Everyone is familiar with the song “Pinoy Ako” by Orange and Lemons. Composer Jonathan Manalo penned the song after meeting with Direk Lauren Dyogi. This came about when ABS CBN bought the franchise for Big Brother and they found the theme song didn’t match the Filipino spirit. They wanted an uplifting song that describes Filipinos and what makes us proud. Inspired by that creative brief, “Pinoy Ako” came to be.
“Pinoy Ako” is a song that celebrates Filipinos coming from different backgrounds being united by one goal. Jonathan shared that he did the song overnight, during a brownout, and submitted the demo the next day. The original piece had a different melody, but Orange and Lemons gave it a very fresh sound.
This time Rico Blanco lends his voice and gives “Pinoy Ako” a new sound. Renamed “Pinoy Tayo”, Rico performed the new version on ABS CBN’s Sunday show A.S.A.P. last 5 September, together with some of the PBB alums. The reimagined song is described as more Pinoy and more inclusive.
Rico said that it was an honour to do the well-loved song. Although he shared that when it was first offered to him, he asked for time to think about it, as he wanted to see what he could give to the song. Rico said that he dissected the song, adjusted the phrasing, added more ethnic sounds, but made sure that his version still gave homage to the original, keeping the guitars and echoes in the vocals. He said that he thoroughly enjoyed the process and even asked his girlfriend, former PBB member Maris Racal for her opinion.
Jonathan, on the other hand, only had praises for Rico. He said that it was a dream come true to work with the former River Maya frontman. Since Jonathan does mainly pop songs, he never thought that they could work together. Jonathan said that he always had Rico in mind for the reimagined version of “Pinoy Ako”. Jonathan’s 20th anniversary in showbusiness was the perfect opportunity to work with the rockstar. The unexpected collaboration was very timely because Pinoy Big Brother will also be launching its 10th season in November.
“Pinoy Tayo” will be featured along with other Jonathan Manalo songs in his 20th Anniversary Commemorative album to be released next year. A total of 25 songs with interpretations by different artists will compose the album. The single “Pinoy Tayo” is now available on all digital streaming platforms, and the lyric video is uploaded on YouTube.