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Check out these OPM artists who put Cebuano into the mainstream

Check out these OPM artists who put Cebuano into the mainstream

I love listening to Kpop and different western artists as it helps me to cope with boredom. But, there’s something incredibly moving whenever I listen to OPM. However, despite the many languages spoken in the Philippines, OPM songs are usually in Filipino. Despite that, there are OPM artists who want to change the course of mainstream using Cebuano. They use a language they feel most comfortable with to help them write their songs the way they want to express them.

For your listening pleasure, check out these various OPM artists who put Cebuano to their music:


Karen Ann “Karencitta” Cabrera also known as Karedad is an award-winning recording artist and an actress. With the Sinulog Electronic-Dance-Pop hit song Cebuana in November 2017, she established her track record as a hitmaker. On Spotify, it was ranked as the #1 most popular song, and the music video had over one million views in a single day. Additionally, the song’s dance covers were posted by netizens and dubbed #CebuanaDanceChallenge.

Photo Credits: Karencitta

Similarly, Karencitta explained that she composed Cebuana specifically for the Sinulog Music Festival with the intention of having it become the official chant for the festival. A few weeks later, Cebu’s Sinulog Festival adopted the song as its theme. Since then, she has proudly raised the Filipino flag on the global stage by fusing themes from Sinulog into her songs. Her songwriting and performing endeavors are just two examples of her outstanding works to date. Without a question, Karencitta possesses great talent as a songwriter and performer.

Ferdinand Aragon

Ferdinand Aragon is an indie folk singer-songwriter from Cebu City. He enjoys participating in songwriting contests, and in the 2018 Philpop competition, he won first runner-up with his song Di Ko Man. He won first place for the song Matag Paraiso in 2019 as well.

Photo Credits: Ferdinand Aragon

Meanwhile, the majority of his tracks are love songs, such as his hit song Dinamalayan, which has gained over a million Spotify streams. His voice gives a touching feel and adds a layer of emotion to his songs. It is evident in his most recent single Disinasadya, a pop rock song about the struggles of having a crush on someone.

Manduae Nights

Karl Lucente (guitar, vocals) and Gino Rosales (synthesizers, vocals) are a duo that is about to make a name for itself and set a new direction for the music scene in Cebu. These Cebuano OPM artists succeeded in introducing the Cebuano language to the realm of synth/experimental pop music. From a young songwriting collaboration between two like-minded individuals, their duo has grown into one of Cebu’s most popular music scenes.

Photo Credits: Mandaue Nights

Furthermore, both 80s synth pop and Filipino alternative rock greatly influenced the duo’s own brand of music. They worked on a song called Mandaue Nights in 2019 with singer-songwriter and actor James Reid. The song is about a feeling you can’t share with someone. Soon after, the group hit the stage in Manila for a number of performances.

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Kurt Fick

Another Cebuano OPM artist, Kurt Fick performed the popular songs Puhon and Hahahahasula. Along with being a recording artist, he also works as Creative Director of Fatboys Production, a multimedia production company that created some of Vispop’s most recognizable music videos. Also well-known for his photography talents in Cebu City, he proves that he’s a talented and hardworking artist.

Photo Credits: Kurt Fick

Moreover, his most recent song, DI NA, is a robust mashup of current funk, Japanese city music, and synthpop from the 1980s. It compares the struggle with an almost uncontrollable obsession to being trapped in a toxic relationship. In fact, he produced, directed, and edited the DI NA music video, which is available on YouTube.

True, the majority of popular music in the country is written in Filipino. To show that other regional languages besides Filipino could also be popular, these Cebuano OPM artists are breaking into the country’s music industry. As music-loving Filipinos, I think we should give ourselves the opportunity to listen to diverse artists from different regions of the Philippines. Additionally, this will preserve and promote the wide range of languages spoken in the country. Like what they said, “Mahalin ang saraling atin.”

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