Last Sunday, I watched the Cebuano/Bisaya musical play Gugmang Giatay as they performed their first stage in Manila. I first saw this play a year ago in Cebu, and I loved it then. After seeing it for the second time, I loved it more.
Here’s why you should catch Gugmang Giatay at the BGC Arts Center this week (Nov. 28-30, 8PM):
- Because LOVE. Gugma is the Bisaya word for Love. And Giatay, a curse to express an emotion that just cannot be translated right in either English or Tagalog. The play uses Damned Love as a translation, but it’s not half as strong, or as funny. Gugmang giatay, is f*cking love, one that leaves you wondering why you started it in the first place (nganong ni-enter?). True to it’s title, the play is about love, different kinds of love. A love you thought would last forever; a love that could destroy friendship; a love that doesn’t know how to convey itself; a love that’s ready to go against the world; a love that was betrayed; a love that found a fresh start; there’s bound to be a kind of love or a character that anyone in the audience can relate to.
- Because BISAYA. In my 10 years of living in Manila, this is the first 100% Bisaya musical play staged here. The capital city is home to people from different regions – and it’s just right that there should be venues for these different cultures to present themselves in the capital. We’ve started seeing 100% Bisaya movies in the cinemas in the past few years, and although progress is slow, there is progress! As a Bisaya, I feel obligated to support any Bisaya endeavor on a national scale. Also, nothing really captures and expresses emotions and feelings best like your native tongue.
- Because BISROCK/VISPOP/Cebuano Music. The play has songs written specially for it (by none other than master Jude Gitamondoc and Rowell Ucat of Medyo Maldito fame), majority of the songs are well known pop/rock songs in Cebu – from classics such as Matud Nila and Usahay, Bisrock such as Palagot sa Contra and Solid ug Lawas, to VisPop banner hits like Hahahasula and Dili Tanan. If you are already a fan of Bisaya music, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t watch the play. If you aren’t a fan, or have no clue how Bisaya songs sound like, then it’s worth giving it a try – you might even get hooked!
- Because SUBTITLES. Staging a Bisaya play in a Tagalog metropolis is a risk. But it’s not a play exclusively for Bisaya people. We joked about and we’re suprised to find that there are English Subtitles flashed on the screen behind the stage! So yes, you will not be lost in translation!
- Because BISAYA is still FILIPINO. It’s a call for a more inclusive nation. Gone are the days of Manila being the only “happening” place in the country. Things are brewing in the regions! The other cities and provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao also have a lot of talent just needing a nationwide stage. If anything, this should pave the way for other regional artists to pursue coming to Manila for exposure, without having to compromise their identity. It’s OK to sing songs, stage plays, create movies in their local language! It doesn’t always have to be in Tagalog. It shouldn’t always be in Tagalog!
So there, the play is a gem from my home, Cebu. To be honest, there were a lot of technical issues during the first stage last Sunday, but I’m sure they’ll sort it out when they stage this week. I really, really, ask that you give it a chance, and catch it while it’s here. More than just self enjoyment, it’s really showing support to the artists, the people behind the play to keep creating and continue pushing overall Filipino culture forward!
You can get tickets at Ticketworld. Prices are from P200 to P1000 only! Once you see it, let me know your thoughts by the comments section below!
P.S. If you are Bisaya, you have no excuse to not see this play! And if I personally know you, I will be disappointed if you’ll miss out!
I love this latest release from UDD! The sound is modern city pop, which conjures images of Japan, specifically Tokyo into mind. True enough, the music video was shot in Tokyo! The video stars Mizuki Shida, who came to fame from the reality show Terrace House Boys and Girls in the City (watch this on Netflix if you haven’t yet).
Similar to UDD’s other song, Luna, I am eagerly waiting for a Japanese version of this song, because Japanese lyrics would sound so perfect with city pop instrumentals. “Zettai”, the Japanese word at the start, and the word Mizuki says at the end, is a translation of the title Sigurado – and could be taken as a hint of an upcoming Japanese version!
Get UDD – Sigurado on Apple Music.
One of my favorite Jpop groups is a pop rock/hip-hop vocal group called GReeeeN. I first heard of them from the Jdrama “Rookies” where they sang the soundtrack entitled Kiseki (translates to Miracle in English). If you look up the English translation of the lyrics, you will find that the song is perfect for a wedding vow. I love this song so much!
GreeeeN – Kiseki
Two things you’ll immediately notice are:
- Their music video (always) has a story. In fact, it feels like a short film that fits within a song.
- You won’t see the group in any of their music videos.
A fun and interesting fact is that the group has never ever shown their face in public since their debut. They are only known by their “stage names” – Hide, Navi, Kuni (written as “92”), and Soh. At first, this was to protect their personal lives while they were still studying dentistry at a university. However, even after graduating, they have kept their identities secret because they are practicing dentists. Talk about pursuing your passion together with your profession!
I like all of their songs, but here are the ones on top of my list:
GReeeeN – Itoshi kimi e
GReeeeN – Ai uta
GReeeeN – Haruka
GReeeeN – Hana uta
GReeeeN – Rookies (this doesn’t have a music video – but I really love this song!)
You can see that their logo is an image of a sparkling white teeth, true to their being dentists! The four Es represent each of the group members. You can check out more of their songs here. They have also released a compilation of all their singles – perfect for a road trip!
May has been a good month for KPOP! There were a lot of comebacks from well known groups/artists so I thought of listing down my top 5 favorite releases of the month (excluding Unnies – Right).
5. iKON – Bling Bling
iKON is finally back, with a new image and even new names for some members. It seems YG is trying to reboot the group! This song is very catchy, very hip hop, but they’ve had better songs in the past. I liked Winner’s comeback last month better. But still – this makes it to the Top 5 for sure!
4. Urban Zakapa – Alone
Oh man, the lyrics to this song just hits me. I have nothing else to say. Let me hide under my sheets while I listen to the song again.
3. Roy Kim – Suddenly
Roy Kim is back with blonde hair – but his voice is still as soothing as ever. I just love the Spring feel to this song.
2. Nam Taehyun (South Club) – Hug Me
I am so happy Taehyun left Winner (and YG) – not because I didn’t want him there – but because I love the music of South Club. And his voice fits this genre better! It’s so good even YG promoted the song on his Instagram.
1. SEVENTEEN – Don’t Wanna Cry
OK, call me basic for putting this on top but I just love the way this song was put together – even if it sounds a bit like The Chainsmokers’ Closer (which I hate). I give props to KPOP acts who bring something new to the table! The choreography also fits the song very well. This song has been on repeat the past two days and I’m not yet tired of it. These guys could give EXO and BTS a run for their money!
What’s your favorite KPOP song for the month? Let me know in the comments!
I have been watching a Korean reality show called Sister’s Slam Dunk (S2) and last week, the Unnies were finally able to release their debut single entitled “Right”. After seeing them struggle through practice and recording, I am really proud that they made it this far. The show is about to end soon since they have already achieved their dream – but this song will serve as their legacy! I will definitely miss seeing them on TV together, but I know that they will remain good friends after this. I can only hope they come up with another song in the future!
Official Music Video – Unnies – Right?
Debut Stage (Music Bank) – Unnies – Right?
Debut Stage (Music Bank) – Unnies – Lalala Song
In case you want to watch the entire series from Episode 1 – here’s the link! You won’t regret it! You can also support the Unnies by getting their song on iTunes.