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Music in the Philippines after Liberation

“God Bless the Philippines.” This was what Filipinos were singing to the tune of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” during the landing of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte in 1944.

Inspired by the new freedom and promise of recovery brought by the end of the war, the Philippines saw the rebirth of its music scene. In 1945, the Manila Symphony Orchestra was reorganized by Dr. Herbert Zipper. Filipino musicians performed for American soldiers at the post-liberation army camps, as well as for American friends and visitors. Some of the musicians also toured the provinces and held special shows in hospital wards.

Among the leading musicians of the time were violinist Ramon Tapales, opera and radio stars Lourdes Corrales de Ramon de Razon and Serafin Garcia, and pianists Carolina Monserrat and Julio Esteban Anguita. In 1946, operatic performances also resumed, with the National Opera Company offering a production of Verdi’s La Traviata, under the baton of Prof. Hilarion Rubio. A festival of folk songs and dances was also presented at the University of Santo Tomas in the same year.

Once again, music became an important part of the everyday life of Filipinos after the war.

Source:

Baņas, R.C. (1975) Pilipino Music and Theater. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Co.

Photo:

Manila Symphony Orchestra Concert at Intramuros, Manila, 1945
(From the Retrato collection of the Filipinas Heritage Library)

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,797270,00.html

Music: Philippine Flop

Monday, Mar. 12, 1945

My beloved, you were brave!

In a creek so deep where you sank to

your shoulders You stayed, we hear, for three days or

more And lived for weeks without food and

sleep; How proud we are of the fight you won.

The brave beloved of these minor lyrics is a dead Jap. The song, Chichi Yo Anata Wa Tsuyokatta (Father, You Were Brave), is a sample from a book of songs which the Japs hopefully scattered through the Philippines. Most of the music is plaintive. Most of the lyrics glorify the fanatical beauties of death in battle.

Last week Captain Earl J. Wilson, U.S.M.C. Aviation Correspondent, reported that this particular Jap effort at propaganda-with-music had been a spectacular flop. For one thing, Filipinos have grown used to the buoyant lyrics and 4/4 rhythms of Tin Pan Alley.

In liberated Leyte, where Filipinos have been singing God Bless the Philippines to the tune of Irving Berlin's God Bless America, a soldier troupe performance of Composer Berlin's This Is the Army last week tried out a brand new number in the U.S. idiom: Heaven Watch the Philippines.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,797270,00.html#ixzz0nUfMczWC

WWII19F6.jpg (40542 bytes)

Leaflet 19-F-6
Image courtesy of www.war-images.com

When the U.S. Army hit the beaches of the Philippines Islands to drive out the Japanese occupiers, an entire series of “F” leaflets were prepared and disseminated. The U.S. Army leaflet is clearly marked and therefore “white.” There is no doubt that it is from the United States government. The first number in the code indicates the number of a particular series, the “F” indicates “Filipino,” and the final number indicates the army, in this case the 6th U.S. Army. This leaflet bears the lyrics of the song “Heaven Watch the Philippines,” written by Irving Berlin and dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur.

Heaven Watch the Philippines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heaven Watch the Philippines is a popular song by Irving Berlin, written in 1946.

It was written as a tribute to Filipino resistance during the Japanese occupation in World War II. During the war, Japanese troops in the Philippines attempted to popularize self-glorifying songs such as Chichi Yo Anata Wa Tsuyokatta ("Father, You Were Brave" in English). Locals resisted these efforts, preferring instead to sing God Bless the Philippines to the tune of Berlin's God Bless America as a show of national pride.[1]

Berlin himself gave the first performance of Heaven Watch the Philippines in Tolosa, Leyte in 1946, in front of an audience that included Sergio Osmeņa and Carlos P. Romulo.[2]

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