When he entered the Metro Manila Popular Music Festival in 1978, Freddy Aguilar was almost completely unknown; within weeks he was possibly the best-known musician in Manila, and he has since consolidated that position to become the best known Filipino musician in the world. The song that took him to such great heights, heard for the first time at the 1978 competition, was "Anak," a folk-rock ballad sung in the local tagalog language. It has since spawned 54 covers in 14 other languages. He subsequently enjoyed great hits with such singles as "Magdalena" and "Bayan Ko." Prior to the release of "Anak," Aguilar cut his teeth peforming cover songs and original material for U.S. military personnel stationed on the Islands. Never one to shy away from politics, he wrote several anti-Marcos songs, including "Katarungang" and his "Bayan Ko" became the theme song for Cory Aquino's anti-Marcos election campaign in 1986.
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