‘We’re not getting back to normal’: Davao town uses Taylor Swift lyrics to remind youth of prevailing COVID-19

December 28, 2020 - 5:38 PM
Publication material of Santo Tomas, Davao Del Norte featuring Taylor Swift. (Office of the Municipal Information Officer -Santo Tomas LGU/Released)

A local government unit in Davao del Norte has a unique way of reminding the youth that COVID-19 remains a threat until 2021.

In a Facebook post, Santo Tomas LGU went “Swiftie,” a term referring to fans of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, after it posted a publication material with a Swift artwork and lyrics of the latter’s song “We are Never Getting Back Together.”

Santo Tomas LGU clarified that this is “not a social media faux fas” and only its way to capture the Tomasino youth’s attention to remind them of the COVID-19 guidelines.

The LGU’s communication team borrowed lyrics Swift’s song and altered it.

Swift’s song lyrics goes like this:

“We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together”

The Santo Tomas LGU tweaked it to “we’re not getting back to normal.”


Municipal Information Officer Mart Sambalud said the song  lyrics marked as a “COVID-19 update” on the town’s LGU Facebook page “centers around the personal, and flamboyant lives of Tomasino teenagers.”

“We just pulled-off a social media stunt we thought to be ‘sexy, and creative’ for our Tomasino youth. If there’s one thing that binds the youth together it’s when you start talking about breaking up, getting back together, or perhaps being torn apart in a love-hate relationship,” Sambalud said.

The LGU has since used Swift’s other song lyrics and photos in its updates.

Sambalud said the COVID-19 pandemic can be likened to Swift’s song as it sends a message that the youth residents of their municipality “can talk and see their friends or former lovers but still observing the public minimum health standards amid a looming threat of a new COVID-19 variant.”

“We have to stay apart a little bit longer. The message is clear: we’re not getting back to normal —not just yet as COVID-19 threat remains so we need to be always on the defensive mode. Otherwise, death, and the pain of losing a loved one due to COVID-19 become imminent,” he said.

The information officer said that the idea of using messaging concept that “captures the youth’s attention and who cope by listening to music in a cathartic way.”

“Like one of the netizens said, let’s lighten up a bit as it is Christmas anyway and we just want to ‘humanise’ our messaging in a way that many can relate to it emotionally,” he said.

The LGU’s post since earned praises from the youth in the form of Facebook reactions, comments and memes.

“Ang witty. Pero stay safe always everyone,” a Facebook user said.

“Bet ung cathartic way. Tumitaylor nga hahahaha,” another user added.

—Rosette Adel