The Mabuhay Singers, Celebrating Filipino Vocal Artistry!
I belong to the generation that’s been fortunate to straddle the analog and digital media eras.
So it’s really quite a pleasantly weird feeling to recall how we use to have those scratchy hard plastic (vinyl) records that held up to 13 songs grooved on Side A and B for various musical genre.
These ‘long-playing’ albums, as they were called, were the pricier ones in those days.
Only the relatively accomplished performers had those 33” plastic records while the new singers or band usually broke into the music scene first with the 45’s which carried only two numbers, one for each side.
The true collectors’ items, the king of the vinyls, were the 78’s which had dining plate dimension and were twice as thick, and hard as the 33’s.
But whether you record was a 45, a 78, or a long-playing 33 the sound was the same: perceptibly scratchy and prone to breakage.
These days even the old analog are being digitally remastered and are becoming available on line with such wonderful fidelity.
Why these bits of trivia?
Well because it’s a pleasant, pleasant discovery that as we are assaulted by K-pop and boy bands from all over, Filipino cultural pleasures, and treasures are experiencing a rebirth via the World Wide Web!!
Two of such platforms are the video sharing site YouTube, and the global social networking site FaceBook.
One specific group I’m specially proud of is the Mabuhay Singers.
As a recent article in the Philippine Star said:
The group is a combination of two trios from the late ‘50s — Tres Rosas composed of Carmen Camacho, Nora Hermosa and Raye Lucero; and Lover’s Trio composed of Ador Torres, Bert Legaspi, and Flora San Juan.
They are known for their classic, traditional, standard and folk Filipino songs.
Prominent singers and soloists like Ruben Tagalog, Alfred Larosa, Cely Bautista, Ric Manrique, Jr., Rita Rivera, Don David, Flor Ocampo, Noel Samonte, Betty Rivera, Robert Natividad, Chi Lucero were part of the group.
The Mabuhay Singers recorded more than a hundred long playing albums and singles from the ‘50s up to the early ‘70s. The group also toured the US and Canada as part of the Tourism Department’s Balikbayan project in 1973 to encourage Filipinos abroad to visit their native land.
The group has received numerous awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aliw Awards Foundation, and a National Award of Recognition from the Philippine language commission for promoting Philippine languages and culture through their song.
The Mabuhay Singers are today now composed of Raye Lucero – Soprano, Carmen Camacho – Soprano, Cely Bautista – Soprano, Jose “Peping” de Leon – Baritone, Eddie Suarez – Tenor, Jimmy Salonga – Tenor, and Marlon Marifosque – Tenor
Their home on FaceBook:
The Mabuhay Singers – the Philippines’ iconic cultural singing ensemble!!