Of Course Bato Likes Bryan Adams

Have you seen the tracklist for ‘ Waking up the Neighbors?’

Seriously, it’s called Waking Up The Neighbors! Bryan Adams may not have known in 1991 that he was predicting the age of Tokhang, but no artist is ever truly in control of his art.

by John So


It’s easy to imagine Bato revisiting this album recently, and realizing how much it reflected what he stands for. The first three tracks are Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?, Hey Honey – I’m Packing You In, and Can’t Stop This Thing We Started. No wonder Bato looked so happy at the concert: Bryan Adams is speaking directly to his soul. The titles tell a story of a man who has the power to take people away, or make them disappear. And even if he might have second thoughts, there’s no going back.

Track 4 is Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven, which could be read as what Bato was feeling when he was named chief, or how he justifies the deaths of so many. Next is Not Guilty, which is self-explanatory. Then, Vanishing, House Arrest and Do I Have to Say the Words?, which continue these theme of fascistic control. There Will Be Another Tonight, because there’s no tomorrow. Nanlaban kasi.

The next three tracks are songs of devotion, and in these songs, Bato reaffirms his love for our president. All I Want is You. Depend On Me. Everything I Do, I Do it For You. Then, in case Duterte packs it up: If You Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come, Too?). Touch the Hand (of our president). Don’t Drop That Bomb on Me sounds like Bato responding to #BatoResign.

If only Bato was a Neil Young fan, instead.