Friday, December 7, 2007

Surface the desaparecidos ! – Filipino Musicians

New songs featured in a concert for the disappeared
"Narinig nyo na ba ang Huling Balita tungkol kay Mang Kardo isang Manggagawa? (Have you heard the latest news about Mang Kardo the worker?) This is the first line in a classic song 'Huling Balita" written by poet and singer-songwriter Jess Santiago depicting the story of Mang Kardo and many other countless victims of forced disappearances during the dark days of Martial Law.

On December 11, 2007, as part of the Human Rights week commemoration, the message of Santiago's song will resonate in a special concert at the UP Film Center in Quezon City, which aims to once again draw attention to the issue of forced disappearances in the Philippines.

Dubbed "Huling Balita", the show will highlight new songs tackling the issue of the 'desaparecidos' with performances from Jess Santiago, The Wuds, Noel Cabangon, Cookie Chua, Anak ni Aling Juana, Tribu Poets, The Village Idiots, Granada, Einstein Chakras and the Radio Active Sago Project.

"The concert is part of a bigger collaborative initiative of artists, musicians, photographers and filmmakers seeking to respond to the issue of enforced disappearances" according to JL Burgos brother of missing activist Jonas Burgos and coordinator of the Free Jonas Burgos Movement (FJBM) one of the organizers of the event.

"This is an extremely personal issue for me, and I hope that these songs will help a lot more people not just understand the issue but feel incensed that this is happening in our country today" adds Burgos.

Aside from the performances, 'Huling Balita: the concert' will also feature the live recording of eight new songs touching on the issue of forced disappearances. These new songs draw inspiration from the stories and struggles of those left behind and a product of the musicians' interaction with the families of the disappeared and campaigners on the issue.
"The song Huling Balita was written in the 1970's as a response to what was happening then during the dark days of the Marcos Dictatorship, it saddens me that this song remains relevant to this day" laments songwriter Jess Santiago.

By choosing to put the spotlight on the plight of the desaparecidos and their families, respected progressive musicians like Santiago and Noel Cabangon, working side by side with their younger counterparts, are hoping that the last word on the issue will be one of justice.#