Ryan Cayabyab begs for more support for concerts of Filipino artists.
Renowned composer and musician Ryan Cayabyab couldn’t help but speak up about the challenges faced by the local music industry, particularly regarding the issue of competition against foreign acts who come to the Philippines to do concerts. The “Maestro,” who is collaborating with Piolo Pascual for a concert this February 14 at the PICC Plenary Hall, was very much concerned that Filipino audiences would rather spend big amounts of money to watch foreign artists like Usher, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga rather than seeing local talents. “Ang hirap kasi ngayon ang dami naming magpapalabas. Okay lang sana kung lahat kami Pilipino, ang dating nun we’re celebrating Filipino music. Pero kung ang kalaban na namin e puro banyaga, aba, ubos na ‘yung tiket nila, kami nagbebenta pa lang. Tulungan niyo naman kami.”
Ryan said there is no doubt that when it comes to the quality of work, local artists are just as good as the foreign acts. But the biggest problem that the Pinoy music industry is facing is age-old colonial mentality. “Kung sa pagalingan at pagandahan ng produkto, masasabi kong pare-pareho lang naman kami ng mga banyagang nagtatrabaho lang. Ang meron kami e sariling Pilipinong product, ‘yung kanila banyaga. Hangga’t hindi natatanggal ang ating colonial mentality hindi tayo makakalaban sa mga banyaga. Bibili ako ng tiket sa Janet Jackson concert kasi iniisip ko iba, gawa kasi sa ibang bansa. ‘Yan ang pagiisip ng karamihan.”
Having been in the industry for years, Ryan knows that making music is not just purely art, but also a business. As much as the industry is willing to ride on the advancement of technology particularly YouTube and music downloading, record labels still need to ensure the revenue. “I believe we all owe the Filipino music industry lalo na ngayong mahirap nang magbenta, because of piracy. Mahirap naman kung lahat na lang e libre. E ‘di lahat kami wala nang trabaho. Humihingi kami ng konting tulong. Marami pa namang nagpapawis para mai-present talaga ang mga local performers. Hindi lang itong concert namin ang sana tulungan niyo kung hindi lahat ng local performers.”