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Cayetano’s ex-PR man behind Hotdog-inspired SEAG opening: Utol kasi ‘yung composer!

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Ever wonder why organizers of the 30th Southeast Asian Games have chosen the famous 70s hit “Manila” by OPM band Hotdog as the main theme used during the grand entrance of Filipino athletes following much talked opening ceremony last Saturday?

Politiko learned that it was Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) chair Greg Garcia who allegedly lobbied before top honchos of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) to use iconic multi-platinum single as the entrance music of the Philippine delegation—which drew mixed reactions, and even irked Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, accusing it of not being inclusive.

“Manila” was written by Garcia’s siblings, namely Dennis Garcia and the late Rene Garcia.

The composers dedicated the famous Hotdog song to the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s) who are away and homesick from their families.

Under existing rules, any person or corporation causing or authorizing a public performance in the Philippines of any copyrighted music belonging to Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc.’s (FILSCAP) worldwide repertoire must obtain a public performance license from the organization.

FILSCAP is the holder of deeds of assignment to collect royalties from artists both in within and outside the Philippines. Garcia’s surviving brother Dennis is part of FILSCAP.

Prior to his appointment in the BCDA, Greg previously served as PR consultant of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano when he was still a senator.

The current BCDA chair was big name in the local PR and advertising industries, previously served as chairman and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Advertising, a position he held for 20 years.

Leo Burnett Philippines is one of the biggest advertising agencies in the country. It has handled Procter and Gamble, McDonald’s, Phillip Morris, Kimberly Clark, Unilab, among others.

Aside from his job at the BCDA, Garcia is also allegedly the one calling the shots for the SEAG’s PR and marketing operations, according to multiple Palace insiders.

A total of 525,000,000 was allotted for marketing and PR expenses of the SEA Games, according Senate Journal No. 41, which contains the breakdown of the proposed SEA Games budget under the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

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