Feel the Rhythm of Our Very Own Bisrock Songs
BisRock has invaded not only in Cebu but also recently known in most places of the Philippines. It has pushed the Cebu music scene into greater heights. The term “BisRock” comes from the Cebuano words Bisaya, referring the Visayan language, and rock, for rock music. It was originally was coined by Cebuano writer Januar E. Yap in 2002, and and was first applied to Missing Filemon’s first album. He has a collection of short stories published under the New Writers series of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He also writes a column for Sun.Star Cebu and teaches literature courses at St. Theresa’s College and Cebu Normal University.
Earning wide reception among the young in the Visayas and Mindanao, Bisrock is a recent cultural phenomenon. This is however, highly debatable, as Visayans, primarily Cebuanos, are the only ones actually making a big fuss out of this so-called musical “genre”.
Bisrock actually started around the 1980′s when someone started calling Cebu’s rock scene as Bisrock, but it wasn’t popular right away; the packaging wasn’t right just yet. The current scene or influence at that time was that of new wave, punk, thrash metal, and British Rock Bands, hence nobody cared to call it Bisrock and when someone did, he was ridiculed as too Bisaya; and the composition of the lyrics was not in Cebuano but in English.
The Cebu Pop materials simply alienated the youth, its songs were stuck in the age of melodrama. On the other hand, Pinoy rock, dominated by the Tagalog, was in full swing, reliving the seventies with E-Heads, Siakol, Parokya, etc. The young Cebuano musician saw that, and saw “bisrock” as a natural direction. And, of course, the love and familiarity of the language has always been there. That is a big, indelible factor. It is the language in which they can be funny, sarcastic, romantic, cynical, angry, without being pretentious with the lyrics. It was the language closest to their hearts.