Palawan’s musical duo, High Hello, will be having their “three-legged” homecoming tour entitled “Pagsibol sa Palawan” this November 8-10.
Jaycen, one of the two, said it is a “celebration of a milestone”, having the music video of their single “Pagsibol” released recently under Viva Records and was aired on MYX, a Quezon City-based TV channel targeted to youth audiences with music videos as its primary content.
“We wish to share this milestone with the Palaweños who have been supporting us from the very beginning,” Jaycen said.
She said that this tour is also their way of announcing that this is the start of their career and that they won’t stop until they reach the top.
“’Yong tour is parang way din namin na pag-announce sa mundo na ito na ‘yong simula talaga ng career namin, at di na kami titigil hanggang maabot naming ‘yong tuktok,” Jaycen said.
They also shared that after Pagsibol, they will be recording new songs and they are planning to have an even bigger tour next year, “Hopefully makaka-contibute sa pag-step up ng Palawan music scene.”
Mara and Jaycen have been best of friends since grade school but their musical journey officially began October of 2016.
Looking back, Mara had a band of her own called “Frappe Up”. They had their regular gigs at the local bars in Puerto Princesa.
Jaycen, who just graduated BA Anthropology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, came home to Palawan and spent some time jamming on stage with the group.
Their journey took off when they uploaded a video of them singing one of their original songs, “Konti Nalang”. Tee Radio, an online-based radio streaming station shared it on its Facebook page and has now reached at least 2.2 million views.
The duo is also in advocacy to #NormalizeBusking. They started busking February 2018 when Manila-based artist Martin Riggs walked them through the journey.
“We went to Manila to perform sa UP Fair. Before our flight, naghahanap pa kami ng mga gigs na puwede pa naming matugtugan para masulit ‘yong biyahe namin,” Jaycen said.
It was then they saw Riggs’ post about his busking experiences, “So we messaged him, told him we wanted to try it, if he could teach us. Pumayag siya so nag-set kami ng date then dinala niya kami sa usual busking spots niya sa Manila.”
They shared how Riggs and busking played a big role in their career as High Hello, “Hindi lang niya [Riggs] kami sa busking tinutulungan. Pati ‘yong news songs namin at ‘yong mga gigs tulad nitong tour, tinutulungan niya kaming maayos.”
Jaycen also shared the challenges they face in the advocacy to normalize busking as it is not really common in the Philippines, including criticisms they get from the act.
“Pero alam namin na parte ‘yon at hindi rin talaga lahat maiintindihan ‘yong ginagawa namin. Basta ang mahalaga lang din sa amin ay ‘yong ma-express namin ‘yong sarili namin, maibahagi ‘yong music namin lalo na ‘yong mga sarili namin kanta kasi hindi naman lahat ng musicians nabibigyan ng chance makatungtong sa malaking entablado para kantahin ‘yong sarili nilang kanta hindi ba?” she said.
“Sa busking, nararamdaman namin ‘yong kalayaan namin bilang artists. Kung saan man kami, sa park man ‘yan o sa kalye, ‘yon ang stage namin,” she added.
Fast forward to February 2019 when High Hello became part of Viva Records, a Philippine record label owned by Viva Entertainment.
Before signing with Viva Records, Jaycen said it was only a dream, a dream they continuously worked hard for.
“Parang malayong pangarap lang siya so ang ginagawa lang namin noon, sulat lang kami ng sulat, tugtog ng tugtog kapag may nag-invite sa mga gig, tapos nag-effort din kaming makaluwas sa Manila para kahit papaano mas malawak na exposure,” Jaycen said.
“Before Viva, ang mga plano lang namin noon is mag-release ng mag-release ng songs, mag-shoot ng music videos. Mas napadali lang ngayon kasi di na namin iisipin ‘yong expenses [haha] at mas mabilis ma-reach ‘yong malawak na audience,” she added.
To see the official music video of “Pagsibol” click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENf_cqz3p40
The two also shared how moving to Manila, away from family and loved ones, opened doors of opportunities with them and how they wish to be the bridge of those opportunities to more budding musicians in their island home.
“Kahit sobrang hirap, magandang desisyon pa rin na nag-base kami sa Manila kasi mas naging open kami sa music scene doon. Namulat kami sa mga bagay na hindi pa namin nakikita dito sa Palawan,” they shared.
“Kaya parang nagiging mission na din namin na matulungan ‘yong artists dito sa Palawan. Kasi di ba ‘yong thinking namin, kaya kami lumawas ng Manila ay dahil andoon ‘yong mas maraming opportunities. So parang magiging instrument kami na mas malapit sa mga artists dito ‘yong mga opportunities na ‘yon,” they said.
Now, the duo is bringing their music back to Palawan, where it all began.
Catch them on their first leg of “Pagsibol sa Palawan” homecoming tour at Stellar Grounds this Friday, November 8, at 7 p.m.
The second leg will be at Freedom Park in front of Puerto Princesa Coliseum, Saturday, November 9, at 6 p.m. in partnership with the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival.
The third leg will be alongside Binhi sa Rurungan Sunday Market, at the Rurungan compound in Abanico street. Live music starts at 3 p.m., along with local and guest artists from Manila.