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READ OPENING ENTRY
My most hated band

WHAT THEY SAY
ABOUT THE BAND

"I didn't like the name but it doesn't matter. They played great band music."
- Nina Araknida
Sunstar, Flip / September 15, 2002

"Few rock bands in town could stand at the crossroads of a dynamic and evolving music scene and knock down the high walls that divide music genres and audiences with as much success as Sheila and the Insects. "
- Ronald P. Villavelez
Yup!, Issue 1.03 / November 2001

"Sheila & The Insects’ music is new wave-influenced post-punk rock music that is considerably heavy yet still melodic "
- Cris O. Ramos Jr.
The Manila Times / May 31, 2003

"What does an indie band do with the oft-maligned mix of rock and new wave? In the case of Cebu-based Sheila and the Insects, plenty."
- Ganns Deen
PULP , PulpReviews / Issue 13, March 2001




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THIS MONTH'S LYRICS
Softly
Sheila and the Insects
Originally by Apo Hiking Society


:: Download SATI version ::
:: Original Apo version ::
Written by Jim Paredes

Softly, as the morning sun
Comes through my window pane
Thoughts come to me
Memories of you fill my mind and I smile

So gently, and my world transforms
Into a merry carousel
Turning me round
Bringing me back to the place where I found ...

You there, time could have stood still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere

And as, we go through the days
Remembering the love we made
I know that you'll stay
Bringing me more than what mere words can say

I know, that time can stand still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere.

I know, that time can stand still and then
We'd spend all our moments to share
The dreams that we've known sometime, somewhere.

Notes:
This song appears in the album The Best of Kami nAPO Muna 2CD+DVD.



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Saturday, March 19, 2005
The right tongue to sing in

Like a breath of fresh air, new bands are emerging proudly Cebuano. Fresh and exciting. Bands like Missing Filemon, Smooth Friction, Scrambled Eggs, and leading the pack, Junior Kilat, now conquering the nation with an explosive first single titled “M-16” off a smashing debut album, currently blowing everyone away in rapid fire. Bisaya never sounded as hip before.

With these bands’ success, a good question for other local bands is why not write more songs in the local vernacular. Most Cebuano bands, ours included, are western influenced. Many in fact write songs exclusively in English.

Does that make us less Cebuano? Less nationalistic perhaps? Have we turned our backs on our cultural identity and roots? Debatable but probably yes. So what?

Firstly, why should we write Cebuano lyrics when we simply can’t? The language of instruction in our schools is English. All the while, we are taught that the national language is Pilipino now recently renamed Filipino, actually Tagalog, for all I care. Nothing is taught about the Cebuano language, literature, or culture. Well maybe some history. Lapu-lapu killing Magellan wearing only a bahag. Some history. So since our schools don’t teach us the spoken Cebuano, how are we expected to master it? On our own by listening to local ‘dramas’ on AM radio? Since our schools don’t teach us Cebuano grammar, how are we expected to study it? By reading cheap local tabloids?

How can we be expected to embrace, much less promote Cebuano culture when in the first place, we have trouble identifying it? Do we blame our schools? Maybe, but I wish not to dwell on that. We all know our educational system has more ills than sidewalk vendors selling poisoned cassava cakes.

In spite of these, I still sense that most local bands do want to promote the Cebuano identity albeit in their own ways. But more than that, they want to be honest. For many local bands, to actually perform songs in Cebuano doesn’t make them feel proud. It makes them feel awkward. For many, to sing in Cebuano is not a choice to make. It is a challenge to avoid.

Plus it doesn’t help that the only Cebuano songs the average Cebuano can sing to is Matud nila and Max Surban’s novelty songs, so if it isn’t classic, it’s comic.

Try writing a love song in bisaya and sing it with a modern guitar riff. Instead of the line “love will prevail”, try singing it as “ang gugma mupatigbabaw”. Hardly easy singing, I tell you and hardly easy on the ears. Sing that line out loud and tell me honestly that you aren’t stifling a laugh.

But some bands like my examples earlier do thrive on the nuances of the Cebuano tongue, sometimes referred to as the French of Philippine dialects. Cebuano does have a delicious lilt that lends well to balaks or romantic odes.

Still, even then, English is the preferred medium locally. It is, after all, the emerging global language, the language that is now spoken by more and more non-native speakers worldwide. In this age of globalization then, shouldn’t our music also reflect this trend?

In conclusion, let me proffer that singing in English doesn’t make you more American any more than singing in Cebuano makes you more Bisaya. It would be a pointless exercise then to debate which language is more appropriate in which to write one’s music. In the end, let us remember that music in itself is the language.

Posted at 05:24 pm by bisoy

yernelg
September 26, 2006   03:00 PM PDT
 
The Ambassadors' Gugmang Giatay is a very good example of Bisaya hip song i think. The vox did a good job not humiliating the language with inherent regional limitations. and eventhough without guitar riffs and done sole on keyboards, it utters the languange with class.

i agree. music is language in itself.
giovz
July 19, 2006   02:15 PM PDT
 
Nice analysis manny! But you gone too far though. The local talents have just getting started. We shouldn't worry about competing with the other bands. Just hear at the beauty of the music they made.
Worring about lyric making will follow. Right now we got to try to listen to the music, the beauty within the song. Try not to listen to the lyrics yet. Coz if you do listen to the lyrics first before the music then there are really good books out there for you to read!
Jonathan Tejano
April 7, 2006   11:43 AM PDT
 
Were can i buy your album?
Jonathan Tejano
April 7, 2006   11:22 AM PDT
 
Were can i buy your album?
bonbon
August 29, 2005   07:21 PM PDT
 
the message of the song (alas 4) was so straight and practical... it's an everyday scenario... and i think its totally cool... keep it up... reLIVE our culture... sakto ba?... =)
Bisoy
August 18, 2005   10:27 PM PDT
 
Jeffrey,

Yeah, I wish I had the skills and the confidence to do just that. Write in Bisaya. But I don't. But who knows, yeah, we'll see.

bisoy
Kris
May 31, 2005   09:16 PM PDT
 
I say we murdered our 'language' by portraying the Bisaya as idiots in our songs, movies, and TV shows. This, in my opinion, made Cebuano a second class language, meaning you sounded more educated if you spoke Tagalog. Or better yet, English.

And so our generation erased the whole idea of listening to or writing in Bisaya and left it to the older generations. We even equated it to being 'baduy'. When we hear of Cebuano songs we expect it to be hilarious. The mere mention of a Cebuano film alone gives us funny ideas.

What we fail to see is how we are laughing at no one but ourselves. And that's not funny.

And so I ask, is it not the collective responsibility of us Cebuano artists to redeem our own language through Cebuano music, literature, and film that can be taken seriously even in the global arena?

There is indeed an emergence of artists using the local tongue as you pointed out. Isn't it reason enough for you to at least write just one song in Cebuano?

Bitaw, soy. I'm just teasing you, hehehe!
Jayson
March 23, 2005   12:45 PM PST
 
Nice! Very well written! :)
 

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