The song Payapang Daigdig composed by the late Filipino musician Felipe de Leon evoked one of the meanings of Christmas: peace to all mankind.
Senator Kiko Pangilinan stressed this on Tuesday in his Christmas message as he urged Filipinos to reflect on De Leon’s masterpiece about his desire for peace.
De Leon, born on May 1, 1912, was a classical music, composer, conductor and scholar. He died on December 5, 1992.
“The hymn Payapang Daigdig was composed by Felipe de Leon in December of 1946 as he lamented the horrible violence and destruction that fell upon the City of Manila at the end of World War 2 and his longing for peace and serenity amidst the suffering, the devastation, and the horrible loss of countless of lives,” he said.
Pangilinan noted that “over a hundred thousand lives were lost in the Battle of Manila from February to March 1945 (more were killed here than in the nuclear bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima).”
Among Allied nations, he lamented that Manila “next to Warsaw was the second most devastated city in the world at the end of the war.”
“Tragically, the over 30,000 Filipino lives killed from 2016 to 2019 in the senseless war on drugs has perhaps seen the most number of violent deaths inflicted upon ordinary citizens throughout the county since World War 2,” he said.
“In this context, the song Payapang Daigdig takes on a timely and heart-wrenching meaning especially for the tens of thousands who have been cruelly widowed or orphaned in the last three years and for all those who believe in the sanctity of life,” Pangilinan said.
He added, “This is why we struggle, why we fight: So that we achieve in our lifetime a genuine and lasting peace based on justice for our nation.”
“A meaningful and purposeful Christmas to everyone,” Pangilinan said.