Jingles and songs are among the vital elements of any political campaign. Many politicians use catchy and upbeat musical materials to introduce themselves and their platforms to the people, with the hope of capturing their attention and possibly winning their votes.
In the 2022 National Elections, one song captivated millions beyond its use in the political stage, and that song is Nica del Rosario’s “Rosas.”
“Rosas (Roses),” a song composed and performed by Nica with theater actress Gab Pangilinan, and produced and arranged by Rap Sanchez, was used as one of the prominent political anthems by former Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo during her presidential campaign last May 2022.
While “Rosas” may not be as upbeat as some of the usual campaign songs circulating at the time, the song has made its way to listeners’ hearts, endearing them for its honest and pure storytelling.
In Nica’s documentary, “Rosas: The Song. The Journey,” viewers are filled in on the background of the singer-songwriter’s process of writing “Rosas.”
“I wrote ‘Rosas’ in less than an hour. There was not much planning involved… It just came out,” Nica recalls.
She added that while hesitant to release the song, the hope and nationalism she felt at the time of the campaign were strong, which lead to the song’s inception. It was written from Robredo’s point of view.
“The only question in my head at the time was, ‘What would Vice President Leni want to tell us?’ […] ‘What was running on her head every time she talks to us?’” Nica wonders. “I didn’t know how accurate it was at the time of writing ‘Rosas.’ I tried to guess what she was feeling and what she was trying to tell us.”
Nica also vividly remembers the feeling of her chest tightening, with the urge to cry, while writing “Rosas,” which was a uniquely weird experience for her.
“I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt of having a song that so many people know how to sing. My dream as a songwriter is to make people feel less alone with my song because that’s how music influenced me when I was going through hard times,” Nica admits.
True enough, the hour-long documentary shows how “Rosas” became more than just a campaign tune used in Robredo’s sorties. It has become an anthem that evokes a deep sense of Filipino pride. It has become an anthem of hope and empowerment for Robredo’s supporters because of one reason: the undeniable power of the song’s message.
“Rosas is not just about 2022,” Moy Ortiz of The Company says. “Rosas is about tapping into the most beautiful parts of the soul and heart of the Filipino.”
“[Rosas] took the audience to a new place of understanding what it’s like to be a Filipino and what it’s like to believe,” APO Hiking Society member Jim Paredes adds.
Filipino musician and Rivermaya founding member Mark Escueta explains that for him, the combinations of its musical arrangement, lyricism, and inspiration behind the song are what makes “Rosas” endearing.
The documentary then flicks back and forth between candid moments of Nica and Gab while performing “Rosas” during sorties and Robredo’s heartfelt speeches during rallies before flashing to some of the inspiring stories and testaments of the people in the creative industry and who have contributed to the crafting of “Rosas.”
The documentary also shows how “Rosas” became an anthem for women empowerment as a response to people who doubted Robredo’s capabilities to be a leader just because she’s a woman.
Towards the end of “Rosas: The Song. The Journey,” Robredo makes a fleeting appearance with a hopeful message that Filipinos will still continue to fight for the country. The film then closes off with Nica as she serenades the viewers with “Rosas.”
“Rosas: The Song. The Journey” is a documentary directed by Nolan Bernardino and is a joint crowdfunded project by FlipMusic Productions and Happy House Manila.
According to Bernardino, the documentary aims to inspire the viewers, especially the youth, with the power of Nica’s storytelling and message through her art.
“We hope that this documentary about a heartfelt song written by Nica will serve as an inspiration to the youth,” Bernardino said during the documentary’s exclusive screening at Estancia Mall, Cinema 1 on February 25.
“The little things we do can ripple into waves. It can touch many hearts; it can move a nation,” he adds.
“Rosas: The Song. The Journey” will premiere in online streaming platforms soon via Ticket2Me. The documentary is also slated to be premiered in school tours and block screenings with full details to be announced soon.
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