Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pete Lacaba's SalinAwit

I usually have some reservations when it comes to poppy songs in English (or other languages) translated to Filipino (Tagalog) especially when NOTHING has been done to the cover (same arrangement) except a direct word-by-word conversion of the lyrics. At times, the effect (at least to me) seem diluted or at best, a monochromatic photocopy of the original version. On the other hand, when the translation is done properly, the music is magically transformed from another time, place, and culture to a form which can now be accessed (understood better, after all sometimes melody is enough to justify what beautiful music is) by those whose first language is Filipino. Can the same be done to other artistic works in music and perhaps classical literature? I challenge Filipino musicians and writers everywhere. I commend the beautiful job done by Mr. Pete Lacaba in his album, SalinAwit, and most especially his interpretation of "That's All" (a jazz standard written by Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes in 1952, Great American Songbook) in his "Iyun Lang" performed by Mr. Arthur Manuntag (posted by youtube user, artmann99). I've always believed that Filipino singers (based on the musical range most of our singers are capable of and we have amazing instrumentalists) can really excel in the jazz scene. ~ M.S.

Iyun Lang by Arthur Manuntag (Filipino lyrics: Pete Lacaba)

Tunay na pagmamahal sa habangbuhay
'Yan lamang ang aking maiaalay
At ang tanging puso ko'y nakalaan sa 'yo
'Yun lang, 'yun lang

Alay ko sa 'yo'y pamamasyal sa araw
At kamay na kakapitan sa ulan
At mainit na dibdib sa gabi ng taglamig
'Yun lang, 'yun lang

Ang iba ay maraming pangako
At handang ibigay ang mundo
Tunay na pagsinta at pagsuyo
'Yan lang ang maihahandog ko

Kung pangarap ko ay ibig mong malaman
Ang isasagot ko'y simple lang naman
Basta't sabihin mong ako, ako lang ang mahal mo
'Yun lang, 'yun lang


  1. Salamat po sa di-inaasahang papuri!

    Just one little correction: there is no Salinawit album yet. What we've been doing are Salinawit shows or mini-concerts in various cafes and piano bars in Metro Manila, with performers like Athur Manuntag interpeting the adaptations of foreign songs that have been a kind of hobby and stress reliever for me lately.

    To date, I have done more than 100 salinawit. I can email them to you if you want.


  2. Hello Pete! My name is Aldo Endiquez. I'm not sure if you'll remember but, We have met a few years ago in the Philippines at "Concerto Dos" in QC. I was one of the then newest singer there at the time. You were sitting at the bar when we were introduced. Anyway, I'm actually base here in Las Vegas and been performing here for many years now. Your Tagalog version of That's All is really superb. If I could get your permission to get to sing some of your songs? Also if I could send me copies other song translations you have. As you know I'm also a lyricist and have written a several originals and adaptations as well. But I migrated to Canada and never continued writing. One of my song is called "Daigdig mo, Daigdig ko" recorded by Antony Castelo and music by Homer Flores. I was 16 yrs old when I wrote that song. A friend gave it to Homer without my knowledge even before we met. Your works are an inspiration to many but most specially to me since I could sing and write at the same time. Although I could write, I am also one of your biggest fan. Thank you and hope we could meet again sometime.