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Talilo Features Apo Whang-Od in ‘Waves’ MV

Fil-Am hip-hop musician Talilo Marfil collaborates with Apo Whang-Od, featuring her Buscalan community in “Waves,” commemorating AAPI Heritage Month.
Talilo, Apo Whang-Od
James Francisco

Fil-Am hip-hop artist Talilo Marfil (Talilo) traveled to Apo Whang-Od’s Buscalan community, visiting the cultural icon and celebrating her recent birthday—the focal point of his “Waves” music video in commemoration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The four-minute track sung primarily in English features Tinglayan, Kalinga’s breathtaking mountain range, a first-hand look at Whang-Od’s “three-dot” signature, and the welcoming of Buscalan’s residents, dancing and engaging in the video’s background.

YouTube: Talilo

“Waves” captures the essence of Whang-Od’s timeless legacy, with her tattoo expertise extending generations. The Portland, Oregon native looks into the Oldest Living Mambabatok’s narrative as inspiration, embracing the “waves” of the past and their relevance in the present.

Talilo reportedly made two trips to the Philippines, the second to attend Whang-Od’s 107th birthday celebration following her approval of the track. As the first Filipino hip-hop artist invited to her village, he regards the experience as a privilege to tell her story, highlight the generational art form, and showcase the wonders of his homeland.

“I feel honored that I am the person she has entrusted her culture and her passions with to share with the rest of the world and our community,” Talilo tells the Philippine Daily Mirror.

Beyond an entertainment stint, Talilo continues weaving his Western upbringing into his Filipino heritage, grounded on social issues and cultural island heritage. His versatile lyricism and storytelling prowess generate a thought-provoking sensation that complements hip-hop’s evolving persona while staying true to his roots,

“…It’s (Waves) a celebration of heritage, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the AAPI community. Through Waves, we honor the legend of Apo Whang Od and invite audiences everywhere to join us in spreading her story far and wide,” he added.

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