Philippine Folk Music: The Lyrics You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Philippine folk music is some of the most beautiful and unique in the world. If you’re a fan of this genre, then you need to know the lyrics to these essential songs.


Philippine Folk Music is an important part of the country’s heritage. The music is a reflection of the people’s values, beliefs, and traditions. It is also a source of entertainment and community building. There are many different types of folk music in the Philippines, from religious songs to ballads and love songs. Most of these songs are passed down from generation to generation, and many are still sung today.

One of the most popular type of Philippine Folk Music is the kundiman. Kundiman is a traditional Filipino love song that is usually sung in a slow, sweet melody. The lyrics often express longing and hope for reuniting with one’s lover. Other popular types of folk music include ballads, harana (love songs), and subli (religious songs).

Folk music plays an important role in Filipino culture. It is a way for people to connect with their heritage and express themselves. The lyrics of these songs often reflect the values and beliefs of the Filipino people.

What is Philippine Folk Music?

Philippine Folk Music is the music of the people of the Philippines. It is a mixture of indigenous, Spanish, and American influences. The music is based on various instruments, such as the kulintang, gongs, flutes, guitars, drums, and maracas. The lyrics of Philippine Folk Music are usually about love, nature, and daily life.

The Different Types of Philippine Folk Music

There are different types of Philippine folk music, which include the following:

1. Love Songs – These are popular among young people and are often used as courting songs. The lyrics usually talk about longing for a lover, unrequited love, or heartbreak.

2. War Songs – These were sung by warriors before going into battle. The lyrics would boost the morale of the soldiers and prepare them for combat.

3. Work Songs – These were sung while performing manual labor such as farming or fishing. The lyrics served as a form of motivation, helping the workers to stay focused and avoid fatigue.

4. Children’s Songs – These are usually playful and upbeat, and often teach moral lessons or serve as nursery rhymes.

5. Religious Songs – These are hymns that are sung in churches or during religious ceremonies. The lyrics usually praise God or advocate for religious beliefs.

The Lyrics You Need to Know

There are many different types of Philippine folk music, each with its own unique lyrics and musical style. Here are some of the most popular and well-known examples:

1. Kulintang music is usually performed on a kulintang, a type of xylophone. The lyrics are typically about love, nature, or daily life.

2. Bamboo band music is played on various bamboo instruments, such as the xylophone and flute. The lyrics often tell stories or express emotions.

3. Rondalla music is played on a variety of instruments, including guitars, mandolins, and violins. The lyrics can be about anything, but they often tell stories or describe Philippine culture and traditions.

4. Harana music is sung by men who serenade women they are courting. The lyrics are typically romantic in nature.

5.. Kundiman music is a type of love song that is traditionally sung in a slow and sentimental manner. The lyrics are often about unrequited love orheartbreak.


We hope you enjoyed reading about Philippine folk music! If you’re interested in learning more about the lyrics of some popular folk songs, we’ve included a list below. These are just a few of the many traditional songs that are still sung today.

Popular Folk Songs:
-“Atin Cu Pung Singsing”
-“Bahay Kubo”
-“Dalit Dalit”
– “Kalapati”
– “Leron Leron Sinta”
– “Magtanim Ay Di Biro”
– “May Papaya Ring Aking Bulaklak”
– “Pakiusap Lang Padayon Ta Kayo!”
– “Paru-parong Bukid / Ako Ay Paru-Paro / Ang Tingting Ko Ay Paru-Paro Rin ( variations of a song about a butterfly) -Tulog Na, Binibining (a childrens song) -Pakamasandigan Ta / Uyaoy Bayoy ( A Cordillera love song)

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