‘Bonggahan’ all over again: Sampaguita to perform with 12 OPM legends in ‘Tugtugan Sitenta’
A video on YouTube of Sampaguita performing 10 years ago at a 19 East benefit gig for the then ailing Wally Gonzalez captures her flippant, witty nature. Responding to the crowd’s shouts of “rock ’n’ roll!”, the queen of Pinoy Rock quips: “Rakenrol, hindi naman kayo gumagalaw, hello!”
She’s completely in her element as she continues her spiel, poking fun at her wide girth: “You guys are lucky to see me… because I’m also…. la-ke.”
After calling Jay Ortega to join her onstage, Sam — as friends call her — says, “I’m here because of Wally Gonzalez… pass the hat… dati, pass the joint…”, followed by mock coughing.
But Ortega and Sampaguita dueting on “Tao” brought back memories of what is arguably Pinoy Rock’s greatest ballad. “Himig Natin” was great, too, especially Gonzalez’s glorious guitar solo, but “Tao” was a notch higher — defining humanity in poetic imagery (“Tulad ng isang ibon/Tao ay lumilipad…”) and metaphysical spirituality (Pangarap niyang tanging nais/Makarating sa kabilang buhay…”).
“Tao”— released in 1978 as a single, the B-side of the massive hit and party soundtrack “Bonggahan” — endeared Sampaguita to both jeproks and college kid fans of Pinoy Rock.
Sometime ago, Sampaguita and Gary Perez fought over songwriting credits to her self-titled debut album which contained “Bonggahan” and “Tao.” On record, Perez is credited with the “words and music,” of both tracks, although Sampaguita volunteered information that she was likewise involved in writing the lyrics.
But it’s all water under the bridge now as the ex-couple have reached an agreement.
Of the five albums Sampaguita recorded, three — 1978’s Sampaguita, 1980’s Sampaguita Vol. 2, 1989’s Nosi Ba Lasi — will forever remain in the consciousness of the ’70s generation.
The good news is that the artist herself will join other performers of that golden age in Original Pilipino Music (OPM) in a concert dubbed Tugtugan Sitenta on May 31 at the Theater at Solaire.
On the bill are Jim Paredes and Buboy Garovillo (of Apo), Male Rigor and Monet Gaskell (of VST & Co.), Nonoy Tan and Rey Magtoto (of Wadab), Joey Abando (of Boyfriends), Mon Espia (of Labuyo), Pete Gatela, Carlos Parsons, and Yujin Baydal (of Hagibis), and Mike Hanopol (JDLC).
Tugtugan Sitenta is presented by Zonta Club of Makati-Ayala, a member of Zonta International which empowers women through service and advocacy. EDV