Pure artistry. That's how I describe the performance of Freddie Aguilar last night at the Ka Freddie bar and restaurant in Malate, Manila.
Aguilar was in his element last night when I visited the place along with my wife and 3-year old kid. Yah, I know--I'm with a kid in a bar. Nothing dangerous about it. The bar is completely safe and for general patronage. No wise-guy jokes or toilet humor here. All fun.
Aguilar performed with his Watawat band. The new Watawat band is composed of his youngest son whose artistry with the electric guitar is beyond words and several others. His son really has this great talent of creating fantastic melodies from his electric guitar.
The legendary folk rock singer sang most of his hits, including one new song which he composed and is slated to be released very soon, probably timed for the elections because the topic is simply about that.
He sang two (2) English songs which enlivened the crowd but what really made the day of everyone, definitely most of the foreign crowd (most of those who were there were Americans, Japanese, Koreans and several Irishmen and Black Americans) were his Tagalog songs. Most of those who were there probably did not know what he's singing about, but you can tell that they really enjoyed it because of the perfect and beautiful melodies coming from Aguilar's guitar. Those melodies alone are enough. Truly world-class.
I can feel that Aguilar is truly a gifted musician, one of his kind and one of the best. In the 1980s, Billboard said his "Anak", the one song that cemented his talent unto the world stage, is the number 2 hit in the 1980s--worldwide. Those who lived during that generation probably knows him since his song was everywhere.
I remember when I was getting my massage in Indonesia. Inside the cubicle, they were playing "Anak", Freddie Aguilar's songs--and in Tagalog. In Japan, which I visited several years ago, I went to a bar where they were playing most of his songs.
What's good about Aguilar is, his songs touch the heart. Yes, they are very meaningful and emotional. It talks about the human condition, specifically, those of the Filipino.
If you have time, visit Ka Freddie's bar and restaurant. Freddie performs there every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Bring your kids. Bring your loved ones, and enjoy listening to world-class music. Nice.