The previous post brought out some good comments by readers/friends on Facebook. We have been having a little discussion about why it is that Filipino musicians were (and to some extent in some places maybe still are) so dominant in Asia for so long.
Early exposure to Western music partly explains it (although people on Java were too). Another suggestion was that perhaps some kind of “brand name” because associated with Filipino bands.
I found that comment interesting, as I just came across this advertisement for Lemon Juice, an “all-Filipino rock group” that was playing at a nightclub in Singapore in 1973. The fact that they were “all-Filipino” was obviously important.
Someone else pointed out that studying about the “agency” of Filipino musicians in Asia in the 20 century would be an interesting to the usual discussion of Filipino worker exploitation (not that that topic is not important, of course).
I agree with all of this, but the actual advertisement for the band got me thinking of something else.
“It’s that fabulous Lemon Juice! . . . An all-Filipino rock group that brings a big, all-new beat sound to the swinging Lost Horizon! Lemon Juice flavours up the scene by featuring four different vocalists – with four singing styles. Sensational singing styles that’ll set you tingling to the tempo of their great new sound. The big, deep sound of guitars, organ and sax. Get a taste of the Lemon Juice tonight! At the swinging Lost Horizon.”
Hmmm, the “deep” “organ” and “sax” of “Lemon Juice” will get you “tingling”. . . Perhaps the “agency” of Filipino musicians had something to do with some special kind of “talent” or “power” that we are overlooking. . .