First off, I'm super psyched that you decided to do this blog. I'm Filipino too, but I've been born and raised in the US, so my upbringing has been quite... American (not hating of course.)
On to the questions: Can you name a couple of the top/popular Filipino musical artists? I really need to expand my Filipino music library. I really like Rocksteddy and Spongecola, plus some of the artists my mom listens to while she cooks - Martin Nievera, Jessa Zaragoza, and Willie Revillame (lol). Any others you can recommend? And are there any in Ilokano? I know most of the Filipino music I came across was in Tagalog.
Right now, other than American/English songs, my library is filled with K-pop/rock (no surprise right?). I listen to it so much that I'm actually picking up the language - I think I know more Korean words than Ilokano, which makes me rather sad.
The Not-so-filipino Filipino
Dear The Not-so-filipino Filipino,
Hey, thanks for being supportive of the blog! Frankly, I just hope I can do as good a job as The Mexican and The Korean.
Fortunately or unfortunately for you, The Filipino's musical tastes may not be similar to yours! But if you really want his recommendations, here they are:
I like Gary Valenciano, Apo Hiking Society, Eraserheads, The Dawn, Ogie Alcasid and Freddie Aguilar. I hate Willie Revillame! (Yes, The Filipino thinks he's one of the most loathsome Filipinos out there! But that's for another discussion.)
For women, I like Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma and, most of all, Charmaine Clamor. If you haven't yet, you really have to check out Charmaine's "Jazzipino" -- which, according to her, "is the new musical genre that results from melding traditional Filipino melodies, languages and instruments with the soul and swing of American jazz." Her album Flippin' Out is absolutely spellbinding. [Added 1/4/11: Click here to download the MP3 copy of the most unbelievable rendition of Ikaw.]
For online musical resources, The Filipino likes the site titikpilipino.com. Check it out -- it needs some regular updating but its content is really robust. Of course, you can always visit the top media sites run by ABS-CBN, GMA and the like.
As for Ilocano music, The Filipino has no personal recommendations. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But the reality is, Ilocano music, like other dialect-based musical genres, is not that popular nationally. But check out these links from opmpinoy and kabayancentral. One of these days, I'd like to see provincial artists singing in Ilocano, Bicolano, Visayan, etc., break out onto the national or even better, international scene.
K-pop/rock, huh? Well, K-pop is really getting more and more popular, so I don't blame you. But I like the fact that you're trying to reconnect to your roots, because honestly, if there's one thing Filipinos know how to do, it is music.
Got a question for The Filipino? Email him now at firstname.lastname@example.org.