The central values of the Christian religion are faith, hope, and love. But dark things squeeze into the gaps, grow over generations, and become the main features for young men and women in our neighborhood.
"Bruno" is a stand-in for a lot of kids who live under the fear, shame, or superstitions that get passed down the line. Kids regularly tell us that they see spirits, and almost all the youth we know make an attempt to shake off Christianity.
The second track on the new Kuya album, "White Spirit," is about kids being haunted by a faith that has turned into fear over generations. When I was writing it and thinking prayerfully about these young lives, it was so hard to see where their stories were going, so the song took the form of a series of questions.
Tell me Bruno what did you feel?
Was it breath on your neck or the wind on your heels?
It's a lonely lot from apartment to dump
And a quiet night for things to go bump
Tell me Bruno what did you see?
Did a ghost move the swing or was it the breeze?
And will you slip the cross or find in it peace
Or wear it around like it's a disease?
Did the brand of the priest burn you or heal?
And was the white spirit imagined or real?
Tell me Bruno what did you hear?
Did the fears of your fathers tickle your ears?
Maybe you and Tito will leave this behind
And some dream will echo and bring it to mind
Tell me Bruno who will you be?
The son of the fear or the son who is free?