There is no Pinoy Christmas office party tradition more treasured and dreaded in equal parts than the musical performance. Sure, Lydia from Accounting looks forward to that all year, because it's her time to shine. But most of us out there are just doing it for the sake of team spirit—and perhaps that multi-hundred peso jackpot that is the talent show prize.
But if you're worth more than all the aguinaldos every child will receive this Christmas, what's your excuse? "Wala lang," says Dax Lucas, business reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He, with some help from Clarissa Batino and Cecille Yap of Bloomberg, and Iris Gonzales of the Philippine Star, put together this rough cut of most of the country's top tycoons lipsynching "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
"We just wanted to show people the less serious side of these billionaires," says Lucas. "What better way than through song?"
This video is months in the making, beginning with Lance Gokongwei, who was filmed in October. "[I've been] intermittently setting up appointments with them or ambushing them since October, but most of these happened earlier this month during the Christmas party circuit," says Lucas. In all, the three-minute video took nine hours of amateur editing, "mostly trying to get their lips synchronized."
Furthermore, he says, "Most were shy, saying they didn’t know how to sing. Tessie Sy wanted to actually sing."
As for the choice of song—it was first released in 1984, as a global fundraising effort in response to the famine in Ethiopia—the dark lyrics seem... oddly apt for these times. But it's also about generosity, says Lucas, which is always associated with Christmas.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.