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OPM Rebirth
by Ellen Joy Anastacio
May 2005

Gone are the days when radio stations played original Pilipino music only to follow Executive Order No. 225 that said they had to play at least four Filipino music per hour. Now, they play OPM because the public actually asks for it.

The rise of popular mainstream Filipino artists have contributed to this, for sure. From acoustic artists, female rockers, pop and rock bands, female crooners, the wide range of popular Pinoy artists and songs on radio today is nothing short of amazing. And mind you, these arenít just the novelty songs played on cheesier radio stations, but even to radio stations like Monster Radio RX 93.1 and Magic 89.9 that cater mostly to students to yuppies from middle-to-upper income brackets.

So if you want to stay in-tune with the local music scene, here are the most popular acts today. And if you want to stay even more in the loop, most of the popular radio stations with websites also allow you to listen to their programs live, over the Internet! So you donít have to be content with just reading about it here, you can also try to listen to them as well by tuning in to these Internet broadcasts.

Kitchie Nadal. She used to be the lead vocalist of the band MojoFly, but quit to focus on school. She re-emerged last year with one of the most popular songs of 2004, Wag na Wag Mong Sasabihin, which became a pseudo-national anthem of sorts partly because it was also used as the theme song of the wildly popular Koreanovela Lovers in Paris. She continues to churn out new songs like Bulong and Same Ground, which also received a lot of airplay, and she is now dubbed the Rock Princess. Aside from singing, she also wrote most of the songs in her album. Looks like she truly deserves to be called MTVís Rising Star, which she was named in October 2004!

MYMP. Make Your Momma Proud. MYMP. Theyíre certainly doing quite a job at it too. With three albums at the best selling charts in local record bars, which are certified platinum and gold records, Juris Fernandez and Chin Alcantara on vocals/lead guitar/percussion, together with John and Andrew in drums and bass, has certainly solidified their spot as one of the favorite acoustic acts today. Their refreshing original songs, inspired cover versions, and all-around smooth renditions has made them a hit. Their current song, Get Me, is one of the most widely-played songs today.

Bamboo. Formed by four artists who came from two different bands, Bamboo the band is considered one of the bands to listen to nowadays. Lead singer Bamboo Manalac, formerly of RiverMaya together with bassist Nathan Azarcon, is joined by former Passage members Ira Cruz on guitar and Vic Mercado on drums. They captured attention with their hit single Pinoy Ako, and with a sophomore album to be released on June 7, they have another single, Hallelujah, making waves in the local charts today.

Rivermaya. Itís been ten years but this alternative rock band still keeps churning out hits. Despite having lost a couple of its original members, Rivermaya has not just survived; it is still flourishing, and was MTV Asiaís Favorite Artist (Philippines) for 2005. Helmed by Rico Blanco on vocals, its latest hits, Liwanag sa Dilim and Youíll Be Safe Here have gone way up in radio countdown charts.

South Border. Who could ever forget the haunting vocals in their first single, Kahit Kailan? The one where the ultra-high note hit by its original vocalist, Brix Ferraris, meets the sax. Amazing. And South Border has kept on making great songs, courtesy of Jay Durias. Their music is distinctly South Border. Never mind that this is the third batch of vocalists. Nothing can take away their unique sound Ė R&B-jazz-pop mix with a dash of OPM - that makes people clamor for more. From last yearís monster hit Rainbow to their latest, Too Crazy, South Border just keeps hitting the right notes.

Kyla. She first burst into the music scene with the haunting single and video, Hanggang Ngayon. She immediately garnered accolades like Best New Artist, Best Music Video, and Best Song from MTV. Today, she is known as the R & B Princess, and with songs like her latest Not Your Ordinary Girl and Someone to Love, no one really wants to disagree.

Nina. The Soul Siren. Almost effortlessly, it seems, Nina was able to take her spot in the local music industry with breakthrough songs like Jealous, Heaven, plus her cover of Foolish Heart. And now, everyoneís raving about her latest album, Nina Live, currently the top-selling record in music stores nowadays, featuring her incredible live versions of songs like Love Moves in Mysterious Ways, Through the Fire, and her very own I Donít Want To Be Your Friend. Nina is on fire.

And thatís just a few of them. Thereís still Parokya ni Edgar, Barbieís Cradle, 6cyclemind, Imago, Sandwich, Sugarfree, Spongecola, Stonefree, Moonstar 88, Session Road, Brownbeat All Star, Dice & K9, Nyoy Volante, Paolo Santos..the list could just go on and on. And with more great artists coming, local listeners just keep on enjoying the fabulous new sound of OPM.

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