Dedicated to Major Basilio and Mayor Peter Rey

Do you remember those silly radio dedication programs where you can phone in and say, “Mister DJ, gusto ko pung ididikit ang song na ito kay ehem?”

Well, let’s try this route and do a dedication post. Let’s dedicate my favorite church hymn, “Once to Every Man and Nation”, to two men who have been in the public eye lately. The first stanza of the song goes:

Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;

Actually, this hymn has been on my mind ever since I blogged about Major Basilio Pooten who, when he was called upon to decide on an important issue of justice, decided to do the right thing. So this song is heartily dedicated to him.

This hymn is also dedicated to Baguio City Mayor Peter Rey Bautista who is now being called upon to decide on an important issue: Will he do the right thing by vetoing the City Council’s “let’s buy car for ourselves” legislation? Or is he going to scratch the back of his fellow officials so they will, in turn, scratch his back?

Well, honorable mayor, as we said the ball is now in your court. We are dedicating this song to you with the hope that you will follow the footsteps of Major Basilio Pooten.

For those of you who want to sing along with the kids in the video, here’s the complete lyrics of the hymn:

Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
and the choice goes by forever,
‘twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble,
when we share her wretched crust,
ere her cause bring fame and profit,
and ’tis prosperous to be just;
then it is the brave man chooses
while the coward stands aside,
till the multitude make virtue
of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, thy bleeding feet we track,
toiling up new Calvaries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
new occasions teach new duties,
ancient values test our youth;
they must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above his own.

Lyrics: James Russell Lowell, 1849
Music: Ton-y-Botel (Ebenezer), Yn y glyn

RELATED POST: Major Basilio Pooten: Doing the Right Thing; Previous Posts on Mayor Peter Rey Bautista. VIDEO CREDIT: The Hanson Family.

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