Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon recently held a gig at an event at SM Megamall Fashion Hall where he performed an acoustic version of the band’s classic hit “Jeepney”—in English.
The event was the launching of LG G6 which transpired on Tuesday, April 18. Apparently, the venue was the premium segment of the mall, which is allegedly the reason why Yael was prohibited to perform songs in the Filipino language.
"Technically, I'm not allowed to speak in Filipino," Yuzon told the crowd during the event, "…so I'm going to translate this song for you."
"Pinaglaruan ko na lang. It was weird, but it was fun. I like playing with words," he added.
The occurrence created uproar from netizens after seeing the video. Many commenters mocked SM for prohibiting the Filipino language at the launch and said that there is nothing wrong with using your native language.
One commenter said “That would be a national scandal over here (UK).” Another one said “I lost it at ‘I disembarked from a jeepney’.” Some did agree that the performance was cringe-worthy. Nonetheless, several online users sent their kudos to Yael for playing it cool.
SM then followed up an official statement.
“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.”
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