Noel Cabangon misses the man and his music

Composer/singer/patriot remembers PNoy the audiophile

Noel Cabangon and PNoy jamming

Noel Cabangon: ‘It’s about the Filipino, not about political colors’

Composer/singer and patriot Noel Cabangon has an enviable trove of memories about PNoy, the late President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, whose birthday the people are marking February 8. Cabangon has shared so much music with PNoy whom he had known since PNoy’s years as congressman.

The two bonded over music, from folk and country (i.e. American Pie) to jazz and bossa nova to Filipino compositions. It was in former head of Presidential Management Staff Julia Abad’s wedding in Batanes, which then congressman Aquino attended on behalf of his mother, the late democracy icon President Cory Aquino, that Cabangon and PNoy first got to jam.

“He’s a ‘70s kind of guy,” he says of PNoy’s major taste in music.

Through the years the sharing of music could only deepen and Cabangon, in this recorded interview, notes how PNoy was a dedicated audiophile whose ear for music was actually keener than Cabangon’s—he was into the “music mix,” the intricate sounds and nuances of it.

Today, Cabangon not only misses his friend but also expresses sadness, regret and frustration over the demolition job done on the late president—“Hindi siya marunong magbuhat ng bangko….sinira siya ng disinformation (He didn’t trumpet his achievements…He was demolished by disinformation).”

He bemoans how the country is deeply polarized, how disinformation has bred the false notion that the division is only between political colors and between two families. In truth, Cabangon says, it’s really about the Filipino people.

In music, Cabangon singles out the songs PNoy loved to share with him—Kahit Maputi na Ang Buhok Ko, Binibini, Mabuting Pilipino. He performed Kanlungan during the funeral Mass for PNoy.

Upon Pnoy’s death, his family bequeathed a few of PNoy’s music collection and his headset to the composer.

Here,’s interview with Noel Cabangon the weekend before PNoy’s birthday.

Credit: Rappler/YouTube

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for’s Weekly Digest and get the best of, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *