Papuri 21: Kay Dakila ng Pag-ibig Mo



Papuri / The Music Ministry of FEBC Philippines

In the 70s, the Christian church in the Philippines was going through a self-identification process. It was birthed through the waves of missionary initiatives from the West which basically transported the Gospel along with distinctly cultural add-ons.

Unwittingly, FEBC was part of the westernization of Philippine Christianity because of its English hymns and Gospel songs, American preachers and teachers, Western worship services and crusades, as well as radio dramas from the other side of the Pacific.

But the feeling was strong to find for itself a more contextualized expression of the Christian faith. This movement included hymnody. Almost all of the music in the churches up to that time was from Europe or America. And although attempts by the likes of Max Atienza, Celia Marcelo, Faustino Ruivivar and others, to translate some of them into Pilipino were laudable, these were sadly not enough.

In 1977, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) issued a directive to all radio networks to air original Pilipino music every hour. KBP also launched the Metro Manila Popular Music Festival, known as Metropop. On the surface, these were the result of the clamor from Filipino artists for support, but underneath was the search for a pop culture that was then rapidly being taken over by the Beetles, Bee Gees and Beach Boys. And yes, James Bond.

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