Three songwriters reflect on their most memorable compositions | Inquirer Entertainment

Three songwriters reflect on their most memorable compositions

By: - Reporter
/ 01:00 AM November 26, 2016

Louie Ocampo, Ogie Alcasid and Rey Valera

Throughout their respective careers, Rey Valera, Louie Ocampo and Ogie Alcasid have penned some of the most enduring Filipino hits—songs that, to this day, continue to be covered; songs that have become concert staples of many other local artists. In this forum, these three tunesmiths—who are set to headline a one-night concert, titled “Kanta Ko, Panahon N’yo,” on Dec. 2 at the Kia Theatre (call 9115555)—look back on some of their most memorable, most important compositions.

Excerpts from the Inquirer interview:


Rey Valera: Back then, composers receive mere centavos per album sold. So imagine how many copies of an album I have to sell for me to earn P1,000? And then teleseryes came into the picture. The good thing about your songs being used in one is that you’re given a lump sum.

And for “Pangako Sa ’Yo,” I got P300,000 every four months. The drama series ran for two years. Thus, I was able to have my house built. And the show was even remade recently! I didn’t earn that much during the height of the song’s popularity, because, like I’ve said, you get only a small portion from the sales.


I consider myself lucky, because other great composers who have already died, like George Canseco, didn’t really get to enjoy the fruits of their work.

Ogie Alcasid: Technically, my first hit was “Nandito Ako.” But I didn’t write that song. “Mahal Kita, Walang Iba,” I would say, was my first legitimate, ballad hit.  It was about well … a girlfriend, someone whom I’ve just gotten with. I was in college at that time. It didn’t take me long to write that song, because, when you’re inspired, you don’t have to think too much—you just write out your feelings. It’s tough to write something that you’re inventing, the emotions, the scenarios. But when the emotions are raw and real, it’s so much easier to write, the words just flow.

I wrote that song on a paper, like most of my other compositions. I always kept a notebook.

Louie Ocampo: My first hit was “Hindi Laro ang Ibigin Ka,” which I wrote in either 1976 or 1977. It was one of Anthony Castelo’s hits, and won best theme song at the 1982 Famas.

My next hit was “Ewan,” which was also one of the most financially strong or successful works, because it was used in several commercials. There’s also “Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin,” which was turned into a teleserye and “Kahit Isang Saglit,” which became a movie and a soap.

But the most popular, I would assume, is “Tell Me,” which was written for an ex-girlfriend who promised “na may forever.” So, when we broke up, I  asked myself, “What did I do wrong? What did I do to make you change your mind?” The lyrics were words I literally said!

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TAGS: Louie Ocampo, Music, Ogie Alcasid, Rey Valera, songwriters
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