We trace the bustling mu­sic scenes of dif­fer­ent prov­inces to un­der­stand the di­verse mu­si­cal land­scape of the coun­try.

Scout - - CONTENTS - Words by ROGIN LOSA Il­lus­tra­tions by BRYAN "CHAISENG" SOCHAYSENG


MANILA. No one is say­ing that we should stop sup­port­ing mu­si­cians based in this city. But we all need to rec­og­nize that “sup­port­ing lo­cal” isn’t lim­ited to the cap­i­tal’s mu­sic scene alone.

The Philip­pine mu­sic scene runs deep and is as elab­o­rate as its di­alects. We ex­plored four mu­sic scenes out­side of Manila through oral his­tory from Baguio’s time­less folk mu­si­cians to the pride of Davao that is bu­dots.

The cur­rent sound of the Philip­pines spans beyond the walls of ’Guijo and Mow’s. And Manila has al­ways been a mere tip of the ice­berg.

Pam­panga’s ris­ing hip-hop and hard­core scene

“Noth­ing is above the sur­face yet,” is what folk mu­si­cian Ian Penn had to say about the mu­sic scene in his home prov­ince of Pam­panga. Hail­ing from Mt. Arayat, Ian has been ac­tive in the Philip­pine mu­sic scene (he played a 30city tour around the coun­try ear­lier this year) as well as in his prov­ince. We thought that he’d be the per­fect per­son to ask about the cur­rent sound of Pam­panga.

But un­for­tu­nately, he did not think the same. “Maybe I’m the wrong per­son to ask, but my an­swer is I don’t see a pre­dom­i­nant genre [in Pam­panga],” he con­fesses. “All I know is that there’s a huge wave of artists com­ing from Pam­panga, all sorts of beau­ti­ful char­ac­ters with dif­fer­ent styles and ap­proach to their art. There’s elec­tronic, there’s rap, ex­per­i­men­tal, reg­gae, me­tal, folk psy­che­delic. It’s a huge salad.”

In Pam­panga, two dis­parate mu­sic scenes dom­i­nate. And yet, they both rep­re­sent where the fu­ture of Pam­panga is headed.

“We have two mu­sic- dom­i­nant cities, An­ge­les and San Fernando, with dis­sim­i­lar mu­sic scenes,” Pro­fett from the Pam­panga-based rap group Ghoul Gang sets the scene for us. “For An­ge­les, where I’m from, the scene now is more about va­ri­ety and di­ver­sity in sound. The genre spec­trum ranges from hip- hop to shoegaze. As for the scene in the City of San Fernando, they are fo­cused on heav­ier pieces like punk and hard­core bands.”

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