Portrait songs about Amanda Echanis, Kerima Tariman, and Chad Booc: three people whom the musicians acknowledge and honour as heroes.
Oriang Collective

From the curator:

Oriang joins a long tradition of passing on narratives of resistance and heroism through music and song. Composing vivid songs about three contemporary revolutionaries in the Philippines, two of whom have been murdered by the state and one who still lives as a political prisoner, Tao invites us to consider who and what makes up our ideas of heroism. These three songs emerged from her desire to add to her daughter’s music library of heroes; they are words written from a mother to a daughter, from one generation to the next, in defiance of silence and state violence. As Tao sings, our only nightmare is that you grow up in fear; our only objective is to leave you with a cure.

From the storyteller:

Oriang, in its current iteration, is hopefully the start of a collective (or a collective-adjacent entity) of largely women and queer folks who are artist-activists. The intended shared goal is to build a library of resistance or a library of heroes/ human rights defenders for young people who are now entering into their own [ideas of] heroism and asking questions about what today’s young artist-activists are called upon to represent.

For this project, Oriang’s main output is three portrait songs, each acknowledging and honoring a Filipino activist hero—Kerima Tariman, a poet-revolutionary killed last year by state forces in Silay, Negros Occidental; Chad Booc, a math and science teacher to Lumad youth, killed early this year by state forces in New Bataan, Davao de Oro; and Amanda Echanis, a peasant woman organizer currently imprisoned on false charges in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

These songs were written, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered within a span of 6 weeks by Tao, Calix, and Ymi. Band rehearsals commenced shortly after, in preparation for shooting live performance videos of these songs. 

The heroism that birthed Kerima’s life-long service in the farmers’ struggle, Chad’s life-long service for indigenous youth, and Amanda’s unshakeable service to the urban and rural poor — this lives on in young people who speak truth to power today and in the wisdom of older people who have survived and are keepers of these memories. Through these songs, we hope to add to the conversation about what heroism looks like in these instances: the struggles of indigenous youth for their education and ancestral lands, the struggles of agricultural workers for their livelihood and rights to the land they till.

This is the time of questions
This is the time of a violent rush of rage
Our only nightmare is that you grow up in fear
Our only objective is to leave you with a cure
A long time ago, bullet storms blotting out the sun
Were not a threat to schools


Tao — storyteller, music production
Cha Roque — video production
Jayme Ancla — music production
Ymi Castel — music production

Cha Roque — director
Leo Avendano — director of photography

Lead guitar — Ymi Castel
Keyboards — Lui Tan
Drums — Kaya Katigbak
Bass Guitar — Alyana Cabral
Rhythm Guitar — Tao
Vocals — Tao

Tao [she/they] has been making and singing songs for 16 years and has been queer all her life. She co-parents a visually expressive, musically motivated, currently writing-inclined, comedic riot of a teenager with her partner of six years. They have had seven cats in their lives together and are currently caring for four. Tao wrote her contributions to Oriang hoping they would find themselves in their kid’s storymaking playlist.


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