“Sa aking pagpanaw, sana ay tag-ulan.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran” by Asin | Now, another song that’s very much about the environment. The Filipino folk movement’s had easy pickings with this subject, although I wouldn’t entirely say it’s some hippie utopia they’re chasing after, but because the Philippines is genuinely beautiful – although I don’t see that anymore. Asin emerged at a time when the Manila Sound was giving way to what we now call, loosely, OPM. Like their contemporaries, they channeled their comments on the time’s political and social issues into song, always with a view towards the poor and the young. Sometimes it can be straightforward; sometimes it can be obtuse, like with “Balita” (which you cannot listen to now without going “listen up, y’all”). Personally, though, what I like about Asin’s stuff is Lolita Carbon’s voice: it, for some reason, captures the 70s like not most musicians of her time could. Asin’s songs aren’t heard as much anymore, unfortunately. It’s not the lo-fi sound, but, well, we don’t like it as straight anymore, it seems. Listen up, y’all. [NB]

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