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Manalangin: The Juansâ simple plea
The popular pop rock band is among those who have taken the present pandemic to heart and came up with a new song titled Manalangin. Composed by The Juans lead singer and keyboardist Carl Guevarra, it is an anthemic alt-rock tune with a heartening melody.

Manalangin: The Juans’ simple plea

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2020 - 12:00am

It is most remarkable seeing our artists step up and offer their talents to help alleviate the dire effects of the COVID-19. Aside from diving into their personal savings, they sing and they perform or they give lessons online for free or raise much-needed funds.

It is also so heartwarming to find the quarantined public enjoying what they offer and also reaching for their credit cards and with just a click or two making their donations. I saw Lea Salonga raise over a million bucks in Ryan Cayabyab’s Bayanihan Musikahan during a one-hour show. That certainly set a record for online busking.

The popular pop rock band The Juans is among those who have taken the present pandemic to heart and it answered in the way it knows best. The Juans came up with a new song. Now, that is nothing new at this time when anybody can produce a record and upload it online. And several artists and organizations have done so with very good results. But this song titled Manalangin turned out to be very special.

Inspired is the only way I can describe how Manalangin was created. It is actually a simple plea, manalangin or pray. Composed by The Juans lead singer and keyboardist Carl Guevarra, it is an anthemic alt-rock tune with a heartening melody. What really caught my attention though is how the words articulated thoughts and feelings that are inside all of us right now.

The lyrics are very straightforward. “Wala na bang magagawa?” Isn’t there anything we can do? “Ito ba ay matatapos pa?” Will this end?  “Paligid ay tahimik ngunit di payapa.” Our surroundings are quiet but not peaceful. “Pa’no pag ang hirap ay hindi ko na kinaya?”  What if I cannot bear this anymore?

Admit it, while there are instances when it seems like we might be enjoying this quarantined state, there are lots of times when those questions have crossed our minds. But fearfully, we have relegated them to the back of our heads because weeks on in this pandemic, there are still no answers in sight. All that we can only do is pray.

Another reason why Manalangin became truly memorable is the music video. The director is Paul Basinillo, who also did Sarah Geronimo’s Tala video. He and the team that worked on Manalangin did the job for free. And like the song, the result has turned out inspired.

The Manalangin video shows a deserted city that is quiet and fearful. Then, there are the people, tired all sporting masks, lost and distressed about what is happening to them. They are in a country that is now coping with a cruel, unseen scourge that brings death. Providing a bright spot are the frontliners, the health workers who risk their lives every day to help ease the struggle.

However, Manalangin also depicts hope and a nation’s resilience. A number of celebrities like Sarah Lahbati and son Zion, Matteo Guidicelli, Yassi Pressman, Mark Bautista, Cristine Reyes, Ella Cruz, Ryza Cenon and others are shown flashing smiles at a bright sunlit sky after removing their masks. Soon perhaps, we will do the same.

Here is Manalangin. Let us pray.

Wala na bang magagawa? Hindi ka ba nagtataka? Paligid ay tahimik ngunit di payapa/ Marami ang nangangamba/ Ito ba ay matatapos pa? Lahat nagtatanong nasa’n ba ang kasagutan.

Pa’no ba bukas makalawa? Pa’no pag ang hirap ay hindi ko na kinaya? Pa’no ba tayo magkakaisa? Sa panahong malayo sa isa’t isa.

Hangga’t may nakikinig sa panalangin/ hindi mawawala ang pag-asa natin/ ikaw at ako babangon tayo/ sama-sama lahat ay susulong/basta’t tayo’y magtutulong-tulong/ Lilipas din matatapos din ang dilim.

Manalangin/ manalangin/ manalangin/ matatapos din ang dilim/ manalangin/ manalangin/ manalangin/ matatapos din ang dilim/ Lahat ay may magagawa/ magbigay/ magpaubaya/ palitan ang alitan ng pang-unawa.

Malay mo bukas makalawa/ ang hirap ay sama sama nating kinaya/ Pa’no kung tayo’y magkaisa/ sa panahong kailangan ang isa’t isa.

Hangga’t may nakikinig...

The Juans are Carl Guevarra, lead vocalist and keyboardist; Japs Mendoza, lead guitarist and vocalist; RJ Cruz, rhythm guitarist; Chael Adriano, bassist; and Joshua Coronel, drummer. They are behind the big hits Hindi Tayo Pwede and Sirang Plaka.

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