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Monday, December 4, 2023

Trusty trustee at your service

It is fulfilling to learn from the masters when attending a songwriting camp. This I experienced when the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP) staged its own for the first time some years back. 

Such a privilege is equal to the value of meeting fellow artists I previously didn’t know and who eventually became blessings to my life one way or another.

Jake Lanting, whom I became friends with after we both ended up under camp mentor Ebe Dancel, fitted the bill. He’s a guy you’d want to interact with once you go beyond just meeting some hitmakers and having selfies with them. He enjoys the company of other songwriters, willingly learns from them regardless of whether they have hits or have yet to score one, and sincerely extends help despite dealing with personal challenges himself.   

Thus, when Jake became a member of FILSCAP’s Board of Trustees, it felt like someone you can identify yourself with – a down-to-earth soul with praiseworthy talent and an inspiring story to tell – had been given an extra voice to speak. The seat he won via election among members reflected his amiable character.

Mr. Lanting expresses himself directly to the point. So when asked who he thinks should best join FILSCAP, he singled out the “legit songwriters na may mga puso, talent, at  passion sa songs.” He is pertaining to those seriously writing, recording, and determinedly doing everything to get their songs on radio, social media, and public places. That’s saying that FILSCAP members are for people who have embraced songwriting as a calling from the time they discovered their craft, which also means it won’t hurt if you help others get their break, too.

Jake’s story is another proof that being at the right place and meeting the right person can lead you somewhere. He was at a party for Ricky Lee, the scriptwriter who had now become a National Artist, when he met Bagets director Maryo J. de los Reyes. They chatted and he gave him a copy of his album. After two weeks, the decorated director called and expressed he wanted his music for some GMA-7 teleserye.

Direk Maryo’s 2014 soap Niño made use of Jake’s composition “Liyab” as interpreted by Aicelle Santos.

Twenty years ago, when he joined the Metropop Song Festival, his composition “Siguro Nga” made it to the Qualifying Top 100 Stage, while another song he penned, “Lala,” got past the Preliminary Stage.   

He shared, “I’ve always dreamt of becoming a songwriter. So one day I joined Metropop and my first composition got into the Top 100 out of almost 5,000 entries. Doon nagsimula na mas ma-inspire ako na magsulat at gumawa pa ng kanta.”

His other songs “Nangangamoy” and “Bahala Na Si Batman” had been sung by Dong Abay and, respectively. 

Jake’s personal success is only part of his beautiful story. His willingness to reach out to address other people’s concerns makes him a tunesmith whose glory shines even brighter after enjoying a good streak of his own. 

As a FILSCAP trustee, he’d personally assist songwriters with concerns about copyright or something related to it. He’d volunteer to provide solutions for those who don’t have official receipts when claiming royalties. He likes addressing personal problems that songwriter-members face, always aiming to continuously help, which in his own words, “sa benefits ng bawat miyembro kagaya ng medical assistance, calamity assistance, loan, burial at iba pa.”

Jake wants to continue supporting his fellow musicians and composers, especially in helping the members of FILSCAP grow.

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