Stories, essays, readings, facts and trivia on Philippine music and the local music industry

Featured Song: Ang Maya

Ang Maya (The Sparrow) is a waltz from the 1905 sarswela Filipinas para los Filipinos (Philippines for the Filipinos). The song, with music by Jose Estella and lyrics by Severino Reyes, portrays the agility of a small, swift maya bird. Severino’s youngest son, Pedrito, said that the song was inspired by the maya chirping in the trees near his father’s summer hut.

This song is popular with sopranos of high range. Maria Carpena, known as the first Filipino recording artist and sarswela star, recorded this popular song for Victor Records in 1913. She did the recording with the Molina Orchestra, at a makeshift studio in the Manila Hotel.

Ang Maya also became the signature song of soprano Consuelo Salazar-Perez, who starred in a movie of the same title in 1938. In 1992, the song was included in a modern sarswela by Nicanor Tiongson called Pilipinas Circa 1907, which was presented by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


Tiongson, N. (Ed.) (1994). CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, vol. 6: Philippine Music. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines.