“Ang sining ay isang paraan ng pagpapahayag ng katotohanan na hindi marahas…
Para sa akin art is truth without violence.”
-Gary Granada, Pagsamba at Pakikibaka
Last night, I attended Bongga!, the musical show that launched the opening of UP Month. It made me think about the 22-CD collection of Gary Granada’s works, which I had purchased a few days ago from the UP Shopping Center. The first CD I listened to was Lean, A Filipino Musical. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with the music and the story behind the lyrics as well.
Back in school, I never learned or read about Lean Alejandro. Upon listening to the voices of Noel Cabangon, Cookie Chua, Chickoy Pura, Bayang Barrios, etc., I became curious about this young man’s story and legacy. The musical was written and first staged in 1997 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death. Inside the CD’s cardboard case, was a piece of paper that had a short description of who Lean was:
“Lean rose from the ranks of the student movement in the early 80’s to become a national leader of the anti-dictatorship movement. But more than a year after the historic 1986 EDSA uprising an assassin’s bullet ended his life. He was 27 years old.”
The themes of the songs revolved around the struggles of a political activist – what it means to love one’s country and the price one has to pay for serving this cause. Humor, wit, anger, sadness, love and aggression are all reflected in the music and lyrics. The story must’ve struck a chord in me not just because I had my own university experience but because I admit that I, too, love my country.
Here’s one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack. It’s entitled Panata’t Pag-ibig, sung by Cookie Chua and Chickoy Pura.
Sa gitna ng agam-agam, sa piling ng pangangamba
Kakambal ng kasaysayan itong ating pagsinta
Ang pagsubok at panganib, ang panahon ng ligalig
Ang siyang magpapanday sa ating panata’t pag-ibig.