Of the 12 interpreters in the 11th edition of Himig Handog, singer Janine Berdin is easily the most pressured, having to sing her piece in her native Visayan tongue.
Berdin, “Tawag ng Tanghalan” season 2 champion, is interpreting “Bulalakaw,” a composition by Joanna Ang, a Visayan songwriter.
“Actually, this is my third time interpreting sa Himig Handog and that’s already something (that) na I [can’t] wrap my head around,” the 18-year-old singer said at the music contest’s online conference.
“Grabe po iyong fact na (It’s amazing that) I’m interpreting this year. Dinagdagan pa sa fact na (Add to that the fact that) this is the [first-ever] Visayan song sa buong (in the entire) Himig history,” she gushed. “It is so special and I am so honored to be interpreting ‘Bulalakaw.’”
The song was released last Nov. 12 on YouTube by ABS-CBN Star Music.
The piece conveys light amidst the darkness, something which Berdin shared is her “perspective” of the song.
“It’s a song of hope kasi (because) I also went through personal struggles,” she explained. “So, sobrang nakakagaan ng loob (it is uplifting) to listen to the song.”
“I hope that’s what all people feel, too and they listen kahit hindi nila naiintidihan (even if they don’t understand). Parang naririnig mo po talaga sa melody, sa lahat (It is as if you can hear [the message] in the melody, in everything).”
Admittedly, Berdin is pressured to deliver the message using a language which some will not be able to understand.
“So, it was a big pressure kasi kailangan kong i-deliver ang message na maintindihan din po ng people who don’t speak in Bisaya. Ayun, it’s such a big honor and huge responsibility,” she said.
(So, it’s a big pressure because I need to deliver the message in a way that people would understand even though they don’t speak in Bisaya. So there, it’s such a big honor and responsibility.)
Joanna Ang, who hails from Maasin City, Southern Leyte, was originally based in Cebu City.
“’Bulalakaw’ for me is a song of hope and healing. Relevant din (also) somehow sa current na pandemic (in the current pandemic) and this was written during a time of personal struggles. I was having work and family problems at the same time,” she explained.
She added, “It’s about learning to appreciate all the beautiful things in life, being grateful for what you have and it is [about] always holding on to hope.” NVG