On the track, Buendia decries political corruption and incompetence. In one verse, he sings, “Mga abuso sa kapangyarihan / At maling pamamalakad / Ang sagabal sa kaunlaran” (‘Abuses in power and bad governance are hindrances to progress’). It also contains the lyric “Pangulo o pang-gulo?“, which loosely translates to “Is it a president or a mess?”
Watch Buendia and his band track ‘Metro’ in the studio and perform the song in the video below.
The release of ‘Metro’ comes a year into the Philippines’ lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On March 16 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 929 that declared “a state of calamity throughout the Philippines” due to COVID-19.
Buendia addresses the financial fallout of the pandemic on the song: “Panahon na upang imulat ang mata sa katotohanan / Pandemya at kawalan ng kabuhayan / Asan na ang nawawalang lupa’t pera / Bagsak ang ekonomiya / Di ka ba nagtataka?”
The lines translate to: “It’s time to open your eyes to the truth. [We are in the middle of a] pandemic and people lost their jobs. Where’s our missing land and money? Our economy’s down — aren’t you wondering why?”
The song and its video were released as part of the We Need A Leader 2022 campaign. It was first shared on an Eraserheads Facebook fan page on Monday, March 15. Two days later, it was uploaded on the Facebook page and YouTube channel of We Need A Leader 2022.
We Need A Leader was launched in January as a voter awareness campaign for the Philippines’ 2022 presidential elections. It was spearheaded by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Pantaleon Alvarez, who is currently Representative of Davao del Norte’s 1st district in Congress. “We need a leader, a true leader, and not a pretender,” he said in a speech launching the campaign.
According to its manifesto, We Need A Leader aims to “educate people to think when voting for a leader” and names four key qualities it thinks a presidential candidate should embody, summarised as “brains”, “heart”, “balls” and “fortitude”. It also highlights the “havoc” wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic upon the Philippines’ economy and employment levels.
Prior to his involvement with the We Need A Leader 2022 campaign, Buendia participated in the Artists Fight Back movement in response to the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was passed in early July 2020.
We, the free artists of the nation, strongly condemn the swift & reckless passing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill. We are this nation’s storytellers. We are watching & we will act. #ArtistsFightBack #JunkTerrorBillNow
Join us: https://t.co/ORYPXJ4ln2 https://t.co/oQgWbLDRc4
— Ely Buendia (@elybuendia9001) June 9, 2020
In recent Ely Buendia news, the musician revealed last week that Eraserheads’ iconic song ‘Spoliarium’ was “all about getting piss drunk”. Fans had long speculated the track was about a rape case involving the late actress Pepsi Paloma.