It has been quite a while since Sarah Geronimo has released her song entitled Tala, four years ago, to be exact. Back then, it was already considered an addictive pop song—the singer's forte, evidenced by hits such as Sa Iyo and Ikot-Ikot—but it had yet to make quite the impact that it just made these days.
Photo from Viva Records
Recently, the song has resurfaced, and became a nationwide viral dance challenge. People kept posting their own dance performances, with many celebrities even joining in on the fun. Sunday variety show ASAP Natin ‘To showcased a power number with hundreds of dancers across the nation, all grinding to the same now-legendary dance steps. Suddenly, #TalaNation was born.
It makes us wonder: what's the story behind the pop song?
A bright beginning
The jumpy song was written by Nica del Rosario and Emmanuel Sambayan. Music production was made possible by Jumbo De Belen and Alisson Shore of Flip Music Production.
Tala was first released as part of the 12th studio album of Sarah Geronimo called The Great Unknown.
Photo from Viva Records
The album was launched in January 2016 under the label of Viva Records with Tala as the lead single. Back in December 4, 2015, however, Sarah already gave fans a taste of what was to come in her latest album by performing Tala at her concert titled From The Top.
But the real story behind Tala’s lyrics was a mystery to some, with fans pitching in on interpretations. Del Rosario, the composer, Tweeted that it wasn’t really something to take seriously—it was all just about, yes, love.
According to her, she wrote it when she was dating someone at the time. In response to an elaborate conspiracy theory by a fan, she replied, "Sana ganito ako katalino kaso sinulat ko lang yung Tala kasi may dine-date ako non tapos umpisa palang fumall na ako agad HAHAHAHA."
Photo from Instagram (nicadelrosario)
The composer later summarized what it's all about: "Eyes so bright you can see the stars in them when they shine".
As expected from the talented singer, Sarah's song was positively received, topping trends lists on social media.
And on June 11, 2016, Viva released the much-awaited music video to match the vibe of the catchy song. In the video, we could see Sarah, alongside the popular dance group G-force, performing what would soon become its iconic dance moves, which was choreographed by its chief creative, Georcelle Dapat-Sy.
A stellar hit
In 2016, it was considered one of the most played OPM songs throughout the year.
In 2017, Tala was dubbed as Song of the Year at the Myx Music Awards, and won the Favorite Music Video category as well. At the ASEAN-Japan Music Festival, Sarah stunned the crowd with her hypnotizing dance moves as she performed the song onstage.
By 2019, CNN Philippines deemed it the best OPM song of the decade.
With drag queen and known Sarah impersonator Bench Hipolito performing it on stage in gay clubs as she perfectly mimics the Tala singer, Maine Mendoza and Arjo Atayde dancing to it on TikTok, and viral videos of the song being used in situations such as a protest regarding a removal of a volleyball court in a local neighborhood, it's obvious that Filipinos are loving the song.
Photo from PUSH.com.ph
“Alam niyo po, in-envision ko na magiging dance craze itong kantang ito," says Sarah, now that the latter half of 2019 has people jamming to Tala. "Gusto ko 'tong vibe ng song na ‘to, maging dance craze. Everybody is dancing to this song. At, wow, power of claiming it, nagkatotoo!”
Sarah is also grateful for the community that continues to offer her support. “Of course, maraming salamat sa LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community kasi sila talaga ‘yung yumakap dito sa awiting ito na Tala."
Why the craze had to resurface at a crossroads to 2020 was a pleasant mystery—maybe the country, tired of all its problems and issues, wanted to just leave everything behind, and dance in tune with the entire nation.
Relish the powerful nationwide performance in ASAP Natin ‘to below!