Bamboo covers Buklod classic “Tatsulok”

Posted: January 28, 2007 in Music, Socio-Political

It’s about freakin’ time!

Pinoy rock band Bamboo has recently come out with a cover of the Buklod classic “Tatsulok” as part of their third studio album. The song has been getting quite a lot of radio airplay, creating a buzz among activist circles familiar with the Buklod anthem.

Originally, the song Tatsulok was part of Buklod’s second album of the same title. The song deals with militarization in the countryside, and the root of the armed conflict in the country. It was released at the time of the Total War policy of then president Corazon Aquino. The Total War policy then, as is with the “all-out war” policy of current president Arroyo, intended to crush the insurgency. But instead of defeating the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside, the militarization campaign’s first casualties were civilians.

Totoy bilisan mo, bilisan mo ang takbo
Ilagan ang mga bombang nakatutok sa ulo mo
Totoy tumalon ka, dumapa kung kailangan
At baka tamaan pa ng mga balang ligaw

At the time of the song, memories of anti-communist vigilante groups were still fresh in the minds of the people, especially with the rise of such infamous groups as the Alsa Masa and other “death squads” tolerated by the Aquino administration and the militarists in the regime.

Totoy makinig ka, wag kang magpa-gabi
Baka mapagkamalan ka’t humandusay dyan sa tabi
Totoy alam mo ba kung ano ang puno’t dulo
Ng di matapos-tapos na kaguluhang ito

Quite interestingly, the same incidents of death squads have come to the fore again with the rise of extrajudicial killings under the Arroyo regime. Those killed have been conveniently called “NPA supporters”.

Hindi pula’t dilaw tunay na magkalaban
Ang kulay at tatak ay di syang dahilan
Hangga’t marami ang lugmok sa kahirapan
At ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayaman[Chorus]
Habang may tatsulok at sila ang nasa tuktok
Di matatapos itong guloLumilikas ang hininga ng kayraming mga tao

At ang dating munting bukid, ngayo’y sementeryo
Totoy kumilos ka, baliktarin ang tatsulok
Katulad mong mga dukha, ilagay mo sa tuktok

In the end, the song tells us that the armed conflict is not just about fighting between the NPA and the Aquino regime at that time (pula’t dilaw). The root causes of the fighting are poverty, the social pyramid.

The song is tight, lyrically and musically. Hands down, it is one of the best songs by Buklod (even better than the other popular Buklod song used in a McDonald’s commercial).

The remake is long overdue. The airplay is much deserved. The timeliness is beyond question.

I only hope that the impact transcends the traditional rock song airplay-sales-awards cycle. I do hope the song raises questions about how things are being run in the country today. Tatsulok does not mince words in describing society and the justice system. It is straightforward in “sticking it to the Man”.

Bamboo does an excellent job in covering the song, though I personally feel that the intro sounded too much like the intro of Hallelujah. One misses the original Buklod strumming and flute background. The vocals are great and invoke strong emotions and are almost like the subdued anger of the original Buklod. The percussions seem to be holding back, unlike the guitar riffs which are let loose, almost like in a fit of rage.

The remake of Tatsulok raises the bar in socio-political songwriting and performances for this generation’s rockers. A trail has been blazed anew for the current crop of bands and singers. This is no longer uncharted territory for mainstream acts.

And as for our friends abroad, we hope they could catch the following tour in the
US. Check it out. Let’s hope “Tatsulok” gets to be played live and loud, in the belly of the beast!



  1. bon-bon says:

    Maraming salamat sa info kuya!

    Yes, i completely agree with you. this is a long overdue endeavor. The US-Arroyo regime’s all out war policies should be countered by the Filipino people on all fronts. And the musical scene is a most welcome front for raising people’s awareness regarding the fascist attack of the regime. I sincerely hope that Tatsulok will blaze a trail of socially oriented songs which are particularly sensitive to the plight of the filipino people. I also hope that if a music video is to be created, it would do justice to Buklod and to the song.

    Three cheers to bamboo for such a nice work!!!

  2. adarna says:

    psst, mag-update ka naman ng blog. hehe.

  3. […] The original one can be listened to and downloaded at Ate Annie’s Multiply account3. Renato Reyes Jr. has a very well-written entry that explains the history behind the song. […]

  4. chovie says:

    “TatSULok” IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE bukLoD song, everytime i hear that SONG it reminds me OF tHE NEVER ending BATTLE of the POOR and the OPPRESSED versus the RICH,the HIGH and MIGHTY and those who are in power..

    and for me there will be no BAND or ARTIST that fits to COVER this SONG except BAMBOO, when i first heard this’s LIKE a DREAM come TRUE 🙂



  5. thrown says:

    w0w.. kanina ko lang umaga narinig sa tv tong song na to and it caught my attention. kya pala ganun ang lyrics ng song eh may patama pla. u did a great job bamboo for reviving the song. bamboo lang may K para magrevive nito. keep it up guys. proud to be pinoy!

  6. weng2x says:

    tatsulok is one of my favorite song..
    i reaaly like this song bcoz of its valued meanig…

  7. gabriela says:

    galing mo bamboo sana sa kantang to magising ang mga polotikong corrup at mapagsamantala sa mga mahihirap!!!!

    mabuhay ang mga taong martir!!!!!

  8. faith says:

    di ako sumasang ayun sa kanta…
    walang pag babago kahit mag ka baliktad pa ang tatsulok..
    ganun parin ang mga tao greedy parin…. kya balewala sakin kahit mag ka bakiktad

    isang ordinaryong tao.. lamang ako, estudyante

  9. MArk says:

    HMMM..napaka totoo ng kantang ito.ayos!sana marinig ni arroyo pandak and song na toh.

  10. alvin lopez says:

    parang hindi bagay ng bamboo (isang bandang mainstream) ang kantang tatsulok ng buklod dahil hindi isinasakatawan ng bandang ito ang pagpapakahulugan ng kanta. sila mismo ay bahagi ng tuktok ng tatsulok.

  11. Listen here you stupid worshippers of BAMBOO!!! they just $bought$ the copyrights from Buklod: revived it for their own selfish purposes; which eventually slandered the true essence of the song and turned it into a typical brain-dead rock song, and sold it to you.

  12. Dogmok says:

    The original buklod should be recognized. I hate to note that they are forgotten.. I love their songs.

  13. jusw says:

    are that naive of what is happening right now!!!! or isa lang kayo sa mga milyong-milyong Pilipinong walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari sa mundo!!!! hindi nyo ba nakikita ang pinagagawa ng mahal nating presidente?!!! masyado na siyang nagpapakasasa sa kapangyarihan!!! marami na ang nabiktima nang kanyang mga bulok na sistema!!! try to discover the real meaning os the somg!!! hindi naman yan sa kumankanta… may gusto lang iparating ang kumanta kaya niya binalik……

  14. akira says:

    arroyo administration sucks…they are all currupt!!!

  15. yintotz says:

    we STILL can do something .. let us be the TOTOY in the song and invert the socio political pyramid. we SHOULD do something to let this country free from those injustices !!!

  16. john patrick says:

    hello po. nahanap ko po itong blog nyo dahil nagreresearch ako tungkol sa comparative analysis ng song na tatsulok between bamboo’s and buklod’s version. at least offhand your post is going to be cited in my review of related literature but still i need more sources. can you refer me to other links regarding my topic? thanks po,

  17. aireen tiamzon says:

    i really like the melody and lyrics of the song..hope all filipinos hve the oppurtunity to reflect on the true meaning of calling the attention of all of Filipinos to hve the courage and passion to reverse the social stata, mas mdmi dpat ang myaman sa sariling bansa at kaunti ang mahihirap..kya ntin 2..kunting sakripisyo sna…wag muna ntin icpin ang sariling interes..wag na tayo magturuan kung cnu my kslanan bkt mdming dukha sa sariling byan..ang mhlaga wag ntin gyahin ang mga pgka2mli all politians..i know temptations are hard to resist..just always remember one thing…”hindi nio pinoproblema kung my kakainin kau sa oras ng kainan pro mdming pilipino ang dinadaan sa tulog, at tubig pra malampasan ang gutom…tulungan sna ntin cla..wag tau magbulagbulagan..tnx..

  18. heavenscloud says:

    i think tignan nyo ito lyrics na ito na chorus

    (Habang may tatsulok at sila ang nasa tuktok
    Di matatapos itong guloLumilikas ang hininga ng kayraming mga tao)

    its means pinaguusapan din dito yung tungkol sa illuminati. . illuminati ang pinakamakapang yarihang secret society dito sa mundo isa sa mga kasali dito ang US President na si George Washington at iba. .

  19. Yumi says:

    I don’t think so. You should read what Noel Cabangon said about mainstreaming songs of protest. He was even impressed that Bamboo did the cover. He’s absolutely right that there’s no use to preach to the converted. You need to use the music of the youth to get into them. Even churches with high-following nowadays use that trick.

  20. Yumi says: