Alamat promotes PH culture through music | Inquirer Entertainment

Alamat promotes PH culture through music

By: - Reporter
/ 12:25 AM November 22, 2022
Alamat

Alamat

Because Tagalog and English are the dominant languages of the local music scene, the multiethnic pop band Alamat knew that putting out songs in different Philippine languages would be a risk.

“Will listeners embrace it?” This is a question band members Tomas (Bicolano), R-Ji (Waray-Waray), Taneo (Ilocano/Kalinga), Alas (Mindanawon/Bisaya), Mo (Filipino-American) and Jao (Kapampangan) used to ask themselves.

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But two years after its debut, Alamat, slowly but surely, is gaining ground and catching the attention, not only of Filipinos, but also listeners from other countries. In fact, the British newspaper The Guardian recently did a feature on the group, and lauded its efforts to promote Filipino culture through its music and visuals.

“We’re so happy… We felt that the music we create was a bit risky, because we weren’t sure if the people would appreciate it. We still have a long way to go. But there are now people who love and support us. Sobrang saya at sarap sa puso. We thank them for their acceptance,” Mo said at a recent live showcase for the band’s first EP, “Pasulong.”

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“Part of our mission is to share our cultural heritage with the audience. And that entails embracing our own—angkinin ang sariling atin. We have to be proud of that and be a good example to the youth,” Taneo said.

Among the band’s previous releases were “kbye” and “kasmala,” which meld Tagalog, Ilocano, Waray-Waray, Bicolano, Bisaya Kapampangan and Hiligaynon; and “Porque” which shines the light on Chavacano.

“We feel so proud as Filipinos… Our goal is sharing our culture with the world. That we’re starting to get recognized means that what we’re doing is working. We’re overwhelmed by all the positive comments we receive, and they give us so much motivation to keep moving forward and improving our craft,” Jao said.

Flattered, honored

And it’s flattering, Taneo added, that listeners abroad make the effort to follow their activities despite the time zone differences. “When we have online events, some of them wake up in the wee hours just to watch,” he said. “We’re honored to represent the Filipino talent outside the country. And hopefully, we get to see more P-Pop groups and P-Pop representation overseas.”

Conceptualized by Alamat creative director Jason Paul Laxamana, the band’s EP “Pasulong” features six songs that incorporate various musical genres—all the while maintaining distinctive Filipino flavor, themes and lyrics.

The lead single, the R&B dance tune “Aswang” is inspired by local folklore. “Gayuma” is a funky club song that evokes a party atmosphere. “Maharani” is an R&B love bop. There’s the festive “Hala,” which weaves folk melodies and march beats together. Completing the list are “ILY ILY” and “Say U Love Me.”

“Every song is memorable. But I can say that the actual recording is something I won’t forget. We were given freedom to add to our harmonies and to play with them,” Tomas noted.

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Not only were the members involved in the songwriting process and production, they also had input on the choreographies. “I had a lot of fun being involved in the process. Executing the ideas our creative director came up with was a fun experience,” Jao said.

Moving forward

As the title of the EP suggests, “Pasulong” is a reminder for the boys to keep on moving forward. “We should move forward from the hardships and keep improving ourselves. Keep fighting for the stage, no matter the circumstance; rain or shine. You still have to slay,” Jao said.

“We have always been taught the importance of delayed gratification. We may not see the reward of our hard work now, but if we keep at it, we know that all our hard work will eventually bear fruits,” Taneo said.

“We never give up on something we believe in. We know success is very difficult to achieve; you need to make sacrifices. But it’s better to give your all rather than being regretful over wasted opportunities,” Alas said.

With “Pasulong,” Alamat hopes to continue broadening people’s minds when it comes to different genres and local languages. “We want to show everyone that you can be proud of your hometown origins. We’re proudly ‘tatak Pinoy,’ which is what we’re about,” R-Ji said. INQ

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TAGS: Alamat, Entertainment, Music
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