Updated: Mar 29
There are many reasons why people write songs. Some would say it is therapeutic, while others enjoy the process entailed in songwriting. There are some who want to hear top-notched artists sing their songs and others just really love to write and they feel like they have something to say that the world needs to hear.
But for the 35-year old Christian Abuel, there is a lot more to songwriting.
Even if it wasn’t a dream at all to be a songwriter, growing up, he was exposed to a lot of music. Despite the fact that he really loves listening to different genres, and his special connection with guitars, he never thought that he would be able to express himself lyrically.
It was fate that led him to a highly creative environment at ABS-CBN Creative Communications Management (CCM) where he worked as a copywriter/producer which fueled his love for writing songs. Every time CCM opens a lyrics pitch for the Station ID song, he always pushes himself to submit an entry.
“Even though most of the time my entry didn’t make the cut, that experience became a valuable exercise for me to enhance and develop my writing skills,” Abuel shared.
His former boss, Mr. Robert Labayen, who penned most of ABS-CBN’s Station ID songs, influenced him a lot when it comes to writing. He said that he is one of the many people who idolizes Labayen and the songs that this creative genius has written inspired him a lot to do better in this craft.
“It is Mr. Labayen’s style that I try to mimic whenever I write. He is also very generous in guiding and mentoring us on how to write our ideas into lyrics,” Abuel added.
When asked when the magic happens when he is writing a song, he mentioned that it also depends on the project he is working on. His projects are usually insight-driven so the ideas come during the brainstorming.
“The magic really happens when your message gets across your audience. Parang ‘nasa isip mo lang siya, tapos buhay na yung idea?!’ This is magical to me because it adds value to one’s self, it validates your existence, Abuel exclaimed.
True enough, songwriting is indeed art in itself and it also gives a sense of euphoria. But among all the songs Abuel has written, he considers “Ito ang Aming Pangarap,” the 30th Anniversary theme song for TV Patrol a ‘level-up’ moment for him and it will always hold a special place in his heart.
“Momentous occasion ‘yun, at saka syempre institution sila sa Philippine broadcasting. It was a milestone project and everyone in our entire creative team contributed to it. I will always be proud to have worked alongside those creative people and I really learned a lot from them,” Abuel said.
Looking back, he is also grateful to co-wrote “Ipanalo ang Pamilyang Pilipino” with Lloyd Oliver Corpuz. It was a great opportunity that gave him the chance to communicate to the Filipino voters the importance of making their voices heard.
Moreover, Abuel wrote the Original Sound Track for Dama De Noche, a film by Studio Onse, which graced the Lente Film Festival 2018 and Cinemalaya 2020. It is a film about an Overseas Filipino Worker who comes home from working abroad but her homecoming is unlike any other OFW story you’ve ever heard of.
“One of the lessons that I’ve learned from ABS-CBN is to take advantage of your platform to communicate good Filipino values. I really believe that a song is an effective medium to deliver a lasting and positive message,” Abuel junctured.
Undoubtedly, Christian Abuel is a brilliant songwriter with a purpose. More than just writing a song, he’s after the message he conveys to his listeners. And that alone proves he is one in a million talent.
PS: I have always imagined myself writing songs as well but I guess, I have to discover my purpose first. If I can also make somebody’s day better through music and maybe get them through a tough time in their life, I’d feel like I would be able to contribute something positive to the world. Well, fingers-crossed, that time comes. Only time will tell.