Imelda Papin draws flak for participating in China-Phl unity song ‘Iisang Dagat’


Veteran singer and Camarines Sur Vice Governor Imelda Papin received flak for taking part in the Chinese Embassy’s COVID-19 tribute song titled Iisang Dagat, which is dedicated to “everyone who has contributed to the fight against the epidemic” from both China and the Philippines.

The lyrics of the “mutual support” song were written by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Huang Xilian. It was mostly sung in Mandarin while the remaining parts were in Filipino.

Alongside Papin, the song was also performed by Chinese Diplomat Xia Wenxin from the Embassy, Filipino-Chinese Singer Jhonvid Bangayan and Chinese actor Yubin. 

The lyrics goes:

Sa lamig ng kahapon, tayo ay hinahamon

Binalot ng dilim, umaasa liwanag ay darating 

Pagdating liwanag na ating minimithi 

Ito ay nagbibigay pag-asa sa bawat bansa  


Dahil sa iyong pagmamahal na umaagos na parang alon

Hawak kamay tayo’y patungosa maliwanag na kinabukasan


Ikaw at ako’y nasa iisang dagat,

Ang iyong pagmamahal aking kasama

Ang iyong kamay ay hindi ko bibitawan 

Maaliwalas na kinabukasan ating masisilayan

Verse II 

Sa lamig ng kahapon, tayo ay hinahamon

Binalot ng dilim, umaasa liwanag ay darating 

Muling sisikat ang araw ang init madarama 

Ito’y magbibigay pag-asa sa bawat bansa  

“Just as the lyric goes, as friendly neighbors across the sea, China and the Philippines will continue to join hands and make every effort to overcome the COVID-19 at the earliest,” wrote the Chinese Embassy Manila in its Facebook page. 

The video also featured President Rodrigo Duterte, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Health Secretary Francisco Duque, and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar expressing their thanks for China’s aid to the country amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

China has previously donated testing kits, face masks and PPEs to the country.

Last week, medical experts from China arrived in the Philippines to share their learnings and help the country in handling the coronavirus crisis.

The music video released on April 23, Thursday, however, has received more dislikes than likes on ChinaTV’s YouTube channel.

On Twitter, netizens aired their dismay over Papin singing parts in what they perceive as China’s subtle move to claim ownership over the West Philippine Sea.

President Duterte has had said that he preferred to maintain friendly negotiations with China regarding the ongoing territorial disputes.

Nevertheless, the country recently filed two diplomatic protests against China for pointing a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship and declaring a Philippine territory as part of Hainan province.

Papin has not responded to the comments, but shared the music video on her Facebook account on Saturday.

Watch the music video here:

Lyka Nicart
Lyka Nicart
Lyka Nicart wanders on the internet, hearts Kpop (and ofc her bias), loves everything purple. When she's not writing, she's fighting with her dear cat.