I had my doubts about teaching 130 children a whole song in just a short bit of time.
We’d have just a few hours with the kids and the music was supposed to inspire a celebration, not a language lesson. Our message was hope, and we didn’t want it lost in translation.
The song was written in English, save for one key line written in their home language, Ilonggo. We were quite certain that the kids, all natives of Lawaan, Capiz, were fluent in Ilonggo and could more or less understand Tagalog. We were clueless about their understanding of English.
I speak Tagalog, with a meager understanding or Ilonggo. Milan, who wrote the song and would be leading the music, spoke neither Tagalog nor Ilonggo.
How exactly was this going to go?
It went spectacularly. Milan wrote the song especially for the children of Roxas, who had just two and a half months earlier, survived one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in history. They lost their roof, their homes, their parent’s livelihood, a stable source of food or supplies.
What a privilege it was for us to spend an afternoon with this children. We were optimistic that they hadn’t lost their hope. If you watch this video, you’ll see that’s true.
See them clap their hands, stomp their feet, and sing out loud! Hope is not lost in this generation!