I am yet to figure out whether the word baroque which refers to “a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music” (from the ever reliable Wiki) is where the pejorative Filipino slang ‘barok’  came from.

Barok refers to the person, language, or way of doing that exhibits crassness, inappropriateness, lack of a sense of taste. In popular Filipino media, a stereotypical barok is a provincial lad arriving at the big city, unknowingly being taken advantage by a swindling Manileño whom he trusts his everything. The provinciano usually speaks with a heavy accent, which is usually Bisaya, dons a camisa chino and cotton pyjama ensemble, and carries a bayong.

It is hard to relate this barok from the baroque classical music that I listened to last night at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester. It was a concert by the Salisbury Singers entitled “Baroque Brilliance” that featured George Philipp Telemann’s and Johann Sebastian Bach’s music.

Not schooled in appreciating classical music, I only listen to what I think is worth listening; at its simplest, my taste in music is barok. I’d find myself switching from Wagner, to Eheads, to the Beatles, and the next minute to April Boy Regino. But if beauty transcends culture and a listener’s level of education, then something that is deemed beautiful is what it is no matter who is listening. And interestingly, despite the cold, and some glitches with my camera, I was able to enjoy the concert.

And felt last night’s music touching my soul, my spirit.

With all seriousness.