Philippine Music. Is there such a thing? If you want to define it from an academic perspective in terms of form and harmonic concepts, most of it has been borrowed heavily from the west – rock, folk, the blues, pop, jazz, rap – none of it is indigenous. As a nation, the influence of the west weighs heavily on our culture artistically. We accept this and rarely give it another thought. We love to learn and assimilate many things that are alien to us. And adopt them as our own and sadly, at the expense of our native identity.
However, every so often, truly great Philippine artists remind us that the form is secondary to the essence – the heart. The sound western is not neccessarily a bad thing, it is a part of what we are. But to loose the heart is to loose every thing because the Filipino is all about heart.
This year’s Nu 107 Hall Of Fame Awardee has been in our consciousness far longer than we realize. He was the son of two acclaimed icons of Philippine Cinema – Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. We watched him when he was a young actor and comedian until he decided to pick up a microphone and consequently, helped us accept rap and hip-hop into our lexicon and saw and heard that he had something to say. His standards were high so his band consistently featured some of the best players in rock. And he was accepted by both rappers and rockers.
He hosted the Rock Awards and has always been a friend and supporter of the local music scene. He had his contemporaries in hip-hop, yes. But they ended up seeking success through crassness, succumbing to sexual inuendo for cheap laughs and album sales or literally just copying their western models. He, never did. He understood and assimilated the rock and hip-hop subcultures but never at the expense of his own Filipino culture. Never at the expense of the heart. You knew it was him from a single syllable and you felt what he stood for. He didn’t even try, he just was.
For like-minded artists like Gloc-9, he was a model, an icon and a friend. He was a rap-rock pioneer, a successful recording artist, a good friend to many Filipino musicians of every stripe, a noon time companion in millions of homes. He was as good with the camera lens as he was on the mic. He was a Renaissance man, truly. Perhaps most importantly, he was a devoted family man. For what good is success and acclaim if one reaches them at the expense of family? Family is the core of Filipino values. Family is the heart.
NU 107 is proud to present the Hall Of Fame Award to an icon, a father, a friend. Mga Kababayan, Mabuhay Si Francis M.
Written by: Francis “Brew” Reyes
VO: DJ Jay
Audio: Glenn Sibal
Slide Show: 27+20
Transcribed by: Carlo Dimaandal