Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2014: Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako

Entry highlight: “Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako”
Words and music by Joven Tan
Interpreted by Michael Pangilinan
Music video by University of the Philippines

The biggest songwriting competition in the country is back with 15 entries interpreted by 19 artists. Most of the songs are about *surprise* heartache, including my bet, “Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako.” The song might initially remind one of another Himig Handog entry some years ago (“This Guy’s In Love with You, Pare”), but upon reading the lyrics and listening to the track itself, that’s when you realize that it’s far from being a novelty track. It’s serious, captivating, and bold. While the title implies that it’s addressed to another male (since the performer is male), the message of the song is still universal and applicable to any gender. Friendzone, parezone, what have you. It’s all the same, it hurts the same.

OneRepublic Live in Manila 2013: Highlights

“Seriously, I mean, it’s like you’re all in choir or something, this is ridiculous!”—Ryan Tedder

I’m not the type who sings along in concerts. It’s very un-Pinoy of me, but that’s because I prefer taking it all in, appreciating everything silently. The statement above is a big compliment from the super talented, musical genius that is Ryan Tedder, so allow me to feel a bit of pride alongside the rest of the (mostly) singing audience who watched OneRepublic earlier.

OneRepublic live in Manila 2013

There’s always that bittersweet moment in a concert

It still feels surreal. After months of agonizing over the possibility of missing out on this concert, I consider having managed to score tickets at the very last minute as a major feat. I’m still suffering from post-concert syndrome, so I kept myself preoccupied by compiling select clips from the concert.

I “Apologize” for the seemingly indecisive placement of titles. I really am sleepy, but I can’t sleep (!).

Tears formed in my eyes when they started playing “Secrets.” The recorded version is intense enough, but wait till you hear it live. I guess that track really speaks to people in the creative field who frequently face personal frustrations.

During the concert, I realized that Native has plenty of songs for significant others (but at least the concert didn’t feel like date night, haha). Play “Feel Again,” “Burning Bridges,” “If I Lose Myself” and “Something I Need” in this exact order and you’d get what I mean. (Or this might be my cinematic/romantic side talking/over-analyzing. Ha!)

I didn’t expect Ryan to be that energetic onstage. He was on fire! He also kept on dishing out falsettos effortlessly (reminds me of another favorite, another Ryan). Witnessing him in his multi-instrumentalist mode left the pop geek in me speechless. I can say that my admiration for Ryan Tedder’s musicality multiplied after tonight. He knows how to connect to his audience. If I were a musician, it would be a dream to collaborate with him.

Check out this clip where the band performed my sentimental favorite “Apologize” with a mash-up of sorts towards the end. Some also thought of filling in for Timbaland when the intro played, haha. Gives you an idea how it would be like to jam with Ryan/if Ryan Tedder were your music teacher.

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