Jamie writes & sings the Papal visit theme song

Bot Glorioso - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Do you see these children on the streets/Have you walked the pavements where they sleep/Do you feel their hands, when you give them alms/Did you ever give them bread to eat. These are the words that Jamie Rivera, dubbed as the Inspirational Diva, sings in the opening lines of her original composition We Are All God’s Children, the official theme song of the highly-anticipated visit of Pope Francis to the country from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015. The song echoes mercy and compassion for the less fortunate, leading one to realize life’s greatest purpose — to know, love and serve the Lord by helping others.

Jamie relates that it was she who phoned Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas and inquired if she can write a song for the Papal visit.

“The moment we learned that the Pope will be arriving in January, I asked if I can write a song and Archbishop Soc said yes but it does not mean that it will be used for the Papal visit because it will have to be approved first by the CBCP and the Vatican.”

Jamie adds she was clueless about the selection process and the number of entries the CBCP received. Her only goal that time was to be able to come up with a song the soonest time possible. “Archbishop Soc gave us a month to finish it and reminded that the song should be sung along with an action video.”

But Jamie reveals that she initially had difficulty coming up with words for We Are All God’s Children. “I’ve read and researched everything for two weeks — The Bible, my previous compositions, the YouTube — still, I cannot find (words) how to begin the song. So, I decided to go out and drive to Greenhills and on my way to Santolan, I saw children knocking on car windows for alms and some were sleeping on the pavements. Right there and then, I found an inspiration for the song which I wrote on the first line (of the song) and then I followed it with the reason why the Pope will visit Tacloban so sinulat ko na dun yung joy na mararamdaman ng Pope and the help they (survivors) need. I wrote everything there, including what Archbishop Soc told me about solidarity with the poor and mercy to the weak.”

Jamie was able to complete the lyrics in three days and wasted no time in sending it to Noel Espenida for the musical arrangement.

“A month after we submitted the song with its action video, Archbishop Soc shared the good news that my song was chosen to be the official theme song for the Papal visit.”

Asked about the necessity of an action video, Jamie said that it makes the whole country join in singing the song and “for people to absorb better the lyrics of it. We do it for the deaf, mute and for those who are not able to read, and through action, everyone can participate.”

Thankfully, Landa Juan, Jun Cruz, Jenielle Villoso and the Ligaya Youth Community teamed up for the choreography of the actions and hand gestures for We Are All God’s Children. The Hail Mary The Queen Children’s Choir, on the other hand, provided the children’s vocal tone in the chorus lines.

Jamie will perform the Papal visit theme song during Pope Francis’ meeting with leaders of various religions and meeting with families at UST and Mall of Asia Arena, respectively. She also wishes to fly to Tacloban with the Pope’s entourage “but the schedule of activities was already set.” 

We Are All God’s Children is included in the album of the same title released by Star Music. Jamie also performed other tracks namely, Our Dearest Pope, The Mission and Papa Francisco, Mabuhay Po Kayo! Also sharing their talent for the Papal visit album are Jed Madela and Angeline Quinto for On Eagle’s Wings; Liezel Garcia, Anima Christi; Janella Salvador, Give Thanks; Fatima Soriano, Lift Up Your Hands; Aiza Seguerra, Lead Me Lord; Erik Santos, I Offer My Life; Juris and Robert Seña, One More Gift; and Morissette, Take and Receive.


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