Sumangon Naturod – Unveiling the music behind 1941: Cordillera Iti Ima Ti Gubat

As we celebrate Baguio City’s 112th charter anniversary, we are ecstatic to announce that the three (3) Official Sound Tracks of the film 1941: Cordillera Iti Ima Ti Gubat are one step closer to their official release.

Together with the vocals of the Singing Mineros; Kurt Jeo Solar|Azure Altaki, accompaniments by Bandang Katha; Vener Sixto|JM Bautista|Waldo Bulasao|Kinshew Caccam, indigenous instrumentation by Mr. Delfino Torres, and with Direk Jianlin’s Musical Direction, we started the initial recording process of the three songs.

The first song “Ginawang”, the river, represents the juxtaposition of a Cordilleran Warrior’s spirit: unyielding to the torrents of conquerors and troubles alike, yet in a perfect state of peace and acceptance. Those who have passed away guide those who have been left behind as they continue what their predecessors started. This war song begins with the battle cry of the Didgeridoo (Aboriginal musical instrument). The loud and deep sound that reverberates across hectares of land could easily send shivers down the spine. But to the Cordilleran Warrior, each booming wave invigorates the desire to win. Various indigenous and world instruments are fused with modern music in this captivating anthem. Let the music of “Ginawang” transport you, hear your brethren say, “We are like the River under the Heat of the Sun, come over thee who are brave, follow us, you who are strong”.

The second song, in contrast, is a love song entitled “Palamantayaw” or “The Butterfly.” This is a fitting metaphor for love that is fleeting, a love that left or ended not because of choice, and a lover that anticipates its return. Palamantayaw boasts a unique flavor as it fuses the Japanese and Cordilleran culture in one song. From the Japanese love song-inspired melody to the accompanying Cordilleran instruments such as the Kulibao (an instrument used for courtship, also known as Kubing or Jew’s Harp), the song manifests itself as a true marriage of cultures. Day-eng or a cordilleran chant was also featured as it is done in both Nihongo and Kankanaey languages.

Lastly, “Angin ya Angep” or “Wind and Fog” serves as the Official Theme Song of the Film. This song exemplifies the gravity of the suffering experienced by the Cordillerans during the Japanese occupation. In a war-torn land, they felt abandoned by their Gods, seeking refuge where none could be found. As more battles ensue, the sound of clashing weapons becomes muted as death collects the souls it is owed. Despair fills the air with the sound of wailing – covering the land in seemingly endless nights. Despite the cries, the people felt unseen, unheard, like the wind and the fog. As a wind instrument, the Paldong (a Kalinga mouth flute) was also added to enhance the ethereal texture of the music.

Truly, the Singing Mineros did not disappoint the vision of its musical director, Direk Jianlin in capturing the soul of the film through their music. Watch out for Singing Mineros’ and Direk Jianlin’s exclusive interview

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