I was listening to 99.5 RT this afternoon. I tuned in while Neil and Scarlet where talking to some guy and I knew their guest was American. Or at least, someone who grew up in America. It shouldn’t really be anything special, but then he started singing Yeng Constantino’s “Hawak Kamay”. First in the original Tagalog, then in English.
Amused, I searched “Taglish” on YouTube (the singer said to use that term if you can’t spell his last name) and quite a bit of videos came up. Turns out Taglish is a band, and is the project of Jason Fernandez and David DiMuzio. Yes, he is American.
I listened to a few of their covers (they seemed to do a lot of Rivermaya’s, not surprisingly since Jason is the current frontman of the band) and I just blown away by their performance.
Here’s one cover which I particularly liked. Elesi is my second favorite Rivermaya song while Bamboo was still with the group (next to Ulan which Taglish also covered). While I enjoyed this performance, what made an impression was the English translation of the song (seen as subtitles in the video).
So much of the song is, sad to say, lost in translation. Not that the translation is bad, but the poetic flair and the rhythm of the language is diminished. While I used to wonder what the heck a “mahiwagang elesi” had to do with the song, it sounded worse when translated. I’m not criticizing the group, mind you. Heck, I like these guys. I’m just saying that I grew to appreciate the song even more.
In the meantime, enjoy watching and listening to Taglish.