Tag Archives: Filipino artists


PARI: “upholding world class Filipino talent”

The Philippine Association of the Record Industry, Inc. (PARI)

celebrated its 42nd Anniversary in 2014!

Music is everywhere! Whether you are walking down crowded streets, enjoying refrigerated air in plush malls, commuting in jeepneys, surfing through the internet, or tinkering with your cellphone, you can’t escape the sound of music.

Most people can claim having a soundtrack for their lives. This much appreciation for music has launched artists’ careers into the stratosphere and given birth to the music industry.

The Philippine recording industry, as in other countries, consists of producers of local records many of whom are also licensees of foreign labels and of the singers, composers, musicians, arrangers, managers, PR men, technicians, studios and duplicators.

Role of PARI

Record companies and record producers in the country banded together in 1972 to form an association (PARI) that would promote the interests and rights of those involved in the music industry.

This is understandable considering that the music industry has become a lucrative business. PARI sales reports reflect the following annual earnings:

2000 – P1,668,953,940.00;

2001 – P854,347,600.00 (Jan. to June only);

2002 – P881,413,000.00 (65% of market);

2003 – P610,865,800.00 (Jan. to June only);

Issues and Concerns

Changing times have brought about new developments. Mr. Danilo P. Olivares who headed PARI for over 20 years has given way to the new Executive Director Mr. Ronald Aniceto who took over the office in 2007, and with a new office address to boot.


The young and energetic music exec who resided in the USA for a time and worked in an information technology-related industry there counts Nina’s live album, the first Bamboo album, and Bob Aves’ Translating the Gongs as his favorite OPM albums.

When asked about his thoughts on Filipino Music, he stated that the current trends in buyer’s tastes require Filipino artists to release foreign-sounding music that is acceptable and sells well. This is reflected in the sales of albums that contain cover versions of foreign compositions, as well as ballads that are comparable to their English counterparts. He opines that there is really no distinctive pinoy sound in music except those that may fall within the ethno-pop genre often associated with artists such as Joey Ayala, Gary Granada, Grace Nono, Bayang Barrios, Cynthia Alexander, Pinikpikan, and the like. He refuses to categorize these artists under World Music, contending that they do not reflect the world in their music but elements that are uniquely Filipino, hence a better term for their genre would be ethno-pop.

In an exclusive interview in trendy Greenhills, Mr. Aniceto revealed that music piracy tended to increase at a rate of 10% every year but counts among his achievements the fact that it had been lowered to 5%.

The Philippine music industry claims that it was a P2 billion thriving industry before the vicious tentacles of music piracy choked it to near collapse starting year 2000. It is estimated that audio disc piracy is now a P1 Billion a year illegal business while the legitimate industry has dropped by 25% in year 2000. Wrestling 5% away from piracy means that PARI has helped increase the revenue of legit businesses to 5% within the last 3 years.

He further stressed that the fight against piracy is an inter-agency as well as a cross border effort and frowns upon the notion that patronizing pirated foreign CDs is OK. As such, PARI has been busy lending technical and logistics support to stakeholders in the fight against piracy, lobbying for the strengthening of intellectual property rights laws, e-commerce laws, and conducting raids in sidewalks, malls and illegal duplication plants.

Although in the provinces, conventional media that include cassettes and compact discs are still widely used, the advent of online digital music has given birth to new media that include optical media (audio-video storage, interactive music CDs that contain artist interviews, photo galleries, videos, audio CDs, links), broadband (online music programs akin to FM radio), and digital music downloads that has coughed up a number of controversial topics such as peer to peer file sharing.

www.fliptunes.net, a purely online local equivalent of the popular Apple iTunes site, is dedicated to tap Filipino record labels and artists coming from a broad range of music genre at P40.00 per song download and at P80.00 per video. Fliptunes users may either download an entire album or music singles from various OPM artists. “We exist not just for the business, but because of our strong belief in Filipino talent. This is the main reason why we actively promote OPM in Fliptunes,” a quote from Ms. Tin Loya, Fliptunes Project Manager.

Aside from dealing with the issues of piracy and new media, PARI is intent on restoring the credibility of its own Awit Awards, the annual awards for excellence in recorded music.

World Class Filipino Talent


Ms. Lea Salonga

Mr. Aniceto factually pointed out that Filipino talents who have been recognized abroad include Lea Salonga who has won awards in the USA and England, Christian Bautista whose records are selling in Asian countries, and bands like Rivermaya and Bamboo who have won and been recognized in MTV Asia video awards.

The following American artists are of Filipino descent:


apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas


Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls


Enrique Iglesias


Bruno Mars


Rachel Lampa


Jerome Fontamillas of Switchfoot (guy in the center of photo)


Original Pilipino Music (OPM) benchmarks

Source: The Making and Recording of Pilipino Music by Danny Yson

               Awit Awards Souvenir Program, June 1991

  • First recording of anything Filipino was done by France Desmore, a musicologist, in 1906 at Louisiana, USA. He recorded the sound of indigenous Filipino musical instruments. These recordings are kept in the library of the Smithsonian Institute.
  • First record company in the Philippines was Victor Records established in 1913.
  • First recording artists were Maria Carpena and Victorino Carrion who recorded songs mostly taken from sarzuelas.
  • First Filipino band to gain world acclaim was the PC Band formed in 1902 by Col. Walter Loving which won in the 1904 St. Louis Exposition in the USA. It was also the only foreign band allowed to accompany William Howard Taft during his inauguration as US President in 1909. The PC Band won the grand prize in the Panama Canal Exposition in San Francisco, California in 1915.
  • First Filipino international composer and interpreter was pianist Lou Borromeo whose jazz composition, My Beloved Philippines, was recognized in the US in 1921.
  • First Filipino singer to record abroad was Natividad Arellano whose songs Ang Dalagang Pilipina and Paalam sa Pagkadalaga were released in the USA and in Mexico by Columbia Recording Company in 1926.
  • First music station in the country was KZIB which was opened by Isaac Beck of Columbia Records and Columbia Broadcasting System in 1926.
  • The first Filipino record producer of Pilipino Music was Bernabe Solis who handled the production of Natividad Arellano’s recordings of Pilipino Music in the US in 1926.
  • First Filipino-owned recording company was the Philippines Recording System with labels Bataan and Molave which was put up by Cecil Lloyd, an enterprising singer and band leader, in April 1948.
  • The first English OPM hit ballad was In Despair composed by Salvador Asuncion and recorded by Johnny Astor for MICO Records which sold over 30,000 copies in 1948.
  • First cover versions of foreign songs were recorded by Bimbo Danao for Miltone Records in 1950.
  • First licensee of any foreign label was Miltone Records who acquired the rights of Mercury Records. Before that, all foreign albums were directly imported from abroad.
  • The first commercial recording studio in the country was set up by Villar Records in 1953. Before then, recording companies availed of the broadcast studios of Manila Broadcasting Company and the Far East Broadcasting Company for recording local music.
  • The longest reigning superstar is Nora Aunor who recorded over 35 long play (LP or full length) albums and almost 400 singles for Alpha Records.
  • The longest running TV musical variety show was also Nora Aunor’s Superstar which aired for two decades from the 70s to the 90s.
  • The most number of recording of Pilipino Music goes to Villar Records for having released over 500 LP albums and 3,000 singles of kundimans, balitaw, folk songs, danzas, haranas, novelties and pop music composed by Filipino composers.
  • The first recording industry association in the country was formed in the mid-60s. Called the Recording Industry Association of the Philippines (RIAP), it was composed of the so-called Big 4 namely: MARECO, owned by Manuel P. Villar; Super records (Simeon Cheng). HIDCOR (CIE) (Alfredo Lustre) and MICO (Contreras). Its first president was Manuel P. Villar of MARECO, who, with his effort to produce voluminous local recordings mostly traditional, had earned for him the title of Father of Philippine Recording. As early as then, there was record piracy which was perpetrated by some clandestine small-time Chinese producers.
  • The largest selling single and most recorded song in foreign language is Freddie Aguilar’s Anak which was first released by Vicor in 1978. It was recorded in Japanese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Taiwanese, English, Italian, Belgian and other languages.
  • The first Filipino artist to win in an international songfest was Lerma dela Cruz who at age 14 won in the Kimi Koso Singing Contest in Tokyo, Japan in 1978.
  • The first minus one released in the country was by OctoArts in 1980 upon the suggestion of Danny Yson..
  • The first multiplex in the country was released in 1981 by Grandmark Records, also a brainchild of Danny Yson.
  • The first Filipino artist on CD was Joey Albert whose album was released by OctoArts International in 1987.
  • The first Filipino artist to release a music video (MTV) was Viktoria (born Teresita Victoria Elizaga Agbayani on July 28, 1969 in Sual, Pangasinan). She started her singing career at age 17. While pursuing her singing career, she managed to finish a Mass communications degree at the University of the Philippines. She was tagged as the “MTV Queen” because she was the first to launch a music video in the MTV Channel. She is cousin of Filipino singer-comedian Bayani Agbayani.
  • The largest selling LP in cassette format goes to Jose Mari Chan’s Constant Change, first released in 1989, which sold over 400,000 copies.
  • First Filipino jazz exponents abroad were Federico Elizalde who was recognized in England and Ka Kiko who became famous in Japan.
  • Filipino artist who has recorded the most number of LP albums is Pilita Corales, with over 50 LP albums to date. She has recorded with almost all existing record companies in the country.
  • The most awarded music artist in foreign lands is Lea Salonga for her role as Kim in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon.


Suite 207 Greenhills Mansion
37 Annapolis St., Greenhills
San Juan, Metro Manila
Tele/Fax: +63(2) 725-0770
Tel: +63(2) 744-0337
Cell: +63(917) 850-5360
E-mail: writeus@pari.com.ph



Office Manager
E-mail: celycruz@pari.com.ph

Please REPORT any form of Music Piracy to reportMUSICPIRACY@pari.com.ph
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President ALVIN F. DE VERA
1st Vice President JESMON L. CHUA
2nd Vice President RENE A. SALTA
Treasurer JOHNNY K. SY
Board of Directors ALVIN F. DE VERA