Remembering the first time
I remember the first Songs for Heroes Concert, when, for the first time, I saw the people berieved by the death of the 44 brave souls that gave up their lives in Mamasapano. I remembered feeling a deep sentiment for them when I decided to watch the concert that was meant to somehow smoothe away the hurt in their hearts.
But I remembered how different it was to actually be there, how I felt a piercing pain in my heart for these people left behind, how hard it must have been for them to lose a father, an uncle, a brother or a son. I can only guess the gravity and the pain, and I know the pain I felt is nothing compared to being the one who lost a loved one in a battle. Yet, pain is not without reason or remedy. And we remembered those when we played Songs for Heroes.
I know loss to a certain level. I felt this when I lost my mother to cancer, but then, that death was more of a relief for her, and so is more acceptable and expected. However, as I listened to the songs sung by the guest singers in the first Song for Heroes Concert, I felt a different kind of pain, and with the pain comes a pool of tears that eases the tired soul.
The pain of parting and the suddenness of it has borne a huge hole into these peoples’ very soul. Yet, answers really come in such amazing manner and timing. As the MOA Arena was filled with the songs of heroism, loyalty to a creed and love songs for country and for the family, a ripple of heartwarming emotion went deep into their deep confines of their hearts and flowed a gush of hope into their souls. First phase of healing was done. Time to re-acquaint the heart with the innocence of kind virtues.
Remembering the way we feel
Hope came when hope was needed. We remember days when an unexpected ally shelters us from all our cares. The difficulties we have gone through in life come when we least expect them. And when they did, they came fast and from all directions. They drained our strengths so we have let things go their natural way. We have shown people an untouched and unaffected image by the sorrowful happenings in life, but deep inside, all we want is to shout out loud and just let it all out.
The coming of a friend who can help was unexpected. Before we know it, tears have fallen in relief because, finally, somebody understood us and took interest in all our feelings, even as our path is dark, confusing and uncertain. All the want for avenging our losses were washed off by the outpouring of love from the least expected allies.
Perhaps Bro. Eli’s tweets that day were so much burning with passion that people just cannot ignore it. I remember feeling deep concerns from them, that is why it affected me so much, I just have to listen and take heed. I didn’t care if people mistook Bro. Eli Soriano for many things, his benevolence has taught us how to share to others. That feeling of care and concern for everybody, teaching us to give without asking for returns is very difficult to muster. Yet we are capable of doing it.
And so somehow, at that night of the concert when all of the 44 Heroes were recognized and their families given a fighting chance in life, I saw the workings of a great hand behind Bro. Eli– Someone powerful enough to set our selfishness aside and bring us together in one feeling of love and care for our fellowmen. Second phase revealed that the virtues that we seek for is channeled through one small voice and is coming from one very unfathomable yet irresistable force.
It is no less than a calling from above when a tweet from Bro. Eli Soriano initiated a trending topic that would be the beginning of a tribute to the 44 slain SAF and the future of their families. It all started with an urge to unite the country, as some activist groups try to rally behind the move to oust the President of the Philippines.
Bro. Eli went on telling people to level their heads and urged the general public to open their eyes to what is the true situation, and not to be swayed into creating a havoc or coup. With pure concerns for the country’s well being, the evangelist pointed out the need to extend help to the berieved instead of raising arms against each other. Thus, the creative cooperation with UNTV and some of the country’s top vocalists, honoring and recognizing the heroes of the moment and their families. Third phase of the process shows us the creation of a great melody in our hearts, one that teaches us loyalty to one another because of a genuine brotherly love.
The more we give, the more we received
It’s true, we could not have pulled it off if it were just because of us. That Someone guides us all to learn how to share to others, that Someone gives us enough courage to forget ourselves and our selfish feelings. And we don’t lose anything by giving. Because the more we gave, the more we received. It’s a great miracle that still astounds me.
The surprise kept unfolding that night when they were playing Songs for Heroes. Bro. Eli himself shelled out more than PHP1M for the event including pocket money of PHP10,000 for each family, while Mr. Atom Henares pledged half a million during the concert. The ticket sale alone gathered around six million pesos and Bro. Eli topped it off by giving out scholarships to the children of the slain police personnels at the La Verdad Christian College.
The mathematics of giving and receiving simply defies all the logical and mathematical rules learned through time because the returns are unexpected and invaluable. This was what I saw that night and days after. People expressing their most sympathetic gestures of concerns for our countrymen. And the one who gave most got more returns. The fourth phase has established in our hearts that this is not something we should do just once.
Our remembrance will not end
The Songs for Heroes concert began and concluded with a huge success. The message was sent across the Filipino people. The heroes were given their well deserved recognition while their families were given a bit of a fighting chance for the future. Our remembrance was well achieved and well accepted.
The concerted efforts of the people behind the first Song for Heroes have proven that it is possible to have hope for the future. It is possible to follow the great commission to be responsible for one another. Because it only takes a little bit of love to see to the needs of others, a little bit of love coming from a number of people can make a whole world of difference.
The success of the first Song for Heroes concert has taken us to different level of awareness towards our fellowmen. We will never let this end. Our remembrance will go on and on because we know it is the will of the Divine Providence for us to care for one another, this we are reminded by Bro. Eli’s humble admonition. The process of creation of this good deed has brought us in full circle, making us want to see our kind thrive better in life, opening our hearts more and more, day after day. We will always remember this feeling we felt when we sang together and we will keep on singing Songs for Heroes.