Original Pilipino Music, now more commonly termed Original Pinoy Music or Original Philippine Music or OPM for short, originally referred only to Philippine pop songs, particularly ballads, such as those popular after the collapse of its predecessor, the Manila Sound, in the late 1970s, up until the present. In the 70′s Nora Aunor, Pilita Corrales, Eddie Peregrina, Victor Wood, ASIN and many more. In the 1970s the major commercial Philippine pop music artists were, Pops Fernandez, Claire dela Fuente, Didith Reyes, Rico Puno, Ryan Cayabyab, Basil Valdez, Celeste Legaspi, Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, and Freddie Aguilar, Imelda Papin, Eva Eugenio, Nonoy Zuniga and many others.
Between the 1980s and 1990s, OPM was led by artists such as Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, APO Hiking Society, José Mari Chan, Dingdong Avanzado, Rodel Naval, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Joey Albert, Lilet, Martin Nievera, Manilyn Reynes, Joey Albert, Lea Salonga, Vina Morales, Raymond Lauchengco, Francis Magalona, and Gary Valenciano among many others.
In the 1990s, the famous artists/bands included Eraserheads, Smokey mountain, Donna Cruz, Jessa Zaragoza, Ariel Rivera, Southborder, Afterimage, Andrew E., Jaya, Rivermaya, Ella May Saison among many others.
Underground bands emerged and along with them were their perceptions of idealism and self-expression. The famous lyricist of Circle’s End, Geno Georsua landed on top as the melodramatic expressionist. Bassist Greg Soliman of UST Pendong grasps the title as the best bassist of underground music.
From its inception, OPM has been centered in Manila, where Tagalog, and English are the dominant languages. Other ethnolinguistic groups such as the Visayan, Bikol, and Kapampangan, despite making music in their native languages have not been recognized as OPM, except in unusual cases like the Bisrock (Visayan Rock music) song “Charing” by Davao band 1017.
Multiculturalism advocates, and federalists often associate this discrepancy to the Tagalog-centric cultural hegemony of the capital city of Manila.
Having successfully created a subgenre of Philippine Rock they called Bisrock, the Visayans by far have the biggest collection of modern music in their native language, with great contributions from Visayan bands Phylum, and Missing Filemon. However, a band called Groupies’ Panciteria that hails from Tacloban, a Winaray-speaking city, launched a free downloadable mp3 album on Soundclick.com in 2009 containing 13 Tagalog songs and only one very short one in the Cebuano language.
Following suit are the Kapampangans. The debut music video of “Oras” (Time) by Tarlac City-based Kapampangan band Mernuts has penetrated MTV Pilipinas, making it the first ever Kapampangan music video to join the ranks of other mainstream Filipino music videos. “RocKapampangan: The Birth of Philippine Kapampangan Rock,” an album of modern remakes of folk Kapampangan extemporaneous songs by various Kapampangan bands was also launched last February 2008, which are now regularly played via Kapampangan cable channel Infomax-8 and via one of Central Luzon’s biggest FM radio stations, GVFM 99.1. Inspired by what the locals call “Kapampangan cultural renaissance,” Angeles City-born balladeer Ronnie Liang rendered Kapampangan translations of some of his popular songs such as “Ayli” (Kapampangan version of “Ngiti”), and “Ika” (Kapampangan version of “Ikaw”) for his repackaged album.
Despite the growing clamor for non-Tagalog, and non-English music, and greater representation of other Philippine languages, the local Philippine music industry, which is centered in Manila, is unforthcoming in venturing investments to other locations. Some of their major reasons include the language barrier, small market size, and socio-cultural emphasis away from regionalism in the Philippines.
In 2000, the Himig Handog contest was established. It is the biggest Philippine multimedia songwriting competition specifically focusing on creating brand new OPM songs and featured many prominent artist within the country who are chosen by songwriters to interpret their songs. Five competitions had been held so far starting from 2000 to 2003 and was eventually revived in 2013.