Sambag Baptist Church circa 1990
Sambag Baptist Church during the ‘Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw’ years

The many years of singing and hearing “Alive, Alive Forevermore” in Sunday schools and gatherings made me pray that God would give me a tune that would somehow be an alternative song.

In first quarter of 1989, I recalled playing a melody at Sambag Baptist Church’s piano and suddenly the inspiration for lyrics came. Thus, I was able to compose “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw”, which means “Let’s Sing Praises”.

The song was first sang by the Sambag Baptist Church choir in one of their services. The church congregates in the village of Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines.

Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” was first taught among Sambag Baptist Church youth. Then they sung it in one program during the Iloilo Kasapulanan Baptist Youth Fellowship Union in Concepcion, Iloilo in summer 1989.

Teaching the song to some youth leaders.
Teaching the song to some youth leaders.

Each time I had the opportunity, especially during youth gatherings, I would teach the song. I remembered teaching delegates at the CBFYP leadership training in 1989.

The Bethany Baptist Temple choir in Bacolod City sang “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” in 1991 during their Original Contemporary Christian Song (OCCS) concert. I stayed at the household of Sherrie June and Nelson Convite for two weeks to teach the choir the Ilonggo songs that I composed.

The OCCS concert with Bethany Baptist Temple choir was quite memorable because it was my first opportunity to perform in Bacolod City. I also had the great chance to meet and befriended many brothers and sisters in Christ.

Joining the Original Composition of Christian Songs concert of Bethany Baptist Temple at West Negros University.
Joining the Original Composition of Christian Songs concert of Bethany Baptist Temple at West Negros University, Bacolod City, Philippines

My deep gratitude for Bethany Baptist Temple choir and congregation for their support and ministry.

Aileen Banasing, a co-officer in the Convention Baptist Youth Fellowship of the Philippines (CBYFP) suggested my name.

In September 1995, I submitted “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” to Far East Broadcasting Company who launch a contest for the “Pagdayaw” (Hiligaynon Papuri) album they were producing. Praise God, “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” became one of the songs of the “Pagdayaw” Album.

What started as an earnest wish to come up with an alternative song became true in God’s own perfect time.

Today, churches in Panay, Negros, and Mindanao continue to sing “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw” or “Pagdayaw”. It is my prayer that they will teach the song from generation to generation.

All glory be to God, our Almighty Composer!

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