RECOGNIZING that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are the Philippines’ modern-day heroes, Google Philippines is set to launch an anthem especially for them come September 1 as a post-celebration of the National Heroes Day today.
As part of its “Balikbayan” campaign to reconnect OFWs with home, Google Philippines will crowdsource lyrics from millions of Filipinos here and abroad by completing the phrase “Nami-miss ko na . . .”
Tapped to lead the meaningful project are bands Sponge Cola, ItchyWorms and Kjwan, singer/songwriter Ebe Dancel, and YouTube star Mikey Bustos, who will put the lyrics together and compose the melodies of the anthem.
“Wherever we go, we see how the Filipino spirit comes to life whenever there’s music. The song and the lyrics will hopefully touch their hearts and remind them that wherever they are, we remember them,” enthused Dancel, who rose to fame as front man of band Sugarfree.
For his part, Ryan Morales, country manager of Google Philippines, underscored the importance of OFWs to the country. “OFWs are very much part of our DNA. Ten to 12 percent of our entire population are OFWs and that translates to over 10 to 12 million Filipinos—something that is very unique for a culture. Moreover, they also contribute about 14 percent of the total GDP from their remittances,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine at the campaign launch.
The Google Philippines official further elaborated that this latest project is already the third phase. Previous campaigns in 2014 included an awareness video showing how an OFW father and daughter can connect using technology; as well as a website customized to cater to OFW needs.
Morales said, “We are moving from useful tools to amassing a cultural moment. We are using music because we found out that it connects Filipinos throughout the world.”
Moreover, Morales informed that every submission to the song will also amount to a P1 donation made on behalf of the collaborators to the Blas Ople Policy Center & Training Institute.
“He hope to raise a total of P1million to be used to build halfway houses for victims of human trafficking, which is the cause of the Blas Ople center,” Morales ended.
Watch the music video exclusively on YouTube beginning September 1.