Kuh Ledesma

Ako Ay Pilipino, Vol. 2

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In 1994, Philippine independent label Vicor Records re-released Kuh Ledesma's Ako Ay Pilipino, Vol. 2 (I Am a Filipino, Vol. 2), the sister album to Ako Ay Pilipino, Vol. 1, both of which were originally released in 1983 as a two-volume set. The album contains a number of time-honored Philippine evergreens and is a musical statement of Philippine pride and achievement. In the Philippines, the audience often prefers American music instead of Philippine music, and this album presents a different, much needed perspective.Ledesma shines throughout the album and applies a poised, masterful touch. Most songs are written in a style that emphasizes quality and is reminiscent of such American songwriters as Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, but with an ethnic, Philippine edge. "Mahiwaga" (Mysterious) and "Bulong-Bulongan" (Gossiping), for example, are well-written songs, and Kuh Ledesma sings them with an intimate strength. The songs' lyrics are often intricate and meaningful, and go beyond the usual trite material heard on easy listening albums. "Mahal" (Love) tells of the beauty of the Philippine islands, while other songs tell of the relationship between life, nature, and love. "Handog" (Offering) tells the story of a performer who writes a song as a gift to his fans, and says that an entertainer's popularity fades away, but the song stays forever. "Ako Ay Pilipino" (I Am a Filipino) is an intense, passionate song that extols the virtues and pride of being Filipino. This is an important album, and more such albums are needed in the Philippines.

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