The Best of Joey Ayala

Wednesday Songs
July 5, 2017


Walang Hanggang Paalam 

Wala Nang Tao Sa Sta. Filomena

Karaniwang Tao

with Bayang Barrios



Manong Pawikan

Buwan, Buwan




Saan Ka Patungo Panganay Ko 

Awit Ng Mandaragat

Photo courtesy of


Huggybear said…
I shared this page on my Facebook Wall with this story. This is the first part:

Joey Ayala vividly remembers the first time he heard the pure beauty of tribal music. "Noong una kong narinig 'yung mga agung (gongs), 'yung mga kubing (harps), sobrang na-inspire ako," he says in a June 2017 interview with The Philippine Star. "Nasa harapan ko ’yung musician, nararamdaman ko ’yung vibration ng instrument. Hindi siya recording, hindi siya radio, hindi siya kuwento. Kaharap ko. So, nayanig ako with the reality of indigenous music.”

He was doing field work at a Bagobo tribe for "Sa Bundok Apo," a rock opera he composed for Kulturang Atin, the theater group of Ateneo De Davao where he was taking up AB Economics. His 1976 collaboration with librettist Al Santos and choreographer Agnes Locsin would later evolve into "Encantada," the neo-ethnic dance spectacle staged by Ballet Philippines in 1992 at the CCP.

Joey is a gifted writer as well as a musical genius: winner of the prestigious Free Press Literary Award and a National Fellow of Poetry at the University of the Philippines. He wrote the lyrics of "Pag-Uwi," with music by Louie Ocampo and sang by Martin Nievera, which won the Grand Prize at the 2001 MetroPop and Best Traditional Song at the 2002 KATHA Music Awards. He wrote features for Davao-based San Pedro Magazine after college, and when it closed, he creative juices began to flow into music.

One day, he decided to record his compositions. He found a small soundbooth which used to be dubbing facility for documentaries that exposed the real, brutal face of Martial Law. That was the historic birth of the first of his many independently-produced records, "Panganay Ng Umaga," with the help of the Development Education Media Services Foundation. The 1982 album became an underground classic even before the mainstream has even heard of it. Joey was hailed by music critics in Manila and abroad, and he impressed the audience at the 1986 Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
Huggybear said…
...And this is the second part:

The rest is history. Joey Ayala has become a revered figure in world music with his unmatched originality that honors our cultural roots, and yet he continues to blaze new trails. He created the musical score of Tara Illenberger's 2008 "Brutus: Ang Paglalakbay" which won Best Musical Score at the 2008 Cinemalaya independent film festival. His score for Lav Diaz's globally acclaimed “Batang Westside" won him Best Music Award at the 2002 Gawad Urian. His own classic, "Walang Hanggang Paalam," won as Best Original Theme Song at the 2001 MMFF for Marilou Diaz Abaya's epic masterpiece "Bagong Buwan."

Joey Ayala's profound influence on our music, culture and social awareness can be seen in his achievements: he rose to become chairman of the music committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He has won the Fr. Neri Satur Award for Environmental Heroism in 2009, the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Award for Social Artistry in 2007, the Datu Bago Award from the City of Davao in 2000, the Gawad Ng Pagkilala from the National Commission For The Filipino Language in 1993, the Special MAGIS Award for Outstanding Alumni from the Ateneo in 1996, The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award from the Philippine Jaycees in 1989 and many more.

This September, Joey Ayala and his band Ang Bagong Lumad returns to the Music Museum in his "Mandiriwa" concert, marking the 25th anniversary of the launch of his first three indie albums, "Panganay Ng Umaga,” “Magkabilaan,” and “Mga Awit ng Tanod-Lupa.” Among those who came to the original launch were his fellow living legends Freddie Aguilar and Nora Aunor. He has long been searching for the local translation of "artist" but there is none. A true artist is a creator, so what he did was to blend the words "mandirigma" (warrior), "pagdiriwang" (celebration) and "diwa" (spirit). A Mandiriwa, he says, "is someone who works with, fights with, and celebrates essence, ideas, thoughts, and spirituality.”

"Well known for the depth of thought embedded in his music and lyrics, he continues to bring awe not only to his human audience, but, I believe, to the natural elementals as well," writes Kevin Mikahil Gomez in MindaNews. "With a guitar in one hand and a beating heart in the other, he will wrap his profound view of the world we live in with the music he so astonishingly creates."

My Facebook account is Jonathan Huggybear