The bathroom may be an interesting spot to compose a tune. More so, for a piece that would become instant classic.
But that exactly what happened when Moy Ortiz, the de facto leader of iconic vocal group The CompanY, came up with the tune to “Pagdating Ng Panahon.” It is a song that transformed Aiza Seguerra from that amiable Eat Bulaga kid into a loved, respected voice on the local music scene. Arguably, the track, with lyrics penned by Edith Gallardo, is the biggest to date for any OPM released in this young 21st century.
“Yes that was true. I wrote it inside the bathroom in my parents’ home in Merville, Paraaque. It took me 20 minutes to do it,” recalled Moy when asked if this apparently intriguing detail about the song actually happened.
Last Monday, Moy and Aiza were in the same room, not a bathroom, as they were promoting their upcoming two-night twinbill Valentine show set at the Music Museum on Feb. 13 and 14, called This Is Us. Of course, Moy will be with the rest of The CompanY, while Aiza is consciously nicknamed “Ice” for the first time in a concert poster. How will they treat “Pagdating” into the repertoire is anybody’s excitement.
The show, with Beth Martin as musical director, likewise promises innovatively arranged Stevie Wonder, Bread, and Carpenters classics, along with Ice’s serenading versions of The CompanY’s own dosage of hits.
Both acts could clearly spend an hour happily talking about “Pagdating Ng Panahon.” Moy remembered receiving the lyrics through fax; he was away from any instrument while inside that bathroom; it was majority’s nod that more than ten recorded renditions of the song did not come close to the beauty of Ice’s original take. And there was no regret that The CompanY did not record and release it first. As Moy declared, “His (referring to Ice) recording is a perfect marriage of voice and composition.”
The seasoned songwriter-performer tried to put sense as to why a love song written near a toilet bowl would end up flushing out any remaining doubt as for his talent to come up with a hit song. He shared, “I remember I was stuck in Cubao with friends and discussing about the next big OPM hit. And then I realized ako na pala ang taya. That song was like a download from God.”
Proudly into classic acts, Moy thought that his liking for Bread’s songwriting style prompted the mood of “Pagdating’s” tune. Oddly enough, he wanted it done in a faster tempo. But a record label’s decision ensured that the song sounded like a pure, caressing ballad. It worked.
The hitmaker added, “Singing is telling stories with honesty and harmony. Not that I am against belting, but authenticity can be sung without having to belt.”
That was what Ice did for “Pagdating Ng Panahon.”
(Editor’s note: Yugel Losorata is a seasoned figure in the Philippine music press, having written articles about music and entertainment for various dailies, magazines, and online media portals. He is a professional songwriter and bass player. A recording artist since 2005, he is currently a band member of The Pub Forties. This is his column’s first entry.)