Category Archives: Earworms

Quest inspires to begin again with Unang Hakbang

Do you want to start something, perhaps a project, a cause, a hobby or whatever but you have a lot of reservations, the fear of not being accepted, of failure and of disappointments? Do you want to start your life again because you are too torn and stressed, tired and depressed but are afraid that hurt will continue to haunt? Then Quest demands you to make his new song your motivational anthem.

When I was in the middle of it all (and still is), the new song Unang Hakbang by Quest feat. Keiko Necesario came to my solace.  I first heard the 35-year-old Filipino artist when he was featured in fliptopper Loonie’s song “Tao Lang”, an equally empowering music.

Quest ft Keiko Necesario Unang Hakbang

But the Hiphop and R&B singer Quest or Jose Villanueva III in real life earned his popularity through his music “Sige Lang” in 2012 which was the anthem of the basketball team Gilas Pilipinas. He then swooped up after he wrote the “Walang Hanggan”, the official soundtrack of “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa (The Story of Us that Never Was)”, a melancholic independent film by Nestor Abrogena starring Nicco Manalo (Sam) and Emmanuelle Vera (Isa). It is the story of two souls who are both aware of their romantic connection but are afraid to admit it. They just played everything by ear, until the end.

Writing inspiring songs could be Quest’s cup of tea, perhaps influenced by his Christian background. He was a lead vocalist and music ministry director at Victory in Manila. He concentrated on his music in 2007 and started recording Flip Music with Jumbo de Belen in 2009.

Since then, he reaped the ‘Best Urban Music Video for 2010’ at the MYX Awards Philippines for his first single “Back to Love”. Finally, he became an official Warner Music Philippines baby in 2015 with his sophomore album Life of a Champion which was released on May 20, 2016.

And just recently, he introduced his newest song in his Youtube Channel officialQuesttv. This will be the first of the original songs he presented “stripped down as requested”. Set in a room with his band, he sang it raw and live. The song is as chilling as the one prior to this but with an optimistic sting. His husky voice compliments the tone and melody. Adding to the dramatic spice is Keiko Necesario.

The song is a perfect moral support when you wanted to move on but do not know where to start. “Yung di na mababago bitawan mo na, sa paghilom ng sugat may bagong simula. Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige. (Leave those you can’t change. In the healing of wounds, there is a new beginning. Believe it or not, it will pay off in the end.),” the song suggests.

And further, the chorus taps into a reality you either did not recognize or deny to believe. “Pwede ka nang kumawala, dyan sa rehas mong gawa-gawa. Wag na magpanggap na nawawala. Wala namang mawawala kung magsimulang muli. (You can now break away from your makeshift chain. You will not lose anything if you begin again),” the song added.

Get the feels by listening to it here:

Unang Hakbang (Lyrics)

Keiko:
Ayoko ko na dito.
Sawa na ko dito.

Quest:
Hingang malalim, damhin ang hangin
Tingala sa langit, di pa to tapos
Meron pang galit, inagaw, inakit, paasa, pasakit
Pusong naghihikahos, kumapit ako
Kahit ano gagawin ko pero bakit gan’to
Nangyari sa’yo, bakit ako
Pwede na’kong sumuko
Dito na lang sa dulo
Pero sinubukan kong matuto

Quest, Keiko:
Yung di na mababago bitawan mo na
Sa paghilom ng sugat may bagong simula
Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige

Chorus:
Pwede ka nang kumawala
Dyan sa rehas mong gawa-gawa
Wag na magpanggap na nawawala
Wala namang mawawala kung magsimulang muli

Quest (Rap):
Pagbigyan mo ang bukas
Wag kang matakot umusad
Kapag nahanap ang lunas ang nakaabang ay walang katulad
Ang puso’y namulat, may mga patunay na sugat
Mas malakas ka na ngayon, tumingala ka sa ulap
Kwento ng tagumpay ang pinakahihintay
Akala mo tapos na, muntik ka pang bumigay
Ngayon nagdiriwang ang langit, simulan mo na ulit umawit
Ibaon ang noon para sa ngayon unang hakbang

Quest, Keiko:
Kung gusto mo ng bago iwanan mo yan
Hilumin ang sugat ito na ang paraan
Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige

Chorus then…
Buksan  mo ang ‘yong mga mata
Para hindi ka na nangangapa
Di mo na kailangan pang mangamba
Magpaalam sa nakaraan at magsimulang muli

Keiko:
Ayoko ko na dito
(Quest: Hindi kita iiwan) (3x)
Sawa na’ko dito

2nd Chorus then…
Magsimulang muli (3x)

It turns out, the song is actually a sequel of first hit music Walang Hanggan. Quest shared the video of the indie film’s OST on his twitter with a teaser:”Let me tell you a story. A Trilogy. Feb – WALANG HANGGAN (Pt 1) Mar – UNANG HAKBANG (Pt 2) Apr – KALAWAKAN(Pt 3)”.

Putting the pieces together, the story chronicles the heartbreak with Walang Hanggan and standing up and starting again with Unang Hakbang.  Meanwhile, He already performed Kalawakan live in a musical session called A Space Manila and several venues. Uploaded on Youtube by radiorepublicph, Quest conveyed the message about opening your heart again.

Watch it here: Quest – “Kalawakan” Live and _Acoustic at A Space Manila!

Whatever you are going through, wherever you are right now in your life, you are joined by Quest in your quest. For now, you should be taking the risk, beginning again, and refreshing your life. All you need to do is to take that Unang Hakbang (First Step) and everything will follow. Aja!

EARWORM: Million Reasons | Lady Gaga

I first heard Lady Gaga performed “Million Reason” in the latest Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Paris.

But I was not distracted by the Victoria’s Secret Angels who walked down the runway in a lingerie (of course, because I am a gay, duh! LOL) and Mother Monster was not in her bold and deviant costume.

I was drawn by the lyrics. The message is so strong and honest and empowering that it compliments the girls strutting down the stage. The words are uplifting, motivating, inspiring, and prayerful accented by her powerful vocals. The two former are her trademark though but the latter is, in my opinion, a deviation (compared to her previous pop songs like Judas, Alejandro and some others). Her belting just added a conviction to every strucking line in it.

The song, Million Reasons was recorded by Lady Gaga as part of her latest album, Joanne (2016). Long before it reverberated in Paris, it was first heard on the radio stations. Gaga further promoted the songs in several concert venues of her Drive Bar Tour, a promotional concert series last October 5 this year.

Gaga categorized the “Million Reasons” as “a country song mixed with funk and rock ‘n’ roll. You would never imagine it would sound that way… the feeling underneath the record is it’s almost got like a little bit of a hip-hop feeling. But at the same time, it’s not a hip-hop song. It’s kind of like I just had no boundaries making music — and neither do any of the other people we were working with. It was kind of like what feels right, what hits the best, what’s going to get everybody in their stomach and their heart,” the singer”.

And she just nailed that! Its lyrics seemingly awaken every hidden emotion and thoughts I refused to admit to myself and have long been buried into the depths of my consciousness. It is telling me to go on with life, no matter what. It is telling me to be strong and not to stop. Finally, it says, “Have Faith!” This is a good hear, a good recommendation when you are troubled right now with whatever problems, insecurities there is.

Million Reasons

You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You’re givin’ me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasonsIf I had a highway, I would run for the hills
If you could find a dry way, I’d forever be still
But you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons
I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay
Head stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare
It’s like that I’ve stopped breathing, but completely aware
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons
And if you say something that you might even mean
It’s hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
‘Cause you’re giving me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons
I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay
Hey, ehh, ehh, eyy
Baby I’m bleedin’, bleedin’
Stay, ehh, ehhy
Can’t you give me what I’m needin’, needin’
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good one
When I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all this worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one, good one
Tell me that you’ll be the good one, good one
Baby, I just need one good one to stay

“Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one…reason to stay”

One good and beautiful addition to our music repertoire.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million_Reasons
http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Lady_Gaga:Million_Reasons

EARWORM: Violin Covers | Daniel Jang

14247602_1278186975533834_810865097_oOkay so, don’t judge me but I was drawn by his looks. I find him cute. But when his bow begins to kiss the violin strings, gosh, it’s a romance.

Kidding aside, Daniel Jang’s violin covers of contemporary music has been keeping my ear healthy these past few days. This Taiwanese-American violinist had become a YouTube sensation earned by doing covers of songs by famous artists like Justin Beiber, John Legend, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Adele, The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Zedd and of course, Yiruma and few classical pieces. As of this writing, he already has 385,101 subscribers on YouTube. One of the subscribe ticks is mine.

He hooked me with his cover of Ed Sheeran’s Photograph and everything just followed. The thing I like about his covers is that to me, he plays the romantic sides of songs, even if the original song is an electronic or club or pop. Mellow songs become even more relaxing. In this stressful moments that you need artists who do these kinds of music. Aside from the violin, he plays other instruments like piano, and guitars and incorporates it in his covers and do collabs. He also has a funny personality that made me love him more.

So I will be listing down few of my favorite covers and I hope you enjoy listening to his works.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ED SHEERAN

7 YEARS BY LUKAS GRAHAM

FADED BY ALAN WALKER

LOST BOY BY RUTH B

RIVER FLOWS IN YOU BY YIRUMA

CLARITY BY ZEDD FT. FOXES

IF I LOSE MYSELF BY ONE REPUBLIC

For more of his music, you can visit his YouTube channel metalsides.He also posts his new masterpieces on his Facebook (www.facebook.com/metalsides). Follow his Instagram (www.instagram.com/djang), Twitter (www.twitter.com/djang90) and connect with him through Tumblr (danjang.tumblr.com)

“To God be all glory because without Him I am nothing.”-Daniel Jang.

EARWORM: Kung Siya Man | TJ Monterde

Rob TJ Monterde

What I know about Titus John “TJ” Monterde is that he is the voice behind the hit OPM songs “Ikaw at Ako”, “Tulad Mo”, “Treat You Right” and “Sa Tuwina”. These were my earworms back then, the kind of songs that I never get tired listening. The kind of musicality that soothes yet excites my blood streams. Every time I blast his music in my earphones, it feels like I am being lulled to sleep. No wonder these songs earned him the popularity and won the hearts of many Filipinos from all over the country.

What I know is he is currently, as of this writing, in relationship with X Factor winner and Dabawenya KZ Tandingan (she is from Digos City).

What I DIDN’T know is that he is a BisDak (Bisayang Dako). TJ Monterde hailed from Mindanao, specifically Cagayan De Oro. This is the reason why he was able to effortlessly pull-off “Kung Siya Man”, my featured music for this week. To my curiosity, I shamelessly tweeted KZ and asked her about TJ which they both replied. He kid that KZ only taught him Bisaya but his girlfriend reacted and told me where he really came from (They are so down to earth.). But I was able to find good pieces of information about TJ. Thanks to The Daily Pedia (www.thedailypedia.com). Know more about TJ Monterde here.

Anyways, here is “Kung Siya Man” which literally mean “If it is him you choose”. It is a Bisayan or Cebuano song, new from TJ Monterde taken from his self-titled album. It is produced by PolyEast Records which also takes care of artists like Martin Nievera, Bamboo, ZsaZsa Padilla, Kyla, Karylle, Zia Quizon, Isabelle De Leon, Angela Torres, MYMP, P.A.R.D., Sandwich and Ken Chan.

Here is the rough translation of this song:

Nakapili na ba ka
(Have you chosen)
Kung kinsa sa among duha
(Between the two of us)
Ang pilion mong makauban
(Who you want to be with)
Ug ipailailas ginikanan
(Introduce to your parents)

Gihatag ko na ang tanan
(I have given all that I have)
Ug ihatag ko pa ang tanan, apan
(And I will still give my all, but)

Kung siya man ang mapilian
(If you choose him)
Wa koy mahimu ana pero
(There is nothing I could do)
Sakit lang jud kaayo
(It is just painful)
Kung siya man ang maswertehan
(If he is lucky to have to)
Mupalayu nako ninyu
(I would keep myself away)
Ug ihilak na lang sa tago
(And cry in silence)
Pero og iya kang byaan
(But the moment he leaves you)
Ug iyang binuangan, pag mahitabo
(The moment he hurt you)
Wala na siya’y balikan
(He will have nothing to return to)

Kung pananglitan sa iya
gyud mas giganahan ka
(If you really like him)
Maghulat lang ko diring dapita
(I will just wait here)
Basin diay og mubalik ka
(Hoping you’ll come back)

Gihatag ko na ang tanan
(I have given all that I have)
Ug ihatag ko pa ang tanan, apan
(And I will still give my all, but)

Kung siya man ang mapilian
(If you choose him)
Wa koy mahimu ana pero
(There is nothing I could do)
Sakit lang jud kaayo
(It is just painful)
Kung siya man ang maswertehan
(If he is lucky to have to)
Mupalayu nako ninyo
(I would keep myself away)
Ug ihilak na lang sa tago
(And cry in silence)
Pero og iya kang byaan
(But the moment he leaves you)
Ug iyang binuangan, pag mahitabo
(The moment he hurt you)
Ang reyna sa’kong damgo
(The queen of my dreams)
Tua sa laing palasyo
(Is in the other castle)
Ug iya kang byaan
(If he will leave you)
Lingi diri kay ako kang pakaslan
(Just turn here, I will marry you)

Kung ikaw man ang magustuhan
(If she chooses you)
Wa koy mahimo ana
(There is nothing I can do)
Pero ampingi siya palihog
(But take good care of her)
Kung sa imo man siya maganahan
(If she likes you)
Mupalayo nako ninyo
(I will keep myself away)
Ug hatagan ta mo’g respeto
(And respect you)

Hangyo lang ay s’yag pasakiti
(Just please, don’t hurt her)
Ug ayaw jud siya biya-i
(Or leave her)
Og imong sayangan
(Because if you take her for granted)
Buhaton ko ang tanan
(I will do everything)

Wala na kay balikan
(So you will have nothing to return to)

It is a kind of a painful song but it is worth my shrieks. When I introduced it in a radio show, I just can’t keep my hairs from standing. This could be one of those ultimate “hugot” and “martiran” songs. Added to that is his sweet, endearing voice that intensifies the hurt feeling. Just the right mix.

 In his interview with The Daily Pedia, he described himself as a haranista.

“Sweet? Haha. I treat every performance na parang harana e, haha. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of harana, sana nga maibalik natin yun e,” he said.

True enough, this song serenaded me for, again, weeks. Perhaps, few views of the videos in YouTube were mine. I hope you enjoyed this music. This could be your earworm too. Thank you for stopping by!

EARWORM: Sayaw Dabaw | Maan Chua

Davao City, Maan Chua, Local Artist, Sayaw Dabaw, Kadayawan 2016This first earworm is biased for two reasons.

First, Maan Chua, a proud Dabawenya artist and the voice behind the song ‘Sayaw Dabaw’ is one of my idols. I discovered her after I began hosting the folk rock and country radio program. She has won the Tunog Mindanaw in 2013 which I think the best words to describe her masterpieces like T’nalak and my favorite, Itadyak. I have met her in person and befriended her on Facebook. But she never fails to drop my jaw. I am always in awe every time she sings and plays her instrument, be it a guitar or the kulintang. Everything is so organic, so raw and pure talent.

I never knew about this song until the group Aninag Productions formed by Jandiane Esteban, Ace Perez, Joanna Garado and Ralph Lawrence Llemit used it as the carrier song for their video entry in the Destination: Davao 2016, a video competition organized by the City Government of Davao. The video ranked third. Formality aside, the members of the Aninag Productions are my close friends. That is where the second bias comes in.

Ms Maan said the song is already two years old. I haven’t seen a music video for this so the video produced by Aninag Productions somewhat served as one. Beautiful views and spots in Davao City danced her music.

I blame the lively, festive and feel-good rhythms for making it my earworm for several weeks now. The sound of the Kulintang in the intro kept resounding in my brain and the beats… it just pumped my heart stronger and faster. I hope you enjoy this. And by the way, I chose to post this first to set the mood for the Kadayawan 2016 and I support local artist. Enjoy!