Imelda Papin: My conscience is clear

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Imelda Papin: My conscience is clear
Camarines Sur Vice Gov. Imelda Papin, the enduring Jukebox Queen, on her participation in the Chinese embassy's music video Iisang Dagat: ‘I didn’t expect people to react that way.’

The Sentimental Songstress seems to be carrying a “sentimental overload” caused by a controversy generated by the song Iisang Dagat (literally translated “one sea”), written by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and sung on video by Chinese actor Yubin, Fil-Chinese singer Jhonvid Bangayan and Camarines Sur Vice Gov. Imelda Papin, the enduring Jukebox Queen who won the hearts of Filipinos with her sentimental/lachrymal songs (Isang Linggong Pag-ibig, etc.).

The Chinese Embassy last week released the music video featuring the cooperation and mutual support between China and the Philippines in addressing the threat posed by COVID-19. It must be the word dagat (sea) that prompted some sector to react vehemently against it, especially since it was released amid the country’s diplomatic protest against China’s “aggression” in the West Philippine Sea.

“My conscience is clear,” said Imelda who was bashed on social media for her participation in the project. “I want to make three things clear. 1.) I did not volunteer; 2.) I wasn’t paid; and 3.) I just wanted to help in my own little way when I learned that the song was about the fight against the virus and it would be shown as a tribute to frontliners in China.”

Imelda explained to The STAR that she agreed right away when she got the texted invitation first week of April, followed by a call from the Chinese Embassy that she was the ambassador’s choice to interpret the Filipino portions of the song that go: Pagdating ng liwanag na ating minimithi/Ito’y magbibigay ng pag-asa sa bawat bansa/Hawak-hawak kamay tayo’y patungo sa maliwanag na kinabukasan.

And the chorus: Ikaw at ako ay nasa isang dagat/‘Yung pagmamahal aking kasama/Ang iyong kamay ay hindi ko bibitawan/Maaliwalas na kinabukasan ating masisilayan.

“I didn’t expect people to react that way,” wondered Imelda who recorded her participation on her celfone videocam in one night. “Alam mo naman na okey ako pagdating sa pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa.”

Meanwhile, Universal Records (UR) denied in an official statement that it was involved in any way in the track’s production and promotion, contrary to what was included in its YouTube caption. According to the statement, “Prior to its release, an invitation was sent out by Chinatown TV for the label to help in the song’s promotion which respectfully declined by the label. The inclusion of the company name on the aforementioned caption was posted without our consent and has therefore misled audiences with our non-participation in the project.”

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that there was nothing wrong with the music video, adding that foreigners also enjoy the right to freedom of expression. “Lahat ng karapatan sa ating Bill of Rights ay binibigay din sa mga dayuhan na naninirahan dito, ayon sa Korte Suprema,” Roque was quoted in news reports.

Imelda said, “Pasensya na (sorry po) sa mga taong iba ang interpretasyon ng song. Hinding-hindi ako magtataksil sa ating bayan. Hindi to tatalikuran ang bansang Pilipinas. I was born in the Philippines and I will remain a true Filipino. Let us pray together para mapuksa ang virus. Let’s be healed as one.”

Beautederm president/CEO Rhea Anicoche-Tan has launched Luxury For a Cause through Contribeaut as her way of supporting frontliners, those infected with COVID-19 and those affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown.

Beautederm supports frontliners

Beautederm president/CEO Rhea Anicoche-Tan has launched Luxury For a Cause through Contribeaut as her way of supporting frontliners, those infected with COVID-19 and those affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown.

According to Beautederm spokesperson Chuck Gomez, “Rhea is selling online her personal luxury items (designer bags, clothes, jewelry, etc.) to raise funds for purchasing relief goods.”

First item to be sold was a Hermes Birkin and the amount was used to buy bottles of alcohol, face masks and PPEs. Said Rhea, “I’ve prayed for blessings so that I could help people in need. I’ve always been inspired by the Word of The Lord… ‘Ask and you shall receive; knock and the door shall be opened’.”

Rhea added that material things are nothing compared to the life of a human being.

“What this crisis has reminded me is the value of life in my journey. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who constantly remind me about the power of love as manifested in kindness, compassion and the spirit of giving, including my mom Patricia Anicoche who is an educator, my sister Bambi who is a living testament of the power of sisterhood, my Beautederm staff/sales team, and most especially my husband Sam and our children who are the ultimate reflection of God’s love in my life.”

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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