Philippine Rock Music
November 30, 2009
Rock is one of the most popular forms of music that has evolved over the past couple of decades. Characterized by the use of electric guitars, a strong rhythm with an accent on the offbeat, and youth oriented lyrics. Many people would describe rock as a type of music that is it’s own form of entertainment. It is different from reading a book or working out. Rock is universal as most types of art usually are. Shaping the lives of people all over the world, even in the Philippines.
Rock was brought to the Philippines by the United States when it occupied the Islands in 1898 until 1935. Introduced in the late 1950s, Filipino performers adapted Tagalog lyrics for American rock n roll music, ensuing the origins of Philippine rock. The major accomplishment in Philippine rock was the hit song “Killer Joe,” which launched the group “Rocky Fellers.” It even reached number 16 on the American radio charts.
Popular rock music began beginning written and produced in English until the 1970s. In the 1970s, rock started to be written in local languages, such as bands like the Juan Dela Cruz Band being among the popular Filipino bands to do so. Mixing both languages, Tagalog and English lyrics, became popular in songs, such as “Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko,” by the band Hotdogs. That led to revolutionizing the Manila sound, which is the mixing of two languages known as Taglish. Taglish became all the rage in rock music after Sharon Cuneta’s hit, “Mr. DJ.”
Philippine rock music included a mixture of folk music, which helped to breakthrough Freddie Aguilar. His songs were not only popular in the Philippines, but in Asia and Europe as well. Aguilar’s songs have been translated into different languages by singers worldwide. Filipino rock has also included many other types of music, such as hard rock, heavy metal, and alternative rock. Bands that incorporate these styles of music are Wolfgang, Razorback, Greyhoundz, Queso, Grin department and the progressive band Paradigm.
Today, the Philippine Islands feature western style music, producing distingushed bands such as Pupil, Hale, Sponge Cola, Callalily, Chicosci, Bamboo, Silent Sanctuary, Rocksteddy, Kjwan, Kamikazee, Cueshe, Itchyworms, Imago, The Ambassadors, Moonstar 88, Faspitch,and Urbandub, and the emergence of its first virtual band, Mistula. But as time goes on, rock music in the Philippines continues to blossom into greater heights.