We’re singing about a revolution.
They may not be your typical videoke favorites but these songs inspired by the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution continue to resonate emotionally for as long as we can sing—thanks to the fearless musicians who have kept the spirit of breast-beating patriotism alive.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous was Virna Lisa’s “Magkaisa” the iconic anthem penned by Senator Tito Sotto, which speaks about hope, unity, and sacrifice. Here's a fun fact, Bossing Vic Sotto was among the three back-up singers in the chorus.
“Panahon na (may pag-asa kang matatanaw)?
Ng pagkakaisa (bagong umaga, bagong araw)?
Kahit ito (sa atin Siya'y nagmamahal)?
Ay hirap at dusa”
2) “Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo”
Never mind if it felt like a “We Are The World” knock-off.
Pinoy singing stars, 15 of them including Kuh Ledesma, Lea Navarro, and Celeste Legaspi, lent their voices to record this song composed in just three minutes by APO member Jim Paredes.
There’s nothing like a revolution Pinoy-style, the song prides.
‘‘Handog ng Pilipino sa mundo
Mapayapang paraang pagbabago
Katotohan, kalayaan, katarungan
Ay kayang makamit ng walang dahas
Basta’t magkaisa tayong lahat’’
3) "I Have Fallen In Love (With the Same Woman Three Times)"
Released in 1989, it's the most romantic post-EDSA song and was recorded by veteran singer and hit maker Jose Mari Chan. The lyrics are from a poem written by the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino to his wife, former President Corazon C. Aquino.
On this stanza Ninoy recounted the sacrifices the Aquinos had to endure while fighting the dictatorship. His assassination, as we all know, sparked the revolution.
“But there were candles to burn
The world was my concern
While our house was her domain
While the people were mine and our children were hers to maintain
So it was for eighteen years and a day
Till I was detained, forced in prison to stay”
4) Song: “Kumusta na”
Dong Abay lead singer of Yano revisits EDSA and asks, "What the fuck did it do to our lives?"
It's folksy, and bouncy melody is a counterpoint to its critical inquiry. Nothing has changed apparently.
“Kumusta na ayos pa ba
Ang buhay natin kaya pa ba
Eh kung hindi, bahala na
As long as power rests in a few there’s no hope in sight, sings angst-y rocker Bamboo in this 2007 remake of Buklod's protest song.
The EDSA revolution fought a dictatorship and supposedly abolished crony capitalism. Thirty years after, has it?
“Habang may tatsulok at sila ang nasa tuktok
Di matatapos itong gulo...
Hangga't marami ang lugmok sa kahirapan
At ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayaman“
Gloc 9 raps along with Jeazel Gruta’s vocals on the chorus. This song from the rapper's 2009 album Matrikula talks about politicians who cling to power and how they have turned a blind eye to the needs of the common folk.
“Kayo po na naka-upo?
Subukan nyo namang tumayo?
At baka matanaw, at baka matanaw na niyo?
Ang tunay na kalagayan ko.”
7) “Bayan Ko”
“Bayan Ko” is a cry for freedom from oppression. Nothing is more patriotic than that.
The anthem of the country’s 20th century revolution was popularized by folk singer Freddie Aguilar in 1983, after the assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino.
The song was rendered anew by Lea Salonga during the recessional at President Corazon Aquino’s requiem mass on August 5, 2009.
On June 30, 2010 it was performed by the Madrigal singers at the inauguration of President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Quirino Grandstand.
“Pilipinas kong minumutya
Pugad ng luha ko’t dalita
Aking adhika makita kang sakdal laya”