Jason Magbanua
© 2024 Jason Magbanua

One by Rizza Cabrera:  A Song for Anne and Erwan

One by Rizza Cabrera: A Song for Anne and Erwan


I’m keeping you close With your hand to hold I’ve gone on too long Most of my days, a colorless haze

In the past years, and with enough time and resources, I explored the idea of collaborating with local artists to write music for the wedding films we make.

You see I have long since valued music as an essential component of our videos.   I understand its power to nudge a viewers feelings in one direction or another.  In the early days, it was both a challenge and a rush to look for obscure music for wedding videos.  I never really went for pop music or anything with massive radio airplay.

Music licensing sites like The Music Bed and Song Freedom rose to prominence and for the most part, were a godsend.  They offered a plethora of choices spanning different genres and  taught us video content creators to respect the artists who make the music by way of licensing fees.  The downside was a resulting homogenization of videos you watch because everybody used the same music from the same artist.

It was logical for me to look elsewhere for inspiration.  And the most obvious place to look to was the local music scene I love so dearly.

This is a great time to revisit past collaborations with Johnoy Danao and Reese Lansangan.



Around August I realized that Anne’s wedding was coming up so it was collaboration time once again.  Ok so between you and me and this is no bullshit,  for this, I only had Rizza Cabrera in mind to write the song.

A backgrounder:  I’ve known Rizza for a long time but we never really had the chance to meet. I was a fan of her covers album released in Bandcamp.  It was an extensive list with excellent renditions of songs by Bieber, Kings of Leon, Coldplay and Britney.

You get hooked with the voice first – rich and comforting.  And then I got to acquaint myself with her original work on her Soundcloud – and thus my fandom was cemented.

From dusk until dawn I will come undone From dawn ’til the dusk We are one

I had to meet Anne and Erwan first before meeting Rizza to get a better grasp ok the kind of wedding they were going to have, and moreso, the kind of people they were.

It’s fascinating to know how much little we know of the celebrities that we adulate and how much they shield of their private lives, perhaps to have a semblance of normalcy (and sanity).

I’ve never known the two on  a personal level, it was all basic introductions prior.  And that meeting that night was a revelation.  The dinner table was littered with unsealed invitations they were DIYing themselves, they were poring through the guest list and going through the logistics.  They were doing what thousands of other couples were doing, the tedious and menial, not having a dozen personal assistants do it for them.  It was refreshing.

The topics that night ranged from Stereophonics to Mazzy Star to Monique’s gown, to the majesty of Queenstown branching to all sorts of off-tangent areas.

At the end of the night, I was able to understand more of  the person behind the kooky facade of the entertainer.  And Erwan?  Just slightly less stoic than usual.  But warm and accommodating nonetheless.

You are truer than the skies are blue You are warmer than the morning

So the next day I set a meeting with Rizza.

It was so nice to meet somebody you’ve admired for a long time for the first time.  I was quite dismayed and shocked actually that she planned on giving up on  music for the time being.  I hope she doesn’t though.

You know it’s difficult for a non-musician to describe music.  That’s me.  I just spoke in vague adjectives to Rizza.  I conveyed the kind of emotions I wanted to evoke, nothing about chords, tempo or notes.

I wanted it haunting, a bit pained but still ultimately a love song.

Soon after she gave me four demos.  Holy prolific songwriter shizz!  None of them were slouches either but ultimately – it was One which best represented the kind of relationship Anne and Erwan had.

– A long tight, warm hug you don’t want to let go of in the middle of a cold harsh night.

Listen to the full track below. Or here.


Anne and Erwan’s wedding video will be streamed for the very first time on Dec 14, 8pm at Facebook.com/jasonmagbanuafilms.