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.