Friday, January 26, 2007


I bought a burned cd copy of Mike Hanopol and Heber Bartolome’s Banyuhay’s.

“Kalamansi sa Sugat”Banyuhay's classic album featured some of Heber most biting songs. Heber Bartolome’s Banyuhay is one of the proponents of Filipino Folk Rock music during the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Heber’s Banyuhay’s music, Dylan influenced, mostly dealt with social issues, patriotism, nationalism and the environment. Perhaps their most recognized hit is the satirical “Tayo’y mga Pinoy” (We’re all Filipinos) which lambasted the Filipino’s colonial mentality and loss and lost of national identity. Then there’s “Nena” a ballad about a prostitute, “Almusal” (Breakfast) a country music inspired song about how Filipino’s deal with hunger, and that is to combine breakfast and lunch (forced brunch).

My favorite Banyuhay song is “Karaniwang Tao” (Simple Folk). The song is anthemic of the common Filipino’s poverty and the government’s (seemingly) unequal and special policy on foreign capitalism and globalism versus local workers and local small time investors. Most of Banyuhay’s songs are tinged with Marxist and Leninist and Maoist blah, blah, blah. Their songs are favorites in activists’ rallies and meetings (I should know, my neighbor is a labor leader.) But there are a lot of truths in their songs, and, once in a while, it’s good to listen to their kind of music—“Kalamansi sa Sugat” (Lemon Juice on Wounds).

Mike Hanopol's "Laki sa Layaw" is another thing. His music is Hendrixian. It mostly deals with inane things from drug trips to pseudo philosophical musings tinge with double entendre about drugs. His music is pure fun and guitar riffs but no depth.

Anyway, last time I’ve seen Hanopol he was being interviewed by 700 club Asia. The guy has finally grown up and shed his Jeproks philosophy, but, unfortunately, he still dresses like one.

“Laki sa layaw, Laki sa layaw Jeproks…”
“Laki sa layaw, Laki sa layaw Jeproks…”
“Laki sa layaw, Laki sa layaw Jeproks…”

Ang sagwa pagmatanda na!!!

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