LISTEN: Fil-Am rapper Ez Mil’s viral song “Panalo” champions Filipino pride

Ez Mil "Panalo"
Ez Mil’s viral song “Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)” tackles Filipino nationalism and pride. Photo from Ez Mil IG.

Filipino-American rapper Ezekiel Miller who goes by the stage name “Ez Mil,” has trended on social media after his jaw-dropping performance of the viral song “Panalo” on the Wish Bus U.S.A.

Originally released last year as part of his “Act 1” album, Ez Mil’s smash hit “Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)” expresses the singer’s take on Filipino pride and nationalism.

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As of this writing, the musician’s latest video on the Wish Bus uploaded on January 29, 2021, has already garnered over 17 million views from fans and reactors who praised the Olongapo-born Ez Mil for rapping in three different languages: English, Tagalog, and Ilocano.

Ez Mil’s rap track also sampled the traditional folk dance of the Philippines, “Cariñosa.” According to the musician, it was his mother who came up with the idea to use the folk song and initially suggested he use “Tinikling,” another traditional Philippine folk dance that originated during the Spanish colonial era.

“The idea of using ‘Cariñosa’, the Philippine folk song, was an idea by my mom,” Ez Mil explained in a YouTube video with fellow Filipino artist, Hbom Segovia.

“It has nostalgic memories to me in high school when I would dance it. My teacher back then would actually praise me because I got the steps right,” the Fil-Am rapper adds.

The rising Pinoy artist mentioned rappers Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Chris Brown, and ASAP Rocky as the key influences behind his music.

Ez Mil was born and raised in Olongapo City in the Philippines in 1998 and afterward moved to the United States with his family. The Fil-Am rapper is the son of Paul Sapiera, the lead singer of the band RockStar behind the 1993 hits “Mahal Pa Rin Kita” and “Parting Time.”

“Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)” is the Fil-Am rapper Ez Mil’s most successful track to date, with over one million streams on Spotify alone.

Another Fil-Am who has championed Filipino pride is Allan Pineda Lindo more popularly known as the rapper-singer Apl.de.ap of Black Eyed Peas.

Check out the lyrics of “Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)” while listening to the song.

Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)

Like they said though:
You can take a man out the hood
But you can’t take the hood out the man

Mga kababayan, turn up!

[Hook]
Tayo ay Pilipino
Kahit anong kulay ng balat
Isasapuso
Mapa-Tagalog, Bisaya, o Ilokano
Walang tatalo sa bagsik
Ng ating dugo
Isigaw ng malakas ang
Ating panalo
Wag nang pagusapan
Ang mga negatibong pangyayari
San mang panig ka
Nasa mundo
Kinabukasan na natin to
Panalo!

[Verse 1]
Yeah
Keep runnin’ ya mouth when you lyin’
I stay on my business while watchin you dyin’
I’m takin’ my people to heights while you cryin’
Bout regular livin’ & that’s what I’m tryna
Prove, ‘stead of just lyin’ in booths
1st true Filipino rapper on the news
Sit, enjoy it if ya cool
Haters can snooze
While I put my city on the map
22-double the O-longapo City no cap
Never forgettin’ the street where my
Cousin would sit when we always just listen to rap
Kendrick, Em, & A$AP with some metal
And man we would turn up with that
Been mundane till the sun came
Now I want fame like a kid in the trap uh
Aye
I been in Spain (Spain)
But the letter ’S’ is silent (pain)
I’m claimin’ my reign like a king
So I can water crops for survivin’ (rain rain)
Go away if you trippin’ (yuh)
Had a homie he was Cripn’ (cuh)
Ain’t got no love for the people
Who talk over songs when they
Claimin’ they listen (listen listen)
These bars – never done, uh
3 stars and a sun, aye
Blue, red draped down on a flag
No we never fear none
Most of us didn’t grow up with a trust fund
Know that I’m willin’ to kill for a loved one
I’m on the move from a nothin’ to someone
Reminding my people to shout:

[Hook]
Tayo ay Pilipino
Kahit anong kulay ng balat
Isasapuso
Mapa-Tagalog, Bisaya, o Ilokano
Walang tatalo sa bagsik
Ng ating dugo
Isigaw ng malakas ang
Ating panalo
Wag nang pagusapan
Ang mga negatibong pangyayari
San mang panig ka
Nasa mundo
Kinabukasan na natin to, (Lam mo na.)
(Woo!) Panalo!

[Verse 2]
Aye
Huh, aye
Kung inakala mong isang lenggwahe
Lang kayang gamitin ni Ez Mil
La kang mapapala kung ganyan ka
Magisip kay Bathala ka sisingil;
Utang na galing sa loob na
Lumutang, hinain sa turon na may
Pusang sinaing sa-
(Mag ilokano ka tol!)
Ano?
(Ilokano!, Ilokano)
Okay!

UrAY NO NGA IMBAGAK KINYAYO
TI UKKINAYO –
DITTOY AK LAENG AG-URURAY NO SINNO
TI AGDAYO –
TAPNO EH SANG SANGITAM AK INTE WAGAS
MO NGA PAYO –
NGATA KAY-KAYATEM NGA PATAYENG KA
KEN ATOY BAYO –

Sikayo nga am-amin
Lahat kayo
All of you
Ever since bata ako I’ve been kinda
Discriminated in my own home country
Sure, some would be like:
“LuH AmPuTi pUTi mO .. tiSoY”
I ain’t tisoy
I’M PINOY
And I swear that:

NOBODY WILL EVER LOOK AT ME THE
SAME WAY AGAIN
I’LL MAKE IT TO THE TOP WHILE I BE SHOWIN’
NAY-SAYERS AND
NANALO NA AKO NUNG MULA PA NA
PINUGUTAN SI LAPU SA MACTAN
AT LAHAT ANG NASAKTAN NA
NALAMAN NILA NA PINATAY
ANG KANILANG BAYANI
SA KARAGATAN NG BANSA
NA PAG-AARI..
Ng Pilipino

Despite any turmoil
I’ll be proud of my soil
BAKIT?
KASE

[Hook]
Tayo ay Pilipino
Kahit anong kulay ng balat
Isasapuso
Mapa-Tagalog, Bisaya, o Ilokano
Walang tatalo sa bagsik
Ng ating dugo
Isigaw ng malakas ang
Ating panalo
Wag nang pagusapan
Ang mga negatibong pangyayari
San mang panig ka
Nasa mundo
Kinabukasan na natin to
Panalo!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.