Forget Imelda Papin, this pan-SEA rap is the song we need
By Boying Pimentel
April 27, 2020 at 10:06 am

Marx Sickmind, Mei Lee and Tu P.

The song is called “Iisang Dagat” (One Ocean). It’s clearly the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt, with the help of pop star Imelda Papin, to dupe Filipinos into thinking that, despite all the aggressive posturing in Southeast Asia, they can trust the power-wielders in Beijing.

Well, forget that deceptive song, which many Filipinos have rejected and denounced.

But here’s good news. There’s another song Filipinos should be listening to, celebrating, finding meaning in, and sharing on social media.

It’s also about the ocean, but it’s message is more believable, more sincere and relevant to Filipinos: “Save Our Seas.”

I stumbled upon their music video on Facebook recently. The three artists — two men, a Vietnamese and a Filipino, and a Malaysian woman — are at a pier, holding up flares. The woman, Mei Lee, says something in Bahasa Malaysia. Then the Filipino, with the rapper name Marx Sickmind, says, “Pangalagaan ang ating karagatan,” — “Take care of our ocean.”

Vietnamese rapper Tu P then kicks off the rap:

“I’m from Vietnam. … Our blood  has seeped coz of the struggle at becoming free .. They’re using a facade, but we see around it .. Make an artificial island then they claim the sea around it…”

Mei Lee leads the chorus: “Save our seas, please save our seas… Calling SOS to our neighbor, save our seas.. Hope our friends won’t let them take the Great South East … Long live Vietnam! Long live the Philippines! Long live Malaysia!”

Then Marx Sickmind, the Filipino, chimes in: “Kapatiran. I’m from the Philippines… My blood is deep as the ancestors underneath … Today we’re in a struggle to achieve justice and peace…. Once again, we’re defending from invasion and colonization … They claim reclamation but how can you reclaim what never belonged to your nation … Now you want to own the waters, even own the fish taking our food causing irreparable destruction to our environment …

“Love to our neighbors from Vietnam to Malaysia … The resistance is at home and living in diaspora …”

That last line is significant: Tu P, Mei Lee and Marx Sickmind are all based in Australia.

But Tu P said they came together for a song “about small countries standing up in solidarity to protect their sovereignty over their waters.”

“It is an appeal to their neighbors for support and to raise awareness,” he told me.

“Save Our Seas” is not about attacking citizens of any nation, it’s about all the peoples in Southeast Asia and beyond.

As Marx Sickmind also sang: “I wish we could unite, I have love for the people, I don’t want foreign governments to cause a fight .. We don’t want history repeated… Peace the people need it.”

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