There are songs that you absolutely love that you won’t get sick of hearing them. And there are songs that you loathe with your whole being because you are so sick of listening to them. Then there are songs that, regardless of whether you love or hate them, you just know, because they’re just that big of a hit.
Let’s revisit some of those that made our childhood fun and memorable:
DiCE and k9 – “Itsumo”
How it became a hit: Everyone thought this was a foreign song (appropriation at its finest), and everyone wanted to know what those Japanese lyrics meant. But nope, this is made purely by Filipinos—Cebuanos, to be more specific.
What’s up now: They’ve changed their name to Mobbstarr, and they’re still making music, with their latest single being released just last July.
Iconic lyrics: The whole chorus in Japanese, just because it was a novelty back then. Or honestly, any of those lines where they just randomly start spelling words, because why not, right?
Aimee Torres – Pusong Bato
How it became a hit: The song has been around for a decade before it resurfaced due to a clip of Nigerian students singing the song became viral. Since then, a lot of covers and iterations has been produced.
What’s up now: Well, more people are making more covers, even Koreans. Bato na rin yung kanta parang puso mo.
Iconic lyrics: Akala ko ika’y langit / Yun pala’y sakit ng ulo
Gagong Rapper – “Kabet”
How it became a hit: The lyrics telling a teleserye-like story combined with a catchy beat? Of course, Pinoys would eat that up, and we absolutely loved it.
What’s up now: It really hurts—that almost two decades have passed since the song was first released, yet there’s still no music video when that song is just so ripe with plot.
Iconic lyrics: It really hurts ang magmahal nang ganito / Kung sino pang pinili ko, hindi makuha nang buo
Sandara Park – “In or Out”
How it became a hit: Sandara won second place in Star Circle Quest and released her own album, with “In or Out” as the lead single, which was paired with a dance so easy to follow, which fans absolutely loved. She also gave us the iconic hair bop “Walang Sabit” as a collaboration with shampoo brand Rejoice. And we all became K-Pop stans before we even knew what hit us.
What’s up now: While she was a one-hit wonder here, this was certainly not the case in South Korea. The singer took up the stage name Dara and became part of beloved girl group 2NE1 in 2009. But the group later disbanded in 2016, though they all remain good friends, with Park Bom even doing an R&B cover of “In or Out”! At the moment, Dara is pursuing solo activities both in the Philippines and South Korea, though 2NE1 does reunite from time to time.
Iconic lyrics: In or out sana’y okay sa ‘yo / at di ako magtatampo / kung in ako or out sa puso mo. Or when she says mahal ko kayo with an accent. Or honestly, just that sarang hamida boy line.
Maldita – “Porque”
How it became a hit: The song was released through FM radio stations in Zamboanga City and spread through the rest of the country. Well, before “Despacito” came along, we already had “Porque” in Chavacano. So.
What’s up now: Maldita released more songs after the success of “Porque.” They rebranded in 2012 to become UNiCA, but they disbanded only three years later.
Iconic lyrics: Bakit ikaw pa ang napili / Ngayon ang puso ko ay sawi. Shoutout to all the still-sawi people out there!
The Speaks – “High”
How it became a hit: It’s a catchy beat with empowering lyrics, and we dig that.
What’s up now: They’ve released more music shortly after “High,” but there’s not much news from this US-based band nowadays.
Iconic lyrics: Are you still afraid? / Just close your eyes and dream, and fear will fade away (And that yeah-eh-yay at the end of the chorus.)
Michael Josh Santana – “Biyahe”
How it became a hit: This was a translation of one of the theme songs of Meteor Garden, and with the undeniable success of the show, it’s no wonder everyone and their moms rode on this Tagalog version.
What’s up now: He’s still crooning this ballad around, but this singer is now a doctor! Anong binatbat ni Dao Ming Si ngayon? Char.
Iconic lyrics: Ang buhay ay sinasakyan lang yan / Di ko alam ang tungo kung saan was too real even if we didn’t know it yet back then.
Salbakuta – “Stupid Love”
How it became a hit: Salbakuta is composed of Andrew E’s protégés, and that on its own is enough starpower. But this song is just so infectious and catchy. And we’re so damn hooked.
What’s up now: The group has continued making music, but honestly, nothing tops love being soft as an easy chair. Whatever that means.
Iconic lyrics: Para kang sphinx ugali mo’y napaka sting. Oh wait. It could be girlie biddy bye bye don’t tell a lie. Or no! Just the crowd going stupid! Ugh, we can’t choose! The whole thing is iconic. HUHU.
What songs got you hooked back then? Share them with us below!