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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yoyoy Villame

Yoyoy Villame (November 18, 1932 - May 18, 2007) born Roman Tesorio Villame, was a Filipino singer, composer, lyricist, and comedian. Villame was a native of Calape, Bohol and was the father of singer Hannah Villame. He died of cardiac arrest at the Las PiƱas Medical Center in Metro Manila on May 18, 2007.

Early Life:

Before getting his break in the music industry, Villame was at one point a jeepney driver and at another, an army draftee who fought in the government’s anti-insurgency campaign in Central Luzon. He went back to Bohol to become a bus driver, and there he formed a rondalla combo with his fellow bus drivers as band mates. The owner of the bus company took notice of Villame’s efforts, setting up a music studio named Kinamay Records just for him. Villame's first recording was in 1972 and entitled Magellan. It was the beginning of a long list of albums and recordings of his politically inspired songs in Sugboanon, Tagalog and English.

Notable Works:

Among his notable works include Butse Kik, a song written from made-up Chinese-sounding words which Villame allegedly came up with by writing down the names of Chinese stores while waiting for a mechanic to fix his broken-down jeepney in Manila's Chinatown. He also wrote Philippine Geography, which lists 77 major islands, provinces, cities, municipalities, and towns in the Philippines from north to south. His long list of hits and his entertaining style of music has earned him the title of "King of Philippine Novelty Songs".

Villame began making movies in the early 1970s, and was noted for his role in the 1974 suspense thriller Biktima. In 2004, Yoyoy played a Visayan troubadour in the critically acclaimed movie, Babae sa Breakwater (Woman of the Breakwater).