67-year-old polio-stricken dad writes song for COVID-19 frontliners

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2020 08:03 AM | Updated as of Apr 19 2020 10:31 AM

MANILA – Not even polio could stop this 67-year-old dad from trying to help in the fight against the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Yul Duguil would have wanted to go out and distribute food to people on the streets and personal protective equipment to frontliners, his daughter, lawyer Michelle Duguil, shared in a Facebook post late last week.

But restricted to his home by old age and pre-existing medical conditions, he thought of another way of helping out – by creating a song!

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“While I was awake in the wee hours of the morning just watching Netflix, my dad, on the other hand, stayed up late for several nights to finish this song,” Michelle said.

“When I asked him why it seemed like he was in a hurry to finish the song, he said, ‘Nalulungkot na ko. I’m sure marami rin malungkot na. So gusto ko na ma-GV (good vibes) sila.’ (Yes, he used the word GV. Lol!),” she added, before sharing a 4-minute music video, titled “Heal As One.”

(When I asked him why it seemed like he was in a hurry to finish the song, he said, ‘I feel lonely. I’m sure many others are lonely, too. So I want them to have good vibes.’ (Yes, he used the word GV. Lol!))

In the song, Yul placed himself in the shoes of a COVID-19 patient, singing for health workers.

I’m not afraid
No, I’m not scared
You’re there to keep me well

Your loving care
Your sacrifice
Gives me hope, makes me alive

The song then breaks into a chorus encouraging unity, professing hope.

Together, we shall overcome
Together, we shall heal as one
Together, we shall overcome
Together, we shall heal as one

The song goes on to express faith in the abilities of health workers attending to those afflicted with the virus.

I’m confident
I will be safe
Coz you’re my friend and hero

I will be strong
I will survive
Your constant care gives me strength

 Yul even included a rap portion to the song:

 So many afflicted with diseases
There’s no cure inside for the sickness
Their soul consumed by fear and anxiety
Faces covered with a mask
A mask of uncertainty
Lack of compassion has done an injury
Deep into the drivings of misery
Together we shall not fail
Together, together we shall prevail
Together, together we shall overcome
Together, together we shall heal as one

 The result is a 4-minute upbeat and catchy song that is both uplifting and inspiring.

Yul not only wrote the lyrics to the song, he also took care of the music and the arrangement.

He tapped Filipino singer and former child actor Brenan Espartinez to sing the song, with Jenny Bella Peñano Baul and Angela Medilo. It was recorded in a studio.

The song also comes with a music video featuring clips of frontliners.

Towards the end, Yul appears smiling while strumming a guitar, at the bottom of a 4-way split screen.

As Yul has yet to create his own Facebook and other social media accounts, her daughter uploaded the video on Facebook and YouTube.

It was quickly complemented for being “absolutely beautiful” and “great music.”

Michelle encouraged other users to share his dad’s music with a simple note: “Hope my dad’s song gives you GV!”

On YouTube.

On Facebook.