While the Philippines is a powerhouse of singers known around the world, its love for its own music has dramatically regressed among the youth these days. Thanks to the ease access to internet, foreign songs have been broadcasted day in and day out. Long were the days when Filipino icons dominate the daily hit charts.

On its efforts to revive the rich musical culture of the Philippines, several competitions are held each year to search and inspire Filipino musicians and composers to showcase the treasures and real identity of Filipino Music – Himig Handog, Philpop, and Vispop to name a few. Through this, artists are provided a platform to be heard and recognized in the different parts of the country, and in the world.

Here are some Cebuano songs that gained the attention of hit charts and listeners around the Philippines:

  • Cebuana by Karencitta (Karen Ann Cabrera)

With more than 15 million views in Youtube, Cebuana became an instant hit upon its release on November 2017. It went viral in Facebook with a million views hours after its upload and went number 1 in Spotify Philippines’ Viral hits. This overwhelming response of the crowd to the singer-songwriter’s song opened doors for pop songs mixing Cebuano and English language to be known internationally.

  • My Morena Girl by Hey Joe Show

This Bisaya-speaking Americans came to fame in the Philippines after they went viral on Youtube for their adventures in Bohol and Cebu where they spent their humanitarian mission. Upon the release of their song which ironically tells a sad story of a foreigner falling in love with a local girl, My Morena Girl became one of the most listened songs in 2014.

  • Kawanangan by Missing Felimon

Full-fledged Cebuanos are very much familiar with Missing Felimon’s “Suroy-suroy”, “Inday”, “Prinsipal”, and “Sine-sine”. Considered as one of the most successful bands in Cebu, Missing Felimon’s songs dominated the radio stations since 2003 and inspired many young bands to come up with Bisrock songs that talk about the daily dwelling of every Cebuano across ages. Years after, they released their third album – Kawanangan – which became the official soundtrack of the most talked about dark comedy road trip film – Patay na si Hesus.

  • Bisan Pa by WetSlipperz

The height of Bisrock brought another rockband that dominated the local hit charts – WetSlipperz. Their hit single “Bisan Pa” became a favorite not only in Cebu but as well as in the neighboring provinces. This heartbreaking song became so famous that it was even translated to Tagalog – Kahit na.

  • Duyog by Jewel Villaflores and Joe Edward Villaflores

This soothing song easily captured the hearts of the judges during the Vispop Music Festival where it was hailed as the winner. Years after, it can be remembered that it was used as one of the soundtracks of Kim Chiu’s Etiquette for Mistresses. Because of how metamorphic the lines were presented in the song, it caught the attention of the American singer-songwriter David Dimuzio who later made a cover of this song together with Jewel.

  • Labyu Langga by Jerika Teodorico

Along with Duyog, Labyu Langga became a part of the OST of Etiquette for Mistresses. This endearment won over other five contenders on the second edition of VisPop Songwriting Competition. It also received the MOR 97.1 Listeners’ Choice Award and Super Song Award.

  • HAHAHAhasula by Kurt Fick

Making waves in Manila-based radio stations is a song that tells the difficulties one undergoes because of an unrequited love. This familiar game of aspiring for someone who can’t be together with, gained praises from TJ Monterde that he came up with his own cover on his Youtube account.

  • Ang Balay ni Mayang by Martina Sandiego and Kyle Wong

Once you’ve heard Balay ni Mayang, there’s no turning back. The song’s melody will surely get into your head thanks to its chill acoustic strumming. It can be remembered that this song was sung by Alexis Prieto during the Blind Auditions of The Voice Kids 2015.

  • Sa Akong Heart by Von Saw

Sa Akong Heart easily swoon the hearts of young music lovers the way its heartthrob singer Von Micah Crisdean Saw won the hearts of his schoolmates. This young Bisdak singer won the Best Regional Song during the MOR Pinoy Music Awards 2015 in the Araneta Coliseum.

  • M16 by Junior Kilat

This popular reggae band won the “Song of the Year Award” for their first single in their album parti pipol ur on dub tv released in 2005. After this hit, they came up with their second album entitled Buwad Suka Sili which totally blew the music industry several years back.  It can be remembered that their lead vocalist Budoy Marabiles joined Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition where he wrote the Cebuano version of “Pinoy Ako”.

Truly, Cebu is not just a home for tourists but as well as for musicians and those who want to learn more about the culture through music. With the world becoming more connected than ever, may many more individuals be inspired to listen and support their local bands and artists.

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