The Himaya group records the soundtrack of “Caught in the Act”

Himaya Group. Handout

MANILA – Most vocal groups have members who are naturally the same age, or who were born perhaps around the same decade as the others. Interestingly, a mix of genres and even eras has allowed Himaya Band members to survive for 24 years now.

Himaya is a Visayan word meaning ‘glory’ or ‘praise’, as singer Alvin Barcelona put it. “We were looking for an ethnic name, at the same time we were describing the type of songs we started doing, praise and worship, mostly Christian music,” Barcelona told ABS-CBN News.

The band started in 1997, when bassist James Aguilos graduated from high school. Half-Visayan Barcelona asked Aguilos to form a group to just play and perform for the community.

The original members were just four: Barcelona, ​​Aguilos, guitarist / singer Mike Nuez and drummer Gab Espinosa. Five years ago, lead singer Aio Barcelona and keyboardist Jeric Mison, the youngest members of the group, joined Himaya.

For more than two decades now, Himaya has traveled the country. They never left the music scene. In addition to hosting concerts all over the country, Himaya has released original songs, produced music videos and recorded their albums.

“A big advantage of having a group with different generations is that we are very diverse,” said young Barcelona Aio. “We have multiple experiences, tastes that we can bring together and collaborate. We even collaborate in our thoughts.

Himaya’s music has evolved over the years. The group continues to grow from a Christian worship and worship group to an inspiring secular pop-rock group.

“We have become a cult group,” said the Barcelona elder. “We have developed the writing and praise of music together, doing independent albums and sessions with professional artists.

“When James and I started in the 90s, in a way maybe Sarili Kaming Tunog. We covered songs from Sugarfree, Bamboo, Kamikaze. Now, we sing Coldplay, Ben & Ben, even Juan Karlos and IV of Spades. We have learned to evolve while maintaining our integrity.

As the group expands its reach to a wider audience, its followers have grown as well. “Lumaki at dumami ang nag-iimbita sa amin,” Barcelona said. “For more than two decades, we have been giving concerts across the country.

“We need to be up to date with millennials. I am very grateful that my son grew up to be a musician and with his distinct tastes in music.

Apart from Himaya, Aio also writes songs of worship. He is also part of the purely community-based Feast Worship group. His songs are sung around the world at international worship and worship gatherings and events.

“I am very proud of my son. It’s a blessing that he’s also on board Himaya, ”Barcelona said.

Barcelona noted one downside is that you can’t easily determine where Himaya’s audience is. “The advantage is that everyone is easily an audience. Young people will not be alienated by looking at us.

“In a concert, mag-ama, mag-ina, pamilya, we have something for everyone. In schools, students of pati mga tatay ng, sasayaw sa VST and Company or Gary V. Pero for the youngest, if Aio can easily make Coldplay.

Perhaps one of the most enduring and active groups for about two decades now, Himaya has performed nationwide in schools, businesses, concerts, and secular and religious events, with an audience consisting of of thousands of people of different ages and backgrounds.

The group has been on stage at the Mall of Asia Arena, Araneta Coliseum, PICC, Music Museum and major venues in cities and provinces, performing with artists such as Freddie Aguilar, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios , Lolita Carbon, Noel Cabangon, Nyoy Volante, Top Suzara, Genève Cruz, Giselle Sanchez and Ai-Ai de la Alas.

“We have toured all over the country and performed in the main concert halls,” Barcelona said with a beaming smile. “From the MOA arena and the music museum to the Zamboanga and Palawan Coliseums. We visited schools even in the Davao area. We also organize corporate events, seminars, parties.

At present, Himaya is promoting their songs included in the “Caught In the Act” soundtrack album released by Star Music. The film hit theaters on Wednesday.

Barcelona wrote four of the six songs on the soundtrack album – “Nariyan Ka Lang Pala” sung by Andi Abaya, “Sabihin Ko Na Ba” by Bamboo B., “Huwag Muna Ngayon” by Jhassy Busran and “Huli Ka “by Himaya.

Aio contributed to “Ako Muna”, which he also performed with Himaya.

All of the songs on the album, including Andi Abaya’s “Tanging Hiling,” composed by Henry Ong, were arranged and designed by Mison and Nuez de Himaya.

The album was recently released and is available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and other music and media platforms.

“Langit na sa amin mayroon lang makinig or malaman lang na kami ang naglikha,” Aio said. “We are very grateful for this opportunity, not only to create, but also to be heard and seen. “

Focusing on the songwriter and the musicians is a new recipe for moviegoers, according to “Caught in the Act” writer-director Perry Escaño, who conceptualized the songs for the soundtrack.

“Viewers also need to see that music and songs in a movie are very important,” Escaño said. “Music gives soul and life in a film. It’s original, very interesting, even intriguing.

“Viewers, especially millennials, want something new. When making a film, I think musicians and composers should also be put forward. Each song has its own strength. You will simply be mesmerized. Mapapa-indak ka. The groove is there, the energy is there.

Himaya’s sound is a marriage of two worlds, according to Aio. “We can combine the old school type of music and the new sounds and we create something different.

“The main disadvantage has become an advantage for us. A deliberately generational age gap, even in music, is observed. Classic, modern, old-school rock, beat style.

“Caught in the Act” is Escaño’s third film, following “Ang Guro Kong Hindi Marunong Magbasa” (2017), an entry at the Cinemalaya Film Festival which was nominated for the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for movies for Best movie theme song for “Awiting Darating Din”; and “Ang Sikreto ng Piso (2019), with Gelli de Belen and Ariel Rivera.