By Leila Castro
The moment Cooky Chua of Color it Red started singing the first line of her song, I felt like I was on a time travel. Hundreds of Pinoy Winnipeggers gathered close to the stage. They sang along the very familiar Tunog Kalye songs with the vocalists of Color it Red, Yano, Grin Department and The Youth. These rock bands released songs that became hits in the 90’s. I recall those were the years I was still fresh from University, I was just beginning to build my dreams and starting to feel the harsh realities of life being new at work and providing for myself. I am sure many of the generation X who just recently immigrated to Winnipeg can relate to that. We heard these Tunog Kalye music played in jeepneys and FX vans. Their songs speak of the very fiber of being a Filipino in the Philippines, something our millennial children here will find hard to understand.
My heart raced, and I was 25 again when I heard the song Paglisan. My cheeks warmed up, I could not believe I was blushing and laughing while digesting the lines of the songs of Andrew Balatbat of Grin Department. It was like I could smell the smoke coming out from the jeepney and hear the loud noise of the racing tricycle with the songs of Yano’s Eric Gancio. When Dodong Cruz appeared on stage, PCCM was on fire. It was not just a concert, it was a storm and we were flooded with great entertainment and good memories of the past. With four hours of great music from amazing talents, everyone said it was sobrang sulit (well worth the money spent).
Cooky Chua and myself belonged to the same college and batch at DLSU. I offered to invite the concert performers for a lunch at my house. I had the chance to see them up close casually hum songs, strum their guitar, and even compose songs. I asked them what they like in Winnipeg. “It is like I am in the Philippines, there are so many Pinoys in Winnipeg. Everywhere in Canada, people warmly welcomed us. There are lots of good food, I am not sure if we will still fit in the airplane. Hospitality is amazing and there is full support to the OPM local music scene,” said Cooky Chua.
“It’s peaceful in Winnipeg. Sponsors and hosts took good care of us. It is my second time here, and there will surely be third time. Then we will just go to the Philippines for holiday, and stay here for good,” Andrew laughed while saying. “I like the people. I like the place. I enjoyed the people in the concert, they were very warm. They gathered early in front of the stage. That is rare, normally audience flock the stage at the last few songs, that is when panginoon (Christ look a like) Dodong Cruz appears on stage ha ha ha! It was a great show, the audience said. The sound was good. I am happy that we are here to bring you a good concert and to quench your thirst for Original Pinoy Music show,” shared Eric Gancio.
These OPM artists deserve all the pampering they received from us. They worked hard to bring us a great concert show. They are down to earth, very approachable, and they are the real talents we longed to see perform before us. We did not let them go without hearing their promise to return for Tunog Kalye 2.0.
Photo credits to Henry Balanial and Jp Sumbillo.