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Messenger Band (Cambodia)

A garment worker girl band which grew from Womyns’ Agenda for Change (WAC)’s long engagement in the self determination building among Cambodian garment workers. WAC’s approach has been to expose and conscientious women workers in order for them to fully participate and determine their paths as a collective to bring positive change to workers as a social group and more broadly to challenge on gender stereo type, discrimination and violence in society. Apart from traditional forms of communication and learning, workers have seen through their exposure elsewhere the power of song. 

Rock vs the Round: Musicians against the WTO


Musicians against the WTO (MAW) represents the coming together of various artists in a project aimed at popularizing issues and generating public interest on the WTO and globalization issues in the Philippines.

Conceptualized in early September 2005, MAW became part of the trade campaign in the Philippines spearheaded by the Stop the New Round Coalition, Focus on the Global South, Kilusang Mangingisda, Tambuyog Development Center, NGOs for Fisheries Reform, Philnet-RDI, and Jubilee South.

MAW produced Rock against the Round CD– a compilation of songs reflecting various perspectives on globalization, from the personal to the political. The CD features 12 songs from a diverse mix of artists representing different music

al genres from folk to punk. The songs touch on themes of poverty and inequality, hunger and food insecurity, commodification of lives and natural resources, global hegemony and domination.

The songs on the Album

 Espasyo – The Village Idiots

Welcome to the Free World – Noel Cabangon

(Hangga’t maari) Ayaw Naming Pumatay – Einstein Chakras

Million Dollar Man – Agaw Agimat

Food Trip- Radio Active Sago Project

Who’s Next- Bridge

Free Market Bull – Strap on 7 inch

Vampire Sam (the global order) – Beauty of Doubt

(ikaw) ay Karne – Datu’s Tribe

Pa-experience – Pedicab

Changes (justice not politics) – Pink Cow

Republika de lata – the Wuds

In 2008, MAW staged a mini-concert in Cubao X, in Quezon City, Philippines which featured performances from Noel Cabangon, Jess Santiago, Pedicab, Peryodiko, Radioactive Sago Project, Village Idiots and Sandwich as part of the continuing campaign against WTO and the Doha Round.

“What is happening in the WTO, the domination by the rich over the poor, the powerful over the powerless is colonialism revisited. Only now it goes by the name globalization. Artists today like those that resisted colonialism in the past must act against and inspire resistance to the oppression and domination” said musician Jess Santiago.

“In these times, for musicians and artists to be apathetic in face of a reprehensible anti-people force like the WTO is a criminal act” added Lourd de Veyra, front man of Radioactive Sago Project.

Listen online and download the album at 

Asian Village Radio Show-episode 02

Episode 02 of the Asian Village Radio Show features a conversation with Ego Lemos, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and activist from Timor Leste. Ego talks about his early years learning and performing songs in the capital Dili and how his music, inspired by his people’s struggle for liberation and independence, strives to convey messages of hope and inspiration.  Two songs from Ego’s international debut album O’ Hele Le (skinnyfish music) is featured here .

Episode 02 also offers a sampling of struggle songs in the region by exiled Burmese journalist Ye Ni, Okinawan rock music icon Eiichi ‘Chibi’ Miyanaga, Cambodia’s all-female singing group, the Messenger Band, Indonesia’s living treasure Iwan Fals, and India’s well-respected Sumangala Damodaran.

A song from beyond our borders is likewise featured here with the performing group Patatag interpreting Pancho Lara’s Filipino adaptation of “A Desalambrar” by Daniel Viglietti of Uruguay.