway is drool hahaha

  5. Wow, it’s nice to know that people from other countries can sing Filipino songs really well. If not for the t’s, i might’ve thought the Americans (@ the 3rd video) were Filipinos. Haha. It’s such a shame that i only know the first two songs though, even as a Filipino. Not really a fan of folk songs.. Porque is the newest among all this songs so i know it. 🙂


  6. Nice one Ren! When is Part 2 coming out? It’s nice to hear people from other countries sing Filipino songs. Despite the minor slips in the enunciation of some sounds their renditions of the songs sound lovely. I’ll be showing my students here in South Korea that video where their countrymen are singing Ay Ay Ay O Pag-ibig.


  7. I love the Brown University performance too. My daughter has spent years in a great choir so I have learned to appreciate choral music in a way I never did before. A very interesting post about the various dialects in the Philippines.


    • Do you know there’s another version that’s even better ? I don’t know why the person who uploaded this thinks it was the greatest version. I think the one from a Chicago university is better.

      Yes, it’s weird that the Philippines, a small country ( California is larger than the Philippines ), has so many dialects. About a hundred, in fact.


  8. Tigiding! You surprised me with this collection. I didn’t know some of them, like “Porque,” and “Rosas Pandan.”

    Tigiding or tigidig mimics the horse’s shoed gallop. Many of our folk songs, specially those sung by kids are spritely and playful but non-sensical. I think culturally we simply like to play with sounds. Most of these songs figure out in kid’s plays.

    I’d like to listen to them all! Thanks, a lot, renx!


    • You’re welcome, Peng Garing.

      I love Porque ! It seems it’s gotten into my head, and I can’t help but sing it all the time, anytime, anywhere. The family’s getting annoyed. Ha ha ha


  9. Interesting, so little music from other parts of the world seems to encouraged over all the throwaway pop and dance that infects the airwaves and such. I am amazed that anything gets communicated with so many dialects. I only know one word from that way on…maganda, I wonder if that is enough to claim speaking a language on Facebook.


    • Ha ha Yes, maganda means beautiful, pretty…. it describes a female or inaminate objects , like flowers, but is not used to describe a man, lol. The word used for males is guapo.

      It’s indeed amazing that such a small country has so many dialects, and mind you, they are entirely different from one another. I guess the dialect Tagalog is the unifying language over there. Everyone can speak it, even the person living in the remotest part of the country. Oh, wait, it’s like English and Welsh, lol.


      • I was taught Maganda by a couple of females which led to much teasing on my part of their obvious vanity.

        Over here we may have the same language over the British Isles but some of the dialects are impenetrable without careful listening even to us and then we all seem to have our own colloquilisms that befuddle people, even if they only live an hour or twos drive away. It is strange how language evolves.


  10. Hey, Ren! Not sure if you already searched for any English translation of Porque, but I had fun reading this post and watching the videos, I thought maybe I could translate Porque’s chorus. 😀

    Porque contigo yo ya escoji? / Why did I ever choose you?
    Ahora mi corazon ta sufri / Now my heart is broken and shattered
    Bien simple lang I yo tapidi / I only have one simple wish:
    Era cin ti tu el cosa yo ya cin ti / For you to feel the same pain I felt

    Tapidi milagro / I’m wishing for a miracle
    Vira’l tiempo el mali hace derecho / That what was done wrong can be put right
    Na di mio reso tapidi yo / And I’m praying in my heart
    Era ol vida yo contigo / That our memories in my mind departs.



    • I ‘m thinking maybe , instead of ” Era cin ti tu cosa yo ya cin ti”, it should be ” Era sentido el cosa yo ya senti ” ????? Sent and sentido are for ” feelings and felt, although it’s not conjugated. I think.


      • you know what, you’re right! i just lifted that Chavakano lyrics off the net ‘cuz i don’t speak the dialect myself. but Porque has a Tagalog-Chavakano version and that’s where I based my English translation. ^^


  11. Great shares!


  12. Always miss you on my Blog..!
    When see smiling face in Blue frame (your dress), i feel happy you remembered me..!
    Stay blessed and smiley..!


  13. Incredible!
    I started blogging this month, and it is a pleasure that I came across your blog.
    It has inspired me to start my third article.
    Thank you:)


  14. This may be way off topic, but perhaps you might be interested, as it relates to Philippine music.

    The AKB48 Japanese idol empire is creating a new sister group in Manila — MNL48.

    I am hoping that similar to the Jakarta48 — who sing the Akimoto songs in Indonesian (mixed with English) that the MNL48 will sing in Tagalog and Taglish – a mix of Tagalog and English.

    I am looking very much forward to the songs in Filipino dialect!


  15. Posted by 25pesocupnoodles on May 13, 2016 at 5:10 am

    narito na ako. babalikan ko ang post na ito para pakinggan ang mga himig. ayaw gumana ng like button ko, hahaha. kamustasa?


  16. It will be a great help if you please let me know how to post a music video in wp. 🙂


  17. Hearing them sing Filipino songs gave me goosebumps 🙂 Nice post you have here. Followed your blog to read more from.you 🙂


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