ASEAN 50th anniversary theme song debuts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 January) — ASEAN Spirit, the title of the ASEAN 50th anniversary theme song made its debut during the launch Sunday of the Philippines Chairmanship of the regional body at SMX Lanang here.

Sung by Jonathan Badon, the country’s opera prince, the song aims to show the relevance of music as a medium to convey a message of unity.

“I am honored and grateful to be chosen to do this for ASEAN and the Philippines,” Badon said. “Music is a universal language binds us together.”

The singer said he only had less than a week to prepare for the performance but was nonetheless excited.

Badon was chosen as the performer after a Department of Tourism recommendation.

His performance, which he described as a combination of mixed pop and classical methods, blended well with the artistry of Davao’s premier choir group The Himig Singers.

Himig, a group of 15 singers, is adept at performing a range of music genres, from classical to pop.

The group has had limited rehearsal times but still delivered a compelling performance.

Bong Aviola, Himig Singers conductor, said the same about music being universal, and the message can be appreciated across ASEAN.

Aviola said that through the song, which features regional instruments, ASEAN nations will be inspired to soar to greater heights.

ASEAN Spirit is written by National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario (who is now chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts) and arranged by UP Diliman College of Music professor Josefino Chino Toledo.

The message conveys the message of unity across boundaries. It seeks to inspire the ASEAN countries to fly high above boundaries and frailties. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)