Monday, April 18, 2016

Ang Prolife #109: a parody song of Voltes V (Filipino and English)


The Philippine general elections this May 9, 2016 is fast approaching and on the streets I can hear the jingles of local candidates. It is a sad fact of life, whether we want it or not, that we vote for the candidate whom we know, whose name sounds familiar, even if we only see his name in a poster or hear it in a jingle. Since I haven't yet heard a jingle for Ang Prolife Partylist #109, perhaps it's time to try my hand in this; a better jingle can always be composed later though time is already short.

A friend of mine in the prolife movement suggested that we make a jingle out of Voltes V theme song. This can be done, but I don't know the legalities of this, when one considers copyright issues. Should Voltes V theme song be considered a public domain work? Here are some notes on copyright laws in the US regarding changing of lyrics of songs:
Setting aside the "parody" issue, when you change the lyrics to a song, you are creating what's known as a "derivative work" under U.S. copyright law. That is, the song with the new lyrics is derivative of the original song. As mentioned in previous posts, the right to prepare derivative works is one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. This is what allows a book author to control, for example, who has the rights to turn their book into a motion picture (the movie being derivative of the book).

As a result, you would need to find and contact the copyright holder of the original song (normally a music publisher) to seek permission to alter the song and use it in your advertising campaign. If the song will be accompanied by visuals (as I suspect it will on YouTube), then you should make sure that whatever license you are able to negotiate includes the synchronization right. (Recall that the synchronization right allows you to sync up audio and visual.) Bear in mind that the copyright holder is not required to grant you permission to create derivative works.
Perhaps what I shall be writing may be considered as a parody. Also, the life span of the lyrics is only up to May 9, 2016. Beyond that the number #109 becomes disassociated with Ang Prolife Partylist, so that song will become useless and needs to be revised again.

What follows hereafter is a poem that follows the meter of the Voltes V theme song. You may read the poem as a poem or sing it in your head while reading it. The design of the poem strives to satisfy six criteria:
  • The poem must fit the meter of the Voltes V song 
  • The poem must rhyme in some way or use some alliteration
  • The poem must convey the prolife message: what Ang Prolife Partylist stands for and its primary audience
  • The poem must mention the "Ang Prolife #109" several times as a pedagogical tool for easy memory recall
  • The poem must teach people how to vote
  • The poem must be in Tagalog or in English


Ang Prolife Partylist ay ang numero 1-0-9.
Hanapin sa balota ang numero 1-0-9
Kulayan ng itim ang yung bilog na katabi
Nang ang boto mo sa bilangan maisali
Lalabanan po namin ang Team Patay
Dahil kami'y bahagi ng Team Buhay
Sa darating na Mayo 9

Ang Prolife na Partylist
Ay numero 1-0-9
Ang Partylist ng mga buntis, mga ikakasal
Ama't ina, at lolo't lola!
Ang Prolife 1-0-9!
Here's a loose English version that also follows the Voltes V meter:
Ang Prolife Partylist is the number 1-0-9
Search in the ballot for the number 1-0-9
Blacken with your pencil the nearest circle
Or your one vote would be wasted if you fail

We shall fight those who seek to pass the laws of death
We shall always uphold the laws of life
Vote Ang Prolife this May 9

Ang Prolife for Partylist
The number 1-0-9
The partylist of the pregnant teens, of the groom and bride,
The mom and dad, the old and young!
Ang Prolife 1-0-9!

For comparison, here are the first three stanzas of the original Japanese version:
Tatoe arashi ga hukou tomo
Tatoe oonami areru tomo
Kogidasou tatakai no umi he
Tobikomou tatakai no uzu he

Mitsumeau hitomi to hitomi
Nukumori wo shinjiau
Go nin no nakama

subete wo kakete
Yaruzo chikara no tsukiru made
Chikyuu no yoake ha
mou chikai. 
Here's the Tagalog version which is what we are familiar with, but is not the exact translation of the Japanese original:
Sana ngayon kami ay malaki na
Upang makatulong sa hustisya
Huhulihin namin ang masasamang tao
Itatapon sa loob ng kalaboso

Ang mga kidnapper, carnapper dog-napper
isnatser at mga hold-up-er
Lilipunin naming lahat

Voltes V tatandaan
Yan po ang tatak namin
'Pag nakita ninyo kami
magtago na kayo
Walang biro, lagot kayo
Pati na lolo n'yo!

1. "Ang Prolife numero 1-0-9"

I designed the "1-0-9" to be pronounced as "one-oh-nine". I initially chose "bilang 1-0-9", so that I could have several alliterative b's in one stanza: balota, boto, bilog, bilangan. But I think that I can sacrifice this extra b-word for a more important n-word alliteration of "numero 1-0-9", a phrase which would be repeated thrice in the whole song; the only drawback is an extra syllable which may be compensated by splitting an 8th note to 16th note.

2. "Kulayan ng itim ang bilog na katabi" (Blacken with your pencil the little circle)

The pencil to be used is 2b pencil:
On the same day as the presidential elections, Pinoy voters also elect the Vice President, senators, members of the House of Representatives, and members of local administration bodies nationwide, altogether more than 10,000 positions. The ballots are divided into boxes in accordance with the positions to be elected. Voters have to shade the ovals for the candidates for each of the positions, using a 2b pencil.  (ASEAN Information Center)

The "Itiman mo ng lapis ang yung katabing bilog" is in reference to the song of S*xbomb Dancers: "Bilog na hugis itlog," which was used by COMELEC for the promotion of the automated elections last 2010.

By the way, the "Kulayan" in the third line was chosen to match with the starting "K" of the original Japanese version: "Kogidasou tatakai no umi he." To match this, I tried also to make the first line start with a "T" as a mnemonic for the first line the Japanese version "Tatoe arashi ga hukou tomo," i.e. "Tatak ng Ang Prolife ay ang numero 1-0-9". The only drawback is that the word "Partylist" can't be inserted and this can be fatal to marketing if a person only hears the first stanza and not the third. So I settled for "Ang Prolife Partylist ay numero 1-0-9." I would then have an alliterative p-phrase "Prolife Partylist." Also, the beginning "Ang" in the first line alliterates with the starting "Ha" of "Hanapin" in the second line. So I think the deviation from the Japanese structure is worth it.

3. "May 9" (May 9)

This refers to the May 9, 2016 Philippine General Elections.

4. "Team Buhay vs Team Patay" (Prolife vs Pro-Death teams)

The phrases Team Patay and Team Buhay were coined by the Archdiocese of Bacolod in 2013 in a tarpaulin--an act which was labeled by Comelec as against election laws. But in its Jan 21, 2015 decision, the Supreme Court uphold the constutionality of Bacolod's tarpaulins:
Embedded in the tarpaulin, however, are opinions expressed by petitioners. It is a specie of expression protected by our fundamental law. It is an expression designed to invite attention, cause debate, and hopefully, persuade. It may be motivated by the interpretation of petitioners of their ecclesiastical duty, but their parishioner’s actions will have very real secular consequences. Certainly, provocative messages do matter for the elections.
What is involved in this case is the most sacred of speech forms: expression by the electorate that tends to rouse the public to debate contemporary issues. This is not speechby candidates or political parties to entice votes. It is a portion of the electorate telling candidates the conditions for their election. It is the substantive content of the right to suffrage.
This. is a form of speech hopeful of a quality of democracy that we should all deserve. It is protected as a fundamental and primordial right by our Constitution. The expression in the medium chosen by petitioners deserves our protection.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The temporary restraining order previously issued is hereby made permanent. The act of the COMELEC in issuing the assailed notice dated February 22, 2013 and letter dated February 27, 2013 is declared unconstitutional.
 The Team Buhay vs Team Patay Facebook page has released another list of candidates for 2016:
  • Team Buhay. For Vice-President: Honasan. For Senator: Romualdez, Sotto, Romulo, Pacquiao, Liban, and Valeroso. For Partylist: Buhay and AngProlife.
  • Team Patay. For Vice-President: Cayetano. For Senator: Hontiveros, Bello, Lacson, Recto, Pangilinan, and Guingona. For Partylist: Akbayan, Kabataan, Gabriela, BayanMuna.

5. "Ang Partylist ng mga buntis, mga ikakasal/ Ama't ina, lolo't lola" (The partylist of the pregnant teens, the groom and bride/ The mom and dad, the old and young.)
  • Pagbubuntis (Pregnancy). Ang Prolife believes that once a man's sperm fertilizes the woman's egg, a new human life is formed. That is why Ang Prolife agrees with the Supreme Court's decision to strike out the provision in the RH Law that uses the word "primarily" in reference to contraceptives that may cause abortion, since even if the contraceptive only has a secondary or tertiary effect of abortion, the State must ensure the health of the mother and of the unborn conceived.
  • Kasal (Marriage). Ang Prolife upholds the dignity of traditional marriage of one man and one woman and fights against same-sex marriage.
  • Ama't Ina (Mom and Dad). Ang Prolife believes in Responsible Parenthood, but not through artificial contraceptives like condoms, pills, and IUDs. Ang Prolife also believes that it is the primary duty of the parents to educate their children, especially regarding human sexuality. That is why Ang Prolife is against the sex education in public and private schools where students are taught the different forms of sexual behaviors and contraceptives devoid of morals and chastity development.
  • Lolo't lola (Grandfather and Grandmother). Ang Prolife believes in the dignity of the aged members of our society. Our grandfathers and grandmothers serve as role models for their sons and daughters in how to raise children well. Even if the old are sick and dying, Ang Prolife believes that we must give them the dignity of natural death and not through euthanasia which some people call as "death with dignity" but are actually utilitarian in mindset in disposing the old and the infirm through lethal injection and the like.


I hope that Ang Prolife would adopt the proposed theme song or jingle based on Voltes V's opening theme.  I think this song has lots of marketing potential, especially if we can make professional band sing it for radio and street campaigns. A video can also be made with dance steps or perhaps an anime version. If you wish to make these songs and videos, please let us know. Ang Prolife doesn't have much resources, so we really need volunteers.

By the way, if you voted for Buhay partylist of Lito Atienza before, please vote for Buhay. If not, please vote for Ang Prolife #109. We need a prolife block in Congress. Buhay can only get 3 seats maximum. We need to add 3 more seats for Ang Prolife to ensure the passage of pro-life laws in Congress.

Like Ang Prolife Partylist #109 in Facebook!

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