This New Christmas Song Captures the Mood of the Surreal Season

We're missing so many Filipino traditions.
IMAGE Jerome Ascaño

Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ,  has composed a new Christmas song that perfectly captures the somber yet hopeful mood of the season. 

The Jesuit priest is known for penning the classic Mass song “Hindi Kita Malilimutan” when he was a high school freshman at the Ateneo de Manila.

"I had great difficulty creating a Christmas carol amidst the COVID pandemic. I could not evoke any music from within,” says Francisco.

But one Sunday, after celebrating yet another Zoom Mass, Francisco says a tune popped up in his head. He put his pen to paper and in 20 minutes, he was done with a new melody. He and longtime collaborator Norman Agatep worked on the music and the lyrics together. Agatep arranged it and added instruments. 

The song was recorded by the Bukas Palad Music Ministry. It talks about the many holiday traditions Filipinos around the country will miss this year, but then reminds us what Christmas is really all about.

“Hopefully, despite the lockdown, despite the loss of family members and property due to the series of typhoons, we might still be able to celebrate Christmas by sharing the little that we have with those in greater need,” says Francisco.

Here's the song:

Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ and the Tanging Yaman Foundation have donated close to 60,000 relief packs to Filipinos affected by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses from Cagayan to Catanduanes. You can donate via GCash at 09157975052. 

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