Alben meng manyaman, boy!

March 1, 2007

Discrimination in the music industry

Another proof of the inequality of languages in the Philippines is the proliferation of only Tagalog and English records. I know that most record labels and music television stations are found in Metro Manila, a Tagalog region, but these labels and stations have the nerve to claim they represent the music of the Philippines.

As regards OPM (Original Pilipino Music), does it also cater to music using other Philippine languages? Does MTV Pilipinas represent the country's music, or does it only favor the Tagalog and the English, as if they're the only important languages in the country?

Will I ever see music videos of artists from Cebu or Davao (not Cebuanos or Davaoenos trying their luck in the metro but musicians in their own respective locations)?

How many songs in other Philippine languages have been nominated in the Aliw Awards? Will CCP stage Kapampangan or Iloko musicals in purity the same way it allows Tagalog stage plays to be staged in pure language?

It's an answer worth the anger: NO, because we live in a country which favors Tagalog, while leaving the others to wither.

Yesterday, I explored the world of Bisrock, or Bisaya Rock. I got hooked to the songs of this certain Cebuano band which goes by the name Mantequilla. To know more about them, you can visit their profile page courtesy of Soundclick.

I'd like to quote them in this statement:

SOUNDCLICK: Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
MANTEQUILLA: If they're interested in us, why not? But our music is written in our own dialect [language], Cebuano. They only want English or Tagalog.

Cebuano is the second most spoken language in the Philippines today. Yet it faces language discrimination. How much more the others?

You can download one of their songs, my personal favorite aside from Ibog-ibog; its title is LQ. For other Bisrockers, do search YouTube. Type the keyword Bisrock.


will fredo said...

Great website Jason, how do you find the time :) Regarding MUSIC, if your friends are interested, HUBO is looking for indepedent musicians to contribute in our next project, The Care Giver. Check out details at (click on opportunities).

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the music industry for the discrimination, because these guys are profit-minded people. They just show what sells or what CAN sell.

Best thing to do is to think of a way that would make music written in another dialect click. Palagay ko eh walang mapapala ang pagpilit sa mga record companies na maging interesado sa isang bagay na hindi sila kikita.

Probability of an Action = Probability of Benefits - Probability of Costs


Jason Paul Laxamana said...

Hello, Trix.

First of all, political correction: Be sensitive in using 'language' and 'dialect.' Non-tagalog languages are not dialects but are languages themselves. You can search the net to know the difference between the two.

Re: your comment, that's the sad fact. Other languages are left to fend for themselves while Tagalog/English records are supported by the government. How? By making the two OFFICIAL LANGUAGES of the Philippines, since the 1930s.

Of course the market for Tagalog/English records will be huge. It's because the government itself has been trying to make all Filipino people -- no matter the ehtnolignuistic group they belong to -- Tagalogs.

Even you yourself can speak to me in Tagalog yet I, in a casual sense, can't speak Kapampangan to you.

It's more than basic benefits benefits stuff you're talking. The economic and political history of the Philippines has a lot to do with it.

Read the other posts if you're still unfamiliar with these issues I'm talking about.