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 the first quarter of 1989, I recalled playing a melody at Sambag Baptist Church’s piano, and suddenly the inspiration for lyrics came. Thus, I compose “Mag-amba sang Pagdayaw”, which means “Let’s Sing Praises”.
The Sambag Baptist Church choir first sang the song 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 sang it in one program during the Iloilo Kasapulanan Baptist Youth Fellowship Union in Concepcion, Iloilo, in summer 1989.
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 a great chance to meet and befriended many brothers and sisters in Christ.
My deep gratitude to 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 “Pagdayaw” Album songs.
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!