Nov 17
PABLO—THE COMPOSER by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Nov 17, 2008

It may be a coincidence that the Film Academy of the Philippines has three Pablos in its roster. Already published in this website are articles about Pablo S. Gomez (link:http://filmacademyphil.org/?p=344) and Pablo Reyna Libiran (link: http://filmacademyphil.org/?p=588).

Pablo Gomez is the renowned scriptwriter and popular komiks novelist who is also the president of the Screenwriters’ Guild of the Philippines (SGP). Pablo Reyna Libiran was the Poet Laureate from Bulacan who was the vice president of SGP. Pabling to his friends, Libiran passed away recently due to a stroke.

The third Pablo is Pablo Vergara, the lyricist, arranger, musical director, musical conductor and also film director. Especially during the days of the song hits and Jingle Song magazine, the name of Direk Pablo was in consonance with Tagalog hits.

The older generation would surely remember Bakit Ako Mahihiya? which was the signature song of Didith Reyes. There was also Imelda Papin’s Mahal, Saan Ka Nanggaling Kagabi? Geraldine has her Bakit Ikaw Pa? and Anthony Castelo’s Babae, Ugat ng Pagkakasala.

Now, Pablo comes out with his very own album, an instrumental compilation of popular Tagalog Christmas Songs. The musician is not expecting anything from the said album because he had produced the collection not for commercial purposes but only for personal satisfaction. Purely acoustic in sound, Pablo exhibits his guitar skills and talents in all the tracks.

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Pablo’s composition Pasko Na Naman is the cover track but it has another version in the last track. The complete list of compilations with the original composers are:

1. Namamasko – R. Tagalog and Levi Celerio
2. Pasko na Naman – Pablo Vergara
3. Pasko ng Madla – F. San Juan, S. Y. Ramos
4. Simbang Gabi – S. Y. Ramos, R. Tagalog
5. Sino Si Santa Klaus? – R. Tagalog, S. Y. Ramos
6. Kampana ng Simbahan – J. Silos, Jr.
7. Sa Tuwing Sasapit ang Pasko – Pablo Vergara
8. Sa Paskong Darating – S. Y. Ramos
9. Mano Po Ninong, Mano Po Ninang – A. Torres, M. P. Villar Sr.
10. Damdaming Pasko – J. Silos, Jr., S. Y. Ramos
11. Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit – V. Rubi, Levi Celerio
12. Finale: Pasko na Naman – Pablo Vergara

Pasko na Naman, the Christmas album, is distributed by Centra Musicmart, Philippines. Pablo Vergara has recorded more than 70 albums.

At an early age, Pablo was already playing the guitar even before entering school. He came under the tutelage of Prof. Rufino Palma and was also a member of the Sta. Rita Institute band in his Pampanga hometown.

Aside from his natural flair for music, Pablo obtained a formal training in Naval School of Music where he specialized in musical arrangement. This is the process where the composer selects the instruments to be used. He also indicates the details of the participation of each instrument in the musical arrangement. Some of Pablo’s well-known professors were Restie Umali, Doming Amarillo and Polding Silos who were all great musicians in their own time.

Pablo’s first big break came with his composition God Knows. With the interpretation of Randy Madrid, the song was adapted into a movie with the same title which was produced by Larry Santiago Productions. With the success of God Knows, Pablo became the youngest musical director at the age of 18.

In the pursuit of his profession, Pablo composed more than 200 songs and has scored more than 100 movies. Another chore of a musical director is the selection or composition, if necessary, of the theme song. One of his favorite theme songs was Katumbas ay Buhay which was used in the movie Vendetta, with Rudy Fernandez and Rosemarie De Vera in the lead.

He used to be the musical director of the Rey and Carding tandem, popularly known as the Reycard Duet who were a great success in the Las Vegas scene. Other singing talents who were under the musical baton of Pablo were Manilyn Reynes and Eddie Mesa. Pablo even accompanied Eddie Mesa in his Canada tour where Pablo had the opportunity to be the conductor of Canadian musicians.

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Pablo Vergara (at right) with Mar Lopez and Mayor ER Ejercito during the 2008 FAP Voters screening at the UP Film Center

For the record, Pablo was the first ever in-house composer and musical director of Dyna Recording Company. He had also worked with other recording studios like Alpha Records, Vicor Recording, Synergy, Viva Records, BMG and Universal Records. Now he can be considered to have joined the ranks of his idol musicians like Prof. Josefino Cenizal, Tito Arevalo, Ernani Cuenco, Francisco Buencamino, Leopoldo Silos, Juan Silos and Restie Umali.

Aside from his musical conquests, Pablo had directed three movies, all starred in by Fernando Poe, Jr. Of course, he had composed the theme songs and also did the scoring. Mahal, Saan Ka Nanggaling Kagabi and Mahal, Ginagabi Ka na Naman both featured the husband/wife team-up of Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces from the story of Pablo Gomez and script by Fred Navarro. Eseng ng Tondo has Ina Raymundo and Jenny Syquia as leading ladies of FPJ, another Pablo Gomez story with the screenplay written by Manny Buising.

For those three FPJ movies mentioned, Pablo earned a nomination from the FAMAS for musical scoring and theme song. He was also an Awit Awardee in 1990.

At present, Pablo is Vice Chairman of UFIMDAP (United Filipino Musical Directors Association of the Philippines). He was once a member of the board of directors of FILSCAP (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com


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