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The song entitled ES-EM by Yano is a song that describes some cultures of Filipinos. We can assume that it is about Filipinos because it is written by a Filipino songwriter, and the character in the song portrays Filipino culture. The song is entitled ES-EM which indicates the SM mall. SM is a place where you can do and find everything. In there, you can shop for everything, watch movies, eat different kinds of food, enjoy the world of fun, etc. with a good atmosphere and temperature; most malls are air-conditioned. SM is a place where anyone can go; it is a place where you can relax.

The song is about a poor Filipino who went to the SM mall to relax or to ‘gumala’. ‘Patuloy ang laboy, walang iisipin. Kailangang magsaya, kailangang magpahangin’

It is indicated in these lyrics that the character in the song is roaming around to have fun or to be happy because for him he needs to have some air to relax. Unfortunately, the money that she has is only for transportation, what she can afford to buy is 2 ticks of cigarettes only. Meaning to say, she is doing window shopping. He only looks at the items, foods, showing movies, but will not buy and watch them. It is in the 1st and 2nd verse:

Patingin-tingin, ‘di naman makabili

Patingin-tingin, ‘di makapanood ng sine

Walang ibang pera kundi pamasahe

Nakayanan ko lang, pambili ng dalawang yosi

Paamoy-amoy, ‘di naman makakain

Busog na sa tubig, gutom ay lilipas din

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Patuloy ang laboy, walang iisipin

Kailangang magsaya, kailangang magpahangin

Meanwhile, at the end of the day, when it is already dark and he needs to go home, everything will go back to normal; the problem that he needs to face will resume the next day. Then she asks himself herself if she will repeat it, and she thinks that she will not. Heshe called it ‘kahibangan’ maybe because why go to the mall if you don’t have money? It is in verse 3:

Gumagabi na, ako’y uuwi na

Tapos na ang saya, balik sa problema

At bukas ng umaga

Uulitin ko pa ba ang kahibangang ito?

Sa tingin ko, hindi na

Furthermore, the chorus of the song means that she is bored and annoyed with her life. Heshe is bored and annoyed with her life who would not feel bored and annoyed with the situation where all you can do in the mall is window shopping?

Additionally, the cultural practice that is depicted in the song is the going to mall when someone needs or wants relaxation. They go to the mall to spend their time in window shopping. They will go to the mall even though they don’t have money to spend; money for transportation is enough, and having water is enough. The character in the song is a poor Filipino. It is in the song that when you are poor, the situations that are displayed in the song is what will happen, that if a poor Filipino goes to the mall, all they can do is look at the items, foods, and posters, but will not buy and watch them because they can’t afford it. It is a culture of Filipino that anyone can’t deny; our family does it too. There are cultural influences in the story, and it is from the elite or rich who go to SM. Due to this, the poor are influenced to go, that even though they don’t have money, they will still go to the SM, but only to window shopping. Filipino has this mentality that we should go to the mall to experience it, or to spend our time roaming around it just to let the time pass.

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