Singer Sam Mangubat already wanted to veer away from interpreting songs in music competitions but he found “Kulang Ang Mundo,” one of the official entries in the 11th edition of “Himig Handog,” irresistible.
“Medyo gusto ko nang lumayo sa mga competitions dahil ‘yung kaba ko… ano ako, eh, kabahin na tao. Pero no’ng sinabi sa akin ni sir John (Manalo) na gusto nila akong maging interpreter, sabi ko, ‘I wanna listen to the song muna, sir John,’” Mangubat said in the recent media conference for the songwriting competition.
(I wanted so stay away from competitions because of my nervousness. I’m a very nervous person. But when sir John Manalo told me they wanted me to be an interpreter, I said, “I wanna listen to the song first, sir John.”)
Upon hearing the song for the first time, Mangubat fell in love with it.
“Noong ibinigay niya sa akin, first line pa lang noong song, ‘yung buong song, sabi ko, ‘Sir John, perfect. Game na,’” Mangubat recalled.
(When the song was given to me, just by the first line alone, [then] the whole song, I said, “Sir John, perfect. Game.”)
“Kulang Ang Mundo” being an inspirational song is a fit for Mangubat who finds the need to also inspire himself and be relieved of his anxieties, especially during these times.
“I think this is the song na mae-enjoy ko i-perform nang hindi ko masyadong iisipin ang competition,” he added. (I think this is the song that I will enjoy performing without me thinking about the competition.)
Daryl Cielo, the composer, also spoke about the message he wants to share through the song.
“That song [actually] talks about a love [that is] so immeasurable that will take you to a world beyond this one,” he explained. “‘Yung pagmamahal na hindi kayang masukat ng mundong ito. And it’s written in such a way na para kang dinadala papalipad, patungo sa isang magical place sa mundo ng panaginip.”
(The kind of love that cannot be measured by this world. And it’s written in such a way as if you are being flown to a magical place in the world of dreams.)
Cielo revealed that he wrote the song during the lockdown as he asked himself what could possibly be something that the world or COVID-19 could not limit
“And it’s love, right? And I was inspired by that,” he said.
Cielo clarified, though, that the love he was referring to is not exactly a romantic one; it can be the love of a mother to her child or even God’s love. He also cited Peter Pan as inspiration.
“I just think there is really [something] fascinating and magical doon sa eksenang lumilipad si Peter and Wendy [sa] kalangitan papuntang Neverland,” Cielo explained. (I just think there is really something fascinating and magical in the scene where Peter and Wendy are flying to Neverland.)
The last time Mangubat interpreted for “Himig Handog” was in 2018 for the song “Wala Kang Alam.” JB