‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ – can it help revitalize Filipino entertainment?

“I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila!” is making waves within the Filipino media scene as a must-see movie. I myself watched it just recently. To give the readers an idea of what it is, it’s very simple. If you guys know the movie “Mamma Mia”, the concept is exactly the same. The actors suddenly burst into song after they’ve delivered a few lines or so, something akin to a movie musical. Better yet, the term I hear being thrown around is a “movie-oke” – a portmanteau of movie and karaoke. While the soundtrack of “Mamma Mia” is composed entirely of ABBA songs, “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” uses songs from The APO Hiking Society’s extensive collection.

Here’s what basically happens in the movie (WARNING: some spoilers ahead). It’s a story that starts in medias res: poor guy has relationship with rich girl. Guy and girl plan to get married because girl is pregnant. Guy’s family goes on pamamanhikan (a Filipino tradition/custom where groom’s family travels to bride’s house to formally ask for her hand in marriage from her parents). Girl’s grandfather opposes marriage completely. Guy’s family, feeling disrespected and belittled, leaves in a huff. Girl talks with her mother to head to the United States to give birth there. Guy is convinced by his mother to keep applying for jobs. Girl and guy meet one last time and break up. Just before girl leaves, guy appears at her house, they kiss and make up, and then elope. They get married, their son is born, and happy ending ensues.

As one reviewer put it, it’s “Romeo and Juliet minus the tragedy.”

I was able to appreciate the movie for its production value. If you’re a person who won’t squirm in his/her seat when the characters suddenly burst into song and dance numbers you’ll be just fine. Hey, I didn’t even mind at all that the whole concept of Mamma Mia was seemingly copied off-the-shelf and given local color! The plot is all too familiar and seems used one too many times: boy and girl from different social classes come together despite their differences and the obstacles that they face. Despite this, the chosen APO songs were creatively well-woven into the story line; they fit it to a T.

APO Hiking Society, also known as APO to us Filipinos, is the trio of Boboy Garovillo, Danny Javier, and Jim Paredes. They started in the early 70’s, and their songs and sound virtually defined Original Pilipino Music (OPM) for almost four (4) decades. The lyrics of their songs tell of friendships and loves lost and found, and of life’s ups and downs which every Filipino can relate to. Even up to now, their songs are still widely known among Pinoys and widely covered by current Filipino artists. Hits like “Awit ng Barkada” (The Gang’s Theme), “Ewan” (Maybe), “Nakapagtataka” (Strange), “Blue Jeans”, and “Batang Bata Ka Pa” (You’re Still Very Young) have resonated with Filipinos across generations. The group though, citing “creative difficulties”, had retired in 2010.

That the appeal of APO Hiking Society lives on to this day, is a testament to how the appeal of their songs has withstood time. At the same time, one must wonder as well: is the concept of “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” a plausible new direction for OPM and the local movie scene to go, or are movies like this perhaps a last hurrah with their dying breath? Will the OPM and/or local movie scenes ever experience another “Golden Period”, so to speak? Will “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” serve as a sign to us merely of what local entertainment once was, instead of inspiring us of what it can be once again?

Jim Paredes relates the success of I Do Bidoo Bidoo to how APO made the fateful decision to do OPM or Original Pilipino Music back in the 70’s:

“It only confirms that we were right all along to have done OPM. It’s a career decision na tama—Go OPM! Go original! Write your music like you didn’t care. Huwag titingin ng sales report. Ganoon kami, e, kaya medyo reckless.”

Tagalog parts translated: “It only confirms that we were right all along to have done OPM. It’s a career decision that was right – Go OPM! Go original! Write your music like you didn’t care. Don’t look at the sales report. That’s how we were, a bit reckless.”

The entertainment industry is a fickle and cruel one; one minute, you’re the next rising star and/or popular icon. The next day, laos ka na(your time has come and gone). That’s an inescapable fact for anyone who dreams of making it big in that profession.

Regardless, perhaps that’s what the local entertainment scene needs to do: step up to the plate and focus on quality material instead of prioritizing formulaic mass-produced junk. Instead of lamenting about the glory days and complaining about foreign artists taking too much of their market share, local artists need to stop whining and get their acts together.

Seriously though, Manny Pangilinan saying this movie is better than Mamma Mia? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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12 Comments on "‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ – can it help revitalize Filipino entertainment?"

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Gogs
Member
The problem with music is not of nationality but of time. What did Apo, Abba , Elton John , The Eagles , The Beatles, Mike Hanapol, Freddie Aguilar, Journey etc have in common? They were prominent in the 70s. It was normal for people to write a song to the best of their ability and perform it with their hearts. Later on came the crank them out music acts where dancing and looks were more important. See the Jack Black rant in School of Rock. It is so funny cause it’s so true, Music sucks now because the people performing… Read more »
jo-nas
Guest
Music sucks now because the people performing and producing don’t give a damn about musicianship and song writing, therefore talents are rarely developed from the ground up like Henley/ Frey etc. then it becomes a vicious circle,. Talent is not rewarded so not developed and music just becomes disposable. Now it’s Charice and Arnel Pineda who could not compose songs that will play 2 years from now to save their lives . But they get all the attention. I think the music in the’60s up to late ’80s are better than the music at present but I’m not going to… Read more »
Gogs
Member
Speaking of Abba. I bought the album Voulez Vous when it came out in 1979 from Rustans , Alemars or Shoemart . In it the album was the classic I have a dream. Years later despite Abba being one of the biggest acts ever in the world of music there is a simple sincerity to that song. All that goes down the drain when one of those testosterone challenged boy bands got hold of it. They were simply being whores singing by the numbers on the orders of some record mogul that needed gas for his yacht. I will stop… Read more »
Yup
Guest

NO offense folks, but APO Hiking Society sucks(specially that stupid fliptard Jim Paredes), but their music is ok

jona-s
Guest

It is just ironic that the so-called “Golden Period” of Pilipino music happened during the time of dictatorship.

Patriotic
Guest

If it happened during the time of what they called “dictatorship” but I should say, it didn’t affect much the talent of the Filipinos! They still all have the freedom to express themselves and develop the talent they have.

Jayrenoz
Guest

“step up to the plate and focus on quality material instead of prioritizing formulaic mass-produced junk”

So true

BlueStreak
Guest

Comments especially those of Gogs totally makes sense. The problem also is not merely the one who produces these products(the music, the lyrics etc) but also of the very sense that people nowadays have a zombie-like mindset to be conforming with the times but without being “reflective” on what they conform at. So I can only say that It will take both sides for some considerable upheaval for music to be talent-based and not profit-based and fame-based. But what can I say, this is the “spirit of the times.”

Jonas
Guest
‘I Do Bidoo Bidoo’ – can it help revitalize Filipino entertainment? In terms of musical production or movies, maybe but revitalizing music making, I don’t think so. We basically rely on what’s happening outside. The path the entertainment industry, including music, is predicted and guided by what’s new from the West. If love songs and rap music are in demand and popular in the USA or Europe, then, that is what we’ll have in the country. I don’t see anything wrong and I don’t blame the people that like the music we’re having now. This is their time and it’s… Read more »
christy
Guest
I quite disagree with you cause I am from that generation which you’re referring to. There are many kids (who are more knowledgeable in their surroundings) who have become disillusioned by this present media industry. The ones who still ‘dig’ the trash are those who still have depraved minds and have almost zero understanding of the world. Unless the reason for liking this stuff is because they just hate themselves. A lot of kids I know want mainstream films from thailand- not from our own. Why is this? Cause if you look at the films even though their concepts are… Read more »
jona-s
Guest

I didn’t quite get what in particular you disagreed with me. Was it in the music then or now, or in the movies, then or now?

jona-s
Guest

Seriously, today’s entertainment is an insult to us and a way to really control our minds until we’re completely brain dead. We won’t be fooled by this trash industry for long. – christy

I cannot agree more. And to be honest, our telenovelas are really rubbish.

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