This wonderful surprise package containing a CD entitled “Tipanan – A Celebration of the Philippine Guitar” arrived in the mail days before my birthday. Well, it wasn’t a surprise, really, as a frequent Marketmanila visitor and an incredibly erudite commenter, had previously asked me for my mailing address and unrelated to any birthdays… I have never accepted a gift from a reader before (I didn’t think it was appropriate and I have never felt right) but I couldn’t say no to such a terrific and long-time reader who asked so graciously. The CD is really nice. Performed by a young U.S.-based Filipino guitarist Florante Aguilar, it is a compilation of classic Filipino songs but interpreted in a new and interesting manner. From more “kundiman” type songs to my silly “sitsiritsit alibangbang” and some original scores, I think, it is soothing, reminiscent of a bygone era, but performed with a modern twist. I really like it. I can see myself on a hammock at the beach under palm trees with a gentle breeze blowing, late one afternoon, alternatively munching on a turon or sipping my dalandan juice while swinging gently and nodding off to a blissful nap as this music plays in the background. So Filipino and so world class. I am thrilled to have it.

For those of you abroad, particularly in the Americas, you may want to get one of these CD’s. And though I do not know the guitarist, here is a link to his website so you can listen to some of the tracks… Thank you so much to my reader who I have not named but who you would all know from the content of his comments…It just so happens that my wife has taken up classical guitar and my daughter, the Kid, is at this moment taking both classic acoustic guitar and electric guitar. Mrs. Marketman and the Kid say, “The CD is very relaxing and it is so nice to hear Filipino folk songs performed acoustically.” This CD would be great music at a dinner featuring the best Filipino food we have to offer…

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14 Responses

  1. What a name for someone to record Filipino folk songs, we have folk singers named Florante and Freddie Aguilar right? :)

  2. I love anything Filipino but ashamed to say that I don’t care much for Filipino music, movies (except for Peque Gallaga’s Oro, Plata, Mata and Pinoy Blonde) and tv UNTIL NOW. I went to the site, sampled the music and promptly bought this cd AND his Suites for 2 Guitars (Barbary Coast Guitar duo). Thank you MM for featuring this Filipino performer.
    BTW, I wonder if he is the same Florante Aguilar who used to sing folk songs and was well known for wearing Happy Feet clogs, who left Manila just after Marcos was ousted?

  3. Yes Filipino music does not have an easy existence. Surrounded by apathy and eaten away by oblivion it has to squeeze through the hard bigotry of colonial mindedness and the soft prejudice of low expectation. We therefore support and are always grateful when we come accross a gifted bearer of the native spirit particularly when styled with cosmopolitan panache and urbane sensibility such as with Florante Aguilar. The very same principle operating, I might add, when we applaud and marvel at passionate amateurs who prepare humble Filipino fare with care, appropriate methods and the best ingredients available to yield even tastier and more visually appealing stylish dishes.

    And to Oggi, The Debut is one light Filipino movie that failed to make me cringe.

  4. wonder if that is distributed here? have never seen that cd or the singer promoted locally.

  5. Another nice soothing Filipino cd is Chin Chin Gutierrez’s “Uyayi” – a compilation of lullabies from different provinces (with a modern twist). It was a big hit in France. Sad that it was more popular there than here. I think it’s available anywhere. It’s also perfect for lazing at the beach or dinner time.

  6. The other pinoy movie getting international rave reviews is “Kubrador”. Haven’t seen it yet but apparently it is incredibly realistic (story of a jueteng worker) without any of the usual melodramatic ‘acting’ and ‘O.A.’ Read Torn and Frayed’s review in his blog.

  7. Off topic. Ey longtime no hear Gonzo. I sense an unfulfilled yearning for quality Filipino stuff among your readers with these comments here and since this thread has already veered ever slightly away from its original subject may I call your attention to the winner of the 1995 LA Times book price, Blue Afternoon by William Boyd. A splendid yarn chockfull of truly surprising Filipino historical and geographical allusions such as the Balanguiga massacre, a Filipino canine Dr. Frankenstein and his aviation enthusiast assistant who predated both the brothers Wright and Santos Dumont. Still available in soft cover I believe.

  8. MM, I just got my 2 cds, I love them both. Only 7 tracks of the Tipanan are familiar to me but most of the songs are easy to like and Radyo Tipanan is an instant favorite. The other FA cd I got, Suites for 2 guitars is priceless: ex Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze (a la Bartok), The Beatles’ I Want You (Prelude and Fugue), Led Zeppelin’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Toccata), my kind of music. Thanks again to you MM and to the erudite commenter who sent you the Tipanan cd.
    To Apicio, yeah I have The Debut dvd, I forgot to mention it. This is actually the very first Filipino flick I saw (2002?) in more than 20 years and have purchased 2 others after that. The latest Filipino movie I’ve seen (borrowed from Netflix) is CAVITE, very good thriller, made by 2 Filipino Americans.

  9. hi Apicio, yes i was away for a while.

    Florante Aguilar…it’s gotta be a stage name…

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