Young Filipinos opposed to the US war on Iraq

There’s No Such Thing as a ”Non-Political” Song

Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP)

#65A 10th Ave, QC


October 14, 2003

Reference: Julie L. Po, Secretary general

Singing at a state dinner for two presidents, Bush and GM Arroyo at
that, is very political. In the same token, if Ms Lea Salonga sings in our rally on Oct. 17, it would be showing her solidarity with the Filipino people who are against US intervention, globalization, and state fascism. The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) would appreciate it very much if Ms Salonga and other mainstream artists would sing even “non-political” songs in our rally.

But, of course, there is no such thing as a “non-political”
song. Songs that seem “harmless” and cater to individual whims lapse
people into apathy, indifference to social realities, and ignorance of the dynamics of culture with the economy. These are the kind of songs that those in political and economic power propagate– so that the masses will wallow in fake individual hope and glory.

To recall recent history, Miss Salonga starred in “Miss Saigon,” the
politically controversial musicale. It was so because the foreign
producers, in partnership with a local production outfit headed by
the son of ousted President Estrada, booked the Cultural Center of the
Philippines for nine months, and consequently booted out from the cultural center the resident companies and other local cultural groups for this duration. Likewise, the content was political. It was about the interventionist assault of the United States on Vietnam. It constricted the cause within the “personal” and evaded the resistance that the Vietnamese people put forth against the US aggressors.

Going back to the state dinner, face-lifting Malacanang and decorating
it with a barrio fiesta setting for Bush is asserting the negative aspect of Filipino hospitality and “pakitang tao.” Pres Arroyo should instead show Bush the thousands of homeless who sleep in parks and sidewalks right in the middle of the prime cities of Manila, Quezon City and Makati. Without saying a word, it speaks of globalization.

Malacanang should be ashamed of serving a P2,000 per plate dinner.
They should consider the negative balance sheet of the country, the 80%
poverty and 12% umemployment rates that will linger and worsen after this weekend.

With 50 years of being a republic, Filipinos are not so nave as to
think that this state dinner is not part of the drama. Indeed, it is part of the program where Pres. Bush and Pres. Gloria Arroyo presses the deal for the Philippines to give more economic privileges to the US in exchange for US military arms and accessories.

During this state dinner, amidst the festive colored buntings and
lights, the scent of flowers, and the songs of Ms Salonga, the Philippine military will protect the US president and disperse, swing their batons, and use rubber bullets on Filipinos who will express their indignation against a shameful pact.

Now, this is very political, not to mention revolting.