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New song 'Ang Pag-ibig, Walang Kapintasan' embraces kids with special needs

January 3 ------ A father’s challenge in raising his beloved daughter with Down syndrome, coupled with his role as president of an association harboring a community of parents and children dealing with similar experiences, led to the creation and recording of a song that essentially captures the prevailing themes in their lives. “Ang Pag-ibig, Walang Kapintasan” is a special single in that regard, performed by Luis Harder, the current president of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI). “I recall playing the guitar sometime in early 2022 when suddenly, a four-chord song came out of thin air. With it, I could summarize my experiences as a parent and express the depth of my emotions for my daughter Adeline Lois,” shared Harder, who equally acknowledges his wife Sannie as a strong influence and inspiration. 


At first, the family man, a tech industry CEO, searched for someone else to sing his composition. But its record producer and arranger Aubrey Alamani convinced him to interpret it himself because he could do it anyway.  The track was dropped in digital stores last November for Adeline’s birthday. It quickly became an anthemic song for families raising children with special needs. It is a relatable ballad that strikes a chord with Persons With Disabilities (PWDs). Its Tagalog lyrics reach out to those who gallantly understand what it takes to have someone in the family who was born differently. “Ang pag-ibig walang kapintasan/ Bulag ito sa kapansanan/ Di niya pansin ano mang kahinaan/ dulot niya’y kalakasan,” went some of Harder’s heartfelt lines. The multi-faceted gentleman who likewise does creative photography on the side takes pride in saying that Adeline, now 13, is at the center of his personal venture as a musical artist. He noted, “Literally my world turned into mere black, white, and gray when we found out our daughter’s condition. But then God opened new windows and doors, and we started realizing something good was coming out of our situation. Pakiramdam kong merong kanta that needed to be written down.”  


A cousin of actress Carmi Martin, Harder is not a corporate executive who decided to go into a recording studio just for the heck of it. His musical talent is innately poised to deliver when inspiration strikes. He used to be in a band in college, and he continuously gigged during his 20s, performing in folk houses around Metro Manila. He also went to places like Baguio and Dagupan to showcase his musical skills, which included singing, bass playing, and songwriting. Harder's artistic inclination goes deep with influences from classic acts like the duo Simon & Garfunkel, supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and rock ‘n’ roll legend The Rolling Stones. At some point, he became a worship leader, wherein his musicality was put to great use. He even won in a songwriting tilt with a piece he penned called “Isang Katauhan.” “I really like playing music and singing,” Harder pointed out, “But I had to pursue other things in life like finishing studies, going to business, and raising a family. With the release of “Ang Pag-ibig, Walang Kapintasan,” a marginalized sector of strong and united families has been provided an appropriate tune that embraces their stories and empowers their resolve. February is National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month, as the track promises to be a regular backdrop for DSAPI activities. 


Harder is bent on continuing what he has started with his debut single. He further said, “As president of DSAPI, I’ve seen and talked with parents like me and Sannie who have a child with Down syndrome. Alam ko ang sentiments nila at iisa lang ang pintig ng puso namin. My song also goes to other children with Down syndrome and to other children with special needs, whether they belong to Filipino families or from different nationalities. If parents get to sing this song for their children, then the purpose is well-served.” 




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