Outraged Pinoys petition against airing of Chinese Embassy ‘propaganda video’

A still from Chinese Embassy Manila’s “One Sea” video, via change.org petition
A still from Chinese Embassy Manila’s “One Sea” video, via change.org petition

Angered Filipinos took to an online petition yesterday, campaigning against the distribution of a music video released by the Chinese Embassy in Manila, which many netizens have characterized as an insulting “propaganda video.”

Titled Iisang Dagat (“One Sea”), the Embassy posted the controversial video over the weekend, which called for unity between China and the Philippines against the COVID-19 pandemic. It said that the video was “dedicated to those who contributed to our fight against the epidemic from both countries, especially the China Medical Expert Team [which visited] the Philippines.”

The song’s lyrics, which were written by Chinese Ambassador H.E. Huang Xilian, included lines like, “You and me, we’re the same sea, and your love is my companion.” It was performed by a mix of Filipino and Chinese personalities including Chinese Diplomat Xia Wenxin, singer and Camarines Sur Vice Governor Imelda Papin, Filipino-Chinese Singer Jhonvid Bangayan, and Chinese actor Yubin.

Read: Chinese embassy slams Senator Hontiveros for seeking West Philippine Sea reparations

Criticisms over the video have piled up in the comments section alone, with top commenter Cynthia Diaz calling out the irony of the song, and wrote, “Excuse me but the West Philippine Sea has always been and will always be rightfully ours.”

“Kindly stop exploiting our seas and building on our islands and shoals. Leave our fishermen alone and let them make a living from it as they always have done,” she added. “We don’t need this song. We need you to respect our claim, the ruling of the international tribunal and leave.”

Photo: Chinese Embassy Manila / FB

China has long been intimidating Pinoy fishermen on the disputed territory, despite a 2016 decision by a Netherlands court that invalidated Beijing’s claims over the area. The Duterte government certainly hasn’t been of much help, whose acquiescence to China’s presence in the West Philippine Sea has disappointed many.

China also recently reportedly declared the West Philippine Sea part of Hainan province.

On Twitter meanwhile, fury over the video has led to the use of the hashtag #Chexit (a nod to Brexit) to call for China’s withdrawal from the West Philippine Sea.

Twitter user @BrujaDelDemonio wrote, “Inviting you all to click on this link to dislike ‘One Sea’ on YouTube – a Chinese propaganda about their ownership of the West Philippine Sea masked as a song of unity about COVID-19.”


Netizens’ outrage has led to the creation of an online petition calling to stop the airing and distribution of the music video.

“The Chinese Embassy in Manila produced and released the music video ‘Iisang Dagat.’ The message of the song is closer cooperation between China and the Philippines. But while this song is widely distributed on social media, China continues to claim, exploit, and destroy parts of the Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea,” the petition read.

“This video is propaganda, created to deceive Filipinos and should not be allowed to air,” it added.

As of writing, almost 7,300 people have signed the online petition.

Read: Senator Tolentino drops genius plan to drive Chinese away with Filipino music

Meanwhile, Papin, the wider-known Filipino singer who sang in the video, also drew flak from netizens. The 64-year-old jukebox queen defended herself from the outcry, saying she was not paid for her participation in the video, and that the project was supposed to boost Filipinos’ morale.

“Let’s not be malicious about it. Because people’s morale is low right now…this is the time to unite and not fight,” Papin told ABS-CBN News in Filipino.

“The title ‘One Sea’ is for the whole world. Why criticize my participation… Why did they [netizens] choose to remain silent when China sent help—doctors, protective equipment. Why me? I did not charge for a single centavo [in this project],” she added.

Read: PH Health Dept says faulty COVID-19 test kits not donated by China after embassy outcry

Earlier this month, a group of medical experts from China arrived in the country to help with the Philippines’ response to COVID-19. They also brought with them additional equipment such as face shields, masks, and ventilators which were to be distributed in hospitals across the country.

The team arrived shortly after the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) took back a statement about discarding unreliable COVID-19 test kits donated by the Chinese government. Instead, the DOH said that the faulty kits were donated by an unnamed “private foundation.”




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