Fiddles and Harmonicas

by joanabagano

I used to despise the country culture of my hometown. For me and a lot of my friends, being a ‘country fan’ meant sticking to the music of those in the 20th century when Baguio and Benguet were still heavily influenced by southern Americans. We lived in the urban areas and believed that country music adherents were those from the countryside. We stereotyped them as the betel nut-chewing, denim-loving, flare jeans and steel toe-wearing lads.

It was only when my cousins and relatives from the rural areas started visiting us at home that I began to appreciate country music and realize why it makes so much sense as a genre. I listened well, not just to the tunes I used to make fun of, but also to the stories being told through song. I have always loved stories and country music is all about them so I started loving country music too.

If you visit my hometown, you would see small booths filled with CDs from local recording artists not only doing covers for country songs but also composing their own music filled with country elements. I don’t particularly buy from them but whenever I have the time, I would go looking for songs and listen to the stories. It’s the stories I always go back to.

Here are a few you might want to listen to:

THE RATHER NEW ONES (**favorite)

Billy Gilman – One Voice

**Billy Gilman – Oklahoma (made me cry!)

The Wreckers – Leave The Pieces

Dixie Chicks – Cowboy Take Me Away

**Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss – Whiskey Lullaby (made me cry!)

Rascal Flatts – Bless The Broken Road

**Martina McBride – God’s Will (made me weep!)

Blake Shelton – The Baby

SOME CLASSICS (**favorite)

**Travis Tritt – Tell Me I Was Dreaming (aahhh broke my heart to bits!)

Patty Loveless – How Can I Help You Say Goodbye

**Kathy Mattea – Where You’ve Been

Steve Wariner – Holes in the Floor of Heaven

**Bryan White – Someone Else’s Star (sad)

**Garth Brooks – The River

Garth Brooks – If Tomorrow Never Comes (always on the charts in Baguio!)

**Alabama – Angels Among Us (my mom’s favorite)

Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue

Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain


Ray Stevens – Everything Is Beautiful

Travis Tritt – It’s A Great Day To Be Alive

Alan Jackson – Livin’ On Love

Rascal Flatts – Backwards

Garth Brooks -Friends In Low Places

Jimmy Buffett – It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere

The rodeo show at Adivay festival where my dad’s best friend, Uncle Sandy, is an organizer.