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.

1

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

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