We witnessed a watershed week for empowering women in the Philippines. Thanks to athletes Hidilyn Diaz and Nesthy Petecio who personified their gender’s resiliency by shining bright in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Last July 26, Hidilyn won for our country a gold in the quadrennial global meet while Nesthy secured for herself a silver medal in the lady women’s boxing featherweight division to end the week.
At least in this archipelago today, to feel good about being a woman can’t be overstated.
Same is true in music circles where those who have chosen the path of releasing songs meant to empower the better species could only be feeling more driven given the atmosphere created by the triumphant turn of two Pinays with big hearts and indomitable spirits.
Social media darling Maris Racal is among those whom I recently encountered to mention that their latest or debut release is about carrying the torch of the so-called weaker sex. In a pretty twist of irony, Hidilyn made “herstory” by weightlifting while Nesthy outboxing an Italian obviously taller than her.
The said song is “Ate Sandali,” described as a power pop ditty that opens with the strong statement, “Awit para sa mga babaeng pabalik-balik sa mga lalaking mali.” The track’s arrangement is essentially a departure from her previous releases including her most streamed “Ikaw Lang Sapat Na” and her Ricovered version of her early hit “Abot Langit.”
Maris had met a bigtime working partner in Rico Blanco who shared, “After the first time we met and worked together on a song, Maris asked me my opinion of her songs. She literally got a guitar and sang me her songs on-the-spot, and I was surprised that there were a lot.”
One of local music scene’s most successful singer-songwriters further emphasized, “I wondered why she never had a proper music career. I was blown away at how she had an entire collection of songs she had written herself on both guitar and piano.”
Maris revealed that somewhere along the way she had been challenged to create something gearing towards a more pop vein. For her it made total sense to release such music now rather than do it when she’s older.
She expressed, perhaps sensing something, “Now is the perfect time to do it. It’s about empowering women and I literally wrote it during a time when both my sister and I were literally heartbroken. It’s definitely one of those songs that I hope can also spread the message to all women out there.”
“Ate Sandali,” produced by Blanco’s Balcony Entertainment, is also backed by Amplified Entertainment headed by another empowered woman in music scene expert Anne Poblador.
Maris is working on more songs for an upcoming album release.