We were barely teens when Sponge Cola released their single "Jeepney," the would-be rock anthem of lovesick Pinoy youth in the early 2000s.
Fast forward to 2017 and this song is back in the headlines for an entirely different reason. PEP.ph reported that lead vocalist Yael Yuzon translated the song from Filipino to English at a smartphone launch in SM Mega Fashion Hall. Before his performance, Yael said, "Technically, I'm not allowed to speak in Filipino, so I'm going to translate this song for you."
Watch it here:
Writing on IG, Yael said: "Man that version of Jeepney was really something. Haha. Had a blast performing at SM Mega Fashion Hall today for the #LGG6PH launch event."
He also re-tweeted the performance:
On the spot yan! Translating on the go https://t.co/ThPSFBAMVt— Yael Yrastorza Yuzon (@yaelyraz) April 18, 2017
TBH, Yael's tongue-in-cheek translation was pretty impressive (and damn funny), considering he wrote it "on the spot," as he said in his tweet. The performance garnered mixed online reactions, however—including those who questioned why he wasn't allowed to speak Tagalog in the first place.
SM's management clarified the issue with an official statement sent to PEP.ph:
"We would like to clarify the information being circulated online regarding performances that happen in our malls.
"We would like to reiterate that we promote all international and local entertainment acts in all our mall event areas nationwide. Moreover, we have been a proud supporter of the Filipino Talent as we promote many celebrity and movie mall tours as week long celebrations of Independence Day and Linggo ng Wika.
"We are now looking into this matter carefully and will reach out to the concerned party. We apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have caused at this time."
Cosmo.ph got in touch with Sponge Cola Band Manager Saul Ulanday, who said Yael and SM already discussed the matter, and it is now a "non-issue."
As for performing "Jeepney" in English again? Saul said, "That's for Yael to decide!"
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