Ethan Loukas, iSID, Andrea Badinas and Lapis are leading the charge to put Bisaya on the Pinoy pop mainstream.

Blacksheep Records Manila music artist and singer-songwriter Ethan Loukas has been keeping things steady since signing with the young music label last year.

With releases such as “Manghuhula” and the Janine Teñoso duet “Hanap-Hanap” (a cover of a Thyro Alfaro-written song), Ethan has kept sharp and stylistically flexible.

Even more so on his brand-new single titled “Sueño.”

Here, Ethan makes for a moody turn on this rising, mid-tempoed ballad. A Hiligaynon word (with roots in Castillan) Sueño means dream, illusion and even sleep. And rightly so as this beautiful and haunting song evoke all of those words and more.

There’s melancholy there too, but as Ethan implies on the song, one is never truly alone when somebody loves them deeply. 

A proud Ilonggo, Ethan has been slowly but surely building a solid following for himself. And with a song like this, it’s only a matter of time before Ethan brings Iloilo, and himself on the proverbial Pinoy pop map.

Andrea Badinas first big break into Pinoy pop was thru her impressive stint at television’s “The Voice Teens Philippines” back in 2017.

This time around, Andrea is making her debut as a Viva Records recording artist via the single “Ikaw Ang Sentro.”

This proud Cebuana wears her regional colors proudly on this mid-tempo ballad. Sung almost entirely in Bisaya, with strings and acoustic and electric guitars thrown in, this tune somewhat reminds of a Shawn Colvin tune (“Sunny Came Home”) but you know, Bisaya.

“Ikaw Ang Centro” is written by Badinas as an inspirational song dedicated to the one true center of her life. For all intents and purposes “Ikaw Ang Sentro” is a Visayan contemporary Christian song. But with the surging and moody minor key vibe that it has, this could very well be a pop-rock power ballad with Badinas as the potential Cebuana Kelly Clarkson-powerhouse-singer-type at the fore. 

Lapis, a rising alt-rock band from Mindanao are doing well for themselves as well.

Their 2020 single “Maling Tadhana” is enjoying a resurgence as it gets playlisted at some of Spotify’s more popular listings. And with good reason!

This quartet is a tight rock unit and we can hear it on their brand new single entitled “Bukas Makalawa.” By all intents and purposes, Lapis is the south’s own hugot band. As their profile description goes, Lapis is all about “eargasmic alternative sounds” and “their songs are honest, all-out expressions of everyday feelings of happiness, love, hate and sadness as captured in their songs.”

And our must-check-it-out-artist-of-the-week goes to wordplay specialist iSID. This singer-songwriter is based both in QC and Bataan but has  roots in the Visayas as well.

His song “Mr. Pag-Ibigo” is a lyrical and pop triumph for this talented singer-songwriter. Feel-good vibes abound on this song courtesy of those buoyant melodies and of course those crafty wordplay that iSID comes up with is what makes his tunes stand out.

On this one, it’s his nifty meld of the words pag-ibig (love) and bigo (failure) and the story that revolves around it is what makes this song interesting. Throw in some Bisaya lines in there (“sa pagibig wa pa gyud kadang”), coupled with iSID’s knack for the melodic and we guarantee that you would feel the urge to sing along with this one.

Source: Manila Bulletin (