'Banal Na Aso, Santong Kabayo' is one of Filipino folk-punk band Yano's most famous songs. In fact, it was also quite ~controversial~ at that time. It was inspired by the band's vocalist, Dong Abay's experience, while he was riding a jeep. Abay shared his story with guitarist Eric Gancio, who thought it would make for a really good record. "Pagdating ni Dong sa gate ng bahay namin, ikinwento na niya kung anong nangyari sa kanya sa jeep. May kaharap siyang isang ale, may hawak na rosaryo, nakapikit, nagdarasal," Eric recalled. That experience became the first line of the song.
"Ang banal na aso ay patungkol sa mga ipokrito. Wala kaming pinatatamaan dito," he said. Eric added, "Yung intent ng kanta ay para pumukaw, hindi sa inyo, sa akin. Ako mismo. Bakit hindi tayo dito lumipat sa mga pagtuturo patungkol sa progress [and] happiness? Hindi panghuhusga?" He also admitted that it wasn't easy to write 'Banal Na Aso.' "Sa likod ng isip ko, 'Talaga bang desidido ka na isulat ito?'" he revealed.
According to Eric, the second stanza was fictional, but it was consistent with the song's theme. Since the Philippines is a Catholic country—with more than 80 percent of the population being Roman Catholic—it was no surprise that it did not sit well with some of the people who heard it when it was released.
Controversy aside, if the song was inspired by a woman in a jeep, where did the phrase 'banal na aso, santong kabayo' come from? And what exactly does it mean?
Eric revealed that it's actually a Filipino idiom. They were looking for the words for their chorus when they found it. "Nahanap namin yung 'banal na aso, santong kabayo' sa likod ng dictionary," he said.
When he applied it to the chords they already have, it fit like a glove. "Noong kinanta na namin, naging angkop pa rin na consistent sa chords ng stanza. Kahit ako namangha," he said.
Since it was released, there have been so many versions of the song already. But one thing remains the same: Music is always going to be a good way to deliver social commentary.
Watch the entire Summit OG exclusive below to know more about how 'Banal Na Aso Santong Kabayo' came about.
What's your favorite Yano song? Share it with us in the comments!
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