“…lalo na ‘yung kaakit-akit pa!”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Katawan” by Hagibis | I found myself with an accidental theme while compiling the songs for this month’s Great Philippine Song Hits: most of the list is filled with songs that have had lasting power thanks to the wide reach of television. I wasn’t born in the 70s, so I only knew Hagibis’ “Katawan” as the theme song to the macho sitcom Palibhasa Lalake – and they couldn’t have chosen a better theme. Hagibis is the brainchild of Mike Hanopol, composing and producing songs under the vein of the Village People, complete with camp costumes for its members (including Sonny Parsons, the future local analog to Chuck Norris), but this time with a much more macho posturing, as opposed to the inspiration’s gay disco leanings. (Well, that wouldn’t fly at the time.) I listened to a lot of Hagibis last year and, yes, the songs tend to go around the same themes: an appreciation (leery or otherwise), and then a caring respect, for women; a sign of being a man, a gentleman. In a more politically correct world this might not fly, but let’s appreciate it for the horns instead, shall we? That sounds so 70s – and the arrangements remain groovy to this day. [NB]

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