AN indigenous artist from Bukidnon has made it to the top of the nationwide search of promising musicians.

Pio Pataganao, a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, was recently chosen as one of the up-and-coming musicians in a contest conducted by 7101 Music Nation, a group spearheaded by famed composer Ryan Cayabyab and other veterans in the Philippine music scene.

“My hard work has finally paid off,” Pataganao, who also goes by the name ‘Datu Alimuwan,’ told Mindanao Gold Star Daily over the weekend.

Pataganao, who made it along with 59 other young artists from all over the country, said he was confident that his craft-a mixture of Manobo music, folk, pop and rock-would stand out from among the more than 500 contenders.

“Awit Ni Apo,” a piece that Pataganao composed in 2000 and his second recorded song, was the piece that won him a much-coveted slot in said contest.

With just a koglong (a traditional Manobo musical instrument) and his bare voice, Patagao sang “Awit Ni Apo,” a prayer offering to the Almighty, in Tagalog, although most of his songs are written either in Bisayan or Manobo, with a few written in English.

Pataganao, who has performed in various gigs nationwide for free just to gain mileage, said the 7101 Music Nation search has given him the opportunity to expose his music to the Filipino masses.

“I want to represent Mindanao through my music,” he said, adding that it is also his goal to introduce the younger generation to indigenous music before it gets lost forever.

He believes that people will notice his distinctive musical style and he intends to capitalize on this.

“The music that we usually hear today is just the same, generic. If people will give my unique brand of music a listen, then I have achieved half of my objective,” he said.

Next month, Pataganao and the other chosen musicians will meet in Siliman University in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental for a four-day musical gathering where they will immerse themselves in workshops on songwriting, arranging, among others.

To date, Pataganao is on the process of putting to record his latest compositions in a recording studio owned by Ayala in Quezon city. He expects to release a full-length album later this year.

article by Jigger Jerusalem of Gold Star daily

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