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My Favorite Filipino Mass Hymns

Updated on January 21, 2017
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.

A Catholic Country

I come from a country where Roman Catholicism is still the predominant religion. This is no wonder since Catholicism dates back to the sixteenth century when Spain colonized the Philippines and brought forth the faith.

Today, in practically all the Catholic churches nationwide - and even in some offices, schools, and malls that have indoor chapels - many Filipinos attend the daily mass scheduled in the morning, noontime, and early evening. On weekdays, it's common to see professionals and students attend these masses.

Filipinos are music lovers, and for them to better appreciate the liturgical services, they sing the mass hymns with much glee. Some talented Filipinos have composed hymns that have become popular.

I feature my favorite ones in this article.

Singing the Mass Hymns With Joy!

As a Filipino Catholic, I attend mass daily. Many times, my focus on the Eucharistic celebration is suddenly disrupted when a mass hymn with a catchy melody is sung, and I can't help but sing along with the choir. Then, when I leave the church, the song sticks to my mind the rest of the day.

In the late ‘80s, after hearing the song Hindi Kita Malilimutan ("I Will Not Forget You"), I bought a cassette of mass hymns sung by a group called the Bukas Palad Music Ministry (composed mostly of alumni of the Ateneo de Manila, a leading Philippine university. To date, they have received local music awards and citations). Bukas palad is the Tagalog word for "generous".

Members of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry
Members of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry | Source
Manoling V. Francisco, S.J.
Manoling V. Francisco, S.J. | Source

I did some research on this group and learned that the hymns were composed by three young men—Manoling Francisco, Norman Agatep and Jandi Arboleda. The bulk of this music, however, was written by Francisco, now a priest of the Society of Jesus. I gathered from my brother-in-law that Fr. Francisco was a bright student who garnered most of the medals during his high school graduation. Thus, God obviously bestowed on this fellow the gift to write beautiful liturgical music.

Some of the hymns I’m featuring here are in Tagalog. I regret, dear foreign readers, that I cannot translate them into English, as they are too profound, and some Tagalog words have no direct English translation. Also, I’d hate to translate, lest I distort the meaning of the song.

I only pray that by listening to the melodies, you foreigners may be inspired to raise your hearts up in praise to our God almighty.

Hope you enjoy listening.

PAG-AALAALA (Memorial)—Opening song

I like the tempo of this song.

Panalangin Sa Pagiging Bukas-Palad (Prayer of Generosity)—Offertory Song

This is my favorite of all!

Take and Receive—Offertory Song

The Ateneo and Jesuit community love this song which speaks much about their motto of being "men for others".

Hindi Kita Malilimutan (I Will Not Forget You)—Communion Song

Fortunately, this video features the English translation. The male vocalist is popular balladeer and Ateneo alumnus Basil Valdez.

Tanging Yaman (Only Treasure)—Communion Song

In 2000, an established local movie outfit released a religious family drama which instantly became a hit, and was highly commended by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. This hymn was used as the official song for this film of the same name.

Narito Ako (Here I Am)—Communion Song

Composed by a certain Rene San Andres, this is at times sung during the offertory. Love the mellowness of this song!

Mariang Ina Ko (My Mother Mary)—Communion Song

This hymn is usually sung on Saturdays or Marian feasts. Love its romantic melody!

One More Gift—Communion Song

This really puts me in a reflective mood.

Anima Christi—Communion Song

Whenever I listen to this, I imagine it as one of the songs of the musical Godspell by Stephen Schwartz.

Pastorale—Communion Song

This has a very soothing melody.

Pagbabasbas (Blessing)—Recessional

I also love the tempo of this song.

Humayo't Ihayag (Go Forth and Proclaim)—Recessional

This tune goes well with the clapping of hands.

I Will Sing Forever—Recessional

The group singing in the video is the Bukas Palad Music Ministry. In the background are the natural wonders of the Philippines.

In Him alone is our hope;

In Him alone is our strength.

In Him alone are we justified;

In Him alone are we saved.

— Music by Manoling V. Francisco, S.J.

Which of the above songs did you like?

See results

Comments - Do you go to mass? Do you like listening to the hymns? Tell us.

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    • caossquidoo profile image

      caossquidoo 3 years ago

      Beautiful hymns!

    • Charito1962 profile image
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      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @caossquidoo: Glad you enjoyed listening to them!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Once again, Charito1962, thanks for your contribution lens! The melody to the hymns are very prayerful. There were a good bit of hymns in English in between. I especially enjoyed - 'One More Gift' and 'I will sing forever' with the lovely background scenes from the Philippines. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Heidi Vincent: Same to you, FreshStart7! Thanks for dropping by!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Judy Filarecki: Glad you liked them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Lovely to listen to they all sound really nice.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @anonymous: Glad you enjoyed them!

    • profile image

      nonya222 3 years ago

      My son-in-law is Filipino and Catholic so it was wonderful to hear these and to send them to him as well. He and his mother were thrilled to hear them so thank you so much!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @nonya222: You're welcome! Glad your son-in-law and his mother liked the hymns!

    • Jim Houston profile image

      Jim Houston 3 years ago from Wilmer, Alabama

      Hi Charito, Beautiful lens. It's the sacred spaces of the mass that transform us. I know that while saying my Rosary in the early morning hours it is freedom from worldly concerns. One day I would like to visit the Philippines. Good luck to you and thanks for likeing my lens early on. JimHouston33

    • vsajewel profile image

      vsajewel 3 years ago

      Absolutely enchanting music...thank you for sharing!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      I'm not familiar with these songs, but I do enjoy singing some hymns.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @vsajewel: You're welcome!

    • BodyHairRemoval profile image

      BodyHairRemoval 2 years ago

      Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Karbyn 2 years ago

      I like hymns.

    • Benedictowelmar profile image

      Welmar Benedicto 2 years ago from Philippines

      As a devoted Catholic, i enjoy listening to these songs. My favorite would be "Buksan" by Father Mimo Perez. It's really nice to hear and so uplifting. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      You're welcome! So nice to hear from you, kabayan!

    • profile image

      Harlene 2 years ago

      "Panalangin sa Pagiging Bukas Palad" is also my favorite! Thanks to this site, I found the song I was looking for - "Take and Receive." God bless. :)

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Thank you for this wonderful and inspiring music. I love all the hymns, even the ones I can't sing. I will be back to play them again until I can play them on my guitar. Great hub, God Bless.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 20 months ago from Southern California

      Hello!

      I enjoyed the soothing, inspirational hymnals. I was raised on hymnals in my church, and I carry a soft spot for them. This is the first time I have heard Filipino hymnals, however. I have some close Filipino and Filipina

      friends that I will pass this on to. I am sure they will either know them or enjoy getting to know them.

      Through a Filipino friend, I have heard some gorgeous music, and have been given some cd's. I have always thought the songs to be profound and meaningful (my friend translates) and the melodies are what I imagine floating on clouds would be like.

      I'm also a long-time fan of Lea Salonga. How that lady can sing.

      I enjoyed your Hub, voted up, and beautiful. Essie.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 20 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello, Essie! Glad you stopped by and listened to these hymns! They are beautiful, aren't they? So conducive for prayer.

      Yes, I'm sure your Filipino friends will appreciate them. Warm regards!

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