Wednesday, September 7, 2022

My Francis Magalona Playlist

In one of the earlier episodes of The Fandesals Podcast (currently on Google, Apple and Spotify and also on YouTube), we talked about the songs we loved that were OPM (Original Pilipino Music). That episode made me look back at this old blog post I did in an earlier version of my blog that you might all be interested in (edited and updated).  Enjoy!

I was going through some of my digital photos and found one of the late Francis Magalona during one of his shows here in Cavite. It was the first and only time I had seen him perform live even if I had been a fan for years. It’s just so sad that he passed away so early from cancer because there would have been so much more that he could offer as a pioneer in the Philippine rap industry. I can't write about him without first sharing a video for those who aren't familiar with him so here's one of him performing 3 Stars and a Sun with Parokya in Edgar back in the 90s:

Back when I was younger I was a fan of his as an actor so when he came out with his first album, Yo!, I just had to ask my parents to buy me a copy. It was probably the first rap album in the Philippines because I don’t remember anyone doing it before he did. He came out with a lot of hits, a lot of them nationalistic in theme (but never boring). My sisters and I are fans and we were all together to see him during that one show that I have a photo of. 

Since I promised to post more than one playlist this month in memory of my music-loving father’s birthday, I decided to post a list of songs from Francis M that I love the most.

Here’s a list of the songs and what I think about them:

Cold Summer Nights - Fell for this song since I first heard it. To this day I sing along to this one (even the rap portion, I kid you not. I know it by heart!). It never gets old for me.

Mga Kababayan - I think Filipinos born here would all be familiar with this song. This is one of the nationalistic raps that I was referring to earlier in this post. I love that he was able to make a fun song that helps promote pride in being a Filipino. I also love the way he made use of local sounds in this one!

Man From Manila - Another Pinoy Pride song, I love that it incorporates a bit of a history lesson about the country and about Francis M himself. It’s also got a good sound with the guitars that make the song a mix of rock and hip hop.

Meron Akong Ano -This to me is a song that I always found fun to listen to. Like Man From Manila, I love the guitars on this one. I am so amazed by how he raps in this song. While there is a bit of singing in the first two songs, this one is entirely a rap and I guess that’s the appeal in it for me.

Kabataan Para sa Kinabukasan - A song that is a call to the youth to take action to be the hope for the future, this is one of the classic Francis M songs. It was even used in a commercial that he himself was in back in the day. 

Suckin on Helium/Kaleidoscope World - The song Kaleidoscope World is probably one of the best of his songs, if not THE best. Again, another classic that talks about how we are all different but how we are all in this one world together (at least, that’s what it has always meant to me).

Superproxy 2K6 - This is actually an Eraserheads original, but I love that Francis M joined on this version when it was recorded again for the Ultraelectromagnetic Jam album.

Ito ang Gusto Ko - This was used in a softdrink/cola commercial when I was younger. Like Kabataan Para sa Kinabukasan, the song talks about the ideals that the youth want in their lives (or should want anyway). I love that he has songs like this that have a good message for the youth.

3 Stars and a Sun - Another one of is nationalistic-themed songs, this time in English. I always thought this was a really bad-ass song. In trying times like these where I sometimes feel that I have lost hope in our country, hearing a song like this makes me wish for days when Filipinos would all be working together for the betterment of this country and the people who live in it. Will that ever happen?

Whole Lotta Lovin - This was a fresh change in that it was just a simple and fun song without any deep message or nationalistic theme. It’s just a fun track I enjoy listening to.

Girl Be Mine - Now THIS is probably my ultimate favorite. I know he doesn’t rap as much in this one but whenever I hear this, I literally stop to listen to it and appreciate it. And yes, I love to sing along to it too!

The Yes Yes Show - A collaboration with Parokya ni Edgar, this is one of those songs that makes you feel that these two OPM greats are just jamming with each other and we get to be part of the audience as they do so. PNE doesn’t usually rap so it was interesting to hear them do this with Francis M, who starts off with a line from Mga Kababayan ko before doing a new rap for this song.

Bagsakan - Another collaboration with Parokya ni Edgar, this sounds like a rap battle between Francis M, PNE and Gloc 9. It’s just a good song to listen to if you have an appreciation for rap and rock music combined.

Sama-Sama - This is actually a song that I discovered on Spotify when I was looking for Francis M songs that were available on the app. I was surprised to find this song because I have never heard it before. It’s really good!

Here is the Fandesals Episode where we talked about OPM. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!


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