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My Favorite Filipino Mass Hymns


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

Fr. Manoling V. Francisco, S.J.

Fr. Manoling V. Francisco, S.J.

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.

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.

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

edna festejo on August 10, 2017:

humayo't ihayag is fitting for recessional besides being singable even for those who heard it for the first time. congratulations guys !

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on August 06, 2015:

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!

Essie from Southern California on August 06, 2015:


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.

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on May 20, 2015:

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.

Harlene on January 18, 2015:

"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. :)

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on November 11, 2014:

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

Welmar Benedicto from Philippines on October 23, 2014:

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!

Karbyn on July 30, 2014:

I like hymns.

BodyHairRemoval on June 06, 2014:

Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

soniabaad lm on May 23, 2014:

Wow! these sound so very good. Thanks for sharing.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2014:

@vsajewel: You're welcome!

Fay Favored from USA on March 25, 2014:

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

vsajewel on March 14, 2014:

Absolutely enchanting music...thank you for sharing!

Jim Houston from Wilmer, Alabama on March 01, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 23, 2014:

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

nonya222 on February 23, 2014:

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!

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 11, 2014:

@anonymous: Glad you enjoyed them!

anonymous on February 11, 2014:

Lovely to listen to they all sound really nice.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 08, 2014:

@Judy Filarecki: Glad you liked them!

Judy Filarecki from SW Arizona and Northern New York on February 07, 2014:

Thank you for sharing all these beautiful songs. It was hard to pick just one so I picked them all. You can be sure that I also sang along with several of them and hope to do that again.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 01, 2014:

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

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on January 31, 2014:

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.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 26, 2014:

@caossquidoo: Glad you enjoyed listening to them!

caossquidoo on January 25, 2014:

Beautiful hymns!