Ditties For Our Times (3)

Due to popular demand, ilang pahabol sa ating talaan. My only requirement is that the OPM was released in the mainstream. Problem is, so much of OPM is sentimental love song crap that it is hard to find anything remotely political from it. I nevertheless gave it a shot. Expect no “Bayan Ko” or “Himig Natin,” tough.

19. American Junk by the Apo Hiking Society. This song was supposedly banned by the Marcos government in public performances, but the Apo defied it a few times, drawing the ire of the dictator. Seems as much revelant then as now, although it seems Jim Paredes not only has to get American but also Australian junk out of his bloodstream.

20. Oy Utol, Buto’t Balat Ka Na’y Natutulog Ka Pa by Heber Bartolome. One of the first compositions of Bartolome, a nationalist writer-turned-musician, whose creative path to musical activism coincided with that of many others, from Jess Santiago to Joey Ayala to Carina David (of Inang Laya). The song was, as PCIJ noted, a “searing indictment of his countrymen’s antipathy as their basic freedoms were blatantly being stripped away” during Martial Law.

21. Wala Nang Tao Sa Santa Filomena by Joey Ayala. This song still gives me the goosebumps. Militarization, abuses and massacre stil ring so true today as during Martial Law.

22. Oras Na by Coritha. “Tayo na sa liwanag / Ang takot ay nasa isip lamang / Tama na ang pag-aalinlangan / Ang takot ay nasa isip lamang…”

23. Pagbabalik by Asin. Song for prodigal sons and daughters of the motherland.

24. Babae Ka by Inang Laya. A catchy tune that effectively sends across the feminist cause. Later became a tune for an ad for a napkin.

25. At Nakalimutan Ang Diyos by Wuds. A kick-ass Pinoy punk song, despite the religious overtone. Redid by Ericson Acosta-era Alay Sining as “At Nakalimutan ang Bayan.”

26. Trapo by Yano. Searing guitarwork by Eric Gancio notwithstanding, this is a raw yet masterful piece that takes a stab at the heart of what activists call bureaucrat capitalism.

27. Kumusta Na also by Yano. Almost every song by Dong Abay in his Yano stage deserves to be in this list. But this one is special, painfully yet effectively conveying the treason of Edsa.

28. Yoko by Eraserheads. Okay, this one is here only because I felt it should include a song by the ‘Heads. This one, though, has a legitimate reason to be here, as it talks about maybe the only issue that Ely and his adolescent gang were passionate about: ROTC. “Minsan gusto ko nang sumali sa NPA / Blow them shit away!…”


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