Local songs dissing US-PH ties
For the first time in recent history, a Philippine president is asserting the nation’s sovereignty against the imperialist United States. And while many may find it delusional, pursuing an independent foreign policy is actually in the best interest of the Filipino people.
Indeed, US-Philippine ties were never mutually beneficial; neither did they serve the interest of the two nations. Or to put it more accurately, we cannot achieve real development unless we break away from the US-inspired and -dictated neoliberal paradigm that has benefited the transnational corporations since the turn of the 20th century.
If it’s still not making any sense, here are some local songs that you may want to consider searching on YouTube at your convenience.
“Pay U” by Lokal Brown. A protest song from the 1990s “supergroup” Lokal Brown, whose many members included Ed Formoso, Pendong Aban, Lolita Carbon, Chikoy Pura and Binky Lampano. It tells us how one-sided and ridiculous the relationship between the United States and Philippines is.
“Speak in English Zone” by Joel Costa Malabanan. Listening to this patriotic song is like taking a five-minute course on the history of colonial education in the country. Related song: “Kung Nais Lumaya sa Pagkaalipin.”
“VFA” by The Jerks. As the title suggests, it is about the Visiting Forces Agreement and treachery of the local ruling classes. It was also featured in the compilation album “Balangiga 1901” which was dedicated to remember the infamous massacre and to draw more support for the campaign to bring home the historic Balangiga bells.
“Isyu” by Pol Galang. Its message is short and simple: Resist the US military intervention if we don’t want the tragedy of the Vietnam War to befall us. People who liked this also liked “Pinggan” and “Lupang Sinira.”
“Holdap” by Gary Granada. A satirical take on Philippine politics and the neoliberal economics under the Philippines 2000 program of the Ramos administration. Favorite lyrics: “Nanakawan na at naholdap si Juan/Ngunit ang holdaper pa ang pinasalamatan.”
“Para Saan? Para Kanino?” by Datu’s Tribe. Composed by Ces Quimpo and Rom Dongeto, this gut-wrenching environmental song exposes the harrowing effects of imperialist plunder in the land. It is included in the “Rapu-Rapu Atbp: Taghoy ng Kalikasan” compilation album.
“Panginoon” by Jess Santiago. From the “Puso at Isip” album, Koyang Jess wittingly satirized the (American) empire’s control of the world in this thought-provoking song.
Hopes are high for the Duterte administration’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy. To fulfill this, the President should go beyond rhetoric by pushing for the abrogation of all the unequal treaties, like the VFA and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, with the United States.
Paalam, Uncle Sam!
DANIEL ALOC, firstname.lastname@example.org
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