One pretty Catholic lady who captured my attention was my friend and sister in the community named Sanilyn. When I first met her, I told myself, I have to write about her and share her life to the world! Now, since I am doing this section, I guess, it’s Sani’s time to shine! Every time I get a chance to talk to Sani, I learn a few things. Despite facing a lot of life’s challenges, she became a woman who has won my admiration. Sani is someone who always strives to live out the best life in order to please the Father. So, I asked her a few questions that I always ask the people I feature and some personal questions about her as well. Here’s more about Sani.
Sky: What makes you feel like a child?
Sani: I always have this “kid” in me, so I always feel like I’m a child. Not childish! Specifically, playing outdoors. I love nature kasi, leaning under the shade of a mango tree or kaimito tree, eating dirty ice cream, walking under the glorious heat of the sun, magmano sa mga nakakatanda, when I receive a tap on my head and gugusutin ang buhok mo, hearing the choir sing and receiving and giving hugs! And attending Simbang Gabi.
Sky: What are your simple joys?
Sani: Oh, my simple joys! I love watching sunrises and sunsets. When I was a teenager, I would usually drive up to Mitra ranch (Palawan) and just watch the rays of the sun piercing through the clouds and kissing the emerald mountains. So hea-venly ang view. I also love looking at the mountains and the calm seas. My fave part whenever I go home (to Palawan) is when the ship enters the bay and this creation greets you.. What a sight to behold. Ang sarap sa puso! Tanggal ang pagod sa biyahe. Simple joy ko din ang maghanap ng directions ng mga new places. Simple joy ko din kainin luto ni mama, especially ‘yung mga “maskipaps” niya, marinig boses ni dad sa radyo pag iniinterbyu siya, makipagwrestling sa mga brothers ko. Simple joy ko din ang to be with my pen and notebook and my guitar. Simple joy ko ang laughter with friends. Pag nasa jeep or bus, trike going somewhere or just driving. ‘Eto pahabol pa, simple joy ko din ang nasa old churches and reading history books.
Sky: What makes you “sing”?
Sani: We could go on forever answering this… Hahaha! It’s the life that God gave me that makes me sing. I love singing in mass. It’s where I discovered I can sing, so the celebration of mass makes me sing. Weddings! True love makes me sing. Pain and brokenness make me sing. Hope and peace make me sing. Celebration of triumph and inspiration. Or kahit walang reason, I just sing.
Sky: When you compose/make music for the Lord, what or who inspires you?
Sani: I pray before I write songs. But this presupposes that I was already inspired by the beauty of the environment, or truth of human experience. I am inspired din by my daddy’s work for environmental protection, especially protection against illegal fishing and illegal poachers. (My dad worked at BFar). I am also inspired by our youth. I have written many songs clamoring that really our youth has the power to change this world. I am inspired mostly with how God transformed my heart, inspired by His immense love for me and I am always grateful that because He loved me, He reveals to me what is love and how it is to love..
Yep, I am inspired to write because of His love. This explains also why I love to write wedding songs. I love how God orchestrated a beautiful story right before my eyes. Ang sarap kapag pinapakita sayo ‘yung misteryo ng Kanyang pag-ibig thru couples vowing forever before God. Yep, immense love ang tinta ng aking pluma.
Sky: Can you share a favorite line or verse from any song you have composed? And why is this your favorite?
Sani: 3 Songs
Payong: Isa kang payong sa bagyo ng aking mundo. Isang kapoteng yumakap sa basang puso ko. Sumilip ako sa langit na biglang nagbago. ‘Di ko namalayang tumila na ang ulan sa puso ko..
Reassurance ni Lord na kahit anong bagyo dumating Siya ang aking payong na tagapagsanggalang sa lahat ng pagsubok at kapoteng yumayakap sa akin upang ‘wag lamigin sa buhay…
I believe – My Child you’re forever mine. Be still and Know that I’m your Father. But You said to me, I’ll be free if I let You live in me. You said to me I’ll be whole In You, I’ll be consoled. That’s Your promise Lord, I believe.
This song is His message to me… I was really faltering during that time. ‘Yung anguish ng inner self ko ‘di ko ma contain until bigla Niya akong ginising one early morning, at ito ang sinabi Niya sa akin…. I just cried after singing this…
Recently naman na fave song ko eh Muling Babangon… It was written for Bohol and ‘Yolanda’ victims, but it was inspired by my dad’s battle against cancer… ‘Yung lines na muling babangon sa pag-ibig ng Ama. We hold on sa promise na ‘yun ni Lord. Even after dad died naka hold on ako sa line na ‘yan.
Napaisip ako at nagreflect ako noon na kung hindi ba ibigay ni Lord ang dasal mo, mahal mo pa din ba Siya? Siya kasi kahit pag-asa man mawala, hindi mawawala ang pagmamahal ni Lord sayo.
Kaya may lines din sa song na …
Bumaha man ng luha pag-asa ma’y mawala ‘Di mawawala ang pagmamahal ng Ama.
Sky: Aside from being a musician, what else do you do? And why?
Sani: Aside from being a songwriter, I used to work as an instructor at a college in Palawan and a legal researcher in the provincial prosecutor’s office. Now, I just finished my law studies and will be one of the bar hopefuls this year.
Sabi nila music naman talaga ang labs ko bakit ako napunta sa legal prof? I myself asked the same question. It was God who led me here, and I guess He slowly revealed to me the reasons why..
We (the law and I) have this love-hate relationship that lasted long until God allowed me to work in a prosecution office where the words of law came alive. I saw people helpless and unassertive about their rights. Napapadasal ako minu-minuto sa trabaho ko that I may render justice sa bawat case na nireresolba ko. Andun ‘yung hugot ng public service .
And I come to realize that God answered my prayer song to Him when I was 9… Make me a servant humble and meek. Lord let me lift up those who are weak. And may the prayer of my life always be… Make me a servant, Make me a servant, Make me a servant today…
Aside sa lawyering, I love theater. I was a director and scriptwriter for Teatro Entablado (a PSU theater group). I also do events organization for the Palawan Music Artists Guild.
And lastly, I am a member of CFC Singles For Christ. I love mission trips. Ang bulk actually ng buhay ko is serving God through SFC. I have been in the community for nearly two decades na kasi I started in YFC. ‘Yung deepest need to serve God ay na ignite lalo sa SFC.