The Ilocano ‘Voice’ has found its way through music. Just like any art form, music is the expression of emotion, nobility, greatness, dignity, love and tenderness.
Ilocano music has achieved popularity even in foreign lands where many Ilocanos have migrated to find greener pastures. Listening to homegrown music is like being transported back to home. Plenty of our homesick kababayans find solace in it — they feel that they are in closer proximity to their roots, making them sane, so to speak. Ilocano music is the soul of an Ilocano gathering, especially in Hawaii and California. Social events are never whole without it.
Old standards are popular as ever, while contemporary songs are also in demand, especially abroad. Local radio stations continue to promote Ilocano songs, making the Ilocano culture alive and in bloom.
Many of the Ilocano songs today are sung by singers from Ilocos Norte. Groups like Kabagis and Bukros, and balladeers like Rudy Corpuz, Pacita Domingo and Adeliada Ramones are making waves in the Ilocano music scene. In Laoag, the Escueta Recording Studio, a 24-track music studio, has been producing Ilocano music for several decades now. Their music store, Escueta Commercial Center, situated at the ground floor of the Laoag City Commercial Complex, distributes freshly released Ilocano, Tagalog and English albums. Among the hit parade are the songs contained in the ‘Dakayo Ti Inspirasyon’ Series, — Ilocano Ballroom Dancing by D’ Romantic Singers, #9 featuring Elvis Panabay and Shermaine Santiago and #16 with Boladas and D’ K-Baggys.
In local amateur singing contests, Ilocano songs are still as favored as Tagalog and English songs. Who says Ilocano Music is dead?