When Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha assumes the role as Asean chair later this year the moment will be particularly poignant, the ‘Asean Anthem’ played at the proceedings being originally composed and written by Thais.
The result of an Asean-wide competition organised by Thailand on behalf of Asean in 2008, the Anthem of Asean saw regional competitions resulting in 99 finalists, including 11 from Thailand.
This was whittled down to a final 10, with an ultimate ‘anthem play-off’ taking place on November 20, 2008. In addition to bragging rights, those responsible for the chosen tune, would also win $20,000 (about Bt655,000 at current rates).
The five criteria for the Anthem of Asean were:
- the lyrics had to be in English
- it had to reflect Asean dignity, cooperation, and solidarity
- it must not be longer than 60 seconds
- it should reflect Asean’s diverse culture and ethnicity
- it must be an original composition
The panel of judges comprised Haji Manaf bin Haji Kamis (Brunei), Dr. Sam Ang Sam (Cambodia), Purwa Caraka (Indonesia) Khamphanh Phonthongsy (Laos) , Ayob Ibrahim (Malaysia), Tin Oo Thaung (Myanmar (Burma)), Apgripino V. Diestro (Philippines ), Phoon Yew Tien (Singapore), Rear Admiral Mom Luang Usni Pramoj (Thailand), Pham Hong Hai (Vietnam), and three non-ASEAN judges: Sandra Milliken representing Australia, Bao Yuankai representing China, and Keiko Harada, representing Japan.
At the conclusion of the ‘anthem-off’ the judges are said to have unanimously chosen The Asean Way — whose lyrics were written by Payom Valaiphatchra with music composed by Kittikhun Sodprasert and Sampow Triudom — as the official Anthem of Asean.
It was first played officially as the Anthem of Asean during then 14th Asean Summit in Thailand on February 28, 2009
Lyrics for the Anthem of Asean
Raise our flag high, sky high Embrace the pride in our heart Asean we are bonded as one Look-in out-ward to the world. For peace, our goal from the very start And prosperity to last. We dare to dream we care to share. Together for Asean we dare to dream, we care to share for it’s the way of Asean.
Feature video (NBT WORLD)
She previously covered police rounds for Philippine Daily Inquirer as a trainee before becoming editorial staff at Gospel Komiks under the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA-MG), Santa Mesa, Manila where she wrote lifestyle and trending fashion and styles articles.