WE WIN AS ONE | SEA Games theme song revealed

PHISGOC chairman Alan Cayetano, composer Ryan Cayabyab, singer Lea Salonga, and POC president Bambol Tolentino flash the "one" sign following the press launch of the official theme song of the Southeast Asian Games. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--"We win as one."

That's the theme of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that the Philippines will host from Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

And for renowned musician and composer Ryan Cayabyab, the said statement inspired him to collaborate with Floy Quintos in making the official soundtrack of the said meet, which coincidentally is also entitled "We Win As One".

"Yun pa lang, napalaking inspiration na," Cayabyab said in a press conference officially launching the said song at Resorts World Manila on Tuesday.

He then explained, "We're not only talking about ourselves as a community and as a nation. We're also talking of our relationship with our neighboring countries."

Relating the song to the SEA Games, Cayabyab said that "We Win As One" is a symbol that everybody is a winner in the said biennial sports meet.

"Nasa words yun eh. Yes, we compete, but what we win, lahat tayo panalo," he further said.

Quintos, who wrote the lyrics for the song, was not in the press launch.

All it took was a reformat

Cayabyab and Quintos tapped international singer and theater actress Lea Salonga to render the voice for "We Win As One".

However, Cayabyab admitted that he had a different plan at first.

"I made the first draft, and I'm so happy because nandoon si Lea. Binasa ni Lea, and she said, 'Parang hindi para sa akin yung format itself.' It was true because I wrote it first for the finale of the opening ceremonies. It was for 11 singers," Cayabyab recalled how he first planned for the song to be sung.

Salonga herself confirmed it.

"Parang hindi ko siya masundan, and I'm like, 'Who wrote this?'" she relayed what she told Cayabyab about the first draft.

When he decided to have Salonga record the song, Cayabyab had to redo it.

"We did one huge reformatting or changing of the draft to fit this part for Lea," he added.

"Napakalaki ng diperensya," Salonga compared the two versions of the song.

Reacting to the final rendition, she said, "I love the song. It's not just two wonderful, renowned, multi-awarded artists that did it. It's also two friends that did it."

Unfortunately, Salonga will not be able to perform "We Win As One" live during the opening ceremonies of the SEA Games on Nov. 30 as she will be in Singapore for the play "Sweeney Todd", so it is likely that Cayabyab will revert to the original plan, that is, have a group perform the song during the rites.

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