01 Concept + Story
Perhaps one of the most widely-known Bicolano deities, Bulan is regarded as the primordial moon god who was often described as an androgynous, comely deity who lives in the heavens and would often descend with a host of wind nymphs. It is said that because of his appearance, any being such as the Asuangs, Magindara, and other monsters would suddenly become docile in his presence.
Haliya, in most references, is the masked goddess of the moonlight. Some sources say that she is Bulan’s sibling, while some sources refer to her as his daughter. She is prominently known as the arch-nemesis of Bakunawa, the sea serpent who tries to swallow the moon, bringing darkness to the land.
In the song, FELIP claps back at the haters and uses Bulan’s story as a metaphor for crab mentality. When one gets ahead of other people in whatever aspect of life they deem important, some react negatively with their thoughts, words, and actions.
‘Bulan’ tells us to not be consumed by such reactions. Unlike the Bakunawa to Haliya, we should not allow our light to be overcome by these monsters who only wish to bring darkness and dampen our spirits.
02 Track Information
Performed by FELIP
Music and Lyrics by FELIP
Beat produced by FELIP
Beat co-produced by Joshua Daniel Nase
Live Guitar Performed and Recorded by Gino Madrid
Mixed and Mastered by Thyro Alfaro
Intro Vocals by Stell Ajero
Genre: Hip-hop, Rap, Rock
Distributed by: FELIP
Harnessing his influences in hip-hop and rock music while adding some ethnic elements to the mix, FELIP surprises us anew with ‘Bulan’ – his response to entities (read: haters) who try to consume his light.
Compared to his debut single that had a buttery R&B groove, his approach to ‘Bulan’ is more experimental and aggressive. With an arrangement reminiscent of Southern hip-hop tracks that are often used in krumping, FELIP lays out his verses in half-time triplets, each line matching the growing intensity of the accompanying guitar riff.
Stell Ajero, his bandmate in SB19, also lends his voice to the track as he chants at the intro and at certain intervals in the track, giving it an ethnic feel and adding another layer to the rich, complex sound of ‘Bulan’.
03 MV Information
Felip Jhon Suson
Photos and Videos by CHAPTERS PH
Executive Producer: Andromeda Tan
Producer: Bea Charlyn Laino
Director of Photography: Anne Monzon, LPS
Choreography by Jay Joseph Roncesvalles
Ramona Amanda Anne Yusay as ‘Haliya’
Jan Michael Vincent Gungon
Jay Joseph Roncesvalles
Jasper Jayman Uy
Jemuel Gojo Cruz
Paoay Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte
Graciano Cliffs along Cape Bojeador, Ilocos Norte
Power Mac Center Spotlight, Makati City
The ‘Bulan’ MV takes us on a journey to the world of ancient Filipino lore as FELIP taunts his ‘enemies’ with his sharp, powerful movements and tight choreography. He is shown in many frames as a lone warrior, walking in the desert and cliffs as he narrates his story and addresses the negatives that he has received in his career – “kahit sabihin mo pa sakin ako'y patatahimikin, ako'y nakaupo na sa trono…di na bago sakin 'to, dapat lang basagin 'to” (“keep talking about how you'd silence me, while I'm already seated on my throne…well, I'm used to it, but we should break away from this!”).
Haliya is also seen in the MV, the masked goddess who dances gracefully as FELIP (as Bulan) reminds her to open her eyes and not be consumed by the Bakunawa.
At the end of the video, we see Bulan looking up at the moon, showing that it is still there and Bakunawa's attempt to devour it has been foiled. As in the folklore, it is believed that Bulan and Haliya still descend from the heavens to keep the moon in its place despite Bakunawa’s attempts, hence the occurrence of tides and eclipses.
04 Art Style, Inspirations, and Supplementary Reading
Staying true to FELIP’s personal branding, the MV and its release materials are painted with the colors black, red, and white, which perfectly match the emotions of the track and the MV. Being based on ancient mythology, his creative team also incorporated elements of sand, metal, gold, and fire, to further build the concept.
Explore the folklore
Rosario Bonto, “Bikol Folklore,” in H. Otley Beyer, “Ethnography of the Bicol People,” vol.ii, Paper no. 65, pp. 1-3.
Jordan Clark, “BULAN, the Bikol Moon Deity”, https://www.aswangproject.com/bulan-the-bikol-moon-deity/
Jordan Clark, “HALIYA: Bicolano Goddess of the Moon”, https://www.aswangproject.com/haliya/
Jose Calleja Reyes, “Bikol Maharlika”, JMC Press, 1992
Maria Lilia F. Realubit, “Bikol Literary History”, Published 1999
CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994
05 Features/Read List