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Oro Mata: The New Wave of ‘World Music’ in Cagayan de Oro


I have a chance to talk to one of the members of Oro Mata, a very promising band in the city that specializes in ‘World Music.’ Well, this genre sounds a bit new to many people, especially those who aren’t inclined to appreciate different genres, including ‘World Music’

Although the music seems new in the country, BUT the music that Oro Mata is creating is something that all Filipinos must be proud of.

“We’ve been waiting to share our first single Blanko with all of you. We hope you enjoy this convergence of passion and soul for world music and art, says Oro Mata’s Paolo Garrido. 

What is World Music?

World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the world, including traditional music, quasi-traditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition intermingles. World music’s inclusive nature and elasticity as a musical category pose obstacles to a universal definition, but its ethic of interest in the culturally exotic is encapsulated in fRoots magazine’s description of the genre as “local music from out there”

This other folk music that does not follow “North American or British pop and folk traditions” has been given a catch-all term “world music” by music industries in Europe and North America. The term was popularized in the 1980s as a marketing category for non-Western traditional music. It has grown to include subgenres such as ethnic fusion.

Well, I listened to one of their newest music called “Indak” and I was truly amazed, mesmerized, and stunned by the fusion of local and modern music rolled into one.

“World music makes us embraced and respect the cultures of other countries,” says Paolo Garrido, one of the band’s guitarists.

Paolo is an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) and is due to go back to the ship where he used to work. I invited the group to showcase their talents in one of our teleradyo segments but he says he is living again for good in another country.

“Sayang bai. Pero mogawasay nako padulong sa laing nasud! was his answer when I tried to invite the group.


The concept behind OroMata began a few years back as an informal collaboration among various friends who are interested in world music, art, and social issues. Like its band composition, Oro Mata’s style is diverse. By combining global and local influence, different cultures and realities – the band hopes to share their music to inspire people to come together, think about deep-rooted social issues, and hopefully become better citizens of the world. 

The band’s name is a take on the phrase, Oro Plata Mata – gold, silver, and death. Oro and mata are reminders of life’s realities – good and bad, life and death, abundance and lack. Also, separately the band’s geographic roots – Cagayan de Oro City.

The Oro Mata band is composed of Paolo Garrido, guitar and vocals; Geraldjam Vasallo, vocals; Bam Roa, guitar; Drue Valmores, bass; Mark Treve Gonzaga, percussion; Alexander Manuel Factura, wind instruments, ukelele; Dennis Factura, Percussionist; and Manuel Nulo Bangcong, wind instruments.

Joel Escol
Joel Escolhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK_sKdGFs0ewIh9R-iAskDg
Joel Calamba Escol is a journalist in the Philippines for more than 20 years. Currently, he is the Managing Editor of Mindanao Daily News, the biggest and most-widely read newspaper in Southern Philippines. He is also known as Noypi Vlogger in Youtube. You can follow him on the following social networking sites below.

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