Top row, from left: Ryan Cayabyab, Jamie Rivera, Jed Madela, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez-Seña; (second row) Maysh Baay of Moonstar88, Myke Salomon, Reuben Laurente, Jay Durias; (third row) Mitch Valdes, Mass Appeal Choir, The CompanY, Bayang Barrios
Sana Naman, Taumbayan,” a music video featuring 14 Filipino artists echoing an appeal for the people’s will to prevail in the midterm elections tomorrow, is significant for two things: The artists have different political views; and it took only 48 hours for the producers to make an open call for artists to record the song.
The song—music written by Louie Ocampo, lyrics by Joey Ayala—has an upbeat mood, its sentiments hopeful that election winners will be true public servants: “At sana kahit na sino’ng manalo pagkatapos ng bilangan/Sana naman ang panalo ay taumbayan.”
In two instances, Ayala manages to squeeze in lines that reflect the character and reputation of, for instance, majority of the senatorial candidates: “Sino kaya ang bagay sa ’ting bansa/Hindi lamang porma’t salita” (sung by Jed Madela); “Sana naman sana siya’y tuwid at tapat sa bansa” (rendered by Jay Durias).
The performing artists in order of appearance: Ryan Cayabyab, Jamie Rivera, Jed Madela, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez-Seña, Maysh Baay of Moonstar88, Myke Salomon, Reuben Laurente, Jay Durias, Mitch Valdes, Mass Appeal Choir, The CompanY, Agot Isidro and Bayang Barrios.
Inquirer Lifestyle had an e-mail with the project’s coproducer Noel Ferrer.
When and how did it all start?
One day, Louie Ocampo came up to me and said, “Noel, I want people to unite and take to heart what this song talks about.”
I listened to the song, it was a good, catchy tune, something cool and light, but with a significant and serious message.
Moy Ortiz and I took the challenge. We have always been committed to spearheading projects that unite the industry toward good causes (like the pioneering Pinoy Playlist Music Festival with Ryan Cayabyab).
In 48 hours, we had an open call to artists who may want to be part of the project. The 14 artists answered the call.
The website Good News Pilipinas joined the advocacy. Its team produced a series of videos and articles about the project. We offered media organizations access to information about the song and its production.
Were you aware that the artists have clashing political views?
Yes! And this makes the project even more meaningful—gathering artists with different political views to set aside their differences and unite for the nation through the song.
In the video are singers who have publicly expressed anti-Duterte views, while there are also a handful of pro-Duterte supporters. Was politics ever discussed at all during the recording? What was the recording session like?
It was a fun recording session in Paulo Zarate’s Studio Z. He waived certain fees for the project. It felt like the artists were waiting for something like this to be united and be involved in.
Isay Alvarez kept thanking us, because for her, this is a form of healing.
Agot Isidro posted on her Facebook wall: “Love is Love is Love. For Family. For Friends. For Music. For Fellowmen. For Country.”
It also meant a lot that National Artist Ryan Cayabyab gave his valuable support by leading the singing of this election anthem.
The artists who answered the open call to join the project come from various music genres, eras and political persuasions.
Do you think the video has somehow influenced viewers not to become gullible voters?
Yes! We are so grateful to all the media establishments—television, radio, print, online—and everyone who shared the music video with very touching comments.
It is noteworthy that, from the start, Louie Ocampo did not have profit in mind when he wrote the song.
We have made this song very accessible, with no fees and copyright and licensing obligations to worry about. Just share, share and share away. Just tag us: #SanaNamanTaumbayan.
Lyca Brown put it well when she said: “When the going gets tough, Pinoy artists get going. From their mouths to God’s ears.”
This is not just a song, it’s a prayer, a powerful one, not just for this year’s elections, but forever.
Are you open to doing more videos on various subjects or issues as a public service to raise social awareness?
Most definitely! We have to continue showing everyone that while politics divides us, music can bring us together and be a wealthy source of good vibes, Pinoy pride and inspiration that we need badly in these challenging times.
By the way, Martin Nievera, Joanna Ampil, Franco and Ayen Laurel have messaged us, saying they want to join if there will be another one.