Being someone who has loved singing since childhood, I have always given songs a significant role in my life—they have comforted me, expressed what I could not, and made me understand the world a little better. Sometimes, one song can stand out among the others and create a lasting impact on your life. I am lucky to have encountered such a song in high school.
I grew up living a comfortable life. My parents provided well for us, and they sent their kids to good schools. I went to Ateneo de Manila, a private Jesuit school. Since the school had a reputation of being exclusive and expensive, we were always bombarded with Christian values and the notion of becoming “men-for-others.” Conceptually, I guess we knew what all that meant, but it was rather difficult to really put lessons into practice within our upper middle-class bubble. In high school, I was involved with the theatre group which actually challenged each member to break out of the bubble and share with the world what the world has given us. As part of my exit speech to the theatre group before I graduated, I sang a song which I learned with the group and said I would take it with me into the world. The song was “Your Heart Today” by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ. The song is a prayer that enumerates what one can do in moments of fear, pain, strife, and other problems in the world, and asks God for help in being an extension of His heart to others.
Hear a previous performance of this piece by Jerome here.
The song’s message resonated with me, and suddenly all the lessons I’ve learned about being a man-for-others made sense. Indeed, I have brought this song along with me wherever I went. When confronted with problems, the song often helps me decide what needs to be done not just for me, but for others as well. It continues to help me live the life of service that my upbringing has prepared me to take on. It keeps me focused on the “why” when I do things that are exceptionally difficult. I have been singing this song for 14 years now, and I don’t think it will ever grow old. I live by it, and it lives in and through me.
- Jerome Sibulo, Baritone Heartland Vocal Artist