‘Pangako na magtatanghal muli:’ ‘Nananalig’ Captures Bullet Dumas’ Unwavering Credo

Jun 19, 2020

The curtains are temporarily drawn. Lights, off. Stages and seats, eerily empty. There’s only silence residing in once-vibrant venues. 

The ongoing pandemic has put the whole live events industry on a standstill. And the very purpose of this community — that is “to provide a live memorable experience” — has faded into the background. Incontestably, safety is of a much important concern.

But in Bullet Dumas’ “Nananalig,” there’s still hope. 

The song, an inspired ode dedicated to the live events industry, is written for the newly founded National Live Events Coalition Philippines. It is an organization that aims to “provide advocacy, resources, and a network that connects and supports all of the businesses, contractors, and the lifeblood of every event — the workforce.”

Bullet Dumas performs at the “Iisa” concert held at the New Frontier Theater in June 2018.

“Nananalig” takes listeners on an emotional ride. Commencing with a resonant, somber plucking of the guitar string, the despondency of the opening note provides a solemn atmosphere for the song’s retrospective portion. 

While looking back at the challenges that come with performing and staging an event, the first verses ultimately reflect on how fulfilling it is to be part of this industry. And though all these came to an unavoidable pause, Dumas pins his hope on the community’s collective unwavering commitment to uphold their calling.

“Ang daming pang madadama/ Ang daming ipadadama/ Ang dami pang natitirang himig,” the folk artist sings.

The track picks up as it touches on the uncertainty brought forth by the pandemic. There’s a certain sense of fretfulness that arrives as more intense pluckings, vocal harmonies, and overlapping lyrics appear. But reassurance takes over as Dumas’ voice becomes more resounding. And with lines like “Noon at ngayon at magpakailanman/ Maninindigan (Ngunit alam ko na walang maiiwan)” echoing solidarity, the song, too, becomes a paean that shares the faith of the audience — those who relentlessly support the industry and help keep it alive.

The track’s atmospheric opening and this intensifying transition in the middle are essential in carrying the listeners to the climax towards the end, where the artist states his — and perhaps the whole industry’s — credo with much conviction: “Nananalig/ Panatag na hindi ‘to ang huli/ Nananalig/ Pangako na magtatanghal muli.” 

Lyrically, “Nananalig” is terse yet weighty, poetic yet accessible on different levels. Despite being written for a specific industry, it is a relevant tune that can provide an anthem for any other community or individual experiencing the same predicament. 

Music-wise, as it bears unconventional elements — from Dumas’ signature impassioned style of singing to the dissonance and rhythmic nuances — the song might be unsettling for the casual listener, especially when the notes descend to a complete drag. But like the message he wants to underscore, this OPM piece is one that demands careful attention and one that deserves to be absorbed. 

For now, the curtains may be temporarily drawn. Lights, off. Stages and seats, eerily empty. But the live events industry is not to be permanently silenced. Thankfully, songs like this are here to kindle hope and passion and remind us of what we all should be in these tough times: Nananalig. 

Stream Bullet Dumas’ “Nananalig” below:

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