Parokya ni Edgar shaped the Pinoy music scene with infectious rock hits like “Halaga”! I just can’t get over how this song takes me back
Let’s talk about some of my favorite Filipino music. One Pinoy (colloquial term for Filipino) band that I enjoy listening to is Parokya ni Edgar.
The 1990s, my growing up years was a pivotal decade for Filipino music as homegrown acts like Parokya ni Edgar helped shape the burgeoning pop-rock scene. One song that catapulted the band to mainstream popularity was their infectious ditty “Halaga”, which is a powerful ballad that explores the theme of recognizing one’s self-worth, especially when stuck in a toxic relationship.
Self-worth and Empowerment
“Halaga,” which translates to “Worth” in English, was penned by Parokya ni Edgar’s frontman Chito Miranda. The song’s lyrics speak to the universal emotions and experiences that most listeners can relate to.
Lines like “Sa libu-libong pagkakataon na tayo’y nagkasama, iilang ulit palang kitang makitang masaya. Naiinis akong isipin na ginaganyan ka niya. Siguro ay hindi niya lang alam ang ‘yong tunay na halaga”, has resonated with Pinoy music lovers.
“In the thousands of times we’ve been together, I’ve only seen you truly happy a few times. It irritates me to think he treats you this way. Perhaps he just doesn’t know your real worth”.
These powerful lyrics deliver a poignant message of frustration and concern over someone’s predicament and a reminder that we deserve to be valued and cherished.
Miranda croons, “Ayoko nang isipin pa, ‘Di ko alam, ba’t ‘di mo makayanan na iwanan s’ya? Ang dami-dami naman d’yang iba, ‘Wag kang mangangambang baka wala ka nang ibang makita, Na lalaki na magmamahal sa ‘yo,At hinding-hindi n’ya sasayangin ang pag-ibig mo”.
“I don’t want to think about it anymore, I don’t know why you can’t leave him. There are so many other men out there. Don’t be afraid that you won’t find another man who will love you and cherish your love.”
The sympathetic and hopeful tone aims to uplift someone’s sense of self-worth and give the courage to start fresh in a relationship where someone is valued. Miranda encourages us to stand up for ourselves and not to accept poor treatment that damages our self-esteem.
Catchy Melody and Upbeat Sound
Beyond the evocative lyrics, “Halaga” immediately grabs listeners with its catchy, upbeat guitar-driven sound. It exemplifies the fun pop-rock vibe that Parokya ni Edgar popularized in the 90s. The melody and Chito Miranda’s emotive vocals make it easy for audiences to sing along:
“Umiiyak ka na naman. ‘Lang-hiya talaga, wala ka bang ibang alam? Namumugtong mga mata, Kailan pa ba kaya ikaw magsasawa?
“You’re crying again. don’t you know anything else? With your eyes swollen, when will you ever get tired?“
In 1993 or so, “Halaga” was a hit, and Parokya ni Edgar gained mainstream fame virtually overnight, becoming a Pinoy pop-rock superstar. Since then, “Halaga” has remained one of the band’s signature hits that continuously attract new generations of fans.
“Halaga” is featured in numerous OPM compilations and is a requisite tune at karaoke bars. For us, Filipinos everywhere, it’s guaranteed to elicit sing-alongs and a nostalgic recall of simpler times.
Decades later, “Halaga” retains its timeless appeal thanks to its mix of heartfelt lyrics, pop-rock sound, and sing-along factor that speaks to the Pinoy listening experience. It cemented Parokya ni Edgar as a mainstays in OPM and remains a true Pinoy pop anthem.
Listen to the song here.