'Iisang Dagat': Chinese Embassy dedicates song to COVID-19 frontliners in Manila, Beijing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 24) — The Chinese Embassy in Manila released on Friday a tribute music video for frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus disease in the Philippines and in China. 

The song, titled "Iisang Dagat," was written by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian. It was sung mostly in Mandarin, with Filipino subtitles, while some parts were in Filipino.

"Ikaw at ako'y nasa iisang dagat ang iyong pagmamahal aking kasama. Ang iyong kamay ay hindi ko bibitawan, maaliwalas na kinabukasan ating masisilayan," the chorus goes.

[Translation: You and I are in one sea, your love is with me. I will not let go of your hand, we can look forward to a bright future.]

Among the performers are Camarines Sur Vice Governor Imelda Papin, a local music icon, as well as Filipino-Chinese Singer Jhonvid Bangayan and Chinese actor Yubin.

READ: Chinese embassy's 'Iisang Dagat' tribute sparks outrage online

The Chinese Embassy in a tweet said the song "is dedicated to those who contributed to our fight against the epidemic from both countries, especially the China Medical Expert Team to the Philippines." The Chinese experts stayed in the country for two weeks to share their first-hand experience since the coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

COVID-19 has since infected more than 2.7 million worlwide and killed over 191, 000. The Philippines has 7,192 COVID-19 cases, with 762 recoveries and 477 deaths.

The Chinese Embassy video featured scenes from the Philippines' COVID-19 fight and highlighted the Chinese government's help and donations.

Near the end of the song are previous interviews with top Philippine officials thanking China, capped with one of President Rodrigo Duterte's speeches expressing gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese Embassy in a tweet said, "Just as the lyric goes, as friendly neighbors across the sea, China and the Philippines will continue to join hands and make every effort to overcome the COVID-19 at the earliest."

Duterte has nurtured friendship with China despite Beijing's refusal to recognize Manila's arbitral win that invalidated its sweeping claim to almost the entire South China Sea. The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs recently filed diplomatic protests with China over the creation of new districts in Sansha City, including areas the Philippines claims, and over the alleged pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship.