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AUDIO JUNKIE: Hits from Pinoy movies, series and ‘Istorya’



As more people have gotten used to the idea of streaming music, radio has lost the monopoly of kickstarting a hit song. These days, a hit could be that viral ditty that’s doing the rounds on social media feeds. Or it could be a tune just posted on YouTube but already gathering millions of views in an hour or two.

The Juans, (inset) Nicole Omillo (

The Juans, (inset) Nicole Omillo

Then again, don’t shrug off traditional media just yet. In fact, one medium found its footing anew in turning songs into smashes.
As early as 2015, the movie “The Breakup Playlist” gave us “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” by Piolo Pascual and Sarah Geronimo. The following year saw Moira dela Torre’s “Malaya” from “Camp Sawi” hit pay dirt.

And in the year that just bid goodbye, pop band The Juans and newcomer Janine Teñoso got their first big charters via covers of Rivermaya’s “Balisong” and “241,” respectively. Those two were from the movie “100 Daang Tula Para Kay Stella.”

And who could miss KZ Tandingan, who scored big with “Two Less Lonely People” from the Alessandra De Rossi-Empoy Marquez box office monster “Kita Kita?”

In 2018, I think the prospects remain good for music culled from the screen.

First up are The Juans again who had just released “Istorya.” Label them boyband or whatever, what sets them apart at least is that they write many of their songs. With a blossoming songwriter in Carl Guevarra, one of the singers and the keyboardist in the band, The Juans are poised to become a bigger pop act this year. And thanks to a great “official song” spot in the coming movie “Mr. & Mrs. Cruz,” the band is going to reach a lot more ears than ever.

“Istorya” is a piano-decked ballad that has a dramatic build up. With a what-could-have-been story at core, it’s just the right tune for the aching and a-wanting emoteros and emoteras.

And while the band version is sufficient as it is, another version appears on the OST, and it features talented young singer Nicole Omillo. That one has healthy heaping of strings. Also, check out her take on the reworked Freestyle gem “Before I Let You Go” on the same soundtrack.

Also set for the screen, albeit a smaller version of it, is the just-released accompanying music for the cable TV series “One Song.”

A couple of covers immediately caught our attention. First is a fine take on the Eraserheads’ “Huwag Mo Nang Itanong” by Janine. Another is the totally retooled “Himala” soused in piano and strings and where Janine trades verses with Carlyn Ocampo and Aubrey Caraan, both members of Pop Girls. Yet another is “Cool Ka Lang,” glorious homage to ’90s pop/rock.

For solo showcase of their talents, the OST has their remakes of “Bakit” (originally by Rachelle Ann Go) and “Sa Isip Ko” (Agot Isidro).
For other originals, check out the title track and “Puro Bola.”

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