Once again, the Itchyworms—on video their powerful love song, now seen and streaming

In Photo: Itchyworms

HIT Pinoy band Itchyworms invades the music-video realm through its popular single, Di Na Muli.

The song was written in 2016 by long-time friends Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola. It was their entry to the 5th Philippine Popular (PhilPop) Music Festival and performed by the group, where it won the grand prize.

Now in 2018, the song has been given new life in the official soundtrack of the movie Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) (from Viva Films, which stars Dingdong Dantes with Anne Curtis, and directed by Irene Villamor).

Somewhere in-between PhilPop and Sid & Aya, the Itchyworms set out to immortalize the song. The result was a visually-stunning and emotional music video directed by Paolo Abella and Juno Oebanda.

Being a longtime friend of the Itchyworms, Oebanda once approached the band to present the concept for the video. He sought the generous indulgence of none other than the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), and said the video was a tribute to Teddy Hilado—Oebanda’s uncle who died in 2015 and is recognized as the “Father of lighting design in Philippine theater.”

The song’s themes of love, loss, and words left unspoken are embodied in the elegant performances of Rosky Balahadia Hilado (Teddy’s widow, formerly of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company) as well as Carissa Adea (Ballet Philippines) within the video’s sweeping visuals—all captured inside the hallowed halls of the CCP. The music video seeks to serve as loving tribute to Teddy, whose influence is still felt and recognized to this day.

The Itchyworms are now proud to share what is probably the first-ever music video shot inside the CCP as they extend their heartfelt thanks to those who helped bring the music video to fruition.

Here are excerpts from the interview of Oebanda, who directed the video:

When I first heard Di Na Muli, after The Itchyworms bagged grand prize at the PhilPop 2016, it moved me to tears like no other. Having known the band for quite some time, I called them up and expressed my desire to do a music video. I felt the song…was so powerful, it needed a proper one. But how? What treatment? 

The light bulb [moment] came close to Teddy Hilado’s first death anniversary in 2016, and so the story goes: Teddy, in his younger years, was the first technical and lighting director of the CCP and the Bayanihan Dance Group. This was where he met the young Rosky who, at that time, was one of the principal dancers of the Bayanihan.

At the CCP is where their love story started: Teddy designing the lights over dances that Rosky did on stage. 

I presented the story line to the “Worms.” They liked it, and proceeded to talk to the CCP if we could film in and around the theater. We were given a venue grant easily since Teddy was one of [their] pioneers. By this time, I had to look for a partner to do this with.

I called up Direk Paolo Abella, an expert in film, to help me execute this project. Support in the form equipment came from the LIVE entertainment industry as well. 

So the music video story goes: Rosky comes back to the CCP stage after more than 20 years and reminisces how and where her love story with Teddy started. This is where Rosky takes over and owns the song, how she walked, how she smiled, how she cried and how she gracefully danced were all real emotions. The young Rosky was played by Kare Adea, who was equally wonderful.

In this photo, I was giving Tita Rosky blocking instructions when she whispered to me smiling, but with tears in her eyes: “I haven’t been on this stage for more than 20 years.” I said, “Tita, this last sequence is where you will dance with Tito Teddy. Dance with the light Tita, dance with Tito Teddy…”

What happened next was magical: her poise, her grace was that of a woman dancing with her love again. There was no acting here. The beautiful, emotional lighting execution was by Shakira Villa Symes, who for a time was mentored by Teddy himself.

The video ends with Rosky with a solo top light. Go figure.

Di Na Muli is a gem of a song that comes around not too often. It’s a song that becomes yours, and you own it. Any other story would have made a wonderful narrative, [but] this one just has a setting that all of us can relate to.

Search for the video online and through the Itchyworm’s official YouTube channel. The band is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates. Listen to their music on Spotify, Deezer and iTunes.


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