aafter worship service last Sunday, a deaconess approaches the Organist of our locale and asks, “Who arranges and overlooks our hymns?” The Organista answers, “Ka Gemma po.” “Paki sabi sa kaniya na walang saliltang “bay” [Please tell here that there is no such word as “bay”.]

XL-CMV-MGB-001-JS-001bMaybe you haven’t noticed dear Ka Gemma, your choir members starting from the Tagapagturo, Organista, and the members themselves are starting to question your capacity to lead the church choir. The incident was aboutΒ Hymn No 72, “Ikaw’y Magiging Payapa”. The first line reads, “Nais mo ang payapang buhay…” Well for one reason or another, you had it changed to “Nais mo bay payapang buhay?”.Β There’s no such word as “bay” in the tagalog dialect. if you were from the Visayas maybe “bay” would pass but this would simply mean “buddy” or “friend” in street linggo.

No one would dare question you on your capabilities because as the Organista clarified, “Masyado sila sensitibo ngayon, baka matiwalag pa tayo, sumunod na lang [They’re too sensitive these days, let’s just do what they wish or be expelled]”. But here I am asking you some simple down to earth questions and would appreciate if you could answer it for us.

  • Have you ever been a choir member?
  • Do you have any formal education on music?
  • Do you play the organ?
  • Do you read notes?
  • Have you ever wrote an original Christian song?
  • Are you genuinely qualified to head the church choir?

Hymn No. 72 is only one of the many hymns you directly chose to alter and the whispers have Β been going around. Oh, there are so many others.

It appears despite doubts to the contrary, you do have the educational qualifications based on a Wikipedia disclosure –

“Gemma, their second child earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Choral Conducting at the New Era University, married to Antonio de Guzman Jr., and now serves as INC Overall Choir Coordinator and Head of INC Music Department (which was previously held by Pilar Manalo Danao and later, Liberty Manalo-Albert).” []

So, maybe it’s high time you have the courage to accept a heart to heart talk with all your Organistas and Tagapagturos and have the decency to accept your mistakes and faults and not take it as an insult against your person. Sooner or later, your faults will be noted by people outside of the Church and that wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for you and the Church.