WVSU Hymn and March
By Aura Carmela Ferrariz and Ronnelyn Dupit
Every song has its own story. A song becomes a favorite and is often most requested if the music itself carries emotions to which only the heart could hear. But it is only when the person truly realizes the true essence of a particular song when that song can be finally sung by heart. It’s when he could attach himself to it, blend the song’s original meaning to his personal elucidation, and then sing it aloud and proud. If the song is sung without comprehension, we are just like the early Filipinos who prayed by rote.
The present generation of the WVSU students is oblivious of the outstanding contributions of two persons. Theirs was a perfect partnership in terms of music creation in the university, the tandem Zerrudo-Pangan. Both were prolific writers and musicians who gave life to the WVSU Hymn and March.
The university Hymn and March were perfectly coordinated with the lyricist, Adelina Zerrudo and the musician, Romulo Pangan. These two were former faculty of the West Visayas State University. They lived under the roof of WVSU for a long time and were able to create a lot of masterpieces. Aside from the university’s hymn and march they were the parents of “WVSU – College of Medicine Graduation Song”, “WVSU – RSTC Song”, “Cheer Up”, “School of Nursing Song 81”, “The Splendor of Success”-WVSU Graduation Song ’94, WVSU Laboratory School Graduation Song ‘81”, “Footprints in the Sands of Time”-College of Education Recognition Day song”, “PASUC Hymn”, “Centennial Hymn” and a lot more.
Savouring the first note
In 1965, Iloilo Normal School became West Visayas State College. During that time, Mr. Pangan was a new faculty of the school and Mrs. Zerrudo was on her seventh year in the institution. Both exhibited great mastery in their craft which are writing and music. It was in 1969 when the wife of president of WVSC, Mrs. Allegre Abelardo- Ledesma, asked these geniuses to create the WVCS Hymn. Zerrudo composed the poem “From a Dream’ and Pangan gave its music. Soon, after it was finished, they were again tasked to compose the WVSC March. This time, it was the beat that was first brought into the world. Panagn handed it to Zerrudo and it took her about two to three nights to finish writing the lyrics. The hymn and march were first sung by the batch 1970 during their graduation.
Later in 1987 when President Marcos approved WVSC to be West Visayas State University, several changes were given to Hymn. The word college in the lyrics was changed to university. Thus, the same lyrics are being sung up to this moment.
Capturing the soul
The song is a verbalization of the thoughts and feelings of the composer. The interpretation of the song by the singer should reflect the ideas and feelings but he must first understand the message he is to interpret.
In the case of the WVSU hymn and march the lyricist Mrs. Adelina Zerrudo offers an explanation in this message;
“From a dream a University grew…”
The growth of an educational institution as the State College in parallel to the history of a nation.
“Out of darkness, faith renew…”
The Philippines had been for centuries kept in ignorance and poverty by an oppressive regime. It is as if the land was kept in “darkness” the people rose into rebellion and many heroes died in battle or in places of execution “without seeing the dawn”.
When the Americans came manifesting their altruistic intensions, the Filipino dream for freedom and democracy surfaced, once suppressed and nurtured in secrets for centuries. Education was the key to the fulfillment of this dream and the Filipinos flocked to the schools to prepare them for self-rule and a democratic way of life, proving that the “heroes did not die in vain”.
“Hold thy banner high…” Goes the refrain. A banner held high is a sign of victory.
“Let genius bridge the Earth and boundless sky…”
With explosion of knowledge and technology space exploration began culminating in mans landing on the moon in1969. It is said that the lunar vehicle was credited to a Filipino. Was he a product of our advancement in science excellently stressed in advanced schools?
Bridging the earth and sky can be physical but it can also be spiritual. The spiritual power of prayer and intimate communion with the Divine should not be underestimated. As a farmer, a soldier, a teacher, a nurse, physician, a lawyer, a technician, a carpenter, etc. God has a place and a definite field of service for each one of us in this world. It is our talents and capabilities for the fulfillment of your dreams which is also God’s dream.
The second refrain is a conclusive ending to the “seeking” as it ends in finding what you seek. What was “half begun” in the first refrain becomes fully done in the second. There is a sense of fulfillment of the Filipino dream.
For the lyrics of march Mrs. Zerrudo has this to say:
“West Visayas State University, we hear thy name resounds.
From mountain regions, valleys and seas…
Where your sons for duty are bound…”
“In my past trips around the country to attend conventions, I met many teachers, superintendents, supervisors, and other school officials, who were alumni of the Iloilo Normal School, the WVSC, or the WVSU. There are also alumni among lawyers, in the judiciary, the military, hospitals here and abroad, “in endless quest for right”. The values of hard work and excellent performance, the moral character engendered in the University their sense of right they carry over in their works.
“March on…duty awaits beyond flow’ry bend…”
Beyond graduation duty awaits. Jobs are not only hard to find but hard to keep but by persistent “plodding” success can be reached. As the motto printed on the banner we read, “to learn, to labor, and to serve”. That what the loyal alumni must do to earn sweet contentment of the creators reward for a job well done or a life well lived.