Data from the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) in 2016 showed that only about one in 10 songs played on the radio, in malls and retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and bars is original Filipino music.
Three years later, is it any better?
Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-Aawit (OPM) board member Noel Cabangon said the tide seems to be turning to our favor once more.
He cited data released January this year by streaming platform Spotify that show close to 10 billion streams of OPM content have been consumed globally since 2014 when the company started in the country. The singer-songwriter also noted an increase in number of songwriting camps and contests, concerts and mall shows by Filipino acts, and OPM songs that, even without the backing of major labels, become hits.
Noel credits brave young Filipino musicians for choosing to be game-changers instead of followers. No wonder that the OPM scene is more diverse today with music that sounds more globally competitive than it ever was.
Historically, this OPM wave blows in once every decade. In the ’70s there was the Manila Sound of The Hotdogs, Cinderella and more. The ’80s saw the rise of solo artists as Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Regine Velasquez and Kuh Ledesma all considered icons by this time.
In the ’90s, the Eraserheads and Rivermaya led the way. The transition to this millennium saw novelty songs by Lito Camo as kings. A few years later, came Sarah Geronimo and other singing champions, bands like Hale and Sponge Cola, and rapper Gloc-9 running the show.
Recently, we saw breakout stars from the Internet like Abra and Ex-Battalion cross over to mainstream.
Mastery of technology holds the key to OPM future, Ogie said. In an interview, he said young artists today reach their audience because they know how to use multi-media platforms to their advantage.
Couple that with talent, passion, dedication and success is not impossible at all, he said.
“Young artists today write songs that communicate to their audience,” the OPM president lauded. “They are doing an amazing job.”
Whether the Philippine music industry is up or down, Noel said OPM’s mission of working for the Filipino singers’ advancement is the same.
These are: 1. Advocating policies for the growth of music industry. 2. Ensuring that policies are correctly implemented. 3. Ensuring that members are adequately supported through legal assistance and professional enhancement. 4. Continuing promotion for the Filipinos’ patronage of local singers and original Pilipino musical compositions. 5. Continuing promotion for the recognition of the Filipino singer and song in the international arena.
It’s the fifth item that sees OPM partnering with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for ongoing “Linggo Ng Musikang Pilipino” activities that lasts till end of July. The week-long activities are in accordance with then-President Noynoy Aquino’s Proclamation No. 933 s. 2014 declaring the last week of July of every year as “Linggo Ng Musikang Pilipino.” That is, the Constitution mandates that arts and culture shall enjoy the patronage of the State and to this end, the State shall conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations.
Lest it be forgotten, Noel pointed out that apart from the Presidential Proclamation 933, there is an Executive Order (EO) No. 255 (s. 1987) which “required all radio stations with musical format programs to broadcast a minimum of four original Pilipino musical compositions in every clock hour and defined original Pilipino music as any musical composition created by a Filipino, whether the lyrics be in Pilipino, English or in any other language or dialect.”
Here are the events for Linggo ng Musikang Pilipino in the coming days: Out of town shows of various artists, Philpop songwriting workshop in Tagum City, Davao, radio, mall and bar showcases, OPM “Railway Jam,” and OPM mic and busking sessions, participated in by more than 200 artists.
Some of the participating artists are Aegis, Gracenote, BennyBunnyBand, This Band, Barbie Almalbis, Wency Cornejo, Lara Maigue, and Cooky Chua .
Early this month, NCCA and OPM also released the official theme song of the celebration called “Paboritong Musika.”