While Latter-day Saint youth all over the world excitedly awaited the 2021 Youth Music Festival, the young men and young women of Novaliches Philippines Stake held its own virtual music festival. The youth were challenged to share their thoughts on how they can contribute to God’s ‘great work’ through music.
“When I visited the Youth Theme website, I saw the recently made music videos and felt inspired by their messages, said Issel Leon, the Stake Young Men President. “Then, I thought that maybe our youth [in the stake] might also be able to create something similar and share them [online] to their family and friends.”
The youth were given three weeks to compose new songs and produce music videos to make their songs come alive. Although the deadline was tight and there were still many limitations due to the on-going pandemic, they were able to deliver beyond the expectations of their leaders.
It’s all due to the teamwork of not only the youth and their leaders but also of the youth’s parents and other Church members.
In San Bartolome Ward, youth leaders implemented a “reporting system” wherein the youth were asked to share the progress of their delegated tasks from time to time. Leaders also made sure to spend quality one-on-one time with the youth throughout the process.
“We contacted them via video or voice calls. We didn’t only ask how they were doing with their assigned tasks or encouraged them to participate, we also called them because we want to know how they are doing personally and spiritually and identify what challenges they may be facing,” shared Jennica Faye Lappay, a Young Woman Leader.
Parents and other Church members also pledged their support to make this Stake activity successful.
Sharon Langusta of Novaliches Ward persuaded her daughter Shaira to participate in the virtual music festival. She even played videographer and took several video clips of her daughter singing, dancing, and contributing to “a great work” for the music video.
Meanwhile, siblings Glovel, Celester, and Christersean Reyes of Novaliches Ward, although not youth leaders, spent a lot of time helping the youth of their ward to create the melody for their song’s lyrics. Together, they played the guitar and the piano, sang, and recorded sample melodies to come up with the perfect chords that will match the words of the song. As they willingly gave their time to the youth, they also created wonderful memories together as brothers.
The youth themselves learned a lot and gained the most from this virtual music festival. Inspired by the lyrics of the song they composed, 16-year-old Faith Felipe from Lagro Ward shared, “we mentioned in our song that reading the scriptures, daily prayer, and simply loving others are already a part of great work. I plan to continue reading and pondering the scriptures, talking to our Heavenly Father through prayer, and referring my friends who are willing to listen and learn about the true gospel of Jesus Christ to the missionaries.”
Several young men and women discovered their hidden talents as they participate in this activity, like in the case of Jaelein Crisanto from Lagro Ward. “I'm a beginner when it comes to editing videos. I only know how to trim and add filters. But this activity helped me explore the world of video editing more.”
As for 17-year-old Bjan Kaizen C. Crisanto, he just wanted to make the most of his remaining days in the Youth Organization despite the pandemic. “Normally I wouldn't put my face on something or even sing. However, this is my last year as a youth, and I want to attend every single activity because I can only be a youth once [in my life],” he explained.
Indeed, this virtual music festival showcased the talents and great potentials of the youth. But beyond the staffs, clefs, and chords, there are also many meaningful lessons that the youth learned from participating in this activity. “I think the purpose of this virtual music festival is for us, youth, to make happy memories with each other, showcase our talents, build our confidence and teamwork, and realize that we can still bring forth ‘a great work’ despite the pandemic that we're facing,” said Enue Mena, a 16-year-old young woman.
Watch the music videos at the Novaliches Philippines Stake Youth Organization Facebook page (facebook.com/novalichesstakeyouth). ◼︎