The end of 2020 seems to be promising as Wonggoys’ “Wa’y ‘Blema” is part of the soundtrack of a movie titled, “My Lockdown Romance.” The director actually went through the proper process of music licensing. Let this be a lesson to us all. Believe it or not, you can’t use any song however you want. You have to ask permission and pay what is due the songwriter and music publisher. We’ll get to this in a bit.


Star Cinema’s “My Lockdown Romance” is about restoring friendships and reigniting feelings. Starring Jameson Blake, Joao Constancia, and Gab Pangilinan (from Ang Huling El Bimbo), the film tells the tale of a young adult struggling to deal with the pandemic and the challenges it brings regarding rekindling connections.


According to Bobby Bonifacio, Jr., who conceptualized, wrote, and directed the film, the main protagonist, Tom, is originally from the Visayas region, so he wanted to show his roots in the movie. He adds, “Despite having moved to Manila, it is still the music of home that gives him comfort. With this in mind, it would only be fitting to use Visayan pop music that would fit the character’s age, and provide a fun energy that would encapsulate the movie’s theme as well. When I heard “Wa’y ‘Blema,” it fit Tom’s character really well, and the catchy tune with the male vocals convinced me that this song pretty much describes the character, and the current mood being set up for him as a problematic guy who needs to chill during a lockdown situation.”


That’s when he reached out to the CEO of music publisher 22 Tango Records, Cattski Espina to express interest to use the song in his movie. Cattski gathered all information like the movie synopsis, audience demographic, the production company behind it if any, where it will be released, and which part of the movie the song will appear. All this would be the basis to provide clearance for usage and establish the license fees.



It’s important for industry leaders and everyone else to know about music licensing because this pushes the entire industry forward towards progress and sustainability. By licensing music, the owners of the music are compensated for the use of their work, and are given what they deserve. You wouldn’t want your last pizza slice to be stolen from you, right? How much more if it’s something you created with your blood, sweat, and tears? You don’t want other dirty fingers touching it for sure.


Learn more about music licensing here: