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Your Heart Today

(Ateneo de Cebu spreads message of healing, heroism and hope)
By Emmanuel Villaruel, From The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) community led by their father president Fr. Manny A. Uy, SJ sing their hearts out online to spread a message of healing, heroism and hope amidst the coronavirus pandemic gripping mankind.

In a video posted on YouTube by SHS-Ateneo’s grade school math teacher Anthony Hejie Suralta, a select group of Ateneans belted out a soulful rendition of ‘Your Heart Today’ composed by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ and arranged by Ms. Juliet Kim.

The nearly six-minute video tribute edited by Suralta himself and directed by Vicente R. Tan started with a hearty message from grade school student Mikkel Sy. “These are dark and extraordinary times. The world cries out for healing, heroism, and hope. The Sacred Heart calls us to light each other’s path, to embrace the suffering of our neighbors, and to ease the plight of our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Thereafter Fr. Uy shared another inspiring message. “Family and friends, let us do what we can, with whatever we have, wherever we are. Let us be the heart of Jesus in the world,” said the father president.

Accompanied by the SHS-AdC String Ensemble composed of instrumentalists Nicole Yujeong Hwang, Christina So Jin Kim, Tommy Daeyoung Kim, Daniel Youngwon Lee and Rachel Haeun Lee, the Ateneans then performed ‘Your Heart Today’ against the backdrop of pictures spotlighting the heroism of frontliners and showering them with messages of hope and love.

Aside from track and field athlete Brianna Codina, the other singers are Jomar Abellana, Patrick Bargamento, Marcel Baril, Jennifer Clamor, Jovanni Chua, Roberto Galvan, Raissa Mae Lavina, Neil Justin Limbaga, Justine Narvios, Eurika Piedad, Brigette Piedad, Mary Flovil Racaza, Christian Vinzen Rodriguez, Aaliyah San Juan, Aela Sepulveda, Katrina Sia, and Yesha Suralta.

Others involved in in the production were some of SHS-Ateneo’s student-athletes in John Edward Aguilar, Justin Maglasang, Tristan Fuentes, Joel Requioma, the Bersabal siblings Dhexia Myle, Al Dustin and Xavierra Myle, Elyssa Roque, Joey Villamayor, Kurt Laput, and Rey Marcus Fuentes.

Vinnie Tan, SHS-Ateneo’s Director for Arts and the video’s director, explained the rationale behind the project. “We produced this video to encourage and inspire everyone that the pandemic can be a time of heroism, hope and healing,”

“Where there is fear, I can allay; Where there is pain, I can heal; Where there are wounds I can bind; and hunger I can fill,” reads the song’s first stanza. The chorus goes this way: ”Lord grant me courage; Lord grant me strength; Grant me compassion; That I may be your heart today”. After two more verses, the song ends with these lines: ”And when I’ve done all that I could; Yet there are hearts I cannot move; Lord give me hope; That I may be your heart today”.

Along with their message, the Ateneans clasped their hands in deep prayers that may each one of us reflect Christ’s heart to the world

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