The lead up to the May 9 Elections has Filipinos going out in droves to support their candidate. Political fervor and social media rhetoric is at fever pitch. Some have taken to social media to express their level of anxiety about the huge damage disinformation has done to our collective memories as a nation.
Feeling anxious herself Trina Belamide, the composer of OPM hits “Shine”, “You Made me Stronger” (sung by Regine Velasquez), Now that I have you (sung by The Company) and the 1995 World Youth Day Theme “Tell the World of His Love”, admitted that she drew inspiration from the anxiety she was feeling about the high stakes election to write a song to inspire Filipinos to have the right attitude and perspective in this political exercise.
“After every rally ni Leni, at lalabas yung number of attendees, may lalabas na surveys at yung mga trolls, at fake news. Parang nagle level up ang mga lies. Nakaka overwhelm,” an exasperated Belamide shared.
She admitted that the barrage of social media disinformation was getting on to her as well.
It was during a conversation with her friend, Eugene Cailao, who told her “pagkilos at panalangin ang magtatawid sa atin, ” that inspired her to write the song “Kumilos at Manalangin (Ipanalo Natin ‘To)”.
“I need that kind of message pag nanghihina ang loob ko. I need to be reminded that we just have to move and pray. Feel ko nakakalimutan na ng mga tao magdasal. I haven’t heard anybody say or in a song, at least, say ‘We need to pray’. So that’s what inspired me to write this song, we needed a song to remind myself and everyone of the need to pray and act during this crucial moment in our country’s history,” she said.
With Cailao helping her with the lyrics of the song, she finished composing the song in a day. Her friend, Paulo Zarate, helped arrange the music.
“We are all doing this for a better country and for the whole country, no matter who you are supporting this election,” Belamide said.
Belamide said asking pop icon Jolina Magdangal to sing the song was not a hard choice since she witnessed how Magdangal was dedicated to the Robredo campaign. And both had known each other since Magdangal’s “Ang TV” days. (Ang TV was youth-oriented comedy variety show that ran from 1992 to 1997 on ABS-CBN.) Belamide composed the song “Hintayin Mo Lang” which Magdangal sang for the 1996 film “Ang TV Movie: The Adarna Adventure”
Magdangal admitted that it took her a while to finish recording the song because she would cry at the middle of the recording as the message of the song struck her personally as a mother of Pele Iñigo (8) and Vika Anaya (4).
“Yung laban na ginagawa namin at paninidigan na ginagawa namin is para sa mga anak namin. Kasi marami na rin kaming pinagdaanan eh. Pero gusto namin yung anak namin, hindi ganun kahirap yung hirap na pinagdaanan natin nitong mga nakaraang taon. Gusto ko silang maging proud na Pilipino,” she said.
She admitted that she and her husband, Rivermaya drummer Mark Escueta, contemplated moving to the United States because of the problems besetting the country.
But she admitted not losing hope and decided to continue fighting for their children.
She confessed that they do not employ a nannie to take care of her kids, so she and her husband take their children along with them at campaign sorties and use it to educate their children about politics.
“Ang iniisip ko nung kinakanta ko ito, nasa harap ako ng mga tao lalo na yung undecided at nawawalan ng pag-asa, na hindi ka nag iisa at lumalaban kami para sa mga undecided at natatakot at nawawalan ng pag-asa,” Magdangal said.
“Ilalaban ka namin pero kailangan mo ding tumindig para sabay tayo.”
Magdangal said the song, which she recorded the song in their own studio at home with her husband helping her throughout the entire process, has a universal message that cuts across political lines. She stressed that we cannot overemphasize one over the other — we all need to both pray and work hard for a better Philippines.
Belamide said the song is a call to action and prayer, about not losing hope and to work hard for the future of the country.
Both Belamide and Magdangal said the message of the song is intended for every Filipino regardless of what political color one belongs to even if both of them are actively campaigning for the Robredo – Pangilinan tandem.
“We are battling lies, abuse of power, corruption. Lahat naman tayo ayaw natin yan eh. Pero magkakaiba lang tayo ng idea kung paano natin gagawin. Kaya importante na prayer at pagkilos ang kailangan nating gawin,” Belamide said.
The song premiered on YouTube on April 17, with a music video highlighting the Leni-Kiko campaign trail in the past two months.
The music video, directed by Ignacio de Loyola director Paulo Dy, was produced for free, according to Belamide, thanks to the generosity of her friends in the entertainment industry.
The song is part of the Spotify playlist of campaign jingles made for the Robredo campaign – Rommel F. Lopez
WATCH: Jolina Magdangal performing the song at the Pasay People’s Rally for Leni Robredo. Trina Belamide joined Magdangal on stage as a member of the back up choir.