Songs that show the hopes of Smokey Mountain children
In Smokey Mountain, scavengers living alongside Metro Manila’s rubbish is but a normal sight. The landfill located in Tondo, Manila has always been associated with poverty, alienation, and hopelessness.
Existing for over 40 years, Smokey Mountain is a place that continually draws the attention of missionaries and parishes from all over the world. One of the most prominent clerics who has helped scores of families in Smokey Mountain is Father Benigno P. Beltran, SVD, of the Risen Christ parish.
Father Ben, as he is fondly called, has worked with the residents of Smokey Mountain for more than 27 years. The priest from Lanao del Norte, known for his innovative ideas, has inked partnerships with international companies to bring into the area digital learning, landfill mining, a composting and recycling business, and a cottage industry organic soap making.
Now the forward-thinking priest is bringing the hopes and aspirations of Smokey Mountain parishioners to the local music scene with the album Bata, Bata, Ano Ang Pangarap Mo?.
All 10 songs from the album were written by Beltran, who hopes to tell the dreams and experiences of the children living in the landfill.
According to Beltran, his experiences have prompted him to write the songs. “I lived in Smokey Mountain, an enormous garbage dump for over 30 years. In this album, I have embodied the misery and dreams of the children living there.”
Featured artists in the album are pop star Sarah Geronimo who sang the title track song and other homegrown singers such as Jerome Abalos, Martin De Los Santos, and Kawagu. The album also features the following songs: “Smokey Mountain (Walang Gin si Itay)”; “Banyaga Sa Sariling Lupa”; “Batang Preso”; “Kalapating Mataas ang Lipad” interpreted by Kawagu; “Bata, Bata Halika”; “Sana Magkabuhok Ulit Ako”; and “Inang Daigdig”. Also included are remixed versions of “Sana Magkabuhok Muli Ako”; and “Smokey Mountain (Walang Gin si Itay)”.
Proceeds of the album will towards projects aimed at alleviating the plight of abused and marginalized children through Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig and the Sandiwaan Center for Learning.