The chief operating officer (COO) of Resorts World Manila apparently doesn’t think too highly of Pinoy musicians.
Resorts World apparently had had a deal with the famous Pinoy band Hotdog. The popular iconic song “Manila” was in the line up of songs, but the deal fell through because Hotdog found out that the lyrics of the song “Manila” was emblazoned on the casino floor of one of the establishments.
In his blog post, Dennis Garcia wrote about how he and his brother Rene created the song and were surprised to see the lyric of the song in a framed poster without any attribution.
Garcia wrote, “Many people have been telling me about this but I never really found time to see it for myself… So one day, I finally went and saw the “thing”. The core lyrics of Manila at the pricey Resorts World Manila – on display… without permission, without attribution, without remuneration and with absolutely no guilt.”
As a fellow performer, Garcia shared how he has heard stories from other performers on the less-than-respectful treatment they got at the hotel: the non-stop auditions and callbacks, the extremely low instrument volumes during performances…the cancellation of gigs without sufficient notice, and the intrigues instigated by power-tripping low level employees.” Maybe not surprisingly, foreign performers who stayed and performed at the hotel are given the VIP treatment.
Garcia, however, was confident that if he brought up the issue to Resorts World’s management regarding attribution to his song, the issue would be straightened out without any problems. He wrote a letter to the COO stating his case. The COO’s reply? “Oh… those words… it was just a framed piece… a temporary installation to cover a gaping hole in the wall… we can bring it down if you want.” Not even a single word of apology or hint of remorse. Garcia was infuriated the COO thought all Pinoys were easily appeased and they took the matter very lightly. He decided to take further action to get his apology.
Shortly after Garcia posted his statement, he received a Cease and Desist letter from Resorts World Manila’s legal counsels. They called Garcia’s post defamatory and libelous. The counsel also asked Garcia to retract his post and and even apologize to the COO “for maliciously publishing the libelous article.”
In an interview, Garcia acknowledged that Resorts World Manila is not the first high-profile establishment that used the lyrics of Hotdog’s songs without permission. All he was asking for was an admittance of their mistake and to right the wrongs. Garcia reacted the way he did because “the guilty party displayed uncalled-for arrogance and lack of basic courtesy.”
Resorts World Manila responded in their statement saying, “Resorts World Manila reiterates the sincere apologies extended to Mr. Dennis Garcia. Upon receipt of Mr. Garcia’s notice, the questioned material containing a portion of the lyrics of one of his most famous songs was immediately taken down. As a long-time supporter of the Filipino talent, the organization has nothing but the highest respects for Mr. Garcia’s artistic works and to him as a major contributor to the local music industry. [The hotel] has reached out to Mr. Garcia and remains open to discuss this matter directly with him for its prompt resolution.”