“Unsa ang tingog sa bag-ong Sugbuanon?”
This was the question that kept going through my mind before I went to 1032 Recording Studios to document the recording of Vispop’s top 6 songs. I’ve been to other Cebuano songwriting contests and couldn’t help but have this set idea of how a typical Bisaya song is. But Vispop, from the very beginning, made it clear that they were looking for a fresh sound.
For songs that had a hook and a heart.
Because of a certain crush Marie Salvaleon was able to make her VISPOP song entry! Now how cool is that?
Up first at the studio was Marie Salvaleon with “Pa-pictura ko Nimu, Gwapo.” Now this song is a mouthful but the lines in it were definitely catchy especially the part when she sings Pasuya gud gamay sa uban (woaaah) bisan pina takilid lang! After the recording, I really just had to ask Marie, “Kinsa man gyud nang gwapuha ba??” To which she responded “Ay wala ra. Naa naman siya’y uyab. Pero salamat kayo niya kay nakahimo ko ani nga kanta.”
Mayang in the studio listening to the song interpreter for Balay Ni Mayang to be performed by Fil-am Martina San Diego.
Marianne Dungog’s & Kyle Wong’s charming duet “Ang Balay Ni Mayang” was up next. Eastcoast Bisdak Martina Sandiego interpreted the female part of the duet while Kyle Wong who is currently in the States recorded his vocals there. Listening to this duet is like reading into an exchange of text messages where the girl asks her boyfriend to come to her house. Listening to it can also make you feel a little giddy and maybe even remember your first love.
Then it was Jewel Villaflores’ turn to record “Duyog.” During the interviews, she said that it was meant to be a harana from a female’s point of view. Given our society’s way of thinking, I was all like – You go girl! Before she went into recording, she got really nervous to record but she loved what the VISPOP team did to the arrangement of her song so she powered through it and gave it her best.
The hands-on Pat Niñal guiding Uly Tenchavez as he sings Hinaut for the VISPOP Finals Night.
Sir Pat Ninal’s “Hinaut” was going to be interpreted by Uly Tenchavez. I was curious how Uly would give life to it as I’ve only heard him sing during his Refrain stints where he’d sing songs by Frank Ocean and Craig David. I was pleasantly surprised to hear his vocals sans the falsettos and saw that he was also perfect for it. Sir Pat was also very hands on during the recording of the vocals and even came up with second voice tracks.
Day 2 of recording started off with Alphecca Perpetua’s “Historias.” This song had a sexy jazz & blues feel and it was fun watching Alphecca during the recording. If I had one bisaya word to describe this song, that would be igat, and Alphecca’s sexy side comments during recording really added to its appeal. Jad Bantug of 1032 Recordng Studios and producer Jude Gitamondoc later on decided to include some her side comments during the recording to the track itself. It was hilarious to say the least, but it actually worked!
The last track that struck us the most.
Finally it was time to record the last track, Lourdes Maglinte’s “Laylay.” It was interpreted by WOMB’s front woman Chai Fonacier. The song had a simple arrangement and according to Chai, she liked it because it did not try to be grand so that the listener could focus on the storytelling. Lourdes wrote this for her grandmother who at a difficult time was afraid to fall asleep because she was scared that she wouldn’t wake up anymore. There was a sudden hush in the room and people started tearing up when the recording commenced. At one point, we had to stop the recording because Chai got emotional while singing. She was focused on the technical part of recording at first but the moment she started getting into the song, she felt its sincerity and just broke into tears.
This is me with April who is my partner in the documentation process of the whole recording session.
After hearing all six songs during the recording, I was convinced – Mao gyud kini ang tingog sa bag-ong Sugbuanon. In a few weeks, we will be releasing all six tracks online or on the radio and you will hear it all for the first time. I could only hope that these beautifully written and arranged songs would speak to you in a way that only the fresh sound of Cebuano songs could.
- Manna Alcaraz, Artist Ko Communications Team