On OPM (Finally a Personal Opinion)

It may not seem timely (to you), and it’s not exactly one of the best pieces I’ve written. But I just had to.

I support OPM, I always will. But if you ask me to define OPM, I can only tell you that it is music made by Filipinos. Yup, anything made by a Filipino. It’s not a genre, it’s not an era. It’s simply a classification of music made by anyone from a certain country. It’s not exactly an all-encompassing definition- na, if a song is classified as OPM, it can’t be classified as anything else.

I don’t believe in the term “OPM artist.” Filipino artist, puwede pa. Pero calling someone an “OPM artist” only makes things confusing. This assumption is strongly grounded on the definition I’ve established for OPM- which is music made by a Filipino artist. If you say a song is made by an OPM artist, that would be redundance and circular reference.

For me, the music genres are NOT UNDER OPM. It should not be “OPM-Rock,” “OPM-Pop,” “OPM-Electro,” or whatever else. It’s a totally different classification because OPM IS NOT A GENRE, no matter how much people misconcieve it as so.

Basically, (since it is innate for us humans to classify and organize things in order for us to be able to understand them) we can classify music depending on who made the music (the composer/producer)- K-pop/ Korean, American, Japanese, OPM. We can also classify songs according to which genre they belong to- rock, blues, pop, electro, etc. There are other ways by which we can classify music but this argument is simply for the purpose of emphasizing that OPM is not (and should not be thought of as) a genre.

As I have told some of my friends when they ask me to define OPM and why I support it; OPM being defined as music made by Filipino artists, inevitably, there’s good and bad OPM. Or as I’d like to call it, “Good OPM” and “Shit OPM.” Obviously, I support the “Good OPM.” Now, of course this is very subjective, but that’s exactly the case with liking music, right? You listen and support the things you like, depending on your personal standards. Otherwise you’re just pretending and art loses it’s purpose in your case. (Now with regards to what I call “Shit OPM,” I won’t even start to cite songs or artists. I have not reached the point in my writing where I’m comfortable with outright criticism.)

I support OPM because I have heard and experienced the music of Filipino artists both in the mainstream and independent scene, and I believe in their ability to make beautiful music. And as they say, good music is meant to be shared, heard by as many people as possible. Which is why I share music as much as I can. Music that I believe is good, and should be heard by others. Some visitors of the blog may like them, some may not. But what’s important is it’s there, available for people to listen to and judge based on their own standards. I add one more search engine entry for that song and that artist, and no matter how little that seems to be, it’s enough for me.

I support OPM because I am aware- to a certain extent- of the problems relating to the system, and I believe I can do something about it. I have once been told- by someone who works in a recording company and is therefore a part of the system- that in order to help the ailing music industry, there must be collaboration among the system, the artist, and the audience. Unfortunately, in the current setting, it’s pretty obvious that these three stakeholders have conflicting interests (for the most part). We can take the artist who lives for his art and the system who struggles to make money in order to sustain its existence as a concrete example.

We have problems, and we are well aware of that. But that does not mean that we brush it aside and wait for the problem to fix itself (as I believe many others have done, those who simply do not care). The sad thing is, even those people who are part of the music industry, who are supposed to care, don’t. They lie idle waiting for that “next big thing,” that catalyst which will bring back the glory days of OPM. After all, when you’re lying really low, the only way to go is up. But if they don’t do anything, they can stay there lying idle for as long as no one else steps up. It’s not exactly the best trait to adopt when you’re in an industry with so much talent and so much potential.

As I have said, I support and uplift OPM, and I will continue doing so. And yes, we have problems. But we- the people who care- can do something about it. And we will.

This whole piece is subjective. Also, I have a lot more issues regarding local music, but it’ll be too much to put them all here. Think of this as the introductory part in a book (not that I plan to write a book).
And for the more narrow-minded, yes, I also listen to foreign music. :l But that doesn’t make me less of an OPM supporter.

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