WATCH: Ely Buendia lends song for DOT's COVID-19 workers tribute

( - April 17, 2020 - 5:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Filipino can still smile.

Despite the upheavals and disruptions of almost all aspects of life, the Philippines has been witness to many acts of kindness, especially at the frontlines where the massive support for the frontliners can be seen. While Filipinos are well known all over the world for having warm smiles, they are forced to hide them behind a mask. 

To pay tribute to this, the Department of Tourism recently released a video entitled “Smile” featuring a rework of the beloved 1990’s Eraserheads song, “With A Smile.”

The video salutes the resilient and brave men and women at the frontlines: medical health workers, grocery and convenience store clerks, delivery men, basic services and utility crew members, and the police and military officers who keep us safe.

Directed by Joel Limchoc, the video was pieced together from existing user-created videos and photos already posted online in social media and the news media. Much like the DOT’s lauded “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, it was put together through authentic, 100 percent crowdsourced content.

Ely Buendia, who composed “With a Smile” for the legendary band, the Eraserheads, generously allowed the use of his composition.

Singer and songwriter Bea Lorenzo provided heartfelt vocals over a sparse, cinematic reworking of the classic anthem. For Lorenzo, part of the video’s subject matter struck close to home, as both her grandfather and father are medical doctors.     

“Smile” is a reminder of what remains good in the Filipino. As the familiar tune reaches its uplifting climax, the video reminds every Filipino, “Nothing can take our smile away.”

The video has been viewed 3.5 million times and shared 91,000 times on the DOT Facebook page. — Video from YouTube/Tourism Philippines

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