The Philippines has a rich culture, and from a land where singing is second nature to most of it’s inhabitants, it’s truly delightful to see other countries embracing some of our very own Filipino folk songs like the well-rendered “Rosas Pandan” which was originally sung by the lovely Pilita Corrales; a Filipina pop singer-songwriter who is dubbed as “Asia’s Queen of Songs”.
Rosas Pandan is a Cebuano folk song composed by Minggoy Lopez; with Levi Celerio as lyricist in 1973. A song of joy and love, it tells about a pretty mountain maid who loves to dance the balitaw. The vibrant melody and intricate harmonies lend to a joyous celebration of music which transcend differences in language; such that the song also captured the taste of many nations and led them into choral renditions of our very own Rosas Pandan.
A very popular version was arranged by Mr. George G. Hernandez; the founder, artistic director and conductor of the Saringhimig Singers in the San Francisco bay area. Under his spirited leadership, his choir has won top prizes and prestigious awards at numerous International competitions; aligning with his vision to promote unity and understanding among people through the beauty of music.
The choral version of Rosas Pandan as arranged by Mr. Hernandez is probably the most sung Philippine Folk Song by other nations. The Visayan folkloric song had been covered by Koreans, Americans, Russians, Austrians, Canadians, Brazilians, and Chinese; to name a few.
There’s an English rendition by Constancio S Asumen Jr. which translates the song’s meaning for better understanding of the Philippine folk song. The lyrics goes:
The Roses Metaphor
A woman much mimics roses
She wafts her fragrance, with blooming blushes
While she covets the sun’s caresses
The more compelling, her tan seduces
And all the smiling buds’ seduction
Attracts the thirsty honey bees attention
Your sweetheart with seductive notion
With charm sprays the rose buds’ potion
Midstorm lightning and thunder may rant
Roses sustain their bearing
They bloom most freshly verdant
When drinking true love’s caring
Left molested in a hurricane
Rose of love ill-begotten
By good fortune, forsaken
Fall wilted and forgotten
Such is the, maid forlorn
By her one true love, forsworn
Let us hear various renditions of our famous folk song.
Watch Korean Hanwoori Choir’s a capella version of Rosas Pandan:
Watch ‘Rosas Pandan’ performed by University of North Texas College of Music:
Watch Moscow Boys’ Choir DEBUT:
Watch Austrian chorale group with their rendition:
Watch the version of American choir MMEA Central District:
Watch British Columbia’s UBC Singers from Vancouver:
Watch Associação Canto Coral Porto Alegre of Brasil:
Watch the Chinese choir singing the cebuano song:
Watch The Philippine Madrigal Singers version:
And , of course, the original version by Philippines’own Pilita Corrales: