“Darating din ang umaga.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Umagang Kay Ganda” by Ray-An Fuentes and Tillie Moreno | This is how we end a month of Filipino classics: back to the Metro Manila Popular Music Festival. This song was not in the top three of the 1979 contest – Cinderella’s Snaffu Rigor’s composition for Freddie Aguilar, “Bulag, Pipi, Bingi”, won that year; the Apo Hiking Society’s “Ewan” came in second – and yet it’s this song that people remember more. This was the hit. Again, it captures everything that’s good about Filipino music: the melody, the sentiment, and the way it cuts through every fragment you can think of, appealing to everyone rather than just a few. Personally, it also helps that there’s some marvelous 70s-era production here: the mix of orchestral arrangements and soul sensibilities (like “Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika”, the song that kicked this series off), the proven partnership between Ray-An Fuentes and Tillie Moreno, and, well, the optimism. It’s not cheesy optimism, and it’s definitely not put on for show. It does remind me of innocent times. (But maybe not the cover being used as the theme to ABS-CBN’s morning show of the same name. I mean, all the news.) It does remind us that, yes, there’s always tomorrow, and it could be better, much better. [NB]

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