Panelo agrees with Sara Duterte: 'Manila' song does not represent Philippines
Athletes and officials from the Philippines march during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan province, north of Manila on November 30, 2019.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Panelo agrees with Sara Duterte: 'Manila' song does not represent Philippines
( - December 2, 2019 - 3:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo agreed with the sentiments of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on a song choice for the opening of the 30th SEA Games.

The song "Manila" by Hotdog was played when the Philippine delegation to the biennial meet entered the stage during the opening ceremony last Saturday.

The presidential daughter took to social media to question the use of the Manila-centric song, saying it does not represent the entire country.

"We should be inclusive when we want to encourage our countrymen to cheer," Duterte-Carpio said on Instagram.

Hotdog singer and songwriter Dennis Garcia has said on his Facebook page that he and his brother Rene, who died in 2018, wrote the song "not thinking of ourselves as Tagalogs, Bisayans or Ilokanos but as Filipinos missing the Philippines."

Panelo said the SEA Games organizers appeared to have chosen the song as it is "the most popular song in relation to the Filipinos."

"But Sara, the mayor is right. We have to have a song that will reflect not only Manila but the entire Philippines — Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao," Panelo said in a press briefing.

The Malacañang mouthpiece also called on Filipino songwriters to compose a song that would represent the whole country.

'All of us were dancing'

Panelo, however, noted that the audience at the Philippine Arena, including President Rodrigo Duterte, enjoyed the song "Manila" during the SEA Games opening.

"They were all dancing. I was dancing, all of us, because of the song, the mood. He (President Duterte) was dancing too, I saw him," Panelo said.

The song "Manila" is about a man's longing to return home to the Philippine capital. It topped local radio charts when it was released in 1976.

Several Filipino songs were also performed during the SEA Games opening ceremony, including Francis Magalona's "Man From Manila", "Tayo'y Mga Pinoy","Mga Kababayan" and's "Bebot". — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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