Since my birthday has gone & went, I have long since been in deep contemplation as to which local band to feature. With so many crazy talented acts to choose from, I guess I will selfishly take this oportunity to write about someone has been of the greatest influence to me - without whom, I would have never even existed. People of the Earth, it is with the utmost love and reverence that I introduce to you - my father, the late Yoyoy Villame.
Photo credit: EJ Dalupang
To those of you who are relatively young and unfamiliar with pre-MTV/Youtube/Internet Streaming OPM - there was once a man who came from the tiny town of Calape, Bohol who wanted to share his talents to the world at large. From such humble and hard-scrabble beginnings, he ultimately attained success as the King of Novelty after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and a little help from industry people who had extraordinary faith in what he had to offer. Unlike the worrying modern explosion of pre-teen stardom, he made it big in the latter part of his life which proves true the old adage "Try and try until you succeed." In his time, the goverment was very supportive and proud of our local music that his songs had become a large part of everyone in all islands of the Philippines ( something that I wish would recurr in our lifetime) - his songs have been used as part of morning exercises; a candid method of memorizing historical events; if you would believe it - a whimsical way to remember places and local seafood. His songs have covered a vast majority of topics done in such a way that when heard - it is distinctly Yoyoy.
Up until now, it still warms my heart when people from all walks of society share to me how my father's music have made a huge impact in their lives. It always makes me feel that in a lot of ways, my father's legacy is continuosly taking care of me, my siblings and even generations of Villames after us - good music it seems can never be taken to the grave. I will not deny that my father's work has diminished in its popularity as trends come and go, not unlike the ebb and flow of the seas. What makes me sad is that my father has never been awarded as a National Artist - even post-humously. I guess all the powers that be no longer acknowledge the value of my father's contribution to the arts. However, I still place some optimism that it would happen. If not today, maybe tomorrow... or maybe even the day after that. You cannot build a future without studying the past lest we be doomed to constantly repeat its mistakes.
It is in this hope that generations long after us can learn and grow to appreciate our rich and colorful local music that makes us Filipino. So I end this article in the hopes that people reading this would take the time to share my father's music and all the other classical artists to the newer generation - if you don't have a cd or a cassette tape, you can also view them on Youtube you know ;)