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A Taste of Modern Filipino Music using Ethnic Instruments

Added: Friday, March 5th 2010 at 1:50pm by rica
Related Tags: songs

I had a sentimental moment this morning.

My friend texted me on my phone...

"Rica, guess who was on the bus beside me when I went to baguio!"

"Ok...I'm biting. Who?"

"Joey Ayala! He's so down to earth. He even had yosi [a cigarette] with me."

I was thrilled.

I listened to his music when I was in high school. Joey Ayala is a contemporary pop music artist in the Philippines. He is well known for his style of music that combines the sounds of Filipino ethnic instruments with modern pop music.

In this video, he is using the two-stringed Hegalong of the T'Boli people of Mindanao

For those who wish to know what ethinic Filipino sounds like...with a modern twist, just click on the link. I've also translated the lyrics [until i find the official translation]...

[defined as: kindred, related, connected, kinship, dichotomies]

Lupa, laot, langit ay magkaugnay
[Earth, rivers, sky are connected]
Hayop, halaman, tao ay magkaugnay
[Animals, plants, humans are connected]

Ang lahat ng bagay ay magkaugnay
[All things are connected]
Magkaugnay ang lahat
[We are related to everyone/everything]
Tayo ay nakasakay sa mundong naglalakbay
[We are riding on a world that moves]
Sa gitna ng kalawakan
[In the middle of space]
Umiikot sa bituin na nagbibigay-buhay
[Circling the star that gives life]
Sa halaman, sa hayop at sa atin
[to the plants, the animals and to us]

[Repeat CHORUS]

Iisang pinagmulan
[we all started the same way]
Iisang hantungan ng ating lahi
[our lives will end the same way]
Kamag-anak at katribo ang lahat ng narito
[We are all relatives and all are members of one tribe]
Sa lupa, sa laot at sa langit
[all those that live on the earth, in the rivers and in the sky]

User Comments

Very neat.{#basic-cool.gif}

sounds like a truly exciting moment! How awesome! :-)

lol.... it was. for her! lol.

Very nice! I enjoyed it!

Thanks, Rica!

you're welcome ajay...thank you for dropping by!

Thanks, rica! I really enjoyed that. The rhythms, the vocal harmonies, the musicianship, the upbeat spirit of the whole ensemble. Having the original lyrics to follow along as well as the translation makes it even more enjoyable. The message of the translated lyrics is quite beautiful. And what a thrill for your friend to meet him. Well done!

It was a thrill indeed! There's nothing like meeting a "famous" person, riding the same bus as you are and as grounded as the next ordinary person sitting on the bus. He has inspired thousands with his music, both in style and in words.

I have sung his songs to my son when he was still a baby. I have listened to them when I want to feel good about myself and the world.

Thanks for sharing them with us.

So that's your secret crush????????????????????????????????

he has a deep voice [check]

intelligent, talented and educated [check]

wonderful shoulders [check]

... and is an artist [check]

lol.... yes. he's my 'secret crush' back when i was in high school. hahahahahaha

I don't blame you one bit!


hahahahah..because it is safer? hahahahahah

He chose a good bus company that was also fast and safe. A 6 -8 hour trip to baguio was reduced to 4 -5 hours.

Seriously...that's how he is, which is why he is admired. However, his music isn't commercial. His albums go way back to the 70s...so by definition, he's one of the 'oldies'. He was one of the people who was a part of the movement that went against Martial Law. His first 4 albums had a strongly nationalistic tone to them and even reflected how the war was affecting the people and the tribes back in the south.

The lyrics and words of this particular song reflects the common belief of most tribes in the Philippines. This was created long before al gore ran for president. Long before environmental issues became a cause in itself. His songs tackles issues and reflect the ordinary Filipino.

you're welcome. The pleasure...was mine.


I know you love all kinds of music. This is some traditional Hawaiian music that I remember as a kid. (Lived there for a short time) and the style is called "slack key guitar"). Sweet music.

This lovely man Raymond Kane was a master.



lol...i do! I will check it out when my connection's faster and then I will get back to you on it.

[grinning]. thanks ajay!

Very Cool!  What is the instrument he's playing ?  Now I'm going to have the chorus running through my head the rest of the day. :)

It's a two stringed instrument called the hegalong. It is used by the T'boli tribe [tea-BO-lee] tribe. In this song he also used the kulintang ...which is a 8 gong instrument.

Loved the song but really found the instruments interesting...I like the sounds created.

Thanks for the info!

What an infectious chorus and great hook! I loved the video, thanks for sharing it Rica...

it is infectious! thank you d'P. am glad you liked it too.

...and you're sweet for taking the time out to drop by. thank you JOEZ!

Ang lahat ng bagay ay magkaugnay!!!   Loved it!  Pinoys kick so much ass!

lol....glad you liked it too Anonymous.

That was really cool. I enjoyed the translated lyrics. I love hearing music of different cultures because music itself is so spiritual and inspirational. So I love listening to music from around the world.

that was sweet of you. am glad that you enjoyed it.

♥nice blog♥ ,

♥i like.♥



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