Thoughts on Freddie Aguilar
Freddie Aguilar has been caught in a whirlwind storm concerning his personal life for more than two months now. Meanwhile a real catastrophic and killer typhoon has hit the Philippines which left thousands dead and towns completely devastated beyond recognition.
Where should more attention be focused on now?
Should it be on how one person should live his personal life? Or should it be on the thousands who are struggling to have a life again?
The easier route is for us to be judgmental, especially of celebrities, and to don our holier-than-thou hats. And in the case of Freddie Aguilar, we even have the temerity to suggest what punishment should be meted out to him?!
I have never been one to enjoy the emotional turmoil or the pain of others. As my attention will always go back to where it matters… It is the music of the artist.
I have been observing the things happening to Freddie Aguilar ever since he headlined the news. In a somewhat weird twist of fate, it is this very controversy he has been embroiled in that has thrown him back into the limelight.
Hearing ‘Anak’ being played overseas
Around 2003, my mom, tita and I were on vacation in Thailand. While we were having lunch in a restaurant, I was so surprised when “Anak” started blaring out of the speakers of the restaurant. I couldn’t believe my ears. I was hearing a song that originated from my homeland!
As the song was playing, the tour guide asked me the meaning behind the soft spoken words of Freddie Aguilar because the tour guide himself could feel the raw emotion out of it. Although I can no longer remember what my exact words were to him, it was more of the almost surreal feeling to hear Freddie Aguilar’s signature song being played in a foreign country that has stuck to me and that is the “souvenir of a memory” I took home from our trip.
Do you know the timeless saying “music is universal”? Well, in that instance, it couldn’t have been more true. Just to hear the voice of Freddie Aguilar coming out of those speakers backed with his haunting guitar melody in the song, I couldn’t have been more proud to be a Filipino in that exact moment. It is one of those scenarios that I wish I could see in my dreams one more time–exactly the way it had played out.
So, while it easy for some of us to forget what Freddie Aguilar has greatly and vastly contributed to OPM, and we continue to allow this “issue” to overshadow the decades of his hard work to get his music out, I would like to believe that his achievements and the recognitions he has amassed in his lengthy career can never be erased and “deleted” from the record books.
I refuse to believe his detractors who say that this controversy marks the end of the professional career of Freddie Aguilar as a musician. That is taking it a step too far already and it is uncalled for. Everyone, and there is no exception to this rule, deserves to earn a living and especially in the case of Freddie Aguilar who has the right to express his gift for music.
Even before we, music aficionados, got to start talking about our local artists now and acknowledging those who came before them, Freddie Aguilar was one of those artists already performing and releasing records when we weren’t even born yet into this world.