‘Yukbo’ concert set for comeback after 19-year break

‘Yukbo’ concert set for comeback after 19-year break
SunStar Local News GPX

AFTER a 19-year hiatus, the renowned concert series “Yukbo alang sa Pilipino,” later known as “Yukbo: Ang Kunsiyerto,” featuring original Cebuano compositions, will once again grace the stage on Feb. 25, 2024 under the title “Yukbo: Ang Konsiyerto the Revival.”

The Cebuano word “Yukbo” means “bow” or “curtsy” in English.

During a press conference on Feb. 12, Yukbo executive director Lemuel Felisario said the concert’s revival will take place at the Plaza sa Katawhan along Cebu South Coastal Road near Compania Maritima.

He said this year’s concert will feature 22 local bands and artists, each performing five songs consecutively starting at 4 p.m.

He emphasized that while the concert is free of charge, crowd regulation will be enforced through the distribution of coupons, operating on a first-come, first-served basis.

The concert will align with Cebu City’s 87th Charter Day celebration since Yukbo, the organizers said, is more than just a music festival; it is also a way of honoring Filipinos who struggled during the Edsa revolution.

In 1986, following the Edsa People Power Revolution that overthrew the Marcos dictatorship, Cebu celebrated with local music during the People’s Feast in Fuente Osmeña.

It was during that time that musicians, led by Mel Libre, organized “Yukbo alang sa Pilipino,” a free concert featuring both popular and up-and-coming artists, including Salome Oro and Sharon Magdayao, now known as Vina Morales.

In February 2005, Yukbo was held at the Cebu City Sports Center, formerly the Abellana Sports Complex.

Students from universities across Cebu witnessed diverse music performances, earning the crowd the nickname “Dibutaw” or “Dibuho sa Tawo” (human formation) as university students under the National Service Training Program formed meaningful symbols during the concert.

Yukbo was not staged again after Libre migrated to New Zealand in 2005, leaving no one to take over the task of organizing various bands and artists.

Libre, who attended the Feb. 12 conference through an online platform, said the message they want to convey, especially to the new generation, is the importance of commemorating the People Power Revolution, which was a source of pride for many and an inspiration to other nations.

When asked about the progress in promoting Cebuano music, Libre noted that Cebu music has already gained recognition nationwide.

He said some Manila-based artists, such as Juan Carlos Labajo, Morissette Amon and Ferdinand Aragon, are now recording music in Cebuano.

“We should no longer be ashamed of singing Cebuano music because it is now accepted nationwide,” Libre said.

He added that artists like Urbandub, Sheila and the Insects and Fastpitch are well respected in Luzon.

“I think what was planted way back in the ‘80s, in new Cebu music and Yukbo, have already started to make fruit in the nation,” Libre said.

He said Cebuanos don’t need to go to Manila to become famous.


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