In anticipation of the brand new ikotMNL mobile app launching this September on google play and app store—which will provide commuters with valuable LRT-1 information such as train schedules, station and fare information, guides to nearby tourist destinations, and a lot more—the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) turns to a couple of today’s fast-rising local pop superstars for its very own upbeat, funk-infused, and not to mention extremely catchy jingle.
LRMC tapped OPM singer-songwriters Leanne and Naara, best known for their covers of “Someday” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” along with other original compositions, to give their sizzling take on the ikotMNL jingle, titled “Ikot Manila.”
Plan your trips better with ikotMNL mobile app. Out soon!!
The song is a lush, thumping, and upbeat earworm with a youthful vibe that’s heavily influenced by genres such as EDM, disco, and—aptly enough, since the jingle is about traveling in the city—Manila Sound, the country’s own homegrown dance music back in the ‘70s.
The song is more than that, though—not only does it sound great, but it also shines a light on how easy and convenient it is to commute across Manila on the LRT-1, as well as all the adventures you can have with it.
More than A to B
Multi-awarded composer Jungee Marcelo wrote the song after his own experience of rediscovering Manila through LRT-1. “I was delighted to experience riding the LRT-1, and I loved the idea of events and features on the line. You can take a ride and find that it’s more than simply going from point A to point B.”
“I wanted the song to be about that feeling of being on the LRT-1, feeling the groove of the train and its rhythmic patterns. I was looking for a tempo that fit all age groups and a genre that fit the bill,” Marcelo continued, revealing how he ended up with an upbeat track. “I was inspired by ‘70s music and acts like IV of Spades.”
Marcelo was also inspired by the beauty of the LRT-1 line and everything a commuter could find in each station, a concept which he managed to work into the lyrics. He also praised the LRMC’s efforts in highlighting and giving local musicians a platform with the Railway Jam busking sessions.
“What amazes me is not just the destination, but what you see when you go down,” he shared. “I appreciate that the LRT gives work to our musicians when the LRMC invites them to perform and busk. So there’s a delight at stopping at each station.”
Leanne and Naara “perfect” for the song
Marcelo considered the selection of Leanne and Naara to be a blessing, as he felt the duo could sing any genre well, and they represented the adventurous and inquisitive Filipino youth.
Leanne Mamonong was his mentee in Elements Music Camp, a masterclass in music for local singer-songwriters, and his familiarity with her skills made him confident the two were more than fit to interpret the jingle.
“Talagang swak sila (They were perfect) to sing the song,” he said. “They can do anything, even something they don’t usually do, which was rapping.”
With all these remarkable factors combining to make such an irresistible piece of music, Filipinos can soon find out for themselves how awesome it is to travel on the city’s most iconic rail line—especially with the use of the new ikotMNL app. Te’na, tren na, sakay tayo!
ikotMNL is a tourism campaign launched by the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) in 2018 to connect foreign and local travelers to Manila’s rich history, cultural heritage, and top food destinations by riding the LRT-1 to areas such as Intramuros, Binondo, Quiapo, and many more. For more information, visit ikotmnl.com, like ikotMNL on Facebook, and follow @ikotmnl on Instagram and Twitter.