New Song to honor the second saint of the Philippines
Note: To hear song on tablets and mobile devices CLICK HERE.
When I first heard about Pedro Calungsod, I was immediately drawn to the fact that he was from the Visayas, my parents’ home region. As a youth minister, I found Pedro’s story very appealing since he chose to be a catechist at age 14, and he bravely died a martyr’s death after a three-year mission in the Marianas Islands. Pedro was only 17 when he gave his life for Christ.
I was inspired to compose a song to honor this young saint for the Oregon celebration of Pedro Calungsod's canonization on October 21, 2012 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland. Since Pedro is a model for Filipino youth, I invited Neil Turiano to write the song with me. Neil is a student at Portland State University who has been a musician in my youth choir at Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton since his middle school days. He now leads his own Praise band with Youth for Christ. Neil was the perfect collaborator since I wanted the song to reflect the enthusiasm and spirit of the young Church.
During a two-day songwriting session in late September, we looked at Pedro’s life story and at scripture as we prayed for guidance from the new saint. From Neil’s terrific guitar chords, we found a good rock beat and set our lyrics to music. We invited Mafil Fabroquez and DJ Hoagbin from the Youth for Christ band to jam with us and flesh out the arrangement. On October 9, at a Portland studio, we recorded a demo that we now share with you.
Neil and I hope that our song helps introduce more people to our saint from Cebu. May all generations unite as one voice as we honor Saint Pedro Calungsod. He is indeed our faithful friend.