Imelda Papin on ‘Iisang Dagat’ backlash: ‘Hindi ko alam kung iyon ay propaganda’
Camarines Sur vice governor Imelda Papin has aired her side in being part of “Iisang Dagat” (One Sea), a song produced by the Chinese embassy in Manila.
The song, with lyrics by Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, has roused widespread backlash amid the Philippines and China’s ongoing disputes over West Philippine Sea claims.
Papin, dubbed a “jukebox queen” in the country, was one of the two Filipino singers who performed Tagalog portions of the song. She responded to criticism of the production yesterday, April 27, on the morning radio show “Dobol A sa Dobol B” hosted by Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto.
Papin said she was not paid for her performance and that she only received her copy of the lyrics she sang after the Chinese embassy called her to participate.
She also defended the song, stating that it was about unity: “Maganda naman ‘yong lyrics. It’s all about tulungan sa panahon na ito, pagkakaisa sa pagtulong, ganyan, parang sabay-sabay, hawak-kamay para sa magandang kinabukasan.”
(The lyrics are beautiful. It’s all about helping during this time, unity in helping, like that, like together, holding hands for a beautiful future.)
“It’s all about pagmamahalan sa isa’t isa dahil ito raw ay intended doon sa panahon na ito ngayon, na paglaban dito sa ating kinahaharap na problema, na kalaban na hindi natin nakikita, which is COVID-19.”
(It’s all about loving each other because it was intended for this time, that we are fighting this problem we are facing, the enemy we don’t see, which is COVID-19.)
‘Good intention’ amid West Philippine Sea issue
She was asked if she was aware of the political issues between China and the Philippines, such as the diplomatic protests filed against China days before the song was released on YouTube on April 24.
“Hindi ako aware doon kasi noong in-offer sa akin, noong pinadala sa akin noong araw na ‘yon, ni-record ko the following day kaagad,” she replied.
(I was not aware of that because when it was offered to me, when it was sent to me on that day, I recorded it right away the next day.)
“Kasi ang gusto nila ay ihabol doon sa [Chinese] medical team, sa mga doctors na pumunta rito, parang regalo nila.”
(Because they wanted to make it in time for the Chinese medical team, for the doctors who came here, like a gift to them.)
When asked if she would have still performed knowing the maritime issue, she said, “Siyempre, mag-iisip ako ng dalawang beses. Pero ang pasok kasi sa akin, it’s all about dito sa COVID-19, na dapat magkatulungan.”
(Of course, I would think twice. But what it comes off to me is it’s all about COVID-19, that we should help each other.)
“Walang malisya at all. Maganda ang intensiyon ko kasi ang advocacy ko is pagkakaisa… Siyempre, Imelda Papin, nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa pamamagitan ng boses ko.”
(There is no malice at all. My intentions were good because my advocacy is unity. Of course, [I’m] Imelda Papin, I give inspiration through my voice.)
On the song being called a piece of propaganda, she said, “To be honest, hindi ko alam kung iyon ay propaganda nila.”
(To be honest, I didn’t know if that was their propaganda.)
“Dahil sa akin, good intention naman ‘yung akin. Naiisip ko lang naman ‘yong word na magtulungan tayong lahat sa panahon na ito.”
(For me, I had good intentions. I was just thinking of the word that is helping each other during this time.)
“Hindi naman pwedeng magtraydor ang Imelda Papin sa bansang Pilipinas. Hello!” she exclaimed regarding the backlash she received.
(One Imelda Papin cannot be a traitor to the Philippines. Hello!)
She also stressed that she would defend the Philippines.
“Siyempre, Pilipino ako, ang aking katapatan ay nasa aking bansa. Dito ako pinanganak, tunay akong Pilipino, hanggang sa huli mananatili akong Pilipino,” she said. “Siyempre, kapag naaapi ang ating bansa, makikipaglaban ako.”
(Of course, I am a Filipino, my loyalty is to my country. I was born here, I am a true Filipino, until the end I will remain a Filipino. Of course, if our country is being oppressed, I will fight for it.)
The viral music video posted on YouTube has over 173,000 dislikes versus 2,800 likes, as of writing. JB