Moira dela Torre on ‘Titibo-Tibo’: “This song is not about the LGBT community.”
Singer-songwriter Moira dela Torre breaks her silence regarding her hit song ‘Titibo-Tibo’ through Twitter.
The song composed by Libertine Amistoso won the grand prize at the 2017 Himig Handog multimedia songwriting and music video competition. Amidst gaining more than 5.8 million views on the ABS-CBN Star Music YouTube channel and tremendous support from her fans who gladly covered the song, ‘Titibo-Tibo’ received much criticism for its problematic lyrics.
Composer Libertine Amistoso last November 2017 clarified that this song was an autobiographical one and did not mean to offend any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. In an interview video by Kapamilya Online World, Amistoso said that if any member of society would ‘misinterpret’ her song, she’s sorry for that. All she wanted to do was to share and express her own experiences to her audience.
Moira dela Torre, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter who interpreted the song for the Himig Handog competition, also clarified through Twitter in a series of tweets that this song was not about the LGBTQIA+ community in any way. She was replying to a user who seemed to have called her out regarding the song. Moira’s tweet and the one she replied to has been deleted as of this morning.
Because of this series of tweets, many Twitter users commented on the fact that Moira and the songwriter did not understand the Filipino connotation of the word ‘tibo’. While it does literally translate to ‘tomboy’ or a girl expressing boyish characteristics, the term has been used commonly among Filipinos to refer to lesbians.
There were also those who pointed out the lack of understanding of gender expression as independent from romantic and sexual attraction.
you know fully well that the term "tibo" in the philippine context not only translates to tomboyish, but has connotations referring to lesbians. the way the song goes perpetuates harmful stereotypes regardless of your intent as a songwriter. https://t.co/tK0Gphdwik
— devilrice (@kaninrice) January 14, 2018
Mahirap paniwaalan given na ang lyrics ay
“Napabarkada sa mga bicurious na babae na
Ang hanap din ay babae”
“Sinong mag-aakalang lalake pala
Ang bibihag sa tulad kong tigreng gala”
Hindi mo siguro intention. Pero hindi mo rin pwede iinvalidate ang “drama” na na experience nila https://t.co/OY8YHjkI2f
— Jai Cabajardashian (@jaicabajar) January 14, 2018
Second verse is goes along the same lines, but this time with attire. To me, the reason why it's problematic is because she seems to be categorizing a certain look or gender expression into polarities. Like, wearing makeup is indicative of femininity.
— Saving Ally (@allyquirante) January 6, 2018
In the attempt to further explain why she deleted her tweets, Moira dela Torre said that she did not intend to create a divide between ‘sides who both think they’re right’. She also wanted her Twitter and other social media platforms to ‘be an avenue for kindness and positivity’ and apologized for the tweets she sent last night.
If my life (or my social media accounts) would be an avenue for something, i want it to be an avenue for kindness and positivity. I was wrong last night for even posting.. im sorry to everyone who interpreted the song as offensive. I'm sure the writer didn't mean to offend. (2/2)
— Moira Dela Torre (@moirarachelle4) January 14, 2018