MANILA — Dozens of film and stage artists came together virtually on Monday to deliver an “alternative” State of the Nation Address streamed live at the same time as that of President Rodrigo Duterte’s.
Dubbed #SONAgKAISA, the protest action was staged as a virtual concert and as a physical demonstration at UP Diliman, addressing issues like the forced shutdown of ABS-CBN, the anti-terror law, and the Duterte administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the highlights of the online concert was “Di Niyo Ba Naririnig,” the Filipino version of the memorable “Les Miserables” tune “Do You Hear the People Sing.” (See the 4:15:30 mark of the video below.)
The song was first translated by stage actor and composer Vincent de Jesus in 2017, amid what was seen as the human rights abuses under Duterte’s war on drugs, and has since become a protest tune among critics of the administration.
Among the dozens who appeared in the virtual chorus singing “Di Niyo Ba Naririnig” were Angel Locsin, Iza Calzado, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Enchong Dee, ABS-CBN artists whose home network has been forced to retrench thousands of workers after it was shuttered by Duterte allies in Congress.