The Spinners

Byahe (Noel Cabangon, 2009)

In Alternative Rock, Cover, Eula Gonzales, Folk, OPM on December 7, 2010 at 4:27 am

Known as one of the most resounding voices among our breed of nationalistic artists, Noel Cabangon has been bringing original Pilipino music to Filipinos both here and abroad. Although he isn’t quite as popular as other mainstream singers, he continues to be one of my favorite solo performers. Aside from making good music, he makes it a point to sing songs promoting values such as love for God and country. In his latest album, Byahe, he brings together some of the best OPM songs which he has learned to play even before he started his career.

Opening the album with sweet, easy-on-the-ear tunes like Rey Valera’s “Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko,” followed by Ito Rapadas’ “Tuloy Pa Rin,” and Jose Lansang and Luke Paredes Gaston’s “Binibini,” Noel Cabangon brings me back to lazy Sunday afternoons with my grandparents while I pestered them with questions about how they first met each other.

Pagdating ng araw, ang iyong buhok ay puputi na rin. Sabay tayong mangarap ng nakaraan sa ’tin. Ang nakalipas ay ibabalik natin, hmmm…

The first few tracks in the album are certainly for romantics, but the rest of it also offers a varied palate of OPM. Memories of the good old days come rushing back as Aia de Leon, Imago’s lead vocalist, starts singing the first few lines of “Kanlungan,” while Chito Miranda of Parokya ni Edgar shares the funky track, “Dito sa Kanto,” which reminds me of hangouts and ambush house parties.

Dito, dito sa kanto. Dito, dito sa kanto. Ako’y unang natuto Nang kung anu-anong bisyo. At pakikipagkapwa-tao. Dito ko natutunan ang pakikipagkaibigan.

Noel Cabangon also covers some classic OPM songs I grew up listening to at home. Who has not heard Rey Valera’s “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako,” Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon’s “Ipagpatawad Mo,” and Sampaguita’s “Tao”? I guess more than simply making a recollection of his journey (hence the album title) through this selection of songs, he also shares our own journey, no matter where we are at the moment or where we are headed for.

Tulad ng isang ibon. Tao rin ay mamamatay. Pangarap niyang tanging nais. Makarating sa kabilang buhay.

The repackaged edition also includes a Bonus CD including four of the songs he sang during the inauguration of President Noynoy Aquino.

– Eula Gonzales

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