It’s officially BillboardPH’s #TimelessThursdays and today we are going to revisit the early 2000’s when most of the kids in our generation were subjected to infectious novelty songs that lingered in our heads for a while.
Remember summer breaks? Those days when you were stuck at home and all you had to do was to sit back and watch noontime shows with either your grandma and/or your household helpers? Or sometimes, you just happen to be puzzled because all your classmates were singing this highly addictive song and you eventually find yourself unwillingly submitting to its full musical power. It was quite an experience, although sometimes shameful to admit.
We were all too familiar with those novelty songs that you kept hearing on the radio, on your bus going to school, when you watch noontime shows, and every single Christmas party with your dancing titos and titas. Those songs were “viral” before “viral” even became a thing. In this #TimelessThursdays feature, we’re going to break down five of the most notable ones:
#1. Itaktak Mo by Joey De Leon
Released in 2007, ‘Itaktak Mo’ was one of the biggest hits released by one of the longest running noontime shows, Eat Bulaga. Composed by Joey De Leon and performed by him together with the EB Babes (Eat Bulaga babes), the song went massive and was even used as a campaign jingle in the 2007 elections. In 2014, child-actress Ryzza Mae Dizon also performed her own version of the song.
#2. Pamela One by Vhong Navarro
During those days, creatively counting from at least one to four was made much easier by actor and dancer Vhong Navarro thanks to this widely acclaimed novelty song. ‘Pamela One’ was released in 2004, composed by Christian Martinez and performed by Vhong Navarro. The song is based on a popular children’s game of the same name. The song was premiered in the noontime show MTB (Magandang Tanghali Bayan).
#3. Otso-Otso by Bayani Agbayani
Reaching the masses around the same time as Vhong Navarro’s ‘Pamela One’ hit, Otso-Otso was written by veteran novelty song composer Lito Camo and made famous by comedian Bayani Agbayani. In 2004, a movie produced by Star Cinema starring Agbayani and Navarro called ‘Otso-Otso Pamela-Mela-Wan’ paved the way for both of the songs’ success.
The song was also featured in the noontime show MTB. Just like ‘Pamela One’, ‘Otso-Otso’ was also based on a dance move popularized among children where they would bend their bodies with their hands on their knees and at least attempt to move their torso up and down, therefore creating sort of a figure ‘8’ motion. (It’s actually pretty hard.)
#4. Spaghetti Song by SexBomb Girls
This song made both children and adults break their bones trying to loosen their bodies to dance along with it. In the early 2000s, the all-female group Sexbomb Girls were selling albums like pandesal. One famous novelty song after the other, they became one of the most sought after performers by the masses. One of their most influential songs was ‘Spaghetti Song’, another viral masterpiece by composer Lito Camo. The song also features a rap part by Joey De Leon.
This song also became one of Eat Bulaga’s mainstays for a while. Who wouldn’t go crazy over the “ascending-descending” tone of the chorus?
#5. Wowowee Theme Song by Willie Revillame
It’s this song that made the whole Philippines and even some countries around the world sing along with bliss. In 2005, noontime show Wowowee was first aired and quickly became a noontime favorite by the masses. The opening song, written by Lito Camo and performed by Willie Revillame, opened with the words:
“Sa Luzon, sa Visayas, at sa Mindanao/Saan man sulok ng mundo/Makakasama nyo/ Magbibigay saya sa bawat isa/At maghahatid ng kakaibang ligaya“
And the show sure did, catering not just to the Philippines nationwide but to OFWs as well, become one of the top shows of the decade. This song became its anthem.
“Pagka’t panalo ka sa Wowowee“
Eventually the show had to be discontinued in 2010, but the song remained as one of those ditties that gave much joy to Filipinos.
Silly as it may seem, these novelty songs that were made popular by noontime shows became part of the Filipino culture and somehow shaped its entertainment aspect. It’s probably because it’s in our culture to embrace humor. After all, this country is considered to be one of the happiest nations in the world.
Go on a trip through the music of the decades at the PLAYSOUND: The BillboardPH Music Trip exhibit in Ayala Malls. See you on the following dates!