‘Lageng,’ an anthology of Bukidnon tribal songs, gets good raves

MALAYBALAY CITY (MIndaNews/07 June)– The Bukidnon State University community-based recording studio’s “Lageng” (voice), a collection of 14 traditional songs from Bukidnon’s seven hill tribes, was met with “excited and optimistic support from industry players and music enthusiasts in Metro Manila,” Johnny Cabreira, a major partner of the studio, said Friday.

Cabreira told MindaNews on the phone that the album – a mix of contemporary and tribal pieces performed by young Bukidnon artists – is the studio’s first production.

The BSU cultural affairs office described the studio “as a repository of indigenous and original local music that will not only cater to recording but also collection and archiving to prioritize work of the IPs and the province’s artists.”

Lageng is the maiden production achieved within the first six months of the studio’s existence.

According to the producers, the traditional songs in the collection had been handed down for generations.

“Its culture transcending time and the advances of modern civilization echoing the spirit of a people,” they added.

Cabreira said that prospective sellers and the album’s partners are excited about the proposed concert tour for the album’s artists.

Waway Saway, of the Talaandigs in Sungku, Lantapan, Bukidnon, led the artists with his three tracks: “Inay Bilun,” “Dilig,” and “Kulaman”.

Michael Ysalina of the Higaonons of Impasugong, performed two songs: “Banug Hu Aglayang-layang,” which features the words of wisdom a father taught about life; and “Gali,” which is a song calling all the people of Bukidnon to celebrate the Kaamulan with their colorful and authentic culture.

Jewel Yen Pocol, a daughter of a tribal leader in Talakag, Bukidnon, performed four songs: “Kahilawan Binuwan,” “Tumandok Dini Ta Bukidnon,” “Panlimbay Hu Bata Buwa buwa,” and “Sae-Ha Bata.” The last two songs portray a guide to a child’s growth and seeking guide from ancestors so children can stand up for their rights, respectively.

Louella Nacua, also from the Higaonons in Impasugong town, performed three songs: “Balagon,” “Ag Kabubuhat Do’y Bubungan,” and “Tribu ko, Tribu Mo.” The last track is a song that encourages all the tribes “to unite in reviving and preserving their forgotten culture”.

Ysalina, Pocol, and Nacua are all members of the BSU Chorale. The chorale also performed “Kuku Tangkagu,” which is a Manolo folk song.

Madelyn Palasol and Estrella Venus, both members of the Bukidnon Council of Baes and Tribal Women, also performed “Panampulot” in the album.

Palasol, head of the council, which has a group of 12 cultural performers formed since 2006, said in December the studio has opened the door to opportunities for local performers.

The group has five original compositions in Binukid about life in Bukidnon, including a song that features the beauty of Mt. Kitanglad.

They have long wanted to record their music, she added.

Cabreira, owner of the recording equipment and Bukidnon State University president Victor M. Barroso led the launching of the studio in December, when they signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly manage the facility, which will be located at the BSU Auditorium.

Cabreira, a composer and an award-winning videographer of marine life, previously made the equipment available for use in the inter-faith community in Cagayan de Oro but decided to locate it at BSU.

“It (studio) finally found a home,” he added, citing he did it for his advocacies with the IP and the environment.

International performer and visual artist Saway told MindaNews earlier they welcomed the opening of the studio especially for the indigenous and local artists.

He said they previously needed to travel to other cities to pursue recording. It will make it easier for Bukidnon artists, he added, to develop their craft and for enthusiasts to access IP and local music.

Cabreira said the album sells at P250 per copy. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)