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Girl in a jacket

The true story of love and loss behind Itchyworms’ ‘Di Na Muli’ music video

Itchyworm’s ‘Di Na Muli’ music video opened up with an old woman sitting alone in one of Cultural Center of Philippines (CCP)’s theaters, seemingly reminiscing about something as she looks over at the stage. As for the entire music video, one can assume that it’s just one of those stories about a woman missing her younger days as a performer.

However, everything—we mean everything from the model, the dancing, the venue, and even the lighting—is deliberately done and captured in that way to tell the real story of Rosky Balahadia Hilda, the widowed wife of the late Teodoro Hilado, to whom the music video is dedicated to.

Teodoro “Teddy” Hilado is recognized as the father of lighting design in Philippine theater, and he is the first technical and lighting director of the CCP and the Bayanihan Dance Group. Rosky Balahadia Hilda was, at the time, one of the principal dancers of the Bayanihan Dance Group. Their love story started in the CCP with “Teddy designing the lights over dances that Rosky did on stage,” according to Juno Oebanda, nephew of Hilado and co-director of the ‘Di Na Muli’ music video. Quite possibly, Hilda became Hilado’s muse throughout their career.

Oebanda shares that he needed a proper representation of such a powerful song written by Jazz Nicolos and Wally Acolola, that he chose an equally powerful story of love and loss through Rosky Hilda and Teddy Hilado, making the music video a tribute that goes beyond the song’s message.

Oebanda gave proper homage to the artist’s love story by presenting the story line to the band. “[Itchyworms] 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 is one of CCP’s pioneers.”

As for the story of the music video, Oebanda shared that “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 a photo shared by Oebanda, Hilda is seen smiling above the stage she once gracefully performed in. “I haven’t been on this stage for more than 20 years,” said Hilda to Oebanda, to which he replied, “Tita this last sequence is where you will dance with Tito Teddy, dance with the light Tita, dance with Tito Teddy.”

And dance with him she did, with the last shot of the music video having her perform alone, illuminated by a light coming from above the stage she once shared with the love of her life.

Photo source: Juno Oebanda

InqPOP!/Bea Constantino

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