"Gitara" by Parokya ni Edgar used by orphans to serenade jeepney commuters in Buendia

A different mood swayed me one rainy Monday night as I head to my workplace at RCBC, situated at the corner of Ayala corner Gil Puyat Ave. I took my usual route by riding a jeepney from Buendia LRT bound to Guadalupe. 

Reaching a stoplight right before the railroad tracks towards Mayapis, two young girls, approximately 8 years old and the other one about twelve, back ride the full jeepney. Their clothes were dirty, the younger one wore no slippers. 

The older one holds a tall plastic cup of what seemed to be a left over cola shake, which they sip alternately while laughing and cursing. The younger girl went inside and handed us - the commuters, short white envelopes, with hand-written note begging for alms to buy food. I knew this "Modus Operandi" already, but I still give them coins whenever I can. 

One man in his late 20's wore formal attire - a pink long sleeves, and mighty shiny black leather shoes, got irked up with the other girl who sat by the "estribo" (foot board) leaning over his slacks. When the younger girl handed him the envelope, he abruptly rejected it by pushing the girl's hand away from him and then smirked on her.

Constant rejection from crowds made these girls used to it and looked unconcerned on what other people have to say or think as long as they accomplished getting those precious alms from us. 

photo by -miguelito-

After lending the envelopes, the older girl sang a familiar song. I felt like a contestant from the game "Name That Tune" where you will guess the title of the song by listening to the tune. I followed the tune and sang it on my mind before I concluded that it was indeed one of Parokya Ni Edgar's song, Gitara. 

I listened in closer, appreciating the girl's talent before the younger one could reclaim the envelopes. I gave Php10 and soon enough, my live MP3 stopped and hopped off the jeepney just like that.

After a couple of nights, on almost the exact place, a different face of a young girl, alone this time, aboard the jeepney. The white envelopes were predictable and present. Then I heard the song again. I prepared the coins as if on cue before she could even hand the envelope over to me. I listened intently to her and knew that I was correct. It was definitely "Gitara" ("guitar" in English; see bottom page for lyrics and video).

I thought "Wow!" They must have been living under the same roof to be able to sing the same song, same stanza, same style. Then after she claimed our money, she hopped off the jeepney ready to aboard the one right next to us.

Before I could fully forget those two Gitara nights, I rode a jeepney one morning en route to LRT headed home, when another young girl around 12 years old, did the same routine - aboard, envelopes, sing Gitara, envelopes, leave. 

Then another night, a young girl around 10 years old, with a baby approximately 8 months old in her arms. 

The next night, a boy around 6 years old. Same story.

photo by Roberto Verzo

Though I am enjoying the beauty of their voice, it saddens me that they have to sing to beg and not because they simply enjoy to do it.

Now whenever I hear Gitara, these kids' faces appear to me. My reaction to these kinds of things is usually a list of questions that I don't know where to get answers from; how cruel their nights could be, where are their parents, how did they become like that, do they do this every night, why they chose Gitara to sing, what will happen to their future?

My coins may have helped them last the night, but it wouldn't surely build a bright future for them.

If only they could all go to a place such as "He Cares Foundation", a street children caring center where they get them off the streets and into loving homes. 

Watch this:

World Focus Feature: Filipino Children 
Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke and producer Ara Ayer report from the Philippines, 
where they encounter one man — a former child of the streets himself named Joe Dean  Sola 
— who has dedicated himself to improving the lives of street kids.

Sweet Says ... We could help other people everyday. These Buendia Kids' singing Gitara every night may be their battle cry to their involuntary poverty and being victims of the world's cruelty. One thing is for sure, they need our help. Let's help whichever way we can instead of ignoring them. Even if its just giving your spare time to listen when they serenade you with Gitara.

"GITARA" Lyrics & Video:

Bakit pa kailangang magbihis
Sayang din naman ang porma
Lagi lang namang may sisingit
Sa tuwing tayo'y magkasama

Bakit pa kailangan ang rosas
Kung marami namang nag-aalay sayo
Uupo na lang at aawit
Maghihintay ng pagkakataon
Hahayaan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sa'yo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara
Idadaan na lang sa gitara

Mapapagod lang sa kakatingin
Kong marami namang nakaharang
Aawit na lang at magpaparinig
Ng lahat ng aking nadarama
Pagbibigyan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sayo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara
Idadaan na lang sa gitara

Pagbibigyan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sayo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara

Idadaan na lang...
Sa gitara


Parokya Ni Edgar
"(English translation: Parish of Edgar) is a Filipino band that was formed in 1993 by a group of college students.
The band is famous and most lauded for its original rock novelty songs and often satirical covers of popular songs. 
The band has since transcended musical genres, varying styles from one song to another 
alternative rock to pop rockfunk to rapcore, and so on - while providing comic relief to their listeners. 
Despite having "Edgar" in the band's name, none of the members go by it."
Members: Chito Miranda, Buhawi Meneses, Vinci Montaner, Darius Semana, Gab Chee Kee and Dindin Moreno

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