by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, newmedia specialist
PHOTO CREDIT: en.wikipedia
CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Music should be encompassing.
Thus, Order of Carmelite (OCarm) priest Fr. Gilbert Billena opens worshippers, devotees, pilgrims and music enthusiasts to upbeat, secular music embraced as an essential in today’s diversifying interests in music genre.
Fr. Billena leads today the album launch of “Faith: Like & Share” consisting six tracks he has written and a poem penned by fellow priest, Fr. Adonis Narceles who succumbed to cancer.
“Mercy and Compassion” inspired by Yolanda victims of Mambucayaw Daku, an islet of Bantayan, is a hymn Billena dedicates for the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis from January 15 to 19. The papal visit carries the theme Mercy and Compassion as these twin virtues are needed to help ensure the dignity of victims of both man-made (war, violence, demolitions, poverty) and natural calamities.
As the song 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…calls us to save His people from raging storms.”
The album features Visayan-speaking artists like Laarni Lozada, Pinoy Dream Academy Grandstar Dreamer Season 2; Rocky Rosabal, first-runner up of “Voice of McDonalds” 2014 held in Orlando, Florida; 34th Catholic Mass Media Awardee Fr. Raul Caga; Romel Billena, a local band artist of Camiguin; John Cadelina of Davao-based band Skeights and a former finalist of Pinoy Got Talent; The Fifth Gospel Singers, as well as Emmylou Cadelina-Lim.
Laarni Lozada sings “Hymn to Mary,” an official OCarm song, showcasing her distinct falsetto range. This set of artists is being tapped for sharing in the mission. The Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel was founded in the 1200s with their rule given by Saint Albert of Jerusalem. They came to the Philippines in the 1960s and helped human rights victims during the Marcos stronghold through their active prophetic and social justice ministry.
Album produced by the Philippine Province of the Order of Carmelites through the Carmelite Mission Office. This is the first album the organization produced in cooperation with SVD Logos Publication. Album is now available at P250 at Catholic Trade stores and at the Carmelites Formation House in Nasipit, Talamban. Or add Gilbert Billena on Facebook for orders.