“Yes we can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can, can!”

“Because We Can” by Fatboy Slim | This song comes to me from Shalla, who, from remembered this song out of the blue last year (well, technically, two weeks ago). She danced to this back in elementary school. Or was it high school? But you know those days in those small private schools where every student has to dance during foundation day or some other anniversary? You had forty-something kids on a field dancing the same steps, and nobody would see the whole thing – the parents would only focus on their kid, and everything else is a blur. And you, as a kid, would practice this for weeks, if not months. And chances are one choreographer is doing the routines for the entire school. I had that, too. We called it “field demonstrations”. One year I danced to “Build Me Up Buttercup”, the Torch remake. Another year a flamboyant guy named Michael did the choreography. He had jogging pants with his name embroidered on. He always seemed to be angry – it’s hot, and he’s dancing for everybody. I get it now. [NB]

The inventory: The songs that Ferdinand Marcos inspired

These are not ideal circumstances, I must admit, but when former president Ferdinand Marcos – dictatorial, controversial, polarizing thirty years on – was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani yesterday despite a flurry of opposition from critics fearing historical revisionism, I ended up thinking of all the songs that were inspired by the Philippine strongman. He ruled the country for twenty years, brought it defining infrastructure projects, drained its coffers and deprived its people of basic rights – and that’s a very simple way of putting it. I’m a guy of nuance, but the debate around this hasn’t been filled with, although we all universally agreed at one point that we will not go back to this. And now, here we are, arguing again.

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