I just received the 2 CDs by a Filipino classical guitar player based in California, Florante Aguilar. I read about him in Market Manila's blog and 3 days later here I am, for the first time in my life, enjoying Filipino songs. The all Filipino song CD is called Tipanan A CELEBRATION OF THE PHILIPPINE GUITAR. It has familiar tunes like Ikaw and Bayan Ko, the folk song Sing Sing (a brilliant interpretation of Atin Cu Pung Singsing) and children's song Sitsiritsit. The other CD is a compilation of suites for 2 guitars, with the music of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Police played classically, exactly the kind of music I listen to. Eleanor Rigby played a la Baroque, She's Leaving home in waltz, Purple Haze a la Bartok, these are just a few of the songs in this wonderful CD.
Speaking of Filipino musicians I also have a few CDs by Susie Ibarra, a Filipina born and raised here in the US. She plays drums/percussions and has a group called The Susie Ibarra Trio (drums/violin/piano), their music is categorized as avant jazz. She is very good and got excellent reviews in Amazon.com and several New York papers. One of her CDs is a tribute to the Filipino migrant workers Folkloriko. In one of the songs, she plays the Philippine wooden kulintang. The CD is great and she has become one of my favorite artists.
Unrelated to Filipino music and musicians: the song Bayan Ko reminded me of the EDSA people power rallies and it's just a coincidence that the Washington Post today has on its front page a story on the new means to assemble a protest rally in Manila: cellphone text messaging. The reporter followed one person, a 25 year old male college graduate mobilizing people through texting and concluded it is very effective because a thousand people came to attend the protest without the police's previous knowledge of where and when exactly they will assemble. The article also pointed out that the Philippines is now the texting capital of the world. I myself have a Philippine Globe sim that I use to text my parents and relatives. I got it because my mother is hard of hearing and prefers to text. It is also very cheap (piso) for her to communicate with me, and fast (no operator to deal with), in fact she already ditched her landline and uses her cell most of the time.