The Movie or The Song?

It goes without saying that making a movie soundtrack is an art by itself. Think “Lost Stars” from "Begin Again," or Nick Drake's “Northern Sky” from "Serendipity." Or AC-DC's “Highway To Hell” as Tony Stark suits up for the first time as Iron Man. Get the picture?

'Pambansang Third Wheel' and 'Squad Goals' album art ( 'Pambansang Third Wheel' and 'Squad Goals' album art

These days, more time and thought is given to these songs. And that brings us to the question: Which comes first, the movie or the song?

Well, for the “Pambansang Third Wheel” OST, the genesis of the tracks were organic.

Singer-songwriter Marion Aunor shared that main theme “Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Pipiliin Ko” came to her immediately after watching the rough edit of the film. Seemed easy enough for someone versed in songcrafting like Marion, but she did things differently when she wrote the lyrics in Tagalog, a first for her. Sure enough, she crafted a moody, piano-decked ballad choked with emotions and one that's almost alt-pop.

Speaking of "emo" songs, Donnalyn Bartolome's “Sabi Niya” lyrics reads like a lengthy hugot-centric FB post which makes it perfect for a quirky-comedy-drama story like this one. Ditto for Yumi Lacsama's “Kayo” (because you just gotta put an upbeat song in there).

Yassi Pressman's “Sandaang Habang Buhay” was said to be the framework of the story. This yearning ballad, in fact, almost became the title of the movie, until the producers vetoed the suggestion. But see? The song came in first and it was the basis of the story.

As for teen-flick “Squad Goals,” the makers crafted a pop selection that resonates with a young audience. They threw in a boy band there, The Juans, whose “Yan Tayo Eh” is a rousing, custom-made hurrah for a pep rally of screaming teens.

“Eyes On My Bae” recorded by the Fboys (basically the main cast namely Julian Trono, Vitto Marquez, Dan Huschka, Andrew Muhlach and Jack Reid) is a faux electro dance pop track. The saving grace is 18-year-old John Roa, whose “Di Ako Fboy” is equal parts emotional depth and colloquial speak. Surprisingly, it’s not as vulgar as the title suggests (as sanitized down from f*** boy).

There’s no one method to a movie soundtrack and the examples above just scratch the surface. It’s hard not to miss these songs, though, when they’re jumping off from streaming and into the screen.