CEBU, Philippines - It took him but 30 minutes to compose “Christ in Us, Our Hope of Glory,” the official hymn of the ongoing International Eucharistic Congress.
The Holy Spirit was behind it, explained 34-year-old Jay-arr Librando, a seminarian from Lapu-Lapu City,
“It was not just me who made the song, it was really the work of the Holy Spirit. In that particular time, it was smooth. Wa ko naghinuktok and inigbasa nako sa readings, ang words murag mosiga and then akong kopyahon. Gihunghungan ko sa espiritu santo unsa saktong isuwat.” he said told The Freeman.
Librando said he was inspired to write the song after the readings of the Eucharistic Procession in 2013.
“Nikalit ra og gawas ang saktong pulong and right melody for that song,” he said.
He narrated that he was joining the procession and heard the “readings”. Fortunately, he was able to get a copy since he was working on the Litany of the Eucharistic Procession.
“I did not even finish the procession. I went home and read through the reading of the different Eucharistic authors, including Pope Francis II,” he said, adding, that the words he heard are actually from the Bible (Luke 24:13-35) On the Road to Emmaus, which is about two people going to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, talking and discussing things, which kept them from recognizing Jesus as he walked along with them.
This was being reflected in the first parts of the song while the rest of the lyrics are personal reflections based on the Eucharistic readings.
In October 2013, the IEC Secretariat hosted a nationwide Theme Song Composition Contest as part of the preparations for IEC. The Secretariat commissioned the best Filipino composers especially those who have made it their mission to serve the Church through music.
Out of 20 entries, “Christ in Us, Our Hope of Glory” was chosen as winner. Librando’s ‘Christ in Us, Our Hope of Glory’ was chosen by a selected board of judges after two rounds of search and elimination nationwide. He received P60,000 for winning the contest.
The interpreters of the official version are celebrities Julie Anne San Jose and Jomer Limatog, Jr.
It was in elementary when Librando “discovered” his talent for music when he played a bamboo flute. This led to him learning to play the ukulele, guitar and piano.
“I don’t have proper music classes. The talent just came in when I started playing instruments,” he said.
At the age of 13, he started composing songs, most of which were religious while others were secular. He said his talent was enhanced when he entered seminary sometime in 1998. This opened doors for him.
He became assistant musical director to Msgr. Rudy Villanueva (2000-2002) which led to his directing musicals at St. Francis of Assisi School. In 2008, he directed his own composition, “Kindred Hearts the Musical”.
He has been a regular entrant to the Cebu Popular Music Festival as composer and interpreter since 2002. He has also submitted entries to the “Huniño, Halad Kang Sr. Sto. Nino” songwriting competition, the Marian Songwriting Festival, and other songwriting competitions in Cebu, reaping awards as winner or finalist.
In his free time, he shares his talents as resident trainer of the ‘Voices of Praise of Carmel Ensemble’ and choir trainer of several school choirs in Cebu City.
Among his compositions are ‘Way Laing Makatagbaw” (Huni sa Paglaum, 1999), ‘Beautiful Mary’ (Marian Songfest, 2000), ‘O Birhen Maria, Among Inahan” (Marian Songfest, 2000), ‘Dearly Beloved Mother’ (Marian Songfest, 2003), ‘Gathering Faithfully, Together with Mary’ (Marian Songfest, 2005), ‘O Maria, GugmaKo (Marian Songfest, 2006), ‘Dearly Beloved Mother” (Our Lady of Fatima Songwriting Contest, 2006), ‘Maria, Among Inahan’ (Marian Songfest, 2007), ‘BahalagYabag’ (Cebu Popular Music Festival, 2007), ‘O Holy Child’ (Hunino, HuniHalad Kang Sr. Sto. Nino, 2007), ‘Glorious Mother, We Thank You’ (Marian Songfest, 2008), ‘May Balaod Na’ (Enviropop Songwriting Contest, 2008).
The second of four siblings, he was born on September 11, 1981. He finished elementary at the University of San Carlos – South and high school at the Blessed John XXIII Seminary. In 2002, he graduated from the San Carlos Seminary College and, thereafter, joined the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos from 2005. (FREEMAN)