On November 8, 2013, the deadliest natural disaster in Philippines’ history, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), stole the lives of over 6,000 mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, and countless children.
More than 16 million people have been affected by this horrific tragedy, their world ripped apart with every loss…their hopes torn from tortured hearts.
Though we are scattered across the globe, we are connected to their anguish, we feel their sorrow as if it were our own. They need our help, our empathy, our compassion, our action!
Over 30 gifted composers hailing from 16 countries collaborated on an inspirational album, initiated by Peter Ebbinghaus, to raise funds for the victims of this catastrophe. All profits from the album, and companion ebook, will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”), supporting the efforts in distributing food and rebuilding the devastated lives and damaged cities across the Philippines. More information on the album can be found at the Soundtracks and Trailer Music site.
Each of the 28 tracks instills a sense of hope, whispering of a new dawn. Every note holds the promise of rebirth, strengthening the power of will to rise again. The soul of the music demands that we fight back, it is the nature of our existence, to persevere, to strive for a life that is once again beautiful. This is not the end–a hymn of faith shall spill from our voices into cups of peace that will strive to heal brave hearts.
Together, we are a commanding force for change, forging a global act of kindness that will ripple through the sea of souls and restore the broken, battered pieces of humanity.
In the spirit of collaboration, 28 writers from across the globe will join together in discovering the stories of triumph lurking in the notes of each track, waiting for us to pull it into words. The final tales will be compiled into a companion ebook anthology for the album, with all proceeds going to Gawad Kalinga.
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I am proud to be a part of this awesome collaboration. This is my story, written in response to the awesome track Your Heart Is Brave, created by Synthphonia, a professional music composing group from Poland formed by Christopher Kus. The track features the voice of Monika Emat.
YOUR HEART IS BRAVE
Time is gracious.
She marches to a gentle beat, a quiet rhythm, peaceful and unhurried, in sync with the sleepy community which is one of many that are scattered throughout the countryside.
This time her descent upon the tiny village of Mkuze is different. A breath of change is her companion, creeping in alongside, treading carefully, whispering of things that are to come…
“Look at you, my son. How you have grown. You have made us proud. But things change. We need to look beyond our village. The world outside is not the same. It promises a new challenge. It is time for you to embrace something different, the unknown.”
The first time Sipho’s mother spoke like this, her words had frightened him.
But he had learned to seek comfort in recalling the stories of his childhood, a time when things were always the same. When it seemed that they would never change.
They were stories of adventures from an era when vast herds of antelope, zebra, rhinoceros, lions and other game roamed freely; when wild bananas, pineapples and an assortment of berries were plentiful; when it was not uncommon for droves of birds and bees to nest in the holes of the hollow baobab tree trunk; when brave spear-wielding warriors were slain during battle and earth became soaked in the flow of patriotic blood.
“You were given to us. Sipho means gift. Now we need to let you go, share the gift of your life, so that others may also benefit. The time has come.”
The dread of his mother’s words mingled with the dread of what was to come.
The two became one, swirling around and around inside of him, as if searching; for an answer, for an outlet… and then it settled, reluctant and heavy, in the pit of his stomach.
How could he leave a place where his heart and soul were rooted in boyhood memories? Dusty football games. Countless moments sliding down a rocky slope. Stickfighting contests. Speeding along the narrow, sandy pathway in a wooden plank go-kart and scattering mangy street dogs that skulked amidst hordes of buzzing flies. Bare-chested and barefoot, Sipho and his boyhood friends rested against the thick trunk of a baobab tree. Chewing on seeds, they would savour the powdery fruit pulp, the familiar gnarled bark scratching their backs. What could possibly lie beyond the village that would be better than this?
“Many, many years ago, the elders held meetings to discuss important matters under that tree, my son. The same tree you love so much.”
“But I am scared. How will I know where to go to, who to trust, what to do?”
She too, was afraid.
The months of inner turmoil, of wondering what to do, the thousand moments of indecision, were as wide and wavering as the ocean.
They say it takes a whole village to raise a child, but it is a fact that a mother’s selflessness, often in direct contrast to what she truly feels and believes, can be the pivotal point in a child’s journey on the path to adulthood.
And the selfless nature, which knows no bounds, no limitations, became both a blessing and a curse.
At that moment, the heavens opened.
Torrential rain beat a tattoo on the roof of his two-room, mud-walled hut. His entire reality was wrapped in the familiar and comforting sound of water dripping from the roof.
“The spirit of the baobab will always guide you, help you to make wise decisions. You are not the first and you will not be the last.”
A thread of hope sprung from a long-forgotten memory of an elder’s son from a neighbouring village, who had travelled to the outside world . Soon after, pipe-borne water had become a reality for his people.
“You will grow to be strong and wise, my son, just like the baobab tree. You will endure.”
The thread wound itself around his burdened heart and lightened his soul.
They stepped outside into the warmth. The downpour had passed, and the sun blazed once again.
The path stretched before him but he would be brave.
He was the hope of the village.
The promise of things to come.
She stood erect, the scars of a hard life concealed beneath a proud carriage.
“Take this and use it wisely. I’ve been saving it for something special. It will come in handy.”
A tattered cloth was pressed into the palm of his hand.
She turned and trudged up the hill, silhouetted against the ball of orange-red-gold in the late afternoon sun. The foliage of a distant plantation stretched into the distance.
She didn’t look back.
He hadn’t expected her to.
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Lyrics : Don't be scared of the path that's sometimes winding, you're stronger than this, don't try to cover your fears, those wounds will be healed, and in the end your heart's brave.