Saying that “OPM” isn’t anything more than just another genre as hiphop and rock are, is valid as an argument. Whereas hiphop can be broadly defined as music involving quick-firing rhymes set to a beat, and general rock as anything involving a couple of electric guitars and drums, OPM is OPM as long as the artist is Filipino. We owe it to our own beleaguered history; whatever we can mark as our very own, we mark for fear of losing it.
Or do you want us to call Jack Black for a music lesson?
But that’s where we’ll end our little history lecture as well as our daring diatribe on the tyranny of music classification. It’s Linggo ng Wika, and we’re feeling a bit of that nationalistic streak. As tribute, we present you 10 “real” OPM songs that demonstrate and take pride in what it is to be Pinoy.
1. Francis M – “Mga Kababayan Ko”
Sing it: Mga kababayan ko/ Dapat lang malaman nyo/ Bilib ako sa kulay ko/ Ako ay Pilipino!
It’s truly OPM because: Majority of Filipinos, particularly the womenfolk, still equate beauty with having a fair complexion. Hence, the persistence of whitening products. The song, as many of other Francis M.’s songs, addresses that particular Filipino inferiority. Whereas the master rapper’s “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy” told us “huwag kang mahihiya kung ang ilong mo ay pango,” this one asserts that it’s awesome to be kayumanggi.
2. Bamboo – “Noypi”
Sing it: “Ho-hee! Pinoy ako!/ Buo aking loob/May agimat ang dugo ko!”
It’s truly OPM because: The song’s a good sign that we’re finally in that age where it’s cool to scream about our lineage. In the days of Francis M., it was more like, “hey, come on, don’t feel too bad about your skin color or your nose.” Bamboo, on the other hand, goes “We’ve got magic in our blood, son. Deal with it!”
3. Radioactive Sago Project – “Gin Pomelo”
Sing it: “Gin Pomelo, gin pomelo” (repeat 100 times)
It’s truly OPM because: Whereas the Russians have their vodka, we have gin pom. Or gin pineapple, gin orange, gin grapes, gin whatever-flavor-the-store-sells, and the choice of every tunay na lalake, gin bulag. Gin is cheap, it hits hard, and Anne Curtis endorses it. Our point is, Filipinos have a soft spot for gin, and Radioactive Sago Project sings about it like a cult summoning an evil spirit. Which of course, it totally is.
4. Sugarfree - "Dear Kuya"
Sing it: “Nasan ka man ngayon, ano mang oras na/ Ika’y may kailangan, tawag ka lang sa amin/ At parang nandito ka na rin.”
It’s truly OPM because: Most of us Filipinos have at least one relative who’s working their asses off in another country. It’s also the perfect theme song for any phone company’s commercial for their long distance services.
5. Hotdog – "Manila"
Sing it: “Manila, Manila, I keep coming back to Manila/ Simply ain’t no place like Manila/ Manila, I'm coming home.”
It’s truly OPM because: No matter how much globe-trotting you’re doing, no matter how much money you’re making working in another country, you can’t deny that you’ll miss Manila sooner or later. The song says it best: “Simply ain’t no place like Manila.”
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