Former Naga City Mayor John Bongat is back into producing music with last week’s launch of his new song, Ikaw Ang Liwanag, sung by Venus Capayas and arranged by John Carl Deniña. A love song released just in time for Valentines.
During his tenure as Mayor of Naga City, he was noted for initiating song projects to connect and unite the city’s music community. But before that, in 1996, he wrote one of Roselle Nava’s songs, Waiting For You, which was recently covered by R&B musician Kris Lawrence, a fact that only a few Nagueños are aware of.
Digital streaming for Bongat’s Ikaw Ang Liwanag is currently in the works. So is his Juan Music initiative, a partnership with Musika Publiko’s Bicol Pop. Together with the local original music advocates, singer-songwriter Karl Ramirez and Rise Above Pilipinas’ Roger Palacio, they are set to put the spotlight on Bicol songwriters’ original music for the local audience and beyond.
With the Naga City music scene investing more in cover song performances, producing and performing original music is a strong and popular counter-current that found its home in Musika Publiko’s Bicol Pop and Rise Above Pilipinas. Bongat’s Juan Music series of song releases is a big push for this initiative and definitely something to watch out for.
Ikaw ang Liwanag was launched as an exclusive livestream event on February 11, 2023, at the Popa’s Hut Restobar in Dayangdang, Naga City. The stream was simultaneously carried out by social media networks with Musika Publiko and Rise Above and vloggers and influencers that pledged to support the launch and the continuing initiative.
You can watch the launched music video here: