Connected yet Disconnected

A year has passed, still the world is trying to escape from the cage that the COVID-9 virus built. It is a hazy phantom that a full year flew by that fast. Lockdown after lockdown after lockdown of major cities around the globe is seesawing trying to win our battle against the pandemic. A new year has dawned, and as well as new variants of the virus emerges.

One of the industry that has been hit big time by this pandemic is the entertainment business. As me and my college friends are group chatting about where art has come to, when it comes to visual art, we think that it isn’t progressing as much. It is not as ‘fine’ as it was before. Nowadays, if the audience of an artwork has manifested any kind of emotion apart from awe, good vibes, bewilderment… like hate and disgust, the ‘art’ is still considered a success. That art is not an essential anymore but it only exist today for us to remain and to keep us all sane. We debated on how we humans might be at a point where we have reached the peak of our existence. That as much as we have developed so much, advancement in our daily lives, come along side of it, is destruction. And the ratio between the two today, the latter is much more vehement.

As music is one aspect of art, performing artists are now struggling to be at a venue where they can be enjoyed watching by their fans in person. However the struggle is real, a band has bravely debuted February of this year. It is worth mentioning and praised by me included because of how I love the concept of the group. K-pop or the Korean wave hit the world by storm. However soon after, the neighboring countries followed suit. And so has the Philippines — P-pop.

They call themselves Alamat. The boy band consists of nine members from different parts of the Philippines. For those who are not aware of how diverse the country is in terms of its language, as I have found out recently we have 180 languages (all I know is we have more than 50). I’m guessing dialects are included. The group have members that speak the seven major languages — Ilocano, Bicolano, Waray-waray, Hiligaynon, Bisaya, Kapampangan and Tagalog.

I don’t want to elaborate more on Philippine history, but basically, the languages are from different tribes from pre-colonial period of the Islands and the group was formed with talented boys from those regions. The band name Alamat translates to ‘legend’. From what I understand, first, the group aims to highlight the Philippine culture and traditions apart from the different languages the country has thru their music, trying to ‘pass it down’ to the generation of today which somehow is dying and being forgotten. Secondly, they aspire to become legends themselves with their honed craft in music.

‘Kbye’ is their first single.
You can watch their music video here:

I love the song!

The song has the usual hopeless romantic Pinoy feel to it. It is about ‘ghosting’ which is so relevant of this generation. I love the mix of traditional instruments and electronic sounds and the flow of the music is so Pinoy. In the last part of the song, a famous Philippine traditional dance melody – the tinikling, was elegantly incorporated to the song. Additionally, in their music video, all elements that was used as props was so Pinoy themed. The outfits are off the hook! For the majority of the video, the outfits are designed representing the region of where each of the members came from, even the hairstyle has symbolism. An old cultural dance, the Manlalatik was also featured. It is a breath of fresh air that a contemporary song has incorporated traditional dances and music which I have been waiting for so long has transpired today. I’m hoping that they can keep up with their concept all throughout, or at least for a good long while.

The dance choreo was outrageously good too!
You can watch their dance practice video here:

As I am becoming a ‘Magiliw’ (the name of their fandom), I indulge myself with all of their videos. From how the group started, the history, the concept behind the group, interviews and random video posts. The group was housed in one place. Before they debuted, they had undergone series of trainings vocally and on their dance moves, as well as classes on personal development. Because of the pandemic, as I watched their videos, I witnessed how the pandemic really made working and becoming a music pop artist be as twice as hard or even more. The same goes with the rest of the working population around the globe.

It is a shame that they cannot promote or perform with live audiences. Everything is done thru online. Though it is amazing timing that when this pandemic broke out, we are already in this internet age. I for one is bewildered on how I became active in the group’s social media.

I’m both ecstatic as well as saddened about how today’s world is living. Everyone is interacting, very sociable and seem closer to each other when I see live and offline chats on everyone’s posts. How everyone, even though no one is friends with anyone in the group chats, all are communicating like they know each other. There is a lot of fun bantering, thumb ups and heart icons are flying all around… but so are hate comments too.

While the internet made the people around the world seem closer together, however, at the same time, it made each and everyone very very very alone too. With people stuck working at home, attending classes via online to avoid close contact and contracting the virus, it makes me wonder where the world is heading to. I remember the movie ‘Wall-E’ and some episodes of the ‘Black Mirror’. It seems that they painted a good picture of what the future will be.

As for the young men of the group, I’m looking forward for more OPM songs from them. I’m hoping to learn more and for this generation to be learning more about our own history, culture and traditions through their music and also maybe for the world to to know more about the Philippines and Filipino talents. I’m excited to see more live performances even though we will be watching, screaming and clapping solo in front of a screen on our own homes — for now.

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“Fate doesn’t visit you often. At the very least, if you want to use the term ‘fate,’ it should only happen at the most dramatic moment brought on by coincidence. That’s what makes it fate. That’s why it’s also called ‘timing.’

In the end, fate and timing do not happen by coincidence. They are the products of countless earnest choices that make up miraculous moments. Giving up and making decisions without reservation or hesitation… That is what makes timing.”

Reply 1988, kdrama TV series

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