Campaign jingle against mining in Surigao: ‘Iska Pamilya, Iska Boto, Kontra mina’

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 May) – To counter alleged vote-buying schemes by pro-mining candidates, anti-mining advocates in Surigao del Sur are knocking on voters’ conscience with a ditty that will make one sing, shake hips and clap hands.

Aptly titled “Iska Pamilya, Iska Boto Kontra Mina,” the jingle – written by homegrown talent singer-songwriter and producer Zandro C. Urbiztondo – is original, crisp and upfront.

And unlike most campaign jingles whose music and lyrics are copycats of popular songs like Gangnam Style, Macarena, among others, “Iska …” talks of the fight of Carcanmadcarlanons against mining and the destruction it brings to the province’s waters and agricultural lands. Urbiztondo, called “Popoy” by family and friends, says that mining thus affects the people’s principal source of livelihood – fishing and farming.

Carcanmadcarlan stands for the five towns in Surigao del Sur affected by mining – Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. Carcanmadcarlanons are the people residing in these municipalities.

The townsfolk, including the indigenous peoples (IPs), are in the forefront in the fight against the continued operations of Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC).

Cantilan, known as the “Cradle of five towns” in Surigao del Sur, leads the pack in this fight, and the election period is the arena for the pro and anti-mining camps.

Urbiztondo, in an interview Tuesday night, admitted it took him a month to conceptualize the song and put it into music for two days, producing it in his own studio, Studio Z in Los Angeles, California, and uploaded it on YouTube on April 9.

Since it was uploaded, it already generated 1,961 likes as of Wednesday evening.

All comments posted on YouTube and the Cantilangnon FB page were favorable. Here are a few, in their original form, in netspeak, typos, errors and all, with this writer’s attempt at translation:

rafael102493: daan pa ako anti sauna.,mga tao man gud ya mag huna2x ang ila tag huna2x ky ang kwrta ra..e2n..di kon damage..Marajaw ky ni kontra ra gjud tnan tao dd.on (I was already anti even before. But the people, they don’t think. What they think about is money. Now, the environment is damaged. It’s good all the people there are now against it.)

scot cale: idol….grabe ka ganing na kanta. ka abtik mo gajud…henyo ka idollllll. (Idol … the song is great! You’re really good … you’re a genius idol)

riverstyxhcb: kontrahon ta gjud ang mina…. sa tagsa tagsa nato ka pamilya. (We will fight mining … in each of our families.)

jasonseril: like times 10000000. padajon ta! (onwards!)

Prince Arreza: Poy ak ini gajod patukaron sa ato radyo….salamat sa pag share, (Poy, I will really air this in our local radio. Thank you for sharing.)

The ditty came out in the Cantilangnon Facebook page and on YouTube on the same day and has since made rounds in local radio stations in Tandag City. It is also used in campaign sorties of Cantilan reelectionist Mayor Genito Guardo.

A dance routine is also starting to create a following from young students who danced “Iska…” during the recently held “Save our Surigao Run for the Environment” Earth Day celebration in the same town.

The song is upbeat and has a dance tempo with lyrics written in the Cantilangnon vernacular. It urges CarCanMadCarLanons to unite for the protection of the environment and vote against politicians who are pro-mining.

It urges voters not to get blinded by money with the lines “Koman eleksyon paninguhaon ta, sa kwarta dili ta magpakabuta.” (Let us strive during this election that we will not be blinded with money.)

Here’s the lyrics of the song “Iska Pamilya, Iska Boto Kontra Mina” and this reporter’s attempt at translation:


Dali na magkahiusa ta tanan (Come on let us unite)
Tanan higaya tanan kalumonan (All our friends, all our relatives)
Protektahan ta an kinaijahan (Let us protect the environment)
Dinhi sa Carcanmadcarlan (Here in Carcanmadcarlan)
Koman eleksyon paninguhaon ta (Let us strive for this election)
Sa kwarta dili ta magpakabuta (That we will not be blinded with money)
Carcanmadcarlanon magkahiusa ta (Carcanmadcarlanon let us unite)
Iska pamilya iska boto kontra mina (One family, one vote, against mining)


Uno na an mga bukid ta (What has happened to our mountains)
Sauna karajaw kagana (Before it was beautiful and splendid)
Kuman nanga upos guba na (Now they’re gone and destroyed)
Kay ila man tagtiwasan (Because they finished it off)
An kadaut dili hunungan (They will not stop the destruction)
Mga kabang sa Cabangahan (The patches of earth in Cabangahan)


An Carac-an na tapad ra (Carac-an which is beside it)
An tubig kuman nalipa na (The water now is dirty)
Irigasyon way kapuslanan (Irrigation is useless)
An ato mga basakan kasagulan na nan kaitan (Our farmlands are now mixed with orange clay mud)
Uno pa may ato katamnan (What is left for us to plant)

(Balik Koro)


Uno man kinta nan sauna (How come in the past)
Pila ka henerasyon ta (For how many generations)
Yay mina tagsaligan ta (There was no mining that we relied on)
SA pagtanom sa pangisda ra nakalampos naka eskuyla (Through farming and fishing we  succeeded and got an education)
Sa mga mahinlo na pangita (Through clean and decent living)
An mga suba nangapuya (Our rivers have gone red)
Klaro sa mga pokot ta (It is clearly seen in our fishnets)
Uno pay gusto mo makita (What more do you want to see)
Simbako kun magbaha naman (God forbid that a flooding occurs)
Mapareho ta sa Cagayan (We will end up like what happened in Cagayan)
Hain ra kaha ta puyuta (Where do you think we will end up)


Lugar na hinigugma imo lang ba pasagdan (The place that you love, will you just neglect it)
Sa mga estranghero imo lang palipaan (To strangers, you will allow them to pollute it)
An ato kadayanan (Our roads)
An ato kadagatan (Our seas)
Hasta na kalangitan (Even our skies)
Puno na nan kaitan (Is already filled with orange laterite mud)
Pero pagbantay darling (But be careful darling)
Sa mga paling paling (Those who are indecisive)
Sauna mga anti kuman mga pro mining (Who were anti but are now pro-mining)
Kay lagi sa mina mahamok na kwarta (Since there is so much money in mining)
Ugsa namag-ilog mga nganga nolinya (That’s why they wrestled and line up)
Ugsa man tatay nanay mano mana pagbantay (That’s why dad, mom, sister and brother be careful)
An pilion nato siguradohon anti (Let us make sure we chose the anti)
Kay kun imo pilion iton mga bakakon (Because if you choose the liars)
Nagpa bibang-bibang (Sneaky like the monitor lizard)
Im bungsuyan minahon! (They’ll mine your front yard!)


Dali na magkahiusa ta tanan! (mintras sajo pa) (Come let us unite [while it is still early]
Tanan higaya, tanan kalumonan (kalumonan dali na!) (All friends, all relatives [all relatives come!]
Protektahan ta an kinaijahan (Protektahan ta!) (Let us protect the environment [Protect it!])
Dinhi sa Carcanmadcarlan (Iska Pamilya, Iska Boto Kontra Mina)   (Here in Carcanmadcarlan [One family, one vote against mining])
Kuman eleksyon paninguhaon ta (Paninguhaon ta!) (Today’s election let us make sure [Make sure!])
Sa kwarta dili ta magpa kabuta (Ajaw!) (We will not be blinded by money [No!])
Carcanmadcarlan magkahiusa ta (Dali na, Dali na) (Carcanmadcarlan let us unite [Hurry, hurry]
Iska Pamilya Iska Boto Kontra Mina! 3x (One Family One Vote Against Mining)

Here’s the song on YouTube: