“Inspirational diva” Jamie Rivera will be performing her self-penned song “We Are All God’s Children” in the presence of Pope Francis, possibly as much as three times, when the Holy Pontiff visits the Philippines next month.
The veteran singer made the revelation during the launch of her similarly-titled latest album early Monday afternoon at the Villa Immaculada Place near Manila Cathedral.
“I really want to practice (for the upcoming performance). Just seeing him there already makes me nervous,” the singer joked, pointing to a cardboard cutout of the Pope’s image placed near her.
Speaking to members of the press and selected bloggers, Rivera explained that she was inspired by street children and the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” in writing the song’s lyrics.
“For two weeks since I volunteered to write a song for the Pope’s visit, I wasn’t able to come up with anything. Then, during a trip to Greenhills, I noticed all those street children roaming in the streets,” she said.
“That particular image as well as that of our unfortunate countrymen in Yolanda-hit areas reminded me of the theme of Pope’s visit which is ‘solidarity with the poor and mercy to the weak’,” she added.
Below are the lyrics of the song’s first two verses:
Do you see these children on the streets?
Have you walked the pavements where they sleep?
Do you feel their hand when you give them alms?
Did you ever give them bread to eat?
Have you seen their homes washed by the floods?
While a mother tightly holds her child
Do you hear the wind of the raging storm?
Can you tell them where it’s coming from?
The song has a prescribed choreography which was developed by Ms Landa Juan. In the action-video below, Juan is accompanied by members of the Ligaya ng Panginoon Youth Community.
The singer shared that she will most likely perform the song live during the Papal Encounter with Families at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on January 16 as well as during the Encounter with the Youth to be held at the University of Santo Tomas and the Concluding Mass at the Quirino Grandstand (both events will be on January 18). The full itinerary of Pope Francis’ Philippine visit can be read here.
If given the chance to speak to the Pope, she said she will ask him to continue praying for the Filipinos. “We might also have a selfie if it is allowed!” she added.
The historic nature of the papal visit is not lost on her. “I am very thankful and humbled to be part of this event,” she said, specifically thanking the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for the opportunity.
“When people look back to this event twenty years from now, they will remember me and this song,” the singer proudly added.
Rivera’s other religious-inspired songs include “The Jubilee Song” (2000), “Heal Our Land” (2001), and “Only Selfless Love,” the official theme song for the 2003 World Meeting of Families. She also recorded her version of “Tell the World of His Love,” the official song of the 1995 World Youth Day.