Winnipeg Filipino couple compose Tagalog song about importance of getting COVID-19 vaccine

·2 min read
Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. and his wife, Catherine Ofiaza, have recorded a song in Tagalog about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.  (Ernesto Ofiaza Jr./Facebook - image credit)
Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. and his wife, Catherine Ofiaza, have recorded a song in Tagalog about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. (Ernesto Ofiaza Jr./Facebook - image credit)

A Filipino couple from Winnipeg is using the power of song to encourage others to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. and his wife, Catherine, perform the song in Tagalog.

Their song's Tagalog title is Kabarangay Magpabakuna Na, which translates in English to Fellow Community Members, Get Vaccinated Now.

Ofiaza wrote the lyrics about the importance of getting vaccinated, which are performed to the tune of old Filipino folk song.

Watch Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. and Catherine Ofiaza perform their song below:

Speaking with Information Radio guest host Faith Fundal, Erneso said the song was their way of contributing to Manitoba's immunization campaign by encouraging his kababayans — or fellow Filipinos — to get their shot.

"For me, it's a possible way of getting them involved in getting them vaccinated," he said.

A provincial report released in March found Filipino people in Manitoba were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. While making up seven per cent of the population, Filipino Manitobans made up 12 per cent of cases at that point, according to the report.

The song is now making the rounds on Facebook since Ofiaza posted a video of him and his wife singing it last week. He says the response so far has been great.

"They said it's a good song and the lyrics are so meaningful, and likewise it's them being reminded to get the vaccine," he said.

LISTEN | Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. talks about his song encouraging people to get vaccinated:

As of Wednesday, 60 per cent of Manitobans 18 and older had received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to provincial data. For Manitobans 12 and up, the rate is just under 56 per cent.

All Manitobans 12 and up are now eligible to get a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the province opened up second dose eligibility to anyone who got a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine on March 29 or earlier.