Born, raised, and still living and serving in the Philippines, Manoling was named at his birth as Manuel Simplicio Valdes Francisco in 1965 into a musical and political family. His grandmother was a well-known concert pianist, and his uncle is a prolific songwriter and one of his first music teachers. His grandfather was Senator Vicente Francisco. Fr. Manoling is a member of the Society of Jesus, and presently serves as Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Ateneo de Manila University. But I would venture to say, that most know him as a liturgical composer, and equally important, as a mentor and advocate for music ministers and composers throughout the Philippines. He was the co-founder of the well-known ensemble, Bukas Palad (which means, “open palm”), and was the music director for the liturgies at World Youth Day in 1995. He is very involved in the tremendous work of the Jesuit Music Ministry in the Philippines, and has composed over 150 songs that are sung all over the world, wherever Filipinos gather for worship.
Fr. Manoling remains deeply involved with the Bukas Palad Music Ministry, and pins his hopes on young people, that they embrace liturgical songwriting so they can write the songs that are expressive of their spirit. I witnessed this first hand during my visit to the Philippines in the fall of 2016 – everyone knows and loves Fr. Manoling! We give thanks to God for all that he has done to deepen the sung praise of God’s people, not only in the Philippines, but throughout various corners of the world. He continues to write music, and teaches a popular course on liturgical songwriting. Fr. Manoling remains an outspoken voice for peace and against corruption in the government. Some of the pieces that have especially touched my heart include The Way of the Cross, Amare et Servire (Love and Serve the Lord), and I Will Sing Forever. And there is so much more – sometimes you have to dig for it … but it is worth the search. I hope and pray that more of his music makes its way to North America, and beyond. May God continue to bless the ministry of Fr. Manoling, as well as Bukas Palad and all of the efforts of the Jesuit Music Ministry in the Philippines. (DH: 3.13.18)
Please consider when ordering any of these resources, to choose, whenever possible, ordering directly from the particular publisher (the link for each item is usually provided), rather than going to Amazon or similar outlets. When you order from these distributors, the royalties for the composer, as well as the publisher, are greatly compromised, as a substantial portion of the royalties go to the ordering source. The options to order from Amazon are provided here in many cases (and obviously in some cases, certain items may be out of print from the publisher), but most often, you should be able to obtain these resources from the specific publisher. So, think about it … choose differently, support the composers and authors who have created these resources, and click on the links provided here to order directly from the publisher.
Recordings, collections, and resources featuring the music of Fr. Manoling and Bukas Palad:
When you click on each title, audio clips are available
Recordings of Fr. Manoling Francisco’s music are abundant on the internet, and a few of his pieces are published by OCP Publications. Complete information and music titles and lists are available at the Bukas Palad website, http://bukaspalad.com. Ordering of these resources from the Philippines, contact Jesuit Communications: www.jescom.ph. Some of their recordings (that include many songs by Fr. Manoling) are available in the U.S. through the Eagle’s Corner e-store in Pacifica, California. http://eaglescorner.com.