By: Charlene Aviles, Peak Associate
June is Filipino Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the cultural diversity in the Philippines and honour those who fought for the country’s independence from Spain and the United States. Music is an essential part of Filipino culture, as reflected by the harana, the tradition of suitors courting Filipinas through serenades. This playlist features songs about love’s risk, commitment, and the honeymoon phase. Regardless of how you decide to celebrate Filipino Heritage Month, I hope these songs inspire you to continue learning about Filipinx culture.
Albert Posis’ song “Everlasting” conveys the struggle of asking out a friend. The gentle guitar and snaps create an uplifting beat, which represents Posis’ optimism that his friend has mutual feelings. When he raises his pitch to sing the line, “Honestly I’m not afraid to say what we could be,” he admits he is prepared for whatever the reaction will be. And when he increases the tempo to sing, “If I tell you, you might shut me down / But if I don’t you may not come around,” it reflects his temporary hesitation before he reassures himself. You can tell that love outweighs his fear of rejection when he sings his heart out during the line, “Cause it’s killing me to set all these emotions aside.”
When my friends and I have our ukuleles and guitars, Jeremy Passion’s “Lemonade” is our go-to song. Passion’s relaxing ukulele strumming makes me imagine Passion and his partner relaxing on the beachfront, away from outside distractions. In contrast to summer’s extreme heat, Passion describes his girlfriend as soothing, crooning the line “like a tall glass of lemonade [ . . . ] She’s exactly what I need.” Singing about challenges he’s faced, he credits her for helping him grow. It reminds me of how couples challenge each other to achieve their goals, regardless of how long or difficult the journey will be.
Pink Sweat$ and Moira Dela Torre’s duet explains that both partners must be equally committed to maintain a relationship. The piano’s steady tempo reflects the couple’s calmness; they feel relaxed because their partner’s presence reassures them. When Pink Sweat$ sings “I’ll never lie to you / Just don’t you hold back on me,” it reflects the balance of give-and-take in a relationship. With lyrics like “I wanna love you as strong when we’re ninety-two / The same as seventeen,” they express that their feelings are more than infatuation and that they intend to support each other regardless of future trials.