Bahaghari: Lea Salonga Sings Traditional Songs of the Philippines

Ages: 12 and upProducer: GLP Music


Lea Salonga, recognized and adored voice of Disney Princesses Jasmine and Mulan, presents a collection of 15 traditional songs from the Philippines, representing many of the islands, regions, and cultures. Bahaghari (the Tagalog word for rainbow) features six languages of the Philippines: Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Bisaya, Ilonggo, and Tagalog. Salonga gifts the 15 traditional songs with her voice, exquisitely carrying the modern, mostly piano-based arrangements. The CD booklet includes fascinating cultural notes, and the original lyrics with English translations.

The majority of the songs are innocent observations and celebrations of the joys of nature, such as “Sitsiritsit Alibangbang,” an animal song; “Sampaguita,” a song about the national flower Jasmine, and the rice planting song “Magtanim ay di Biro.” “Pobreng Alindahaw” tells of a dragonfly who yearns for flowers, while “Paruparong Bukid” uses the traditional image of a butterfly as metaphor for a well-dressed woman. “Tinikling,” the name of the White Heron once plentiful in the rice-lands and marshes of the Philippines is also the name of a folk dance that imitates the prancing movements of the bird as it feeds. Salonga and her arrangers took “Bahay Kubo,” one of the region’s most popular folksongs, into a lullaby appreciation of native plants and vegetables that help make and nourish home and family. The album closes with the sultry “Waray Waray,” (once covered by the legendary Eartha Kitt), extolls the fierceness and strengths of the Waray women.

Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

Available here