KUNDIMAN

kundiman
a traditional Filipino love song


The kundiman originated in the Tagalog town of Balayan, Batangas.


Dr. Francisco Santiago (1889-1947) is known as the "Father of the Kundiman Art Song," while Filipina singer Sylvia La Torre was widely known as the "Queen of Kundiman."


An example of a popular kundiman is Bituing Marikit (Beautiful Star), composed by Nicanor Abelardo in 1926. This kundiman was featured in the sarsuwela Dakilang Punglo (Magnificent Bullet) by Servando de los Angeles. Atang de la Rama popularized it, and a movie was released by Sampaguita Pictures in 1937 bearing the title Bituing Marikit.


Three possible etymological sources of the word kundiman:

1. Contraction of the Tagalog phrase Kung hindi man (If it is not so).

2. From the folk verse "Cundiman, cundiman /  Cundiman si jele / Hele ng Cundiman / Hele ng Cundangan"

3.  After the red cloth worn by male dancers and men in the countryside. In a folk song popular in Cavite in 1873, there appears the line Mula nang mauso / damit ng Kundiman (Since kundiman clothing came into fashion).