Matud Nila

When I was looking for a place to stay [I’m really on a super tight budget] I was looking for some inexpensive spaces,  I found many places that were old and neglected, many offer rooms that were  like dirty bomb shelters. I was hopping from one barrio to the other, unfamiliar with  urban Cebu, I would always end up asking for directions, I was at the mercy of strangers, and true enough, people here are generous and kind.

Like the Zubiri’s of Cebu.

Their Grandfather was a renowned Visaya musician, “an all around” musikero, his daughter now confined to her wheelchair recalls. I was interviewing her for sometime when I realized that I was giving her a hard time, I was told that she has survived several medical emergencies, I no longer dared to ask more. After thanking her I left her alone with her good lady caretaker.

His father was Ben Zubiri, aka Iyo Karpo, the composer of the immortal Visayan ballad, “Matud Nila” [they say]. A tagalog version, “Ikaw na Lamang” was made by Levi Celerio. Zubiri was also a Cebuano actor, acting in one of the first Cebuano movies released in theater houses locally. A matud nila  has been sung by countless Filipino musician from Pilita Corales to modern crooners like Mark Bautista. Its the greatest Visayan song my Mama would tell me.

My Mama, a Visayan woman herself, would listen to a radio drama to an AM station, the background music was this timeless classic, sung by a soothing female voice [anyone knows who the singer was on that show? its on DZRH I believe, the drama was played every noon time, mid 1980’s].

Zubiri was also a fierce guerrilla fighter during the Japanese occupation, he met his wife in Bohol, where he was stationed. He died on 1969.


Ben Zuburi and his awards on top of his beloved piano where he created his memorable Cebuano ballads


4 responses to “Matud Nila

  • Anonymous


  • thenewsunshine

    Hello! I’m a Broadcast Communication student from UP Diliman and I’m doing a research on Ben Zubiri to provide information of his personal data for the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art 2015. I’m looking for relatives or even contacts who personally know Ben Zubiri. I hope you could help me. If you do know anyone, please contact me ASAP. 🙂 God bless!!

    • De AnDA

      Hello there. I no longer have the mobile # of those who administers the place. I was told that they are all relatives of Sr. Ben Zubiri. I could give you details on where this house (where I rented a room) is but I don’t know if this is what you need. I was told by the landlady that the musician lived in the main house. Some of his personal belonging are still there. In fact, I would go down from my dorm some weekends when a young boy would play the piano. I was told that he’s a grandson.

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