If you ask a highlander why he/she likes country music, most responses you get are: Siempre a, mayat garod (Of course because the music is good), others would say, cowboy garod ya (because I’m a cowboy / cowgirl), still some would say, adayo met a gamin nga maymayat kesa pop/rap/rock etc (because it is a lot better than other types of music)… Those answers are good to a fellow who also loves country music but really cannot satisfy the curiosity of a person who does not appreciate the music.
So why do we really like country music? here are some reasons I can enumerate and hope you can relate to it too.
1. An Igorot’s choice of music is his romantic side
Seems like this music suffice the lack of an Igorot’s romantic expressions. We love ballads, love songs and songs that tell stories. All of these are found in country music. It is country music that tells a story in a song. I guess we can then conclude that we are also romantic after all (han lang nga obvious).
2. It’s all about the beat and its melody
We highlanders can dance with the sound of gongs and solibaos. These gongs and solibaos create a simple yet harmonious sound. With its simplicity anyone can dance or move with its beat.
Just like country music, we can dance to the beat of the music it creates. It does not really matter if the beat is slow or fast, because it is still simple and easy to follow.
3.Music is simply relaxing (I guess we can all agree that we want to relax after or during a day’s hard work )
Who would want to listen to a song that of “totoy bibo” rap or even heavy metal music after or while working in the garden, in the mines or while walking up or downhill? None right? We are after all descendants of farmers, miners and hunters. Country music originated from the working class in the US. This is the music of the cowboys, farmers and other working class. So do not wonder why we feel like the music is our own or it directly tells our life’s story and just love it so much.
How else did we come to know and love this type of music? Though I cannot find a clear link or any statement saying that the Americans brought their music in the mountains, just the thought that we were not colonized by the Spaniards make us so different from the rest of our lowland counterparts. It was the Americans who were able to penetrate our territory and they became our first teachers.
Feel free to add the reasons why you think you love country music on the comment box below. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: The author author does not claim to be an expert in history nor was the article based on extensive research. The Author himself is a country music lover and the article is his own personal views and does not reflect Baguio Local Eye as a whole.