MANILA, Oct. 2, 2012?Pop singer Jamie Rivera took the stage for the first time last Friday to sing a song she composed in honor of Blessed Pedro Calungsod during the closing of the National Laity Week at the University of Santo Tomas.
Inspiration behind the song
In an interview, Rivera said she composed the song “Kuya Pedro” a mere four months ago, a collaborative effort with Noel Espidina who did the musical arrangement for the song.
“Suntok sa buwan ‘to (This was an unlikely event). This is just a contribution from me to the Catholic Church kasi wala pa ‘kong narinig na Tagalog na kanta for Pedro Calungsod (Because I haven’t heard any Tagalog song yet for Pedro Calungsod), she explained.
Rivera said the song, which is available on Youtube, is inspired by the fact that the young martyr was a catechist who taught about the faith and is like a “big brother” to Filipinos.
Big brother to everyone
“The part that says, ‘teach us, big brother Pedro’ means we are asking him to help us pray to God because they are really good friends now,” she said in Filipino, explaining specific lyrics in the song.
The singer of such Church classics like the World Youth Day ’95 theme song, “Tell the World of His Love”, said she was aiming for a very “Pinoy” feel to the song by titling it “Kuya Pedro” because, for Filipinos everyone is an “ate” (older sister) or a “kuya” (older brother).
Rivera also called attention to the fact that Blessed Pedro was a big brother even to people he did not know.
Different aspects of Calungsod
“Hindi niya pinipili kung sinong tao’ng tutulungan niya. Hindi naman niya kilala ‘yung mga ‘yun pero tinuruan niya,” she said referring to how the young missionary reached out to the Chamorros of the Marianas Islands.
According to Rivera, the song’s stanzas revolve around the different aspects of Calungsod’s persona – as a follower of God, a friend and a brother.
The Ars Cantica Ensemble did the back-up vocals for the song. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]