Some Classic Filipino Music

  • Bagong Lipunan
  • Gising Na O, Inang Ko
  • Sa Ugoy ng Duyan
  • Nasaan Ka, Irog?
  • Gaano Kita Kamahal

I have been collecting music sheets for nine years, I think. At first only the SATB sheets were on my “collection”. Later on it grew to include many sheets that earned my interest. Then I realised that I had been collecting Filipino music sheets to the names of great composers (whom I never knew were big names back then).

Since I am not a musician, I need a music software to transcribe the sheets and subsequently “hear” the music. And I always wondered, “Where in the world of Creativity they picked those melodies?” I presumed they could pierce through the orb of inspiration and walk away with a brilliant tune–this a normal person (like me) could not dare to accomplish. They were geniuses of their time.

And so, I would be sharing some of classic Filipino music. I have been transcribing some of the sheets and here are some that I am happy and proud to impart. I hope I won’t get reprimanded for breaching copyright laws (if there are any concerning these songs), but I have no ill intentions. I just want Philippine art made manifest. (Anyway, these are just the piano parts, no vocals as these are a music software-generated music. By  the way, these are simple transcriptions. I didn’t put the dynamics provided in the sheets: just the melodic lines. I hope I didn’t err in transcribing.)

Bagong Lipunan
Music and Words: Felipe Padilla de Leon

I first heard the song from a recording by the Philippine Madrigal Singers (from the Album Bayan Ko: Aawitan Kita). I was moved and almost cried. (I say try to look for a recording of the Madz-rendered song)The melody was so serene and imbued with a renewed sense of patriotism. Of course the song was used as a propaganda of the Marcos-led New Society, yet the music created by National Artist for Music Felipe Padilla de Leon encompasses political affiliations.

When I had the change to visit the National Library, I looked for the music sheet of the song. And here it is. Listen to the piano part. (Words to the music is provided.)

Ang bayan ko’y may dangal, puri’t kagitingan
Dagat, bundok ay sagana at kay yaman ng lupa

Pilipinas sa piling mo
Maligaya ang buhay ko
Bagong lipunan ang dapat
Malaon nating hinahangad

***

“Gising Na O, Inang Ko”
from Noli Me Tangere: Huwag Mo Akong Salingin (opera)
Music: Felipe Padilla de Leon
Libretto: Guillermo Tolentino

Last year I was privileged to see Noli Me Tangere, the Opera staged by Dulaang UP. I saw the production twice. I badly wanted to hear the song of Basilio to his  mother Sisa, who died from deep anguish over the cruel fate of her sons. This song of Basilio really clutched my emotions and so tears trickled down my eyes.

I managed to get a copy of some of the sheets and luckily I found Basilio’s wonderful song to his deranged mother. If you were there, you would absorb forlorn feeling that beset the now-orphan. Actually, the title I provided is not provided in the sheets. I had to think of something to name this part, as it was a continuous opera score. So I thought of getting the first line of the song, as the traditional way of naming an aria or any song part in an opera. (Below is the words to the music.)

Gising na O, Inang ko!
Ako’y si Basilio
Gising na O, Inang ko!

Aking Inang sinisinta
Idilat mo’ng iyong mata
Ako ngayo’y nag-iisa
Si Crispin ma’y wala na

Bakit ako’y inulila?

Aking Inang minumutya
Kasama ko ngayo’y wala
Masdan ako’t abang-aba
Mga mata’y pigtang-pigta

Aking Inang minamahal
Huwag mo akong pabayaan
Ako’y iyong babantayan
Kahit wala ka na, Inang

Aking Ina sinisinta
Idilat mo’ng iyong mga mata

Aking Inang minamahal
Huwag mo akong pabayaan
Ako’y iyong babantayan
Kahit wala ka na Inang

***

Sa Ugoy ng Duyan
Music: Lucio San Pedro
Words: Levi Celerio

This song is the anthem of a child’s (or someone’s) delicate sentiments for a mother. I guess all mothers want this sung to  them by their child. This song is rather timeless that goes beyond the bounds of culture. It tells story of how the cradle engender such  undying love–that of a mother and child. To the lyricist, National Artist Levi Celerio: this is forever marked in his legacy. To the composer, National Artist Lucio San Pedro: this is a theme to celebrate a universal bond.

This piece was from the book of choral works by Lucio San Pedro. He set this in SATB with piano. What you will hear is the piano part only. I know you can follow the tune.

Sana’y di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni Nanay
Nais ko’y maulit ang awit ni Inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako’y nasa duyan

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko’y ta-la ang ta-nod ko’y bituin
Sa piling ni Nanay, langit ang buhay
Puso kong may dusa’y sabik sa ugoy ng duyan

Ibig kong matulog sa dating duyan ko Inang
Oh! Ina

***

Nasaan Ka, Irog?
Music: Nicanor Abelardo
Words: Narciso Asistio

This is one of my favourite compositions of Nicanor Abelardo. It is a story of someone left by his or her love. But it is not clear whether the lover left or was unable to return (I just thought of it from the song). The words may mean many things. Perhaps it is up to the listener to create the meaning and complete the story. Notice the subtle intricacies and beauty of the music. Hear how the music changes mood, and so the story. I cannot say anything beyond that.

Nasaan ka, irog?

Nasaan ka, irog at dagling naparam ang iyong pag-giliw
Di baga sumpa mong ako’y mamahalin?
Iyong itatangi, iyong itatangi magpahanggang libing
Subali’t nasaan ang gayong pagtingin?

Nasaan ka, irog at natitiis mong ako’y mangulila
At hanap-hanapin ikaw sa alaala?
Nasaan ang sabi mong ako’y iyong ligaya’t
Ngayong nalulungkot, ngayong nalulungkot ay di ka makita

Irog ko’y tandaan!

Kung ako man ay iyong ngayo’y siniphayo
Mga sumpa’t lambing pinaram mong buo
Ang lahat sa buhay ko ay hindi maglalaho’t
Magsisilbing bakas ng nagdaan tang pagsuyo

Tandaan mo, irog; irog ko’y tandaan
Ang lahat sa buhay ko ay hindi maglalaho’t
Magsisilbing bakas ng nagdaan tang pagsuyo

Nasaan ka, irog!
Nasaan ka, irog!

***

Gaano Kita Kamahal
Music: Ernani Cuenco
Words: Levi Celerio

This is a wonderful song of an honest love, set to last as the sun rises.

Ikaw lamang ang aking iibigin
Magpakailanman

Ang pag-ibig ko sa iyo ay tunay
Nais ko sanang patunayan
Huwag ka nang mag-alinlangan

Ang pag-ibig ko’y hindi kukupas
Tulad din ng umagang
May pag-asang sumisikat

Ang ating buhay, maikli, aking hirang
Kung kaya’t kailangan
Ng pagsuyong wagas kailanman

Ang sumpa ko sa iyo’y asahan
Ikaw lamang ang aking iibigin
Magpakailan man

***

Wonderful, aren’t they? Classic Filipino music has much meaning, profound maybe. Definitely there are so many ways to tell about love. The words that the lyricists employed are astoundingly brilliant and moving with that mysterious art. And this makes me want to discover more inspiring Filipino songs hidden in the shelves and niches of time past.

I hope we can revive the surge of classical music. (But they are classic, in a sense meant to endure time but ironically have to stay in the quiet past, until further notice.)

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6 thoughts on “Entry 031

  1. its nice to know that somebody’s collecting this treasures, and just like those treasures you’re a treasure for collecting them.

    • why, thank you Mr Duran. That was pleasant to hear. No one said that to me before. I have other posts concerning “old” Filipino music transcriptions that I obtained. I hope I can still have the time to transcribe them onto a notation software.

  2. With the current corrupt conditions in our country, I have no other way to express my disgust but by using our treasured patriotic songs.
    Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts through this site.

    TAGONG YAMAN (Bagong Lipunan tune by Felipe P. de Leon)
    by Gernacionalismo

    Ang bayan kinalakal, gamit pulitikahan,
    Kurap, dayukdok ay nagsama, at nangamoy laman-lupa.

    Nililimas ang pondo nyo,
    May anomalya at proyekto.
    Tagong yaman nila’y ikinalat,
    Malabo na ang ating pag-unlad.

    • I understand your political sentiments gernacionalismo. But looking at the song as an art form, the music is evocative enough, I suppose. : p

  3. Hi. Thanks for all the work you put into your blog. I am writing a thesis about Filipino music, but live in Australia so do not have the chance to visit the National Library. Would you be willing to email me a copy of the Bagong Lipunan sheet music so that I can refer to it (with proper academic references) in my thesis? Would love to hear from you about this. Thanks.

I'd love to read your thoughts, too. Please leave a reply. ^^

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