The Wuds’ Bobby Balingit takes part in artist initiative for Marawi victims

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Bobby Balingit. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

Conflict in Marawi isn’t over, and the fight continues, even for those who don’t use guns and ammunition as their weapon.

Through music, the Songs for Peace Project (S4PP) hopes to create public awareness on the war in Mindanao and the effects of displacement on its people. It is a year-long initiative of Musika Publiko, a pool of musicians, composers, producers and performers advocating awareness on issues of social relevance.

One of the artists involved in Songs for Peace is Bobby Balingit of iconic Pinoy punk rock band The Wuds. Balingit, who performed during the media launch of the initiative, conveys his reason for taking part in an impassioned statement.

“Hindi magandang makakita ng wasak na katawan, hindi magandang makakita ng giba-giba na mga bahay. Yun ang nagtulak sa akin. Sabi ko, may laban ang mga grupo ng indibidwal, na umaayon sa isang uri ng laban na nagsasabing ‘Teka muna, hindi yan maganda. So nakisama ako.”

“Ginagawa ko na ito mag-isa. Ako lang, gumagawa ako ng iba-ibang uri ng disiplina, sa pagpipinta, sa poetry, sa music, Tapos nakita ko, teka, may pagkakataon na makabuo ng isang malaking grupo ng indibidwal at grupo para sa kampanya laban mga bagay na pumapatay at nakakasira, nakakagulo sa lipunan,” Balingit said.

[UPDATE: Balingit told InterAksyon that he decided not to join any group or organization for the same or similar cause espoused by the Songs for Peace Project. “Ang gusto ko lamang ay ang maging gising sa mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa paligid bilang isang indibidwal. Nagkataon lang na ang “interaksyon” ay naroon kung saan ako ay naimbitahan ng isang kakilala. Hindi po ako kaanib sa Musika Publiko,” he said.]

Tropical Depression, Jeff Bolivar of Soapdish, Jana Garcia, Ja Quintana, Janine Santos, Ada Tayao, Pordalab, Talahib, Alpas, Gazera, and TJ Abanes are among the artists who have likewise taken part in the project.

S4PP has three basic components, the first of which is well underway. Musika Publiko has begun recording a music album that brings together local artists who wish to impart their personal message on the ongoing Mindanao conflict and their call for peace.

It may not be the first time artists have come together to deliver such a message, but method by which they are capturing the music they wish to impart is extraordinary. Since the project is a project made possible by individuals donating their time, effort, resources and talent for the common good, Musika Publiko has chosen to eliminate the high cost of recording in an enclosed music studio and has instead tapped available natural resources by recording outdoors.

“Maraming mga musicians and composers na may gustong gawin pero wala din namang nagbibigay ng suporta to produce an album. So ginawa namin, nag-pitch in kami ng mga resources and nag-recording kami sa labas,” said songwriter and music producer Karl Ramirez.

Musika Publiko found a location in Quezon City where recording could be done without compromising sound quality, and these high-quality original song recordings are what we can look forward to in the album once it is released. The process can be likened to what was done by Keira Knighley’s band in the movie “Begin Again.”

While recording of the songs for the album continues, the next phase, which is to produce physical copies, remains a hurdle for Musika Publiko. Funding for the production is needed and Musika Publiko is asking for support.

“Nakapag-record kami ng 12 songs. Dahil doon sa initial feedback niya, ang daming gustong mag-contribute and growing yung list ng participants. Kaya na naming tapusin yung album in its digital format, pero wala na kaming pera to produce an actual CD. Puwede namin i-share, but to actually generate funds, people will need something that they can actually buy in exchange for their support,” shared Ramirez.

After the multimedia release of the S4PP, the album release and a concert series slated in Octo`ber will follow. Proceeds from these activities and record sales will be donated to victims of war in the Mindanao through Jovenes Foundation.

Musika Publiko is seeking the support of private individuals and corporations in producing the Songs for Peace album. For more information, visit www.Musikapubliko.org or email musikapubliko@gmail.com.