‘Tell The World of His Love’: Remember this song?

Marga Deona

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When Pope John Paul II came to the Philippines for the World Youth Day in 1995, he was welcomed by the Catholic faithful with a song called 'Tell The World of His Love.' This is the story behind the song.

MANILA, Philippines – The year 1994 was filled with feverish anticipation for many Filipinos. During mid-year, the Miss Universe pageant was held in the Philippines for the second time. Toward the cusp of the year, the predominantly Catholic country started preparing for 1995’s biggest event for its faithful millions.

The World Youth Day was set in the Philippines, and Pope John Paul II was coming.

In a culture where worship takes the form of song and dance, the visit of a religious leader merited an anthem. Hence, the songwriting contest that then-24-year-old Trina Belamide joined, which brought forth “Tell The World of his Love.”

Belamide was a fledgling songwriter then, barely 3 years out of college. She had begun writing songs for ballad group The Company, with “Now That I Have You” having gained considerable airplay.

For the children who have come to consciousness at that time, whether by virtue of a Catholic school indoctrination or the lure of the cult of Jollibee, “Tell The World of His Love” was some sort of a song-and-dance routine, only made more sober by its gospel nature.

Twenty years later, Belamide shares her real reason for writing the song that became the papal visit’s definitive anthem. It is a secular one, and she calls it “selfish,” but says it was made bigger than her personal reasons.

Watch Rappler’s exclusive interview with Belamide as she looks both ways – back at John Paul II’s trip to the Philippines in 1995, and forward to Pope Francis’ visit in 2015. – Rappler.com

CAMERAMEN: Charles Salazar, Naoki Mengua

VIDEO EDITOR: Jaene Zaplan

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Marga Deona

Marga leads digital and product management for Rappler’s multimedia expansion. Sometimes, she writes about the intersection of technology, culture, and business, as well as the occasional sports and music features.