MANILA, Philippines – It was an inspired, pitch-perfect performance from one of today's brightest young singers, Darren Espanto.
The Voice Kids runner-up performed the 1995 World Youth Day song "Tell the World of His Love" for Pope Francis at the gathering in UST Sunday, January 18. (READ:‘Voice Kids’ champ Lyca Gairanod to sing for Pope Francis)
It was a fitting number, as the focus for Sunday's UST event was for the Pope to be able to interact with the youth.
As Darren sang, Pope Francis held hands with children onstage, spending extra time with the little ones.
Darren sang before thousands of audience during the Inter-Faith meeting and Encounter of Youth at the University of Sto. Tomas. Earlier, Angeline Quinto, Jed Madela, and Jamie Rivera performed during the pre-liturgical service. Watch the live stream here.
'Think well, feel well, do well'
“With so many means of information we are overloaded with information,” the Pope said. “Is that bad? Not necessarily. It is good and can help.” But he warned: “There is a real danger of living in a wave of accumulation of information. We have so much information. But maybe we don’t know what to do with that information. We run the risk of becoming a museum of young people that has everything but without knowing what to do with them.”
The Pope told the youth: “We don’t need youth museums. But we do need holy young people.”
Pope Francis challenged the audience to “think well, feel well, do well” especially during these fast-paced times.
'Singing for the Pope like singing for God'
"It's an honor to sing for the Pope, because singing for the Pope is like singing for God. It's truly an experience that I will treasure," Darren said. (Watch Rappler's previous video interview with Darren here.)
When asked how he sees Pope Francis, Darren said: "Hope, relief, faith. The Pope is a symbol of kindness and humility."
As for his message to the youth, this is what he has to say: "Don't give up. Pursue what you really like. And be yourself."
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The Voice Kids champ Lyca Gairanod previously performed at the Mall of Asia Arena last Friday, January 16.