01: Vessel   02: Burning   03: Foil
Kanta Historya Sayaw Ngawa, Gerome Soriano
December 2023

Courtesy the author 

Go not gently into the night
Rage into the dying light
Sing a song for this terrible sight
Rage until the lightning strikes1

Nineteen eighty-six, a revolution's birth,
People's power rising, shaking the earth,
Nonviolence prevailing, proving its worth,
Dictatorship's end, a new dawn's rebirth.

Sunog lang ng sunog
Sunog lang ng sunog
Kapit ng mahigpit
Kapit ng mahigpit
Wag kang bumitaw2

In twenty twenty-two, oh what a sight,
BBM's victory, causing a fright,
For Filipinos who stand for what's right,
In a land where democracy's light.

With Duterte's support, it's a turbulent tide,
Accused of killings, where justice is denied,
The son of a dictator, by his side,
In the Philippines, where tears are not dried

Astro! Astro cigarettes!
Astro! Astro cigarettes!

Pagkatapos mong kumain, magyosi ka
Pagkatapos mong magyosi, matulog ka
Mahimbing ka, managinip ka
Mangarap ka, lumipad ka

Kagabi napanood ko sa tv ang aking paboritong artista, idol ko
Sabi niya sa'ken, "Bumilli ka ng Astro cigarettes"
Nagbebenta siya ng ilusyon, nagbebenta siya ng panaginip

Nagbebenta siya ng pangako, at pangakong lumulutang na parang usok na galing sa isang malupit at mabango at swabeng-swabe na umaapoy na astro cigarettes

Swabe at mabango
'Wag nang mag-atubili, bumili na kayo
Bumili na kayo
Ito na ang totoo, ito na ang totoo3

Taong 2022, sa ospital ako'y nakulong,
Aking amang may TB, pangalawang pagkakataon,
Paninigarilyo, pumapatay, pumipinsala ng tahanan,
Adiksyon mahirap talikuran, suporta'y aming layunin.

Sa aming makakaya, kami'y nag-aalaga,
Suporta't pagmamahal, walang sawang pinaaabot,
Ngunit diwa't pasya, bawat isa'y bihira,
Indibidwal na hangarin, sa hirap at ginhawa

Burning up fire
'Di na matatanggi
Got me like fire
Ikaw na ang aking hinahanap
(No matter)
Oh, I do (love you) baby I do (love you)
I need your, I need your love right now
Now now, now now, now now
'Di mapigil itong damdamin
Now now, now now
I need your, I need your love right now4

In twenty-twenty August thirteenth, fear did unfold,
In our apartment building, stories of fire were told,
The neighbor's shout, a tale that's been sold,
Barangay Chairman's kin, in flames, their world cold.

Fire trucks close, a rapid response to behold,
No injuries, a blessing, as the chaos took hold,
My mother's excuses, as the flames danced bold,
Our dog, a curious soul, in the commotion, he strolled.

Courtesy the author

思いがけず通り雨 やけに心が騒いだ
君の嘘が 僕にひとつばれた
Unexpected rain burns the heart into depression
I let one of your lies be leaked out

なんかため息 深くため息
わずかな落ち込み 人生を転がす
なんかダメかも 全部ダメかも
見えないハードル うまくは進めないね
A kind of sigh, revival sigh
Merely the punchline in which existence rolls
It might be kind of useless, Maybe completely useless
A life with unseen effects is not progressing...5

In twenty-twenty-three, Load na Dito's game,
A fire sculpture's fame, but it's not the same,
Claiming change and regeneration, their aim,
But are they hypocrites, in their artful frame?

They juxtapose and propose, but is it all a claim,
Showing connections past and present, but what's their name,
A legacy of activism, they loudly proclaim,
But are they true to their cause, or just in it for the fame?

kool yawa
see, see't koomen
yarg seiks, yarg seiks
cool mi faree
kool yawa-ee (noc-u-es..) see, see't koomen... a-ha a-ha a-ha...
kool yawa-ee (noc-u-es..) see, see't koomen... a-ha a-ha see't koomen ahh..6

Back in 2007, Nu107.5, the rock and roll scene,
Listeners tuned in, with dreams in between,
Requesting that song, on oppressive days we've seen,
Calling on the rain, a magic routine.

When the moon shines, from the heavens above
Life will be sweet, so green, and so young
Hemp will be ruling my brothers again
If u got the ganja, then pass it my friend

When the moon shines, from the heavens above
Ife will be sweet, so green, and so young
I open my mind as I lie on the floor
Join me as we both live in ecstasy7

In twenty-twenty-three, a bill's in the air,
Decriminalizing cannabis, a cause they dare,
Alvarez, he boldly declared and shared,
"The classification's absurd, let's change and repair."

Advocates believe it's time to be aware,
Justice system's burden, potential economic fare,
But opposition's strong, in the country's glare,
The cannabis debate, society's cross to bear.

A global trend, laws under a new glare,
Reevaluating, the world's becoming aware,
Cannabis' place, a societal affair,
A change in perspective, a reform in the air

The world is my expense
The cost of my desire
Jesus blessed me with its future
And I protect it with fire
So raise your fists and march around
Just don't take what you need
I'll jail and bury those committed
And smother the rest in greed
Crawl with me into tomorrow
Or I'll drag you to your grave
I'm deep inside your children
They'll betray you in my name

Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire
Hey, hey
Sleep now in the fire8

In twenty-nineteen, we can't ignore,
Oplan Tokhang's impact, a brutal score,
A term coined by Duterte, the truth we explore,
Extrajudicial killings, society's uproar.

Knock and plead, a mission they swore,
But it's become synonymous with something more,
Human rights in question, as the numbers soar,
Transparency needed, justice we implore.

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it9

Mount Pinatubo's shadow, a plan unfolds,
To cool the Earth's fever, a story untold,
Geoengineering's hope, as the tale's been sold,
Sulfate aerosols in skies, a remedy bold.

David Keith and Alan Robock, their vision takes hold,
A temporary fix, or so we've been told,
To battle warming's grip, as the planet unfolds,
But opposition and concerns, the future they hold.

Weather patterns disrupted, the story unfolds,
Ecological risks, a future foretold,
Ethical dilemmas, in the climate's stronghold,
Comprehensive strategies, the true path to uphold.

Light it up!
Light it up!
Light it up!
(Light it up, light it up)

Show them you're flame to the fire
It's written like your name on a flyer
They wanna tame your desire
But you light it up, now your aims getting higher
I dey wait for messiah
But until that day I'mma rise up high
I put my light in the air
I wanna see everywhere10

"Asia for Asians," the slogan's refrain,
In recent times, it's back again,
China's rise, its growing reign,
Stirring echoes of history's chain.

Desire for autonomy, independence's gain,
Yet Japan's past, it might contain,
China's ambitions, potential bane,
Geopolitical tensions, a regional strain.

Jose P. Laurel, Jorge B. Vargas, a historical plane,
Navigating Japanese occupation's terrain,
Cloaked in slogans, complex and arcane,
Scrutinizing intentions, in geopolitics' domain.

Courtesy of the author

She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy
Lonely like a highway
She's livin' in a world and it's on fire
Filled with catastrophe
But she knows she can fly away

Oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
She got both feet on the ground
And she's burnin' it down
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh
She got her head in the clouds
And she's not backin' down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walkin' on fire
This girl is on fire11

In twenty-eleven, a storm in the air,
CCP's choice, a decision to declare,
Religious symbols and phallic affair,
Freedom of expression, a country's affair.

Imelda's name, in the public glare,
The rush to build, a cost they can't repair,
Imeldification, a word they dare,
At the Filipino people's expense, unfair.

Gerome Soriano (b. 1990) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Manila, Philippines. His artistic practice encompasses a range of mediums, including video, photography, publications, painting, sculpture, and artistic organizing.

1. Rage by Chikoy Pura

2. Apoy by Greyhoundz

3. Astro Cigarettes by Radioactive Sago Project

4. Alab by SB19

5. Nanka Shiawase (What Happiness) Flame of Recca (OST)

6. Rain Song by Imago

7. Mottaka by Queso

8. Sleep now in the fire by Rage Against the Machine

9. We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel

10. Light it up by Major Lazer

11. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys