Bisrock, according to Bisrock Blogspot, refers to the Cebuano rock music industry. The term comes from the words ‘Bisaya’ and ‘rock’ and was first applied to Missing Filemon’s first album.
Bisrock, at its peak in the mid-2000s, was popular not just in Cebu but in the whole Visayan region. Cebuano language songs, though not new, has a limited crowd among modern listeners. Any violent reaction here?
Perhaps because Cebuano songs are considered old-school, like what we always hear on the radio during Sundays, songs like Rosas Pandan (‘nagtan-aw kang Inday, nagtabisay ang laway’) and Yoyoy Villame’s novelty songs.
Even the mainstream Cebuano bands such as Cueshé and Urbandub don’t even release a single Cebuano song.
But Bisrock was something new.
It uses Cebuano words with a modern style, similar to the modern, mainstream music and is catered to the Cebuano youth.
Missing Filemon and Aggressive Audio may be the bands that have brought Bisrock to its popularity.
Who else wouldn’t get hooked by their catchy songs?
Aggressive Audio’s “Senior Citizen” (Ang tigulang, bisag bako… ♫) became the de facto disco song in barangay fiestas while Missing Filemon’s “Sine-Sine” won the best theme song in the 2008 Famas Awards.
A local FM station actively campaigned for Bisrock and soon after, other FM stations caught up and allotted a time slot just for Bisrock songs.
Bisrock then, became a big hit to the Cebuanos.
It has, without a doubt, become part of the Cebuano culture and way of life.
It helped inspire the young, talented Cebuanos to form their own band.
But though Bisrock thrived in the local music scene, it was not without criticisms.
Some say that Bisrock songs are too shallow and that their lyrics are filled with grammatical errors and some even contain sexual innuendos.
It’s also common for Bisrock songs to be usually sung by a mediocre vocalist and the clarity of the songs aren’t that good (it’s as if they are recorded inside a cave or a barrel).
Whether or not these criticisms have truth in it, the fact is anyone can freely form his own Bisrock band with limited budget.
The great thing, these criticisms didn’t hamper Bisrock’s road to success.
A few years later, Bisrock influence waned.
It’s no longer frequently played on the radio and Bisrock bands’ are rarely seen in gigs.
Local radios are now saturated with K-pop and foreign boy band songs that even the mainstream OPM are considered lackluster compared to them.
Uso pa ba ang Bisrock? Hain na man ang mga banda karon?
Well, Aggressive Audio and Missing Filemon have Facebook pages where you can catch their latest gigs and album while Phylum has apparently merged with Wet Slipperz and translated the hit Bisrock song “Bisan Pa” in Tagalog.
Maybe staying in the local scene just doesn’t pay well and the solution is to go mainstream.
Perhaps it’s just that the listeners are no longer interested in Bisrock (There’s still Vispop if you want to listen to Cebuano songs).