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Magkaibigan o Magka-ibigan: A Conversation with Coeli

June 9, 2016 2:50 am by: Category: Features, Interviews Leave a comment


There is something delightfully special about Coeli, the manner in which she sings while playing the cello—effortless, commanding, her delivery brimming with passion and clarity. At least on some level, it doesn’t sound like anyone else. She’s a singer-songwriter capable of translating that inimitable folk-pop hallmark into something haunting and classy, where her music resonates powerfully enough to get your full attention.

We recently talked to Coeli about the release of her debut single “Magkaibigan o Mag-kaibigan” and its accompanying music video, her plans of dropping her first record before the year ends, and working with young filmmaker Noah Del Rosario.

Can you tell us the story behind Magkaibigan o Magka-ibigan? How did you come up with the lyrics of the song?

“Magkaibigan o Magka-ibigan” is a song that expresses the fear of loving again or the fear of love itself.  In the song you find two people who are aware that they are fond of each other, but are afraid to take the plunge. This is a common dilemma in our generation. We long to love, but afraid to love completely because of the pain it is yet to bring.

It’s my first Tagalog song. I wanted to take the risk of playing with the words and it just came out naturally. And I always hear my friends teasing each other about their crushes, “Talaga? Kaibigan lang ba o ka-ibigan? It got stuck in my subconscious. Then it eventually took a little trigger from my experiences, and out came the song.

A music video of the track is in the pipeline. Would you mind sharing a few details about the video’s concept?

It’s held in a forest reserve, at the Makiling Botanical Garden. So there’s Miguel and I, my cello and his guitar in the middle of the reserve. We tapped two people to be in it as well. What they will do will be a surprise.

Coeli 2

How is it working with the music video’s director?

Noah del Rosario is a film student from MINT College. It was really a pleasure working with him. He and his crew were very professional and efficient. We finished the shoot in one day. He’s very talented and he understands what I want to happen in the video.

Any plans of releasing an upcoming record?

Yes! Hopefully an EP before the year ends!

What can we expect from Coeli this year?

I’m going to breakthrough this year!

I have plans of releasing another single and music video after this. And of course, an EP. But more than music, I will give people an inner experience they will never forget.


Tonight marks the music video launch of Coeli’s “Magkaibigan o Magka-ibigan.” More details here.

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