ALAMAT's Upbeat ABKD Serves the Truth and Hope We Need
Updated: Sep 22, 2022
What better way for Filipino sing-rap-dance boy group ALAMAT to celebrate the first anniversary of their debut than with the release of a new single? 'ABKD' (ABCD), is a happy, bouncy tune with a serious message. True to their mission, the P-Pop boy group found another way to bring attention to a shortcoming through an appealing, upbeat tune. During their promotion of the group in January of 2021, they explained: “We look for the key to unbind ourselves from the chains that prevent us from running and soaring.” Ever since their debut, ALAMAT has sought ways to live their vision.
[ABKD] seeks to help bring home the message that every Filipino (make it everyone, for that matter) is equal.
ALAMAT's comeback song encourages people who have been bullied and marginalized because of their skin tone. Sung and rapped in ALAMAT's signature seven languages, it seeks to help bring home the message that every Filipino (make it everyone, for that matter) is equal. The music video for 'ABKD' was filmed in the province of Pampanga, which is the home of ALAMAT Member Jao. It is also the traditional home of one of the largest tribes of Indigenous People in the Philippines - the Aeta. As the oldest tribe in the Philippines, the Aeta have suffered displacement and prejudice from within their own country and, to this day, still face deeply-ingrained bias. 'ABKD' focuses on Aeta children who struggle with basic rights like getting a proper education and fair treatment.
The video follows the journey of a young, Aeta girl as she is bombarded with messages that seek to bring her down. At each step, the cheerful pop melody of ALAMAT, combined with its uplifting lyrics, aims to counter the messages of hate and encourage the youth to keep pushing toward her goals. At the opening, the young protagonist is looking at a billboard that advertises whitening products and implies that dark skin is ugly. ALAMAT member, Mo is quick to counter with his line “Huwag yuyuko, halaga mo’y ginto" (Don’t look down, your value is gold).
What Brings Us Down (And Lifts Us Up)
Only encouragement through bayanihan (helping each other) gets her up again.
The most memorable scene is the talanka (crabs) bringing the little Aeta girl down. The scene is a common Filipino metaphor called "crab mentality," in which jealous crabs do not want someone from lower strata of society to succeed. Only encouragement through bayanihan (helping each other) gets her up again.
The World is Ours
ABKD oozes positivity in a way that is uniquely ALAMAT and represents their ability to jump across sounds and genres almost seamlessly.
Against the colorful backdrop visuals in their first MV for 2022, reminders of open communications and a focus on aspirations pepper the video. It’s a mood that feels both in line with and completely opposite of both the smooth jazz of 'Porque' (Why) and the aggressive edginess of 'Kasmala' (Strong). With the addition of their surprise guests, a troupe of Aeta dancers, ABKD oozes positivity in a way that is uniquely ALAMAT and represents their ability to jump across sounds and genres almost seamlessly. This type of positivity should be an everyday reminder. It is truly a beautiful way to tell people, “The World is Yours.”