The Imprint of OPM (Original Philippine Music)

I was in a band during my high school and college years, and it was certainly one of the best hobbies I had – to a point where it already became my passion. We weren’t good at it, but I certainly enjoyed it. We did a lot of covers, but here are some that I would never forget.

Track #1: “Alert the Armory” – Urbandub

I would never ever forget this song, because this was our go-to-song-when-you-have-no-practice for some gigs. I don’t know why, maybe because we were already so familiar with it. Due to the high-adrenaline nature of the song, it never failed to give us that morale booster whenever we played it. I also loved the way it energizes me whenever I listen to it.

Just think of it this way: If you were at a basketball game with a few seconds down the line and you’re down by two, this song would take the last second three-pointer to win the game.

Track #2: “Touch the Sky” – Franco

I just love the intro of this song. We used to cover this in our gigs and I’d play rhythm. The riffs of this song are simple enough that I can already play them with confidence. I am not that good in playing the guitar, but whenever we cover this, I feel good about myself. This song is easy to play, but has a lot of angst in it.

It made an impact on me because it gives me a validation that I can be a “good” rhythm guitar player – or, at least, I feel I am. Cheers.

Track #3: “Illuminate-I” – Wilabaliw

We usually play alternative rock songs. That’s why, for me, this song is already “hardcore.” It really felt hardcore when we covered this song. When we played this, I screamed a lot  – scream, as in shout and not the scream-o thing. It sounds funny, right? But, heck, I really loved singing this masterpiece. I still love listening to this band, because their songs can really pump up your manliness. To actually perform it even increases your testosterone to a new level.

Track #4: “Samadi” – Wilabaliw

Well, we never really had the chance to cover this song due to its complexity, but if only we could, we definitely would. This song is so intricately done and really is a work of art. I remember the days when I used to listen to this song almost every day just to get by. I was so addicted to it that it never failed to give me goosebumps, because I have always imagined the pleasure of covering and performing this song on stage. It is still a part of my fantasy to cover this one.

Track #5: “Hallelujah” – Bamboo

This is probably the song I would like to perform as if it was the first time every time. Aside from the fact that it was performed by the best band this country has ever known, it was really enjoyable to play onstage – especially the rap part – getting your tongue tied and breath short. I was always drowning in sweat when we played this song. Dehydration is inevitable and the exhaustion is unbelievable

But that’s the beauty of it. I experience all of this physical beating, but I would do everything and anything to go through it again. It’s the price of having the best time of your life. I love the sweat, the adrenaline, the exhaustion, the energy, the enthusiasm, the crowd, and most of all, the music. I guess, for me, this is the pinnacle definition of passion. My love for music will never die, no matter how corny it sounds. Rock on!

Raymond Tejada, 24, is a Product Specialist at Factset Research Systems.

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