Heavy rains and traffic failed to halt the Linggo Ng Musikang Pilipino 2019 for staging more than 70 music showcases in various venues across the Philippines. Presented by Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the multi-platform celebration succeeded in its commitment to offering a broad spectrum of Filipino music talents to a diverse audience, transforming public spaces such as malls and train stations into music performance spectacles and curating top-notch performances in bars, concert halls, theaters and multimedia outlets.
Railway Jams and busking activities
LMP kicked off its campaign with Railway Jams, a series of live music activities in select LRT stations that run from July 4-27, 2019. Several artist-members from OPM performed original material and familiar covers to entertain commuters from different walks of life. The partnership also attracted positive reception from the riding public, allowing them to discover the city’s wealth of music talents and ongoing support for cultural awareness.
As precursor to LMP’s week-long celebration, several music venues in Metro Manila also held open mic and busking sessions that promote upcoming homegrown acts and underrated music finds. It’s also worth noting that Powerplant Mall and Lucky Chinatown Mall offered their space to mount music shows aimed to serenade guests while they dine or shop. One performance in particular proved to be a standout with its world-class musicality: alt-rock and jazz songstress Cooky Chua collaborated with The Manila String Machine for a soothing but elegantly produced number that instantly wowed both the crowd and the curious bystanders in the mall.
People braved the rainy season to catch some of the finest performances at the LMP, resulting into packed venues and much-buzzed highlights on social media.
Veteran alternative rock icon Rizal Underground reunited for a one-night only concert at the ‘70s Bistro on the opening week of the LMP. The ‘90s hitmakers churned out their signature anthems “Bilanggo,” “Diskaril,” “Sabado Nights,” to name a few, and was joined by Eddie Siojo on Betrayed’s punk classic “Never Meant To Be This Way.”
More music fans joined the music soiree at the Batang ‘90s showcase in Historia Bar on July 31. They were in for a treat as perennial favorites Barbie Almalbis, Dong Abay, Wency Cornejo and Color It Red delivered engaging performances that include their past hits and new material.
“Rak of Aegis,” the acclaimed Pinoy musical also made a glorious comeback with a sold-out, two-day run at the LMP. With Rappler praising the latest iteration for its “abundance of exuberance and joy in the delivery,” and for remaining truthful to its source material, the Barangay Venezia gang took the Aegis back catalog to roof-raising highs with yet another round of awesome song numbers and top-caliber acting.
Aside from ringing the nostalgia dial, the LMP hosted several single, music video and album launches of established and independent local music acts from different parts of the country. The special showcase includes Bulacan indie-pop outfit Blind Stereo Moon, which premiered the music video of their single “Bulalakaw” at the ‘70s Bistro; husband-and-wide tandem A Couple of Notes, which launched their latest single “Sa Piling Mo” at Jess and Pats; and singer-songwriter Benedict Sy and alt-pop collective Approaching Zero, which held their single release party at World’s End and Upperhouse BGC, respectively.
PhilPop 2018 Grand Winner Chud Festejo from Davao City also debuted his newest EP, Laro Laro at Route 196, while PhilPop 2018 runner-up Ferdinand Aragan debuted his latest independently released single” Dinamalayan” on the same venue and date. Both artists raised the bar in terms of live performance and output, coming to terms with their newfound success and evolving as musicians with a more honed perspective in career and songwriting style.
A Memorable closer
LMP capped off this year’s run with a well-applauded ensemble performance at ABS-CBN’s longest running Sunday variety show “ASAP Natin ‘To.” OPM members Bea Lorenzo, Ferdinand Aragon, and Bayang Barrios, were joined by mainstays Regine Velasquez, Inigo Pascual and JM de Guzman on putting a contemporary spin on smash Pinoy hits from the previous decades.
With a well-curated music program and a bigger fifth year run, LMP is poised to become a staple multi-genre festival with longer staying power and undeniable impact. Here’s hoping for more years of support and love.
LMP is also brought to you by Light Rail Manila Corporation, Ikot MNL, Philippine Educational Theater Association, Power Plant Mall, PhilPop, and other digital, bars and other production partners.