Monday, October 08, 2007

The e-mail quoted hereunder was written by singer/songwriter Lorie Ilustre of the band HOTDOG (of Manila fame). This was posted in the Yahoo Group of UP's Cineastes Studio where my brother is a former officer and member. I asked my brother to forward the email to me so i can discuss it in my different blogs.

I read the e-mail and was shocked by this expose. Big companies should be held responsible and liable for atrocious acts like this that tend to discourage filipino artists from pursuing their talents here rather than abroad.

I strongly condemn this act by this big corporation who prides itself, or at least tries to project itself as a bastion of fairness and morality. They ought to be ashamed of what they did.

Will we ever hear this corporation explain its actions? I doubt it. I do, however, encourage you to pass the email to everyone you know so that this deceitful act will not go unpunished.



Thirty-one years ago, I wrote my last commercial song.
May 24th, 1976 I composed, arranged and orchestrated the music entitled Panaginip. It was a big hit back then during my HOTDOG years. I remember it was such a big hit that the late Bobby Ledesma would sing it everyday at the end of the noontime show Student Canteen because it became his favorite.

During the 70's I was already disappointed with the way composers/songwriters were treated. Songwriters were just given loose change for their valuable compositions. They were not recognized nor given the proper credit, nor were even paid royalties for the sale of the records. Reports from record companies would always say that there was no sale. I remember buying a lot of records which I gave away, but figures would always be zero, not considering that my song was a hit and was selling well. And so I decided not to be a songwriter anymore and I became what I am now…..a musical arranger/orchestrator, musical director.

Thirty-one years ago, I decided not to sell outright nor assign the rights of my Panaginip. Music comes from the heart and soul. It is a part of you and the composition is too valuable to just be paid a very small amount (barya lang).

I didn't receive any single centavo from all those sales through the years. It was OK as long as I knew that I own my music.

I had the song copyrighted
February 21, 1977. Document is valid for the rest of my life and fifty years after my death.

Last year friends in the US have been calling me saying they saw and heard my song being aired over ASAP and other shows in ABS CBN including a teleserya (telenovela) via TFC (which is shown in the US via Direct TV or Cox Cable) and that there was a new album out called Hotsilog which was produced by ASAP.

My collecting agent, FILSCAP, didn't notice this because we found out that in the credits, my name was taken out and replaced. Not only did they infringe copyright laws…used my song without permission, they even had the nerve to change the composer's name. Maybe knowing that I'm in the
US, nobody would notice.

Filscap has been coordinating and negotiating with the producers and their lawyers for almost a year now, still nothing has come out of it. ABS CBN has a battery of lawyers and I think has been giving Filscap the run around.

Come to think of it…sino nga ba si LORRIE ILUSTRE….. who would even bother.

When you ride the jeep, bus or taxi, you pay right??? When you eat sa karinderia….same thing, you pay. But if you want to use somebody's composition, no no no…..people don't want to pay. Up to now it's still loose change….it's not a big sum of money…it's just giving respect to the songwriter/composer . If they had paid for the rights…the money that I'll get won't even be able to pay for one of my kid's semestral tuition fee or maybe pay for a round trip ticket for one to the
US so that I can be with my family.

Correct me if I'm wrong….give me a name who made millions or who made a living. as a composer/songwriter . (Balita ko lang may isang novelty songwriter na mayaman na daw dyan daming kotse etc…but tsismis yun). Most if not all are poor… pag naaapi ang mga tao…..with raised arms and clenched fists… sa kalye they sing BAYAN KO….hindi po si Fredie Aguilar ang lumikha nung musika nun kundi si ka Constancio de Guzman na nagkasakit at namatay rin na walang pera…Same with ka Levi Celerio…just one example is pag pasko kanta tayo ng kanta ng Ang Pasko ay Sumapit…sya ang sumulat ng letra nun…pero ano sya…nag mamakaawa at humihingi ng tulong para may maibayad sa hospital. Namatay rin ng wala. Kawawa naman. ! Ilan lang ito sa nakakarami. Ika nga ng kaibigan natin na composer na si George Canseco….composers never die,……they only decompose.

Pano kaya ang buhay natin sa araw araw kung wala tayong naririnig na musika. Ano ang pag aaliwan ng mga tao…..pano kayo mag karaoke…kung walang tugtog at awit…. Ano…tutula na lang kayo? Aanhin ang mga IPODS kung wala namang silbi!!! Pang japorms na lang.

Saan na tayo patutungo…after 31 years, I look back and the music industry in the
Philippines is still the same. Sana mali ako. Pano na yung mga bagong mga composers and songwriters…. who will protect them,…. Kung ako binabali wala (who has the legal rights and documents), ano pa kayong mga bagito sa industria. Maybe in the next century…baka sakaling may pagbabago.

Mahirap ang nasa ibang bansa…malayo sa pamilya puro tiis at hirap makapag padala lang ng pera sa Pinas. People think that because you are in the
USA or abroad , sarap ng buhay mo…hindi po…….mas mahirap po ang buhay dito.


Lorrie Buencamino Ilustre