All Pinoy musicians are dumb, submissive and scared shitless of white people

master This is apparently the flawed impression of the caucasian Chief Operating Officer of Resorts World  Manila.

I say this because of an incident that happened recently.

Hotdog band was about to wrap up a lucrative deal with a reputable casino group and it involved the use of the song “Manila” which my brother, Rene Garcia & I (Dennis) created.

Sadly, the deal fell through because the prospective client found out that the lyrics of the song “Manila” was emblazoned on the casino floor of a competitive establishment.

Many people have been telling me about this but I never really found time to see it for myself.

So one day, I finally went and saw the “thing”. The core lyrics of Manila at the pricey Resorts World Manila – on display… without permission, without attribution, without remuneration and with absolutely no guilt.

Strategically positioned by the cashier's cage
Strategically positioned by the cashier’s cage

I guess I wasn’t too surprised at the DISRESPECT that “Manila” got.

I’ve heard countless horror stories about the shabby treatment Pinoy musicians get at the place:  the non-stop auditions and callbacks, the extremely low instrument volumes during performances (why get a band – just turn on a transistor radio, dude… same effect), the cancellation of gigs without sufficient notice, and the intrigues instigated by power-tripping low level employees.

In contrast, foreign music acts who come to perform are given super VIP treatment: exotic musical instruments when requested (a Hammond organ? a Rhodes or Wurlitzer keyboards? a 1966 Rodgers snare drum, perhaps?), exotic dressing room treats (Dom Perignon? caviar? cultured oysters from Australia?), plus other perks that spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I was confident that because of the status of the song “Manila” – the de facto anthem of homesick Filipinos, the “must have” tune in performances of Pinoy artists abroad, the piece de resistance of roving singers in restaurants, etc. – the issue bothering me would easily be resolved.

So I wrote a letter to the President and the Chief Operating Officer of Resorts World Manila stating my case: an intellectual property was abused… a copyright was infringed – without permission, without attribution, without remuneration, and with absolutely no feelings of guilt at all.

So, the alien COO – thinking that these Filipinos are easy to appease, especially when confronted in English – decided to send a letter to me which I gladly read but did not formally receive.

In so many words, his message: oh… those words… it was just a framed piece… a temporary installation to cover a gaping hole in the wall… we can bring it down if you want.

Translated in Tagalog: Naku yon ba… yung mga titik? Pina-frame namin… at pansamantala lang talaga yon. Para matakpan ang butas sa dingding. Papatanggal namin kung gusto nyo.

I was ready to explode: utot mo… pinaghirapan naming isulat at pasikatin yan… at gagawin mo lang panakip-butas ng dingding.

They admitted their guilt… but stopped there.

No remorse.

No offer to right a wrong.

No hints of restitution.

They fail to understand that it doesn’t matter if the offending frame was up on the wall for one minute only or for one decade. It was copyright infringement.

It’s like rape: whether a man’s instrument was inside the orifice of a woman for 1 second or 1 hour… it STILL is rape.

One second... or one hour... inside. It's still rape.
One second… or one hour… inside. It’s still rape.

Not to worry, friends, I will get this Resorts World Manila – especially its Chief Operating Officer – to issue a public apology and to pay for all damages incurred.

Mr. Panakip-butas, it isn’t about money… it’s about respecting those people you deal with called Pinoy musicians who are not dumb and submissive.

And certainly not scared shitless of white people.


Here’s the latest incarnation of the song

46 thoughts on “All Pinoy musicians are dumb, submissive and scared shitless of white people”

    1. you insult me, ms. lara. i don’t know you from eve… and to insinuate what you are insinuating is absolutely out of line.
      sorry, i can never be bought.

      were you?

    2. Ms Lara, I am sorry, but your comment is a result of an irresponsible individual, with much disrespect to the one being offended by the acts of that certain casino, Maybe, you’re an employee of that company? perhaps your parents never thought you how to respect. Or probably respect is not a norm in your house?

    3. @Lara Seriously?!?!?!?!?! That is your question?!?!?!?!?! I won’t be surprised if you are from RWM… I hope you are NOT Filipino because SHAME ON YOU!

  1. maybe that’s were you do not see eye to eye with these Caucasian guy my friend. to him it’s not about honor or art. it’s about money. when you start off by saying ‘this is not about money,” then he has already won. copyright infringement sir is about money. sue the company and you will get respect.

  2. Nothing wrong with asking for money in return for using your intellectual property. Copyright is an economic right.

  3. Greetings, Sir Dennis.

    i agree with the last two posts. This is intellectual property. Yours.
    And you are correct in stating that you worked hard on the song. Paid your musical dues to stumble upon that moment of pure magic that created “Manila,” then worked even harder to play it to the world.
    We respect your work. You deserve to get paid for whatever you have created.

    And here’s food for thought…
    The establishment you were negotiating with should not have cancelled the deal. Having your timeless lyrics emblazoned on the walls of their competitor should have been subversive marketing for wherever you should have played.

    They wasted an opportunity. Not just to have a world class Pinoy act in their establishment, but also to get free advertising.

    Mabuhay po kayo, sir!

    1. salamat. jasper. the client’s dilemma was understandable: if you’re getting a bride, a virgin she’s gotta be. 🙂

  4. The COO of Resorts World Manila, sitting on MetroManila grounds, highlighting local artists yet disrespecting an iconic PH song (and the artist behind it). The guy has to learn respect (and copyright) and i hope he learns it the hard way.

  5. Dennis, you do us proud. Continue to stand for your rights, and fight for them. Just for laughs, you should go to the wall and take a picture of the supposed “hole” they were covering, and tell them that that should be on Exhibit A for the court to see.

  6. I smell a major lawsuit!! If that happened in the states, they would have to pay dearly for their arrogance…..

  7. Just for that alone, I will never set foot on Resorts World and will ask all my friends and investors of my portfolio to do the same. Shame on their COO!!! 😡

  8. What are you waiting for…. Sue them. Or trace the History how Resort World got their licence to operate in MNL..a one sided deal allowed by Pagcor through the GMA administration and former Chairman of Pagcor Dennis… may malaking anomalya yan at talo ang PHGov sa % and commissions ng Casino.. Hit them hard.

  9. No rage please, I hope you battle this in the legalities required. Fight fire with fire. And yes this is about money but more about respect. Mabuhay ang Musikong Pilipino! Do us proud! =)

  10. My father owns a jeepney that has those exact same words written on its side. Will you sue him for that as well?

    1. My father owns a jeepney that has those exact same words written on its side. Will you sue him for that as well?

      He’s a fan, by the way.

    2. absolutely not. the lyrics on his jeepney did not cause us to lose a contract. we’d even give him a special CD of hotdog hits to entertain his passengers,

  11. WHAT ? I lived here in Hong Kong and I see the mockery this STUPID WHITE PEOPLE , do in here they think that ASIA is built for thier on disposal, being a MANILENIO, who left Manila in ’89 Im proud that these STUPID WHITE PEOPLE, cannot get their way but times has changed? Please dont let these STUPID WHITE PEOPLE have it their way……Where is justice? A “RIDING IN TANDEM” dosen’t cost that much, besides it gives EMPLOYMENT to our fellow kababayans……DONT MAKE MY MANILA like whats happening here in HONG KONG, coz I’LL BE COMING BACK TO MANILA !!!

  12. And this is just my view.

    I would not hasten to boycott Resorts World as they, just like all other businesses, employ other Filipinos and is an investment that pays to our central and local governments.

    Indeed, Mr Dennis — regardless whether you’ve lost an income opportunity or not — your copyright is your copyright. There are many ways to skin a cat for the COO to rectify this marketing oversight. He could’ve bee apologetic and even comp you a room or buffet, at the very least, and treat you like a king for their mistake. Casinos are known to thrown in comps left and right. This would’ve been a good strategy to their stakeholders.

    Aside from the copyright infringement, I believe that it’s his arrogance that didn’t sit well with the sensitivity of the Filipinos. Sya na nga nagkamali, sya pa me ganang magalit, ika nga. And it’s for this reason that has ignited the reaction of netizens, your followers, and friends.

    And why not?

    He has shown no remorse, as you said, and has instead employed under his tools more resources to put you in a corner.

    That an iconic song and an iconic band that has contributed immensely to Philippine Music Entertainment can be treated so shabbily by a foreign employee in our own land is what gets me more than the copyright infringement.

    And whether you have been paid by Solaire or City of Dreams, as Lara alleges, is likewise secondary to the story. The bottom line is their marketing department — or whatever department — cleared the posting of your copyright and, when called out, decided to act arrogantly and even demean the very labor your group has created.

    Lara, Dennis Garcia may be diplomatic and forgiving with your insinuation.

    I am not.

    You’re no different from the Makapili. Your first thought over your own aggrieved fellow citizen is to doubt it? If any of your child, children, or children of your relatives came to you complaining of rape or sexual abuse, your first thought would be … who paid you to say that?

    To creative people — long abused and neglected for their output, an infringement on their copy feels like what they hold dear the most is the one taken so brazenly away from them. It is not to demean rape victims nor lessen their pain, but to exemplify that feeling of loss.

    So for your first commentary of financial prodding from competitors instead of inquiring the validity of Mr Garcia’s claims is simply reflective of what has gone in our country.

    I have searched both the entire English and Filipino dictionary that could best express my thoughts on your useless opinion and the closest I could come up with is …


    1. In my passion to react, some words have not been added and can’t seem to edit it.

      Meanwhile, I think a formal complaint against the COO should be initiated and deportation proceedings should commence. It’s the easiest avenue instead of copyright litigation because all a citizen needs to do is complain the foreigner as an undesirable alien and he can be monitored, processed, and deported immediately.

  13. Sir, thank you so much for your timeless song, “Manila.” When I was working abroad, that’s one of the songs that I always play in the office. I get inspired when I hear it, mostly when I am down and lonely. I’m sure justice will prevail for this unfortunate incident. God bless!

    1. that’s the best reward a songwriter can ever wish for – his song touching someone’s heart. salamat, ryan

  14. I think the problem is not with the white people or foreigners. The problem is in our government. Oo, kasalanan ni PNoy yan. And other Presidents and government officials then and now. Foreigners know that our law is weak. And we don’t give importance with copyrights. We Filipinos, even artists, consume pirated materials. So why they would RESPECT us? I guess the saying is right wherever you apply it: “if you want change, it should start in ourselves.”

  15. The COO of the casino added insult to injury by saying the framed poster was used to cover a hole in the wall. He must think that Pinoys are stupid.

    Start gathering your evidence. Get affidavits from people who have seen the poster, attach a copy of the offer from your client with the amount that you should have earned, add a copy of the “sorry” letter from the same client, include a copy of your copyright for the song, then attach the photo of the Manila poster and the COO’s insulting letter. Hit them and hit them hard. Charge them for the lost income and for violation of our copyright laws. See them in court. I don’t see how you can lose.

  16. Ya make that patch on the hole Exhibit #1. File for Intellectual rights infriingement against all those violators. To Dennis of Hotdog, these people should know what disrespecting a Pinoy in his own country is all about. Apart from paying the dues, he must be kicked out of position and sent back to his shameful country.

  17. Totally understand your position especially the rudeness of the manager. I fully understand how the lack of respect and remorse ticked you off.

    My question is, hasn’t “Manila” because of its ubiquity and mythic status has crossed over to the public domain?

    I get it that it is your creation and renumeration is necessary. But is there a line that we draw?

    I saw Team Manila make a poster out of Stronger by Daft Punk. Just the lyrics. Are they infringing as well?

    I was wondering if Theodor Seuss Geisel got a royalty every time, “oh the places we would go” was committed to type?

    Please correct me if my assumptions are incorrect.


    1. very good point, jason. yes, team manila was infringing… but i don’t think those foreign artists will run after them. if team manila decides to use one of our lines, that’s fine with us. the KEY is to ask permission… and make sure there is attribution. would you like a stranger to enter your house without permission, get the keys to your car & drive off to his lakad? sounds absurd BUT that example is one and the same when it comes to intellectual property. i love your shots – but i will not arbitrarily use any of them for 5 secs of a documentary i may be doing – unless i get your “okay”. what aggravated the RW thingy is that my band were in the midst of concluding a deal where the prospect was to bankroll the first ever “Manila” official music video. no such thing exists. that is now a memory. nothing more to add. thanks for your insights.

  18. Thanks! Makes more sense when lost of opportunity, a BIG one at that, is factored in. I had this notion that music infringement is confined to actual use or plagiarising lyrics and melody.

    Here’s hoping that music video will come to fruition sooner than later. And I hope the matter gets resolved soon.

    *I caught you guys at Legends in Hard Rock. Super tight, super awesome set.

    1. sadly, i didn’t join the band that time. i was busy getting inspired in prague and vienna. sayang, i missed meeting you cause i’m a big fan of your work. in fact, i had wanted you to direct the music video. and that’s no BS (am no expert in that stinking field). keep doing good… never lose the passion… money isn’t everything

  19. Fk. this made my night. Prague will always be a good excuse.
    Hit me up and let’s do it in the future.

    Reading at past Hotdog articles (2011), I realize now that permission and renumeration have always been your crusade. I fully understand now. Songwriting is hard. I feel its harder than film, harder than any visual medium and MUST be compensated.

    You’d be happy to know, that I pay for the licenses for all the music I use in weddings. My own little way for artists to keep trucking.

    All the best!

    1. you’d be happy to know that (since i started following your work on vimeo) i’ve been the No. 1 advocate of prodding clients to try wedding videographers – even for just one project – to discover for themselves that these creatives have more heart and ideas than some lazy, overpaid production house directors. and that’s no BS (not my field of expertise)

  20. Kasing talino at galing tayo sa kanila kaya h’wag magpapaduro sa mga banyaga. “Yan ang alam ng mga Fil-Am sa Amerika. Kaklase nila itong mga ‘to kaya wala silang colonial mentality. Laban kung kailangang lumaban. Nasa likod mo ang sambayanang Pilipino, Dennis.

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