Priest Expresses Environmental Advocacy Through Music During Sinulog

“The environment is a gift, let’s put our minds together and we can still save it.” This is the direct message of the song composed by a Cebuano priest, his offering to the patron of Cebu, Sr. Sto. Nino.

For so long and even in his homilies, Rev. Father Charles Louis Jayme has always been passionate in encouraging the public to act on the urgency of the call of nature. And there is no other opportune time than to make the call by means of a song in time for the Holy Child’s - the Sto. Nino - feast celebrated by Cebuanos worldwide every January.

It has been told that all forms of prayers of thanks, worship, and even pleadings are most welcomed and heard by the Sto. Nino specially within the time his presence is celebrated.

He said everyone should realize the essence of time and the value of acting now as there is hope in preventing man-made calamities as well as the extreme effects of natural disasters.

“May adlaw pa ug panahon/Sa paghatag ug paglaum/Panalipdan tang kalibutan ta karon!/Busa, magkuyog ta, panalipdan ta. (There is still day and time/To give hope/Let's protect the world now/And so let's join together, lets protect),” goes the song composed by Jayme entitled “Magkuyog ta. Panalipdan Ta."

Fr. Charles said he began writing the song early last year and put it to rest as he was already busy preparing for the canonization of the first Cebuano saint, Pedro Calungsod.

He was appointed by the Cebu Archdiocese as the official custodian of San Pedro’s icon during its canonization and in all its trips here and abroad.

In July, he had the piece arranged and then submitted it as the 112th and last entry to the Cebu Pop Music Festival.

“Despite my hectic sched, I really find time to complete it because there was no other way for my cause to be made public than to have it entered into the annual Sinulog competition,” Fr. Charles said.

He was all the more inspired and looking forward to have the song heard when the Philippines experienced the wrath of typhoon Sendong (International name: Ketsana) in September, which caused a lot of damage to the country September of last year.

Prior to his trip to Rome for San Pedro’s canonization, he was jubilant upon learning that his song was among the finalists for the competition.

For Fr. Charles, the call was re-echoed in its loudest form with the onslaught of typhoons Pablo (Bopha) and Ondoy ( Washi) in December where more than a thousand Filipinos' lives were claimed by floods and landslides.

“Ang panahon mao na ang karon — the urgency, and this is manifested in the song’s musicality, its upbeat, nga angay na ta nga molihok karon, kitang tanan, og panalipdan ang kalikupan nga gasa sa kahitas-an (The time is now — the urgency, we should act now, all of us, we protect the environment which is a gift from the heavens),” Charles said.

Win or lose, Fr. Charles said this song is an offering, government, church, all religions all sectors, just like the theme of the Sinulog Festival, “One Beat, One Dance, One Vision” he hopes that everyone, government, religious and private will also say in chorus, “Magkuyog ta, panalipdan ta (Let's go together lets protect),”.

The Cebu Pop Music Festival is part of the Sinulog Festival which translated into artistic and cultural activities the feast of the Sto. Nino.

It started as a mere procession of the Sto. Nino icon, with the participants dancing to the beat of “sinug/sulog” or flow of waves surrounding the Basilica del Sto. Nino.

Now in its 33rd year, the Sinulog Festival is now regarded as the mother of all festivals in the Philippines. (rmn/Ferliza C. Contratista /PIA7)

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