Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Response to Leloy Claudio’s Commentary “OPM is Dead”

I got a permission from Jessica Madrazo, owner of the blog DAVAO MUSIC NATION to re-blog her post.  

photo credit: tech no logic via photo pin cc

Reading Leloy Claudio’s commentary that OPM is dead, I think he simply doesn’t like OPM and that’s ok; to each his own. But seriously, just because you don’t go to the scene, it doesn’t mean there is no scene. You are NOT the only audience in the world and it’s insulting to the artists you quoted here to say that their situation is hopeless. It’s short sighted of you to say that they’re simply closing ranks to protect a dying industry.
Like you, I had the same opinions about the Philippine art and music scene. But rather than write commentaries on why OPM and the Filipino arts movement is dead, my friends and I (at are doing what we can to make a dent at the problems you stated. We’re trying to get the local government involved and we’re educating the masses on OPM. Rather than bitch and whine about how bad the situation is (and we have every right to because we ARE part of the local music scene), we’re actually trying to make things better. We know the problems plaguing the industry but the difference between you and the rest of us is that we refuse to take this thing lying down. You’re right about everything you said about OPM. But it’s often easier to point out the problems than actually getting your hands dirty and doing something about these problems.
Musicians are not dumb nor are they delusional. We know that OPM is facing what seems like insurmountable challenges. My friends and I know it’s an uphill battle and we probably won’t see the fruits of our labours in our lifetime, but at least we’re doing something. We’re happy to see that somehow, despite the odds, musicians are still inspired to create because we’re helping them find an audience. They know they all won’t be big successes but at least they had an opportunity to share their craft. They had a chance to share their talent to their fellow Davaenoes and for one set, they moved people, created a moment, and became heroes.
OPM isn’t about sales; it isn’t about creating rock gods and pop princesses. Music isn’t about class or taste. If you think music is all about sales, fame and popularity, then I don’t think you’ve ever truly listened to music. Have you ever listened to “Ode to Joy” and felt true happiness? Have you listened to Gloc-9′s “Sirena” and empathized with the singer? Have you ever listened to “Kandungan” and felt tears run down your face?
If you don’t feel anything when you listen to music, then you have no right to talk about music. If you’ve never been entranced by a live set, if you’ve never felt the joy of creation, if you’ve never felt that deep connection with an artists or with fans from a few simple words and a few simple chords, then you have no right to write about music and no right to say that OPM is dead. It’s insulting to us who are working on finding ways to make Filipino music sustainable. It’s insulting to music labels who believe in the power of good music. It’s insulting to “poor” musicians who simply love creating music whether they have an audience or not. It’s also insulting to Eraseheads and Rico Blanco, musicians who worked their asses off, to be judged simply on their sales and popularity.
And it’s sad, overall, that you’d rather whine and complain than actually doing something to help. It’s a waste of your obviously superior intellect and a waste of your time. Anyone can write a commentary. Not everyone is brave enough or smart enough to try and grab near impossible problems by the balls and say, “Screw it, I’m going to do something anyway”. - by: Julia Jasmine Madrazo Sta. Romana


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