The First ASEAN Anthem was from the Philippines
Posted on 08 August 2021
By National Quincentennial Committee Secretariat
Today, 8 August 2021, is the 54th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines was among the five founders of the regional association, together with Thailand, which hosted the first meeting, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. In the Philippines, August is declared ASEAN Month, which coincides with History Month. This year, The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines collaborated in highlighting the pre-colonial Southeast Asia in the Philippine observance of the ASEAN Month 2021.
Little did we know, a Filipino historian-playwright penned the de facto ASEAN hymn in 1997, with music by a future National Artist. Titled “ASEAN, Oh ASEAN” (later changed to “ASEAN Song of Unity”), it was written by Dr. Nicanor Tiongson and composed by Ryan Cayabyab. However, in 2008, ASEAN adopted an official anthem: the “ASEAN Way” (a Thai composition), a product of a region-wide song competition to mark the ASEAN Charter on 15 December 2008.
Little did we know, a Filipino historian-playwright penned the de facto ASEAN hymn in 1997, with music by a future National Artist. Titled “ASEAN, Oh ASEAN” …
Nevertheless, the “ASEAN Song of Unity” was repurposed as a recessional song on various occasions during the 2017 ASEAN Summit in the Philippines. It was also used as the ending song of the ASEAN 50th Anniversary at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on 8 August 2017, sung by ten artists from ten ASEAN countries, including Christian Bautista and Thailand’s Natthika Iamthamai (who sang during the concert “Suk Wun Neung,” the theme song of the beloved Thai movie of the Filipinos, “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love”).The NQC Secretariat is fortunate that National Artist Ryan Cayabyab gave his personal recollection about the de facto anthem of ASEAN (see video above).
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Seeing this post? Curious what this is about? 2021 is the Year of Filipino Pre-Colonial Ancestors by virtue of Proclamation No. 1128, s. 2021. Also in this year, we commemorate the Philippine part in the achievement of science and humankind in circumnavigating the planet for the first time. Central in this commemoration is the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan on 27 April 2021. These and more are collectively known as the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines by virtue of Executive Order No. 103 (2020). Know more about the event here:
About us [https://nqc.gov.ph/en/about]
Watch our promotional video [https://youtu.be/ptgU1ZUgFZc]
Listen to Quincentennial Soundtrack [https://spoti.fi/3cAUIrl]
Watch our lectures [https://portal.nqc.gov.ph/]
Quincentennial activities and materials here [https://bit.ly/3dHrnKF]