Wally Allegado infuses Bukidnon sound in his music

Wally Allegado, courtesy of Yaka

MALAYBALAY CITY  (BukidnonNews.Net/January 10) “I want to spend some time going back to the roots of where I really came from,” Levi “Wally” L. Allegado realized upon coming home to Bukidnon.

He is an acoustic performer and a writer who has been singing locally and abroad since 2005.

For six years since 2010, Wally, 31, has performed in Cebu for a living. Coming home in 2017, he observed that Bukidnon music takes center stage only during Kaamulan.

In September 2017, he joined a group who set up a local bar in Malaybalay City called Yaka. He did not know that this business move will also mark another milestone in his journey as a musician.

Born and raised in Bukidnon, Wally has been reminded of the tribal music and now takes part in reminding the rest of the community about it.

He is an acoustic enthusiast but lately, his music has been infused with Bukidnon beats through the sound of tribal musical instruments from his Talaandig friends.

“It is a good idea to infuse music (his music) with some Bukidnon sound,” he said remembering how they did not expect Yaka to become an venue of the local artists to collaborate, play, and enjoy as they promote tribal music among their customers.

He is glad to see in his bar at present that the millennial generation is buying the tribal music more than any other genres they offer.

Honolu Marie C. Cruzin, is thankful for the bars and cafés in the city which are continuously exposing local artists. As the Supervising Tourism Operations Officer of Malaybalay City, she also appreciates the local artists of Bukidnon who are sharing their talents with the public to introduce tribal music, especially to the younger generation.

Cruzin has also heard about the new interest in the Bukidnon beat mixed in the different genres today like reggae and OPM.

“Our own music is beautiful music. It is simple yet unique,” she said wishing that the local people would patronize local music.

On October 2017, Wally gave pride to Bukidnon as his three-member group joined Wanderland, a music competition where they made it up to the top 10 in the semi-finals out of the hundreds of national and international entries.

On regular nights, Wally performs solo in their bar and collaborates with visiting artists from time to time.

John Jhumir C. Adarlo, 22, has been visiting Yaka to chill out with friends since it opened in September 2017 in time for Kaamulan. He is amazed by how an artist can make someone sleep in a bar. John explained that Wally songs sound like a lullaby to him.

Wally describes his voice as “raspy” and “shredded” yet calm.

“I am proud that they show off Bukidnon culture through music,” John said.

In December, Wally has initiated the event “one tribe, one vibe” in his bar. They invited Carol Bello, the voice behind “Kaamulan” song together with other local artists. He said that we don’t have to wait for Kaamulan just to hear the music from our roots.

“Music…it binds us together in a positive way”, Wally said referring to his initiative’s effect to the community.

“Many have said that music is life, basically, it’s true it’s evident for me especially when your passion becomes your living,” he said.

Wally said he is a self-taught artist who used to just mimic MTV singers while he learned to play the guitar during his college years. As a kid, Wally imagined himself as a priest.

This year, Wally and his Talaandig friends are planning to come up with an indie album with a touch of Bukidnon sound.

One of the songs they planned to feature is entitled “We came from the mountains”, a reminder, a fact and a life-story of people like Wally. (Rashia Mae Deva E. Paano/ Development Communication intern from Bukidnon State University. This story first appeared in Central Mindanao Newswatch on January 14, 2018)