My earliest recollections of how I began to appreciate and grow to love Brazilian music, particularly Samba and Bossa Nova, was in grade school. As young as eleven years old, the music I liked listening to were the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao and Astrud Gilberto, Roberto Manescal, Ellis Regina, Sergio Mendez and other Brazilian music icons not many people my age can appreciate. Perhaps, my influences can be traced back to when my dad used to play them at home and somehow such music was captured by my older siblings as well.
Today Brazilian music is redeeming itself, merging its iconic feel in the genre of hip-hop, pop music and techno. Musical personalities like George Michael teamed up with Astrud Gilberto with a new rendition of “Decifinado” and Sting had also a similar take when he sang Insensitez with the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was one of Jobim’s last few recordings before he passed away. Many other well known artists have done special projects of their own to revive the Brazilian music many people around the world has grown to love.
Brazilian culture appreciation in the Philippines has surely improved so much in the last 30 years. Today, it’s not only the music that people are trying to like, but the whole Brazilian culture that comes along with it. First, there was their most loved sport, soccer; then their dances like the Samba and Capoeira which a few gyms in the metro have adapted and taught these exotic dances merged with aerobic classes.
The Musica Brazileira Popular – MBP, a counterpart of OPM in the Philippines, has greatly improved as well. In the 70s and early 80s, there was only Bong Penara of the Batucada band and a few handful of Filipino Jazz artists who were brave enough to entice enthusiasts with their music. Now, we have several: the Aquarela Band, Aileen Sison, the Guarana and a few more emerging new talents, all playing Brazilian music in various pockets of music bars in the metro. And the most beautiful thing about this is many of us, Filipinos, are starting to like it, and we want more.
For the past 6 years, Brasilipinas has successfully banded together to promote the fusion between Filipino and Brazilian culture. It was able to truly surprise Manila and created a mark in the 2,000+ guests who came to the event last March 4, 2011 entitled “Rio de Manila” by Brasilipinas.
This coming February 17, 2012, as the whole world once again celebrates the tradition of Brazilian Carnaval, EBC Philippines, The Embassy of Brazil Manila, Power Plant Mall and Havaianas will stage “Axé” of the Carnaval in Manila at The Rockwell tent starting at 8:00pm.
Get ready to enjoy parades, samba, percussion, capoeira, poi, Brazilian reggae and bossa electronica ensembles brought in by a powerful mishmash of artists and sponsors composed of Brigada, Escola de Samba, Nyko Maca, Julien Drolon, Eileen Sison e Guarana, Planet Zips and EBC Philippines with guest Capoeira teachers from Brazil and Asia bringing their culture to Philippine shores.
Chef Carla Abaya will be serving famous Brazilian dishes while SoFA presents a Brazilian inspired fashion show. Portuguese beers will also be available at the Super Bock bar. Samba and capoeira workshops will be offered from February 15-16 with a culmination to the much-awaited Capoeira Batizado (graduation) Ceremony happening on February 18. All these are to be held at The Rockwell Tent.
Let us not forget about the FREE Caipirinha inspired drinks served from the Havaianas Beach Bar!!!! And the best part of it all is --- the entrance is for FREE!!!! This is definitely all about “Axé” in Carnaval.
With special participation of Collezione C2, celebrated designer Rhett Eala likewise came out with special designs for his Brasilipinas Limited Edition shirts to be sold exclusively at their Power Plant Mall branch.
This event, a fusion of Brazilian and Filipino culture, is just the first salvo of many great things to come. In many occasions, we Filipinos are known to adapt the nice things we like to learn from foreign influences. For instance, using the English language, we learned to tweaked some words and made them our own – the “tagalized” versions. If the Italians have their versions of pasta, we also formulated our own with lots of sugar and catsup on it.
So it would not be a surprise in the coming generations that we will come up with another version of Brazilian culture intertwined with ours, the same way “Semba”, an African religious dance, eventually metamorphosed into “Samba” when African migrants brought it to Brazil. This is definitely the era of cross-cultural phenomenon interweaving in the hearts of people of different races.
This event is also brought to you by Gatorade. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/brasilipinas