Sponge Cola vocalist Yael Yuzon chalked up as a case of “miscommunication” the mall show incident where he did an “on-the-spot” English translation of his band’s hit OPM song, "Jeepney."
This was in relation to news that Yael was prohibited from speaking in Tagalog at the SM Mega Fashion Hall—the venue where he performed "Jeepney" for the April 18 launch of a mobile brand.
Before performing the song at the event, Yael was quoted as saying, "Technically, I'm not allowed to speak in Filipino, so I'm going to translate this song for you."
But now, a few days after the mall show, Yael spoke again about whether or not SM has a no-Tagalog-song policy for local artists performing in its malls.
“Lumalabas sa mga artist na hindi puwedeng mag-Tagalog when, in truth, puwede naman. So, okay na,” Yael told TV Patrol reporter Gretchen Fullido, in an interview published on ABS-CBN News Online today, April 23.
Recalling the incident, Yael explained that he was asked to remove "Jeepney" from the set list in his gig, something which surprised him.
The 33-year-old singer also explained, however, that he later learned there was no directive from the SM Malls management prohibiting local bands from performing Tagalog songs in their malls.
Yael surmised, “Mayroon lang nawawala in translation habang nagtri-trickle down iyong information sa mga employees nila, I guess.”
The incident drew mixed reactions from netizens, most of whom expressed dismay over SM Malls’ supposed no-Tagalog-song regulation.
Last April 20, in an official statement sent to the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph), SM Malls vowed to look into the issue and clarified that it has always been a “proud supporter of the Filipino Talent.”