Kwento Kwentuhan


Creating a playlist of “Original Pilipino Music” has been a salve for me during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”

Music’s effect on the mind and body has long been acknowledged anecdotally. Who hasn’t tried to use music to influence their mood? Some would even assert music is medicine. Listening to music can be therapeutic.

In these quarantine days during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself listening more to Filipino Music. Thanks to YouTube, I was able to create a playlist of songs. This playlist consists of some of my favorite OPM (Original Pilipino Music). Some have Filipino lyrics and some are in English. Most became hits in the 80s (my high school and college days).

Liza’s OPM playlist features singing artists like Sharon Cuneta, Moonstar 88, Odette Quesada, Martin Nievera, Lea Salonga, Gary Valenciano, Leah Navarro, Basil Valdez, Kuh Ledesma and Ric Segreto—and that’s just to name a few.
Graphic courtesy Lawrence Pascua

If you are to compile a playlist of Original Pilipino Music, what will your list look like? What songs will be included in there? Well, here are some of mine:

Ngayon at Kailan Man – composed by George Canseco and originally sung by Basil Valdez, I consider this song a classic. In my high school days, one of our teachers would always ask one of my classmates (who has a beautiful voice and can sing well) to sing this song in our class. The melody and lyrics are so soothing. It is a love song about loving now and forever, thus it’s often played or sung on weddings and anniversary celebrations. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Ngayon at kailanman
Hindi ka na mag-iisa/ngayon at kailanman
Sa hirap o ginhawa pa
Asahan may kasama ka sinta
Naroroon ako t’wina
Maaasahan mo t’wina
Ngayon at kailanman

So, for those who are familiar with this song … did I get you singing? I bet I did.

Sana’y Mauilit Muli – This song was originally sung and made popular by Gary Valenciano. The original was written in English and it was Angeli (Pangilinan, his wife) who translated the lyrics into Filipino. This song was also recorded by Lea Salonga and she made a movie (with Aga Mulach) with the same title. It was a huge hit—both the song and the movie. This is a love song about rekindling the flame of love. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:

Ang mga oras nating nakaraan
Bakit nagkaganito
Naglaho na ba ang pag-ibig mo?
Sana’y maulit muli
Sana bigyan pansin ang himig ko
Kahapon, bukas, ngayon
Tanging wala ng ibang mahal
Kung kaya kong iwanan ka
‘Di na sana aasa pa
Kung kaya kong umiwas na
‘Di na sana lalapit pa
Kung kaya ko sana

Ang Pag-ibig Kong Ito – Originally sung and made popular by Leah Navarro, this sung was also more recently made popular by a band called Moonstar 88. It is a sad love song about someone who was left behind by someone she loved. It is a song and a prayer. The melody is so good that when I was singing this at home when my daughter was young, she started singing it with me spontaneously. That was a fun memory for both of us. Here are the lyrics, you too might want to sing along with us:

Umiiyak ang aking pusong nagdurusa
Ngunit ayokong may makakita
Kahit anong sakit ang aking naranasan
‘Yan ay ayokong kanyang malaman
Mga araw na nagdaan,
kailanma’y hindi malilimutan
Kay tamis na raw ng pagmamahalan
Ang akala ko’y walang hangganan
Ang pag-ibig kong ito
Luha ang tanging nakamit buhat sa’yo
Kaya’t sa Maykapal
Tuwina’y dalangin ko
Sana’y …
Kapalaran ko ay magbago

Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko – Originally sung and made popular by Sharon Cuneta, this song was written by the talented composer Rey Valera. The song is like the Filipino version of When I’m 64 by Beatles. It is a fun song to sing and there are many covers of it on YouTube. The translation in English is When my Hair Turns Silver. It is a love song about staying in love even when we get older. Here’s part of the lyrics:

Kung tayo ay matanda na
Sana’y di tayo magbago
Kailan man
Nasaan ma’y ito ang pangarap ko
Makuha mo pa kayang
Ako’y hagkan at yakapin, ooh
Hanggang pagtanda natin
Nagtatanong lang sa iyo
Ako pa kaya’y ibigin mo
Kung maputi na ang buhok ko?

Due to space limitations, I am unable to discuss in detail all the songs in my playlist. It is worth sharing, however, the titles and the singers in case you want to check them out. For the younger generations of Filipinos who were born here in the United States and do not speak the Filipino language, the following songs are still considered OPM (Original Pilipino Music) even though the lyrics are in English. I highly encourage you to check them out. Truly beautiful composition, melody and lyrics:

Hopeless Romantic

– Odette Quesada
Say That You Love Me
– Martin Nievera
To Love Again
– Odette Quesada
Till I Met You
– Kuh Ledesma
I Think I’m In Love
– Kuh Ledesma
Give Me A Chance
– Ric Segreto/Odette Quesada

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s lived on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend…and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui.
Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.