“MAPA,” a song written by John Paolo Nase and performed by P-Pop male group SB19, is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring songs about children’s love for parents that you’ll hear today. As of writing it garnered close to 45 million views on YouTube, capturing not just the hearts of Filipinos but also the American singing group Torch Family Music who just recently did a cover of the song.
It’s not the first time, however, that the US-based group, which is composed of six siblings namely Sunny (20), Hannah (19), Chloe (17), Belle (15), Zoe (12), and Rock (9) has covered songs of SB19. Torch Family told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle that they discovered the boy band last year while searching for inspirational Filipino music. “SB19 impressed us with their inspirational lyrics and moving music. We first did a cover for ‘Go Up,’ and later for ‘Ikako,’ which had a perfect message for those of us experiencing challenges because of the pandemic,” Sunny says.
But unlike their previous covers where they showcase their singing and dancing talents, they produced a cover video with a story interpreting the message of the song. They treat their parents Craig and Stephanie Whiting to a surprise picnic at a park and set up a white screen to watch their growing-up videos at sundown.
In a teaser video on their YT channel, Chloe, who is joined by his dad, mentioned that it was a tribute to her parents who help her accomplish her goals in her life.
In reply, Craig spoke in Filipino with this message, “Ang aking mga anak ang pinakadakilang regalo sa aking buhay. Ang mga magulang ay may sagradong responsibilidad na turuan ang kanilang mga anak tungkol sa paano maging mabuting tao. Dahil ang mga malalakas na pamilya ay gumagawa ng matibay na lipunan. Nagpapasalamat ako na binigay sa aking ng Diyos ang mga batang ito (My children are the greatest gifts in my life. Parents have a sacred responsibility to teach their children how to be a good person. Because a strong family makes a strong community. I’m thankful to God that He gave me these kids).”
Craig, who was a former missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Panay Islands and Negros Occidental from 1997-1999, can speak multiple Filipino languages and dialects: Hiligaynon, Karay-a, Aklanon, and some Cebuano and Tagalog.
According to Sunny, their dad teaches them Filipino words that they find challenging yet beautiful to say like the word pananampalataya. “Even though the language is challenging, we feel that God is blessing us to learn the songs so that the messages of the songs may be heard by many people,” beams Sunny.
“We love the Philippines because our parents love the Philippines, and we were able to visit there last year,” she continues, adding, “Also, our grandparents have a charitable foundation Believe International that gives scholarships to some Filipino kids. So our family (even our grandparents) feel inspired by God to help the Filipinos. Filipino people have so much faith and are the kindest people in the world. We want to do what we can to help them.”
Torch Family is grateful for SB 19’s “MAPA” because it has the perfect message for something they want to promote — the importance of teaching and serving others as well as learning and serving in return.
Through a recent Facebook post, Torch Family is sending their gratitude to Filipinos who have shown support to their touching video that has reached 11 million views and is still growing across all social media platforms.
But beyond fame, what they really wanted is to share their faith in Jesus Christ and be true to their group’s name Torch, which is a symbol of light in the darkness. “We hope lots of people will hear the music we share, and we pray that Filipinos will continue to make great OPM with wonderful messages to help uplift people in hard times.”
Also, they thanked SB19 for coming up with a touching song that promotes family, especially the love for mothers and fathers. “Please enjoy MAPA and then go give your parents a hug and tell them you love them,” they wrote.