OPM’s Finest in Bituing Walang Ningning
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Undeniably for all Filipinos, BITUING WALANG NINGNING is an iconic film. The drama of the storyline is expected. What caught me off guard was how much I enjoyed the music. IF only to hear the familiar OPM hits performed well in the context of a story, it may even be considered better as a musical than a movie. Everyone remembers the famous line, “You’re nothing but a second rate copycat”. But there were so many hit songs from the soundtrack that have become Filipino classics.
Due to insistent public demand BITUING WALANG NINGNING (BWN) at Resort’s World Manila will have another run from October 8, 2015 through to January of 2016. Willy Cruz, one of the most prolific film scorers and composers produced so many memorable songs just from BWN alone: MAGANDANG GABI, SA DUYAN NG ‘YONG PAG-IBIG, PANGARAP NA BITUIN, SANA’Y MAGHINTAY ANG WALANG HANGGAN, KAMUSTA KA, INIT SA MAGDAMAG and title song BITUING WALANG NINGNING.
Everyone admires the music composed by Willy Cruz who has scored countless more titles that have become classics. Just a few of the of the 100 films includes BUKAS LULUHOD ANG MGA TALA, INIT SA MAGDAMAG, SANA’Y WALA NANG WAKAS and MADRASTA.
An interesting side note is that Philippine Star columnist Baby Gil wrote lyrics for 2 BWN hits: SANA’Y MAGHINTAY ANG WALANG HANGGAN and KAMUSTA KA. She is also Vice President for Corporate Media of VIVA Ent., which produced this runaway hit and has worked with composers, Ryan Cayabyab and Louie Ocampo.
Not a lot of people are aware that BWN show director and playwright Freddie Santos is himself a composer and lyricist. He wrote and composed POINTS OF VIEW originally recorded by Joey Albert and is one of the additional songs. The other two additional songs that night were USAHAY from Cebu and ANG BOYFRIEND KONG BADUY. Director Freddie Santos also adapted the BWN screenplay by Orlando Nadres based on a comic series by Nerissa Cabral. Santos has also written songs for Jaya, Angelika and Vina Morales.
Willy Cruz has won the FAMAS Best Musical Score five times and consequently was elevated to the FAMAS Hall of Fame. In order to successfully execute these time loved hits by Cruz a similarly skillful musician and arranger has to be on board to execute them. Enter musical Director Rodel Colmenar, he commands no ordinary band but the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. The quality of a whole live orchestra adds that drama and depth that makes for a truly unforgettable musical experience. Rodel Colmenar said this particular musical is special for him because the music was made during an era where OPM was king.
That period is really what you see in the production design by Jo Tecson and costumes by Aksana Sidarava. There are big black rotary phones, gigantic hair on Edith (Menchu Luachengco Yulo’s character), shoulder pads and headbands during aerobic workouts. The 80s were more than just these nostalgic elements that bring you back. It was a time when OPM artists were no.1 for a great majority of Filipinos as it well should. Somehow, looking back at that time is important especially for the youth and the public in general to think about and see on stage. The music we make should always be no.1 for us all.
The famous names of the time are as enduring with their voice and talent. We should support them now as fervently as we did then: Nonoy Zuñiga, Basil Valdez, Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Apo Hiking Society, Freddie Aguilar, Pilita Corales and Gary Valenciano, (many more).
For all the ALDUB fans of today Maine Mendoza has a lot of the facial features of a teenage Pops Fernandez. The difference is Pops was an amazing vocalist and dancer even as a teen and later on a seasoned actress. She even earned the title of Concert Queen opposite Martin Nievera her former hubby who is known as the Concert King. Who knows maybe Maine Mendoza will be able to display her talent musically and evolve from her dub smash shtick? Mendoza has a leg up on comedy, which I hope she’ll develop into real acting in the future.
Zsa zsa Padilla with guests Martin Nievera and Karylle recently held a concert at RWM’s Newport Performing Arts Theater. There are so many Pinoy artists you can catch live that are able to perform 80s and current hits at different venues in Resort’s World- Bar 360 and Bar 180. One of them is The Voice 2013 winner Mitoy Yonting who fronts the Aliw award winning band DRAYBERS. There’s PRIMO, SINGING SENSATIONS, SHAYNE AND THE BROWN UNION, JO & THE HOLY NOTES. Another The Voice S1 finalist Janice Javier can also be seen performing in Bar 360 on October 11. Check out the full schedule on http://www.rwmanila.com/shows-events.
Two leading OPM artists of the time actually have a cameo appearance of sorts in BWN, through a voice over. Menchu Lauchengco Yulo as Edith has a phone conversation with her (real life) brother Raymond Lauchengco and then Basil Valdez. Basil is perhaps one of the most familiar and iconic voices in original Pilipino music. Raymond Lauchengco is a singer in his own right and has also starred in some of the biggest Pinoy films and TV series: BAGETS, B@GETS: JUST GOT LUCKY, MMK. This is where the LED screens also play a role, as their photos are projected almost cinema wide during the phone conversation.
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This entry was posted on October 5, 2015 by jude bautista. It was filed under Fashion, Film, Music, People, Theater, TV and was tagged with Actress, aerobic workouts, Aksana Sidarava, ALDUB, Aliw award winning band, ANG BOYFRIEND KONG BADUY, Angelika, Apo Hiking Society, Arranger, B@GETS: JUST GOT LUCKY, Baby Gil, BAGETS, Bar 180, BAR 360, Basil Valdez, BITUING WALANG NINGNING, BUKAS LULUHOD ANG MGA TALA, BWN, Cebu, Columnist, comedy, comic series, Composer, Concert King, Concert Queen, costumes, dancer, director, drama, Draybers, dub smash, Edith, evolve, facial features, FAMAS Best Musical Score, FAMAS Hall of Fame, fans, Filipino classics, Filipinos, film scorer, finalist, Freddie Aguilar, Freddie Santos, Gary Valenciano, gigantic hair, guests, headbands, hit songs, iconic film, INIT SA MAGDAMAG, Janice Javier, JAYA, JO & THE HOLY NOTES, Jo Tecson, Joey Albert, KAMUSTA KA, Karylle, Louie Ocampo, lyricist, MADRASTA, MAGANDANG GABI, Maine Mendoza, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, Martin Nievera, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Menchu Luachengco Yulo, Mitoy Yonting, MMK, movie, musical, Musical Director, Nerissa Cabral, Newport Performing Arts Theater, Nonoy Zuñiga, OPM, OPM artists, Orlando Nadres, PANGARAP NA BITUIN, Philippine Star, Pilita Corales, Pinoy artists, Playwright, POINTS OF VIEW, Pops Fernandez, PRIMO, Production Design, Raymond Lauchengco, real life brother, Resort’s World, Resorts World Manila, Rodel Colmenar, rotary phones, RWM, Ryan Cayabyab, SA DUYAN NG 'YONG PAG-IBIG, SANA'Y MAGHINTAY ANG WALANG HANGGAN, SANA’Y WALA NANG WAKAS, screenplay, SHAYNE AND THE BROWN UNION, shoulder pads, shtick, SINGING SENSATIONS, soundtrack, teenage, The Voice 2013 winner, The Voice S1, title song, USAHAY, Vina Morales, VIVA Ent., vocalist, Willy Cruz, You’re nothing but a second rate copycat, Zsa zsa Padilla.