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Listen up, Bisdak!

Visayan language show hits the airwaves on CKJS

   Lendyll Soriano
Lendyll Soriano, host of Bisaya ni Bay with Lucille Nolasco, host of  of Afternoon Pasada on Radio 810 CKJS in Winnipeg

by Lucille Nolasco

Do you know the Visayan word for “pen?” How about for “paper?” Me neither.

But we can learn them together through Bisaya ni Bay, CKJS Radio’s newest program hitting the airwaves on March 3, at 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Bisaya ni Bay is the brainchild of CKJS production guy, Lendyll Soriano, whose family hails from Cebu in the Philippines. Through the program, Lendyll wants to showcase the current VisPop (Visayan Pop) or Bisayan music along with Bisaya community news in Winnipeg, throwing some Bisaya features and jokes into the mix for an interesting listen. Bisaya ni Bay is believed to be the first and only non-Tagalog content show in Canada.

“I discovered VisPop a year ago just browsing around Facebook, and one song caught my attention,” Lendyll said. “It’s called HAHAHasula, by Kurt Fick. ‘Hasula’ in Bisaya loosely means ‘Hay, nako,’ in Tagalog. It’s a kind of a word play on laughing. Combined together, it means “Haha Hay nako.” It’s about a man falling in love with his girl’s best friend, but she is happy with another man. So he just tries to laugh off the situation.”

Before modern VisPop, only a few traditional Visayan songs were familiar to people outside the region. Schoolchildren, especially in public schools, learned to sing Visayan folk songs like Dandansoy and Waray Waray. I still remember a few lines of the former, and liked the spunky beat of the latter. Even the popular Christmas song, Ang Pasko ay Sumapit, which was translated to Tagalog by famed composer Levi Celerio, was originally a Cebuano song entitled Kasadya Ning Taknaa popularized by Ruben Tagalog.

In 1977, Yoyoy Villame blazed into the music scene with Mag-exercise Tayo, which was adopted by government agencies and public schools as the official music for their morning exercise after the flag ceremony. He then penned some fun novelty songs, wherein Butsekik is the most popular. Villame is dubbed the father of Philippine novelty songs. Max Surban is another notable Visayan singer known for novelty songs as well as romantic ballads. He was given the moniker King of Visayan Song.

In the 1990s, Joey Ayala and Bayang Barrios became known for branching a musical sub-genre called Neotradional, which involved traditional Filipino instruments with modern rhythm and melody.

Now comes VisPop.

“Bisaya songs were mostly known as joke songs before, but the current VisPop or Bisaya music offers the best of both worlds,” said Lendyll. “It has a joke side to it but with a message such as heartbreak, trying to court somebody, real-life experiences you can relate to. VisPop music is a mix of melodic and creative song writing.”

Lendyll recently met with Jed Bantug, a music producer from Cebu. The two instantly hit it off and will be collaborating on music for the show. “He is one of the best producers in the Philippines. He moved to Winnipeg just last October, 2016. He is mostly an arranger and composer of VisPop, and he will help me find content for the show.”

Visayan music, news, features, jokes, you name it, Bisaya ni Bay promises to deliver, beginning March 3rd. Birthday greetings and community announcements are also welcome, said Lendyll. Just connect with him through Facebook or e-mail bisayanibay1@gmail.com

“Enjoy the journey with me. Thank you mga Bisdak (Bisayang Dako) Laking Bisaya!”

Bisaya ni Bay will be heard every Friday at 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. right after Afternoon Pasada, on CKJS Radio 810 AM and online at ckjs.com.

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