“Halina’t sumayaw sa ilalim ng araw.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Kapayapaan” by Tropical Depression | The Philippines, of course, has a strong history of niche music, and it wasn’t always a modern day thing. There were always musicians who looked further out of the typical Western themes and tones, while others waved the flag of fringe affairs and brought them closer to the mainstream. Dominic “Papadom” Gamboa, who died in 2013 a day before he was to turn 48, was one of those figures: he began as one of the leaders of the burgeoning Manila punk scene in the early 1980s, later becoming the vocalist of iconic Filipino punk rockers Betrayed. Then the ska bug bit him, moving to front the Skavengers. But he is best known for his work with Tropical Depression, the biggest reggae band of his time. Throughout the 1990s their songs – this one, “Kapayapaan”, and another hit, “Bilog Na Naman Ang Buwan” – were all over the airwaves, bringing the band’s light-hearted yet rowdy sensibilities, and socially-conscious themes, to a wider audience. Papadom’s death was, indeed, a blow to the scene, but his work in expanding the oeuvre of the Philippine music scene cannot be denied. [NB]

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