“We are MHAM…We are MHAM! Proud to shout to all the world…We are MHAM!”
These are part of the lines taken from the newly-composed hymn for Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine. Committed to produce globally competitive medical professionals relevant to the need of time, the hymn is exactly anchored from the vision and mission of the institution and is considered as one of its continuous accomplishments upon its completion.
In an interview with one of the members of MHAM’s Board of Trustees and Corporate Treasurer Dr. Carlito Astillero who is the lyricist of the hymn, it took a month before it was finally made into a musical product with the collaboration of composer and arranger Bro. Jay-Arr F. Librando. “The creation of the MHAM hymn was initially conceived last March this year on the occasion of a birthday celebration of the founder’s successor- Elma Aznar-Sierra who is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustee and President. During the program, the typical audio-visual presentation of the invocation followed by the national anthem is always in placed and in an instant my mind told me that there is a need for the institution to come up with an official hymn”, said Dr. Astillero.
Rooted from his gift and love of poetry, Dr. Astillero put it into action and started the lyrics composition sometime in September this year and presented it to HR Consultant Mr. Pedro Pañares and in no delay they made arrangements with Cebu’s singer-composer Jay-arr Librando. Needless to say, Dr. Astillero shared that he is neither a singer nor musically-inclined but his passion in poetry and literary composition inspired him to come up with the lyrics. This physician-turned lyricist shared that during his younger years he tried music of all sorts from piano lesson to guitar to violin but accordingly all weren’t into progress. “Ganahan man unta ko og music apan wala man ganahi ang music nako” (I really love music but it seems music itself doesn’t like me), quipped the good-humored Trustee.
Meanwhile, theology graduate Jay-arr Librando whose song composition for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) 2016 was chosen as the winning entry is the main interpreter and arranger/composer of the MHAM Hymn.
He delightfully shared that when Dr. Astillero gave him a literature of the school’s vision and mission, this singer-composer who is also a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry graduate took the liberty of reading it through and using the best words for the song and sent his first draft for corrections. When the draft was approved he started making the tune. “It actually took me hours to make the tune because making a distinct tune for a school hymn is not actually easy. I have to think of nice marching beat and catchy tune that is not the same with other songs composed by others or even by myself”, said Librando.
After having finalized everything, he presented and played the harmony to Dr. Astillero and right after the approval, the recording has been completed. Thus, the MHAM HYMN was born.
“I felt honored being chosen as the composer of the school hymn of one of the prominent Medical Schools in Cebu. With the so many good composers in town they chose me to make them a song, and so because it’s an opportunity for me, I gave my yes”, added the singer-composer.
With unwavering delight in a grand/marching song genre, MHAM takes pride to present this newly-composed musical tribute to the Alma Mater. Here it is:
Lyrics by Carlito L. Astillero, MD, FPSMID, FASCP, PAFP
Music by Jay-arr F. Librando, MAPM
We are MHAM, anchored in excellence
Doctors we produce from dreamers who deserve
Physicians with commitment and dedicated self
Community-oriented mavens of the field
We stand united in every endeavor
Uphold our good name, integrity and honor
Rising firm before the world
We are MHAM! We are MHAM!
Proud to shout to all the world
We are MHAM!
We act with high esteem and deepest admiration
Observe polite behavior, role models we reveal
Transparent in our duties, detest discrimination
We proudly say we’re MHAM, and this is how we act (Ref)
Proud to shout to all the world, the MHAM HYMN shall be officially sung during the launching of the Base Hospital at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center which is set next month.
“For me, it is something an accomplishment from what was lacking”, added the lyricist with a grin.
For the time being, the hymn is played within the premises every morning wherein students and employees alike are expected to sing it out, beaming with pride. And the challenge to inherit the pride of MHAM’s identity is to uphold and sing it by heart with resounding voices- rising firm before the whole wide world.
Long live, MHAM! (Ana Liza Abao)