MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Respected Filipino musician, poet and public intellectual Jesus Manuel Santiago, one of the eight Filipino activists barred from entering South Korea ahead of the G20 summit there sent today a video message in solidarity with the peoples’ campaign against the G20.
Santiago was invited by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), one of the largest organizations of workers in South Korea, to perform his songs at several cultural events lined up as part of the Peoples Conference on the G20 in Seoul.
“One of the songs, I was hoping to perform in Seoul is Achim I’seul (Morning Dew) written by legendary South Korean songwriter Kim Minggi. This song so touched me when I first heard it not just because it’s a beautiful song but also because the song has become some sort of anthem for the struggles of ordinary people, that I was inspired to translate the song into Filipino (Hamog sa Umaga)” said Santiago.
“I wonder why the South Korean government and the G20 prevented me from playing this song in Seoul. It is quite ironic that the G20, a grouping of powerful and influential nations, would be afraid of songs” added Santiago.
Santiago has been performing his songs to an international audience as guest in many international peoples’ conferences and gatherings. He was in Hanoi in late Septmber this year for the ASEAN Peoples Forum (APF) a parallel conference to the official ASEAN Summit.
Santiago also performed on video one of his own songs, “Halina”, which he dedicated to the struggle of farmers in Pyongtaek, South Korean against the encroachment of US military Bases into their lands. Santiago wrote Halina in the late Seventies as a narrative against the abuses faced by ordinary people in the hands of the repressive Philippine government during the darkest years of Martial Law.
“I hope that through this video, I would be able to convey my message of peace and solidarity to all of those gathered in Seoul, challenging the G20 and resisting policies that threaten the lives of ordinary peoples”.
“I also hope that a lot more people will be able to hear and appreciate these songs and be inspired to dream of and work towards a more just and humane world” Santiago added.
Jess Santiago left for Seoul the morning of November 6, 2010, was detained along with four other Filipinos- Joseph Purugganan of Focus on the Global South, Lorena Macabuag of Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Josua Mata of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and Roger Soluta of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) for more than 2 hours, barred entry into South Korea and sent back to Manila on the same day.30
To watch the videos, please follow the link to SONG THE G20 DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR http://vimeo.com/16609808
Jess Santiago- 09494348594
Joseph Purugganan- 09173874531; [email protected]