2008 Welcomes 1622: Launching Banton Through Music

By N.F.Magno



The launching of 1622 - Unang Usbor last May 6, 2008 in Banton was an unveiling of fresh Bantoanon musical talent and a reawakening of Bantoanon consciousness of its culture and history.


In early 2008, Abner Faminiano (ASCCA President) and Ish Fabicon sat down with Jake Faigao (1622 band leader) and discussed that it was high time for Banton to have its own live musical band. Jake Faigao's potential was discovered during his performance in an Ugat-Faigao event in 2006. On this excellent suggestion, ASCCA acquired new musical instruments for the band from the Ugat-Faigao in the USA. Soon after, the band was formed and began to rehearse their repertoire for the night of their launch.


The band members are: Jake Faigao (lead guitar, lead and backup male vocals), Bong Faigao (bass guitar, lead and backup male vocals), Cecille Fetalvero (lead female vocals), Tupi Fedelin (rhythm guitar, keyboard and male vocals), Archie Faigao (drums), and Andres Fababeir, Jr. (rhythm guitar understudy and sound technician).


They named their musical band after the founding date of Banton pueblo. The inspiration is both historical and cultural as 1622 features contemporary interpretations of traditional Asi songs as well as current original Asi compositions. The band also plays popular English songs and Asi adaptations of both English and Tagalog songs. The band aims to encourage the flourishing of the Asi language and Bantoanon artistic expression through music by playing mostly Asi songs and adaptations.


Among the songs presented during their launch were the following popular Asi tunes: Tamboy Tamboy Agong, Pamintana, Usang Pananamgo, Ako'y Usang Pispis (by Julian Faderon), Bantoon, Banwang Pinalangga (by Filamer Fegalan), and Ciribiribin (translated by Ildefonso Flor Musico). They also rendered Sinakugan, their adaptation of the English song Never on a Sunday (which itself is an adaptation from the original Greek song by Manos Hadjidakis) and Pagbalik their adaptation of Pagbabalik, the song by Lolita Carbon and Pendong Aban, Jr. popularly known as the folk music band, Asin.


1622 also performed some of their original compositions that night. Unang Buscar (by J. Faigao) is a somber song about unrequited love. In contrast to this is Kuto't Baylehan (by Elias Fadullo), an upbeat song inspired by the baylehan, of one of Romblon's much loved social activities. My instant favorite, Martir (by J. Faigao), a slice of it is featured here – recorded one lazy afternoon in one of the older houses in the poblacion, a raw and spontaneous unplugged version.


With the success of their launch, 1622 has been invited to play in barangay events in both Banton and Corcuera. Their latest performance was on May 23 at the pataktak it subok of Engineer Pat Fetizanan's newly opened Pudo's Resort in Barangay Mainit, Banton. Meanwhile, the band continues to work on fresh compositions and new adaptations of English songs.


You can play sample of the song Martir.


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