In an age where a number of Filipino women can be seen posting their selves in bikini, short shorts, or in all-too-revealing outfits without a care in the world, the release of a track titled “María Clara” may be seen as plainly outdated and corny.
Yet in the care of Abby Asistio whose musicality is positively pushed forth by her brave image as alopecia awareness advocate, the piece becomes a sensible counterflow to what is current.
“I want women to embrace who they are, know their worth, have standards, and know what they deserve,” expressed Abby whose self-titled debut album came out in 2015.
She released two singles in 2014 and another two in 2017. This “María Clara” song, released on Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer just last Oct. 30, is somewhat of a comeback the fact she’s giving her sound a new vibe: modern kundiman.
The song’s fusion of old and new, its official music video featuring Abby donning María Clara dress as elegantly depicted in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tángere, and straight-to-the-point lyrical pull climaxing with the bull’s eye line “Di ako panandalian lang” give it the teeth-marked bite that would have otherwise been lousy or too-cute in the hands of someone who cannot breathe the essence of women empowerment as Abby does.
As she strongly noted, with obviously a little swipe at women no longer imbibing the apparent classic Maria Clara persona, “No one’s talking about choosing the right one anymore or saving yourself for what you are looking for. You’re too choosy which picture to post on Instagram yet you’re not picky with your lovelife?!”
The “Maria Clara” music video is directed by Gorio Vicuna and involved in carefully choreographed dance sequences members of the award-winning Philippine All-Stars.
Abby’s previous singles were “Darating Ka Rin,” “If You Don’t Want To Fall,” “When I’m With You,” and “Beautiful,” wherein the music video had her appear without wearing a wig or artificial hairpiece. She once said she purposely did that to urge people to be open to embracing their uniqueness.
The singer-songwriter wrote the newly out piece late last year and feels that the perfect timing to release the track is now as this decade where Filipino girls have become most liberated, as reflected clearest in the eyes of netizens, nears its end.
Emphasizing her advice to women whose values may be different with hers, she said, “You deserve love and respect so please act the way you want to be treated.”
Simply put, one can argue that there’s nothing wrong with flaunting shapely curves and flawless skins. However, the manner by which it is done, and in some cases, the mere point of doing it, must likely be among our national hero’s concerns had he been living today.
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