"Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo" is one of the band’s most famous songs—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.
Dong shared his story with 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. Na may kaharap siyang isang ale, may hawak na rosaryo, nakapikit, nagdarasal,” he said as he looked back.
That experience became the first line of the song. “Ang "Banal na Aso" ay patungkol sa mga ipokrito,” he said. “Wala kaming pinatatamaan dito.”
“'Yung intent ng kanta ay para pumukaw, hindi sa inyo, sa akin. Ako mismo,” he added.
“Bakit hindi tayo dito lumipat sa mga pagtuturo patungkol sa progress, happiness? Hindi panghuhusga?”
Eric 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.
The second stanza was fictional, according to Eric, but it was consistent with the song’s theme. Since the Philippines is a Catholic country, with more than 80% 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 does it mean?
Eric revealed that it’s 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 admitted. There are so many versions of the song already since it was released, but one thing remains the same: Music is a good way to deliver social commentary.
Watch the entire Summit OG exclusive here to know more about how Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo came about:
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