SB19’s Song MAPA Bridges Filipino Families Around the World
SB19, who sang MAPA, recently discussed their roles as National Commission for Culture and the Arts youth ambassadors during a forum in Los Angeles, California.
P-pop group SB19, who sang MAPA, recently got together with members of the Filipino community in Los Angeles, California. The group, composed of Pablo Nase, Josh Cullen Santos, Justin de Dios, Ken Suson, and Stell Ajero talked about Filipino family and culture, the impact of their song “MAPA”, as well as the responsibilities of being a role model for today’s youth at the forum hosted by the Philippine Consulate.
SB19’s MAPA connects to Filipino families and fans around the world
During the forum last November 14, the group was asked what they feel about the song “MAPA’s” impact on Filipino families and international fans around the world.
“Naniniwala kami na music is universal. Whatever language that you speak or country that you are in, music is music,” Stell said. “Sa totoo lang music ang naging daan para magdugtong-dugtong ang tao sa buong mundo. Dahil naniniwala po ako na kahit hindi namin naiintindihan yung kanta nandiyan po ang feeling.”
The group’s main vocalist believes that the message of any song will always have an impact on its listeners. “We’re very proud po sa song namin na MAPA dahil nagawa niya po yung dapat niyang gawin. Hindi lang po kami ang kumonek sa mga tao.”
“MAPA is actually our song for our parents and sa lahat po ng mga tao na gumabay sa amin. Hindi lang po sa buhay namin pati na rin sa buhay na tinatahak namin.”
Stell admits that the group is amazed that international fans are memorizing Filipino words in their songs.
“Talagang nakakaktaba ng puso makita sila na kinakanta yung song. They also react to our music videos, our songs. Pinapanood nila sa friends nila. Sinasabi nila yung song mismo yung MAPA. We’re very thankful na na-achieve namin yung goal namin na maparating sa mga tao, connect sa kanila at maibahagi yung mensahe na gusto namin i-convey.”
As for the Filipino trait they want to share with Filipino-Americans, they mentioned that the family will always come first.
“Kasi po sa family po namin…we help each other physically, emotionally, and whatnot. So iyon po yung nakasanayan ko dahil pag family po, hindi mo iyon iiwan,” Justin shared.
Promoting Filipino Culture Around the World
The group, who are also youth ambassadors of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, are aware of the responsibilities they hold, now that they are getting recognized. Josh admits it’s an honor but overwhelming at times.
“We take pride in what we do. Sobrang masaya po kami sa ginagawa po namin minsan mahirap pagsabayin like nag-totour kami tapos nag-vivisit kami ng mga consulate meetings, diplomatic dinners,” he said. “Pero hinding-hindi kami magsasawa na i-promote ang kultura ng Pilipinas“.
“Kasi mula’t sapul, iyon po talaga ang goal namin. Para makilala ang Filipino music. Iyon po talaga ang pangarap namin – maingat ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas at hindi lang sa Pilipinas pati sa buong mundo.”
Pablo, the group’s leader, shared that being youth ambassadors of NCCA and Sentro Rizal is something they take seriously. While they have different personalities, they are committed to giving their best to the role assigned to them.
“We really cherish this platform. What I can say is that in everything that we do, we [give] more than 100% and we always try to go beyond our limits.”
“We know the weight and the responsibility that we have. So we have to act like role models for these people. And we need to be mindful in everything we do kasi marami na din mga tao na nag-lolook up sa amin.”
Grateful for the support
As they continue to promote Filipino culture through their performances, the boys are grateful for the support of the fans and the backing they have been getting from those who believe in them.
“The reason why we are here is because of them [the fans] and the reason why we’re starting to get known globally is because of them,” Ken said. “Yung mga efforts po ng mga fans namin big or small, naging strongest weapon [that] we have today. So sobrang honored po namin and sobrang swerte namin na nandito ang mga fans namin.”
Pablo revealed that before the tour, they were extremely worried. “We don’t know if people are going to support us or watch us. But once we got here and we saw the people including our international fans and those coming for the international tour singing our songs, that’s when I realized na we’re making waves, we’re really making waves.”
“The goal that we had before we went here, our goal was to promote Filipino music, and Filipino culture around the world. To raise the brand of the Filipinos to market it in the global scene.”
He added that with the advent of social media, they have to work even more.
“For us to be effective in promoting Filipino music, and Filipino culture, we need to think about mga pakulo, especially in the age of social media. In these times, social media medyo short ang attention span ng mga tao. So we really need to be smart in promoting the culture.”
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