A night of celebrating Bisaya artists

A night of celebrating Bisaya artists

IN a seemingly never ending — and truly disheartening — internet war between Bisaya and Tagalog, terms like “mga Bisaya,” “Inday” and “Bai” have been coined as insults to the former. With this condemnation, paired with the Tagalog-centric interests of many Filipinos, Bisaya artists admittedly find it hard to find recognition within their desired audience.

But in a recent event, the tide has shifted the existing dynamics of the Cebuano music scene.

On July 6, 2024, fans flocked to the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino to experience the Love Cebu Music Festival, and witness their favorite Cebuano artists shake the roof. Artists like Wonggoys, Jolianne, Kurt Fick, Dom Guyot, Jacky Chang, Shoti, Janine Berdin, MRLD and Juan Karlos graced the stage of the indoor music festival.

Festival-goers described the event as a fun and energetic experience with a standout feature: the full Cebuano line-up — which truly highlighted local talent and distinguished itself from previous ones. Some attendees, who initially had modest expectations, were pleasantly surprised by their experience at the event, while some also expressed that the festival could pave the way for even larger, similar events which they eagerly anticipate.

Shoti, one of the artists who performed at the Love Cebu Music Festival, said that the event was one for the books, adding that everyone will remember the momentous occasion where Cebuano artists gathered in one place to perform.

”[It was] really amazing because I was performing with Cebuano artists. Cebuanos are really talented and I love the Cebuano people because they are very supportive. They were singing with me and it was a wonderful time,” he said as he went on to say that if given another chance to perform, he would.

During the press conference that was held earlier on June 14, some artists talked about the relevance of the music fest as it put the spotlight on Bisaya performers. Finally, in an event of its proportion, Bisaya artists were given the platform to perform as main acts, instead of openers for Tagalog or international artists.

In this case, when the music scene gravitates towards Tagalog music, a celebration of pure Cebuano music is a breath of fresh air. With its lineup, the Love Cebu Music Festival was an event where both Bisaya artists and community won. / Tyrashelvy Villamil, Silliman University Intern

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