Even if you do not like it, you probably heard it at some point in your everyday life—from public utility vehicles, wet-markets and in busy streets; the European Techno sounding drums and bass along with cheap blip synthesizers arranged in a quirky and catchy rhythm is the Philippines own version of EDM—the infamous “Budots”.

The Legend of Budots Mixes

Hearing budots first thing in the morning when going to school became a part of my everyday life back in college. Jeepney terminals blasting their speakers with this rather humorous kind of dance music which makes some passengers annoyed, while others enjoy it and in a way dance to it.

Some say that Budots is derived from the Davao slang for “bum” or “tambay”, while some it was derived from the bisaya term “Tabudots” which means a person dancing with unpredictable moves; yet all sources agree that it originated from Baranggay Camus, a small community in Davao who started all these local-techno fad that comes with it’s own dance.

It always follows the same formula—deep bass, static sounds along with blip synthesizers, horns of varying pitches and tempo with the occasional screeching and looped vocal tracks. A Facebook user perfectly said it in his post: “It’s like a crossbreed of European techno and bad hip-hop combined with a nasty attitude.”

Accompanied with freestyle dancing that seems to be “worm-like” in nature, wriggling your hips with your arms and legs in a rather slow movements is consistent in every budots remix dance video.

No one really knows how Budots became viral and hit local speakers around the Philippines. Kinda like the “Harlem Shake” fad that took the world by storm, when the first Budots video was posted on social media, everybody went bananas and started dancing Budots. Even the iron-handed President Duterte was caught on video dancing budots!

A Local Gem

Me and my friend, who is a music producer, once talked about Budots. He said that it is truly an art form in the Davao region where producers which probably has old musical softwares and systems, take it seriously and constantly honing their craft for the masses to hear their music.

Inspired with this, local music collective, BuwanBuwan Collective, made Budots the subject for their monthly challenge for its producers, thus “Rodrigo Duterte’s Summer Budots Party” was made.

Others may hate Budots with its repetitiveness (kinda like your favorite EDM tracks, right?), and it’s cheap sounding effects, it’s still arguably a local gem in which we can all be proud of.

Love it or hate it, Budots made the whole country dance.