The official local theme song for the visit of Pope Francis to Palo in Leyte will express the hope nurtured by survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Fr. Kim Margallo, director of the Archdiocese of Palo’s Commission on Youth, composed the song, “Shepherd’s Love,” and described it as “an unveiling of the sentiments of the Typhoon Yolanda survivors who long for God’s embrace with a hope of better days ahead.”
Francis will be in Palo on January 17 to have an audience with families that lost their homes, livelihood and relatives when the super typhoon tore across Central Visayas on November 8, 2013.
“The song should be an image of a child waiting for his father to arrive, a child who longs to tell his father everything that had happened to him. He is full of confidence that his father will come so soon to rescue and protect him, for he believes that his father is rich in mercy and full compassion,” Margallo said.
The song was recorded by Elaine May Emping, Juliana Rose Estrera, seminarian Elfie Mercado and Paul de Pio. Running for 4.34 minutes, it is a combination of English, Waray and Cebuano languages.
Margallo said they also came up with a music video featuring the animation of the song song performed by members of the youth ministry of the Vicariate of Ormoc.
He added that the music video also represents the survivors’ bright outlook despite the death and devastation from Yolanda.
“Yolanda was not a curse, but it is also a blessing to all and did not only bring destruction but also inspiration,” Margallo said.
“Shepherd’s Love is festive at the start, has sadness because of the tragedy, excitement in expectation of somebody important, horror so that those who will listen to it will have the experience of what I call the wailing of the wind, the monstrous surge and the lamentation of the victims, and lastly, the feeling of hope amidst hopelessness,” he added.
Fr. Chris Militante, information officer of the Palo archdiocese, said they will carry three theme songs for the papal visit including singer Jamie Rivera’s “We Are All God’s Children,” the official theme song of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines on January 15 to 19 next year.
The third is “Mercy” by British band Ooberfuse, which also performed the official theme song of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last year.
Militante said the song was composed by the band’s vocalist Cherrie Anderson, whose mother is from Tacloban City (Leyte’s capital), specifically for Yolanda survivors.
Shepherd’s Love will be launched during the closing of the Year of the Laity and opening of the Year of the Poor at the Palo Cathedral on November 29.