WHILE CLEANING my music collection last weekend, I realized I had a
copy of the romantic Philippine pop song "Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak"
(Because of a Flower) written by Leopoldo Silos and sung by
Pilita Corrales. The song is the love theme from the award-winning 1967
movie of the same name. I
saw the movie as a high-schooler back in the late 1970s when it was rerun on
the screens, and I vividly remember the movie's mini-skirts, heavy eye
make-up, and pastel-colored cinematography. And, of course, the bittersweet
As for Miss Corrales, she's a source of Filipino pride. The beautiful
chanteuse is regarded as the most iconic song stylist in the Philippines.
At her age (she's in her seventies), she still dresses up in
figure-hugging gowns and bends courageously backwards when reaching high
notes—a trademark Pilita posture. Although her style is closer to
old-fashioned saloon than contemporary pop radio, her enunciation, vocal
affectations, and charming stage presence endear her to Filipinos of all
Here is Ms Corrales and her well-sung interpretation of "Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak". The lyrics on this version are different from what is usually heard; I'm
not sure if these were the original ones written for the film. Another
Philippine music legend, the composer
Ryan Cayabyab, orchestrated the breathtaking arrangement.