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We Need To Talk About South Cotabato’s “Ilonggo Pop”

Music ⬝ Real Jhon Castillon

Curious as to what Ilonggo Pop is all about, and as ultimate fans of OPM or music in general, we, in the Middle Mag PH, checked the album on Spotify. And the next thing we knew, we were jamming to the whole album all the way through. Then play it all over again just because.

With the quality of music that Ilonggo Pop is putting out, it’s only right that we play these songs more frequently in our local radio stations. Or more so, stream them often on Spotify and any available streaming platforms.

Why are we not giving this the hype it truly deserves? We know that there are a lot of great songs out there but Ilonggo Pop just hits differently. And we’re not even exaggerating. 

Ilonggo Pop is heavily influenced by the passion and drive of the people behind Mindanao Pop. In an interview with SunStar Davao, XT on Sax — a musician based in Koronadal, South Cotabato and one of the founders of Ilonggo Pop — shared that he was inspired by the participants who write and sing their songs in Bisaya during the Mindanao leg of PhilPop Bootcamp, where he was one of the participants as well. When he was on his way home from the camp, fueled by the same drive and passion from the participants, he decided to contact his friends and form Ilonggo Pop. 

Fast forward to January this year, they launched the debut album of Ilonggo Pop which consists of 11 original Koronadal-Hiligaynon songs.

Little did we know, they also performed in Mindanao Pop (MinPop) Music Festival back in January at Damosa, Davao City which we failed to attend as stated in our previous article (we’re deeply sorry for missing this event y’all). We would have been there had we known about it.

Nevertheless, for once and for all, let’s listen to songs that are locally and proudly produced by our Mindanaoan musicians — songs that hit so close to home. OPM is more than just songs sung and produced predominantly in Tagalog or English. This genre has a lot to offer and that includes Ilonggo Pop. There’s no greater joy than knowing that there are a lot of great songs out there that only the likes of Ilonggo Pop can produce.

As of writing, the Ilonggo Pop debut album has  now amassed over 200,000 streams on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. They are also currently calling for entries as they will launch the sophomore album of Ilonggo Pop later this year. Not even a pandemic can stop our talented musicians to produce quality songs. 

Meanwhile, you can stream the debut Ilonggo Pop album here: