“‘Di ko na kayang mabuhay sa mundo kung mawawala ka sa piling ko.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“‘Di Ko Kayang Tanggapin” by April Boy Regino | It’s unfortunate that this song has become a punchline. Sure, it was used to good effect in the opening scenes of Ang Tanging Ina, the Ai-Ai Delas Alas film. Sure, the gestures that accompanied the chorus are chuckle-worthy. But this is a perfectly good song; cheesy in parts, yes, but a perfectly good song nonetheless. The first big hit from April Boy Regino – formerly part of the April Boys, he went solo in 1994 – is a perfectly good, if not typical, love ballad that was (and is) common on Philippine airwaves to this day. Well, yes, perhaps those gestures – of April Boy doing a big X up in the air, and then moving that X below the belt, slightly suggestively – made the song the classic that it is today. There’s this odd juxtaposition, of a jokey action associated with lines suggesting a pretty serious heartbreak. But, well, people cope in their own ways. And while April Boy has since disappeared from public view – he migrated to the United States, and recently went through a bout with prostate cancer – this song still stands strong. No X’s about that. (Thanks to Sudoy for the suggestion.) [NB]

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