Thursday, November 25, 2010

Songs of Fanny and Fatima

Fatima Soriano, the young singer-evangelist will be coming to San Jose this Sunday, November 28, as a guest speaker in the Advent Recollection sponsored by the Worship Ministry of Saint Joseph (Cathedral) Parish.

While most of the young guys and gals adore and idolize the international singing sensation in Charice Pempengco, to them, the name Fatima Soriano is “never heard”. But lately, Fatima had been into mainstream when she sing “Nandito Lang Ako”, theme song of child-oriented TV series then called “Momay”, aired over ABS-CBN Channel 2.

Born in 1993, Fatima was diagnosed with retrolental degeneration (a severe eye defect that leaves her nearly unable to see) when she was 3 months old. Not only that, when she was 10, she suffered severe renal failure but she endured them all and struggled and pray hard for a normal life. Despite this handicap, she refused to accept defeat and continue make her life worth-while. Instead, she rose to the top of her class at the Braille-enabled day care center she attended. She also became a very active choir member in their parish. Fatima, though none of her song landed in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 album chart and never been a guest on “Glee”, I know that every time Fatima renders a song, somebody is singing with her. Not Oprah Winfrey but the Great Physician that took away her almost incurable kidney problem then. Especially that first song which says :

“My suffering is my offering
I'm offering all my sufferings
and if ever I will face, more trials and more pains
then I offer them gladly again
then I offer them gladly again…”

But more than a century ago before Fatima Soriano was born, in the early 1900’s, Fanny Crosby became popular. Crosby was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind since infancy. During her time Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the US. Here’s a piece from one of her songs :

“Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don't;
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't."

The songs of both Fanny and Fatima bear the same message I am sure. Inspirations that we have to hear- and not only see - in order to believe.

What would be Fatima Soriano’s Advent sharing for us on Sunday? Let’s come and see …

(Photo from Fatima Soriano's Blog Site)

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