Jesse  Manibusan performing at  the Church of Divine Mercy.  Photo: GERARD GOH

Jesse Manibusan’s dulcet tones filled the Church of Divine Mercy on a tranquil Jan 10 evening.

The American musician and songwriter, whose forebears were from Guam, spreads the Word through music and song. When not touring, he serves as a youth and music minister in various parishes in the US.

During the recent concert here, the father of three displayed his prowess on the guitar. However, it was his affable personality belying a quick wit and a wry sense of humour which enabled him to connect with the audience.

The crowd was encouraged to sing along to the refrains of most of his songs.

He also demonstrated his ability to reach out when he called on the young people in the crowd to demonstrate the actions to numbers like Come Fish with Me; Yes, Lord; and Bless the Lord. He also covered some of his most popular songs such as With all the Saints, Open my Eyes and the exuberant Malo! Malo! Thanks be to God!

Keeping the melodies simple, Manibusan’s songs carry deep messages conveyed by his earnest, heartfelt singing.

He also peppered the night with personal anecdotes and repeatedly called upon the audience to affirm their faith by asking them questions such as: “Who is the Church? We are! Where is it? Right here!”

While this is Manibusan’s first foray onto our sunny shores, there is no doubt that he is on his way to building a loyal fan base here.

By Michael Nathanael Chee