Last night, on my bus ride going home, a song played in my mind’s ear. The lyrics were broken in my memory, yet it sang a familiar tune and lyrics with phrases in different languages, translating the phrase “I Love you”. The last line of the song was quite a tear-jerker: “…tanging lunas ang Pag-ibig.” (The only answer is Love) I was inspiringly teary-eyed, for the song has reminded me of our humanity’s vision: we are all here to be more Loving and to be Loved more. Our only resolve to help the ailing world is Love.
I used to think that the title of the song is Pag-ibig (Filipino for “Love”). My faintest memory of this song was in a special TV program where many OPM singers performed and sang the same song together. I was probably in high school, long before I conceived the Communes. Despite the glittering lights flashing upon famous singers with eye-catching dresses and enchanting voices, only the lyrics of the song struck me. First, it was interesting to hear a song that speak “I Love you” in various languages. Eventually, as I begin to understand Love, what struck me more was the last line because it says so much about Love. Its title, Isang Mundo, Isang Awit (One World, One Song) does not mention the word Love, but the song sings the message of Love.
This song is rarely known by those who were born from later generations like mine. A 1980 grand prize winner of the Metro Manila Popular Music Festival, it was an OPM (Original Pilipino Music) written by Nonong Pedero and sung by Leah Navarro, this song has the rhythm, spirit and originality of Filipino talent. Nonetheless, it is neither defined by its winning edge nor by its musicality. I feel that the song brings us a very vital message. Listen to the song, which plays with lyrics and its English translation.
We are all here to be more Loving and to be Loved more. Our only resolve to help the ailing world is Love.
I’m grateful for Nonong Pedero, the composer. Deep in his heart, he felt how Love is primordial in our humanity. The song he wrote reflects that and in his time it was an attempt to leap from the songs that have notion-saturated definitions of Love. Isang Mundo, Isang Awit is a lyrical masterpiece whose message continues to touch us. I am equally grateful to the song’s original performer, Leah Navarro. She has immortalized the song, and the Love it tells us, through her voice.
Just like most songs, Isang Mundo, Isang Awit can be considered as a Love song but it tells something about Love that most “love songs” don’t have. Let me personalize the summary of this song: Our chaotic and confused world needs to learn Love and begin to Love more. One whose heart knows Love is someone who experiences peace, joy, equality, unity and oneness. Despite the differences in language and race, we convey the same message: we must Love one another and teach Love to the world.
Love is usually easier sung than done. This entire popular music culture of rendering Love into songs that make us fall in love, desire someone, and long for the other, which continue to misunderstand Love as a romantic escapade, has no signs of dying. We might always fall in this trap of misunderstanding until we begin to listen again and penetrate the core message of the song Isang Mundo, Isang Awit.
Today, the airwaves are now dominated by mostly novelty songs, Korean and American pop songs, R&Bs and purportedly love songs that celebrate sweet nothings and heartbreaks. In contrast, Isang Mundo, Isang Awit may be considered as an outdated song that may not suit the musical taste of the new generations. But even the song is almost forgotten, its message of Love remains timeless: Love is the only cure. Love is the only answer.
Awaken the song of your spirit. Join the Spirit Singing workshop on July 2. Details on this Facebook page. Or you might find interesting to sing and jam for peace and Love. Just visit Sing-out 2011 for more info.