Inappropriate song for SEA Games opening
READERS' VIEWS (The Freeman) - December 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte Carpio was absolutely correct when she criticized the playing of Tagalog song "Manila" as popularized by The Hotdogs during the 30th Sea Games Opening Ceremony on Nov. 30, 2019 at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

In an ambush interview, Mr. Ramon Suzara, the Chief Operating Officer of the 30th SEA Games Organizing Committee responded, saying that the playing of "Manila" song during the Opening Ceremony depicts not only Manila but the whole Philippines.

Was Mr. Suzara really telling the truth and nothing but the truth about the song? Even an elementary pupil can easily comprehend the song! It's really depicting and popularizing Manila City as the country's capital.

Be it known to the reading public that SEA Games Venue is divided into four clusters, namely: New Clark City, Subic, Metro Manila and other areas—Venue, i. e., Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, and La Union.

Manila City belongs to Metro Manila Cluster for the hosting of other SEA Games with the newly-renovated Rizal Coliseum in Malate and the Manila Hotel in Ermita as the venue for the other SEA Games. But not for the opening as the Philippine Arena in Sta. Maria, Bulacan has the seating capacity enough to accommodate a large number of local and foreign athletes, invited guests and spectators.

The lady mayor further commented that the song does not represent the entire country because it only mentioned Manila, while most of the athletes for the biennial meet come from different provinces of the country. Only a handful of them come from the capital city, Manila.

If you read or listen very carefully the lyrics of the song, you can never find or hear a single word mentioning another city or place in the Philippines, making it a suitable song for the SEA Games Opening Ceremony. Only the word "Manila" has been repeatedly uttered by the singer. What an imperialistic kind of song it is!

There must be something different in the minds of those responsible for the inappropriate playing of the song "Manila" during the SEA Games opening.

Let me make it clear that some people involved in the preparation of the 30th SEA Games Opening really wanted depicting Manila being the capital city of the country, something like a reminder to all visitors and guests that Manila is still vibrant and strong despite the fact that Manila City is only a part of the Metro Manila Cluster hosting different games for the biennial meet.

Either of the two songs by the late songwriter and singer Yoyoy Villame, namely, "Philippine Geography" and "My Country, Philippines," could have been the best song for the SEA Games opening ceremony. Its suitability and appropriateness is out of question. For those who do not know these two songs by Yoyoy Villame, you may search on the internet using Google search engine and read the lyrics of the songs or you may spend time listening the songs on YouTube.

Joselito S. Berdin

Lapu-Lapu City

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