MANILA, Jan. 3, 2015 – The Philippine Province of the Order of Carmelites (OCarm) through the Carmelite Mission Office, for the first time produced an album entitled “Faith: Like and Share”, featuring a composition inspired by the sufferings of super typhoon Yolanda survivors, especially in Bantayan Island, Cebu.
“When we went to Mambacayaw Daku Island in Bantayan for relief operations and rehabilitation efforts, I was touched by the sacrifice that the children had to go through, especially in going to school into another Island. Education was really a very big problem in the area and extreme poverty was prevalent, and for them to go through Yolanda, it was very tragic,” lamented Fr. Gilber Billena, OCarm the album’s song writer and priest of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City.
The song “Mercy and Compassion” goes: “God calls us to be merciful and compassionate; He calls us to open our hearts to those who seek. God is calling us all over, to lay our lives to others..He calls us to save His people from raging storms.”
According to Billena, who also sits in the Provincial Council of the Order, the album, which will be launched on Jan. 7 in Cebu City, is apt for the apostolic visit of Pope Francis on Jan. 15 to 19 because it carries the same theme of the Holy Father’s trip to the Philippines.
He explained that mercy and compassion are needed to help ensure the dignity of victims of war, violence, demolitions, poverty and natural calamities.
ABS-CBN’s Pilipinas Got Talent Season 2 finalist John Cadeliña of the Davao-based band Skeights composed and arranged the music.
Romel Billena a local band artist in Camiguin province; Laarni Lozada, ABS-CBN’s Dream Academy Season 2 Grand champion; and Rocky Rosabal, first runner-up and a fan favorite in the international singing competition The Voice of McDonalds 2014 held in Orlando, Florida performed the songs.
“This is also our way of supporting young and promising music artists who wish to contribute their God-given talents to the beat and rhythm of the new evangelization,” said Billena.
The songs, although bearing spiritual messages, are mellow love songs, said the priest, that many young people can easily identify with.
“We hope to popularize spiritual music wedded to the Gospel message of faith, love, and compassion through the songs in this album,” Billena added.
Several concerts will be organized in some parishes administered by the Carmelites all over the country.
Interested parties who want a copy of the album or would like to have concert in their parish and communities may contact Fr. Gilbert Billena, O.Carm at his email: email@example.com or call him at 09423624145/09467622965
The Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel was founded in the 1200’s in Mt. Carmel, following the rule given by St. Albert of Jerusalem. They came to the Philippines in the 1958 and helped human rights victims during the Marcos dictatorship through their social justice ministry. (CBCPNews)