by Federico Nunez
“Inahan sa katawhan, ug kalipay sa masulob-on,
agianan nga matood sa grasya ni Hesus.
Gipuno ka sa Dios sa di maasoy nga kaayohan
Birhen sa Regla, among magbalantay.”
Like the torrential rains of June these words came pouring in as if being freed by unseen forces.
Sometime in August 2009, I was informed about this Halad –Awit sa Birhen, a gospel songwriting contest organized by the Virgin de Regla Parish National Shrine. Its theme: Maghiusa kita kauban ang Birhen sa Regla diha sa pagtubo sa Grasya isip usa ka lawas ni Kristo.
I sat down infront of my computer, took a deep breath & out of the blue the song “Atong Kab-oton ang Kausaban” (its original title is “Akong Inahan, Akong Higala”) literally took its shape as if somebody is dictating me to write the lyrics of this beautiful song. I took my guitar, strum a few notes & the music of this song come tumbling out of the blue.
My talented co-composer, Errol Macoy, Jr., remarked “Tiniguwang ang beat Sir, atong paspason para medyo bagets”. We discovered that there is 4th year student, Rachel Tatoy, who sang like Regine Velasquez, at 4 pm we have recorded a beautiful song using only our outdated PC , a freeware program “Cool Record Edit Pro” and a beatbox made of old plywood (performed by Lloyd Saludaga, a 2nd year student).
I have never dreamed that we would reach the Grand Finals & winning a consolation prize against veteran composers.
274 years since the birth of our parish, only two original hymns have survived, we humbly offer this beautiful song to our patroness Virgen Sa Regla.
I hope that the message of this song will be a catalyst in national unity & transformation.