Teacher’s song wins P50T

Roger P. Serna
Sun.Star Cebu columnist

“O, SENYOR Santo Niño,” a song that praises the Child Jesus’ influence in the lives of Cebuanos, bested 11 other finalists in the first Huni Halad Alang Kang Santo Niño de Cebu (Huniño) songwriting competition.

Despite a heavy downpour, the audience, composed mostly of devotees of the Holy Child, stayed until after the proclamation of winners around 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Basilica del Sto. Niño along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.

Math teacher Renato Sagayno won P50,000, a trophy and a Sto. Niño icon. Finance student Japril Yap (right) interpreted the winning entry. (Sun.Star Cebu//Joseph Mariblanca)The winning song was composed by Renato Calago Sagayno, a math teacher at the University of Cebu high school department on Sanciangko St., Cebu City. For the feat, he bagged P50,000, plus P5,000 for qualifying as a finalist, a trophy and an icon of the Holy Child.

Interpreting the song was Japril Yap, a sophomore banking and finance student of the University of San Jose-Recoletos and a resident of Lutopan, Toledo City.

Before that song competition, the composer and interpreter tandem also won the grand prize in a similar tilt for the Virgen of Fatima in Basak, Mandaue City last year.

The second prize was won by “Himayaon Ka Santo Niño,” which expresses thanksgiving for and recognition of God’s promise of salvation. The song was composed by Norman Jabonero, a seminarian, who won P30,000, a trophy and a Sto. Niño icon, plus P5,000 for qualifying as a finalist.

The third prize winner is “O Holy Child,” which speaks of children being the rightful heirs of the kingdom of God.

Incorporating a Gospel passage in Hebrew in the first stanza, the song was composed by Jay-arr Librando, a seminarian from the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos, and interpreted by the trio of Rhine Rose Echivarre, Reston Senining and the composer himself.

The composer received P25,000, including the finalist’s incentive, a trophy and a Sto. Niño icon. The trio also received P10,000 extra as the best interpreters.

The songwriting competition was aimed at further promoting devotion to the Sto. Niño de Cebu, whose feast is celebrated by the Cebuano community every third week of January.

The Sandiego Dance Company opened the show with a Sinulog dance.

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