Bringing Bisaya music to the world

Rebecah S. Roberts
·3 min read

Bisaya band Oh! Caraga, with their song titled "Ipanumpa ko," was chosen as one of the finalists in the World Category of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) 2020.

“Ipanumpa ko” is the only Bisaya song to make it to the top one percent among 26,000 entries.

Who is Oh! Caraga

Oh! Caraga is composed of pioneering songwriters of Vispop or Visayan Pop Music Festival:

• Kenneth Corvera (lead vocals, guitars)

• Adam Corvera (backup vocals, percussion)

• Sherwin Fugoso (backup vocals, guitars)

The band's name Oh! Caraga was derived from CARAGA Region where all the band members came from.

According to the members, it is a way for them to honor their hometown.

The brothers Kenneth and Adam are both alumni of Mindanao State University in Caraga region and are residing in Cebu City.

Aside from being a songwriter/musician, Kenneth also works as an entrepreneur and financial educator while Adam is an aspiring lawyer currently reviewing for the bar exams.

Sherwin, the third member of the band, is currently in Agusan del Norte working at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

What the song is about

“Ipanumpa ko” is about a higher form of love—a kind of love that crosses boundaries, moves and shakes societies, and challenges oneself to be steadfast. It can also describe a relationship, friendship, family, or something spiritual.

One of the inspirations the members got for the song was love—love that is bigger than one's self.

The band also wanted its listeners and the world to see a new side of music, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao. They also wanted to witness the rise of Bisaya music in the world.

When asked why they choose to write a Bisaya song, Adam said that Bisaya is a language the Filipinos should be proud of.

"Bisaya language is something we shouldn't be ashamed of, but rather it is something we should be proud of," Adam said

“Bisaya is part of our identity. The only way we can gain the attention of the world is when we show our genuine identity with pride through our art. And I think that is what happened here," he added.

Oh! Caraga needs your help

The ISC is also giving a prize to People's Voice Winner that will go to the song that will receive the highest number of online votes.

With this, OH! Caraga is asking their fellow Filipinos, to bring Bisaya music to the world.

Steps:

• Cast your votes on songwritingcompetition.com/peoplesvoice

• Click on WORLD MUSIC, and vote for IPANUMPA KO.

• Reminder: Voters are allowed to vote once a day.

• The deadline for voting is until April 8, 1:59 PM PH time.

Oh! Caraga hopes Filipinos will make it a daily habit to vote for their song.

Message to aspiring Bisaya musicians

The band encouraged aspiring music artists not to be afraid to write Bisaya songs. “Instead, be proud, as the language offers a lot to music,” Oh! Caraga said.

"Work the hardest and show your true identity through your music and the world will listen to you. Do not be afraid of failures kay sa Bisaya pa, ‘Padayon lang’,” said Adam.