Two Sundays ago, when I signed up to join an upcoming church camp with my family, the organizer asked me to sing a special number during the Sunday service at the camp. I didn’t have a problem saying yes immediately. It would only be days later when I would feel the jitters.
I chose one of my favourite Christian songs entitled Complete by Parachute Band from New Zealand. I love that song. It could well be my life anthem and prayer. When I visited the Philippines in 2004, I heard a Tagalog version at my former church and loved it too. I asked my niece Nikki for a copy and brought it home with me to Canada.
I was looking for this copy for two days and even asked Nik in the Philippines if she could email me the lyrics. I wanted to sing it at the camp. I thought it would be nice to sing something in Tagalog because the campers would be the Filipino group from our very multi-cultural church here in BC. But I would sing the English version too.
When it became clear that I wasn’t going to find the Tagalog lyrics in time, I started making my own. I kept writing and re-writing until finally, I was pleased with what I had written. Before we left for camp on Friday, I had my lyrics ready. I had written down the chords too. My voice was comfortable in the key of G.
I felt God-inspired throughout the writing process so I won’t take sole credit for the song. As you might have read in a previous blog, I'm not a songwriter though I wish I were. This song was a soul-and-Spirit partnership. The words flowed from my treasure chest of experience. Here goes, with feelings:
Sa Iyo O Dios, aking inaalay
Bawat saglit nitong aking buhay.
*Wagas Mong pag-ibig, kay Kristo ko nakamit
Sa bagyo’t unos ng buhay
Ikaw ay aking karamay
O Hesus, tangan mo ang aking kamay
Di nais na ako ay mawalay.
Sa dilim, Ika’y liwanag
Sa dusa, Ika’y pag-asa
O Hesus, nasa Iyo hanap-hanap
Kay Kristo buhay ko’y ganap.
(Repeat from *Wagas… all the way to the end.)
If you know the English version, you’ll see that the Tagalog one is not really its exact translation, except perhaps for the title. But the two versions basically speak of the same truth – I find fulfillment in Jesus Christ alone.
The song made its public debut yesterday. Some campers already asked for the Tagalog lyrics. The lines are very simple, but because the song was in our heart language, it probably had a different ring to it that touched fellow immigrants. It had more impact than the English.
So there, try singing it to the tune of Complete. If you can set it to an original melody then we can have a collaboration of sorts. Don't forget to send me a demo or a music sheet, ok?
Thanks to Bud Wiser for throwing in the word ganap which eventually became the title. I had to re-write a couple of lines when I heard the suggestion.
More camp stories and pictures in the next blog entry…
Once more with feelings...