The following text is just lifted from the backgrounder of the cinemusical titled ‘Simon’s Way’.
It all starts with two men, one a young seminarian called Arthur, the other an old priest about to die, conversing about a memory, the spirit of vocation and the freedom to dream.
The year is 1967. The Beatles have just started to take the world by storm with Rock Music, bell-bottomed pants are the craze and the hippies have just discovered ‘flower power’.
Simon Vergara, a young talented composer and a seminarian who has already spent five years in regency outside the seminary, accepts volunteer work in the Parish of Our Lady of Peñafrancia as a choir director. Due to indecision of whether or not to formally take his vocation as a priest, Simon remains a seminarian still searching for answers and direction for his faith.
Fr. Gerry, an old lover of musicals, puts into Simon’s hand the task of composing a musical based on the life of Simon Vela, the Frenchman who searched for the lost image of the Virgin Mary in the mountains of Spain and ignited the devotion to the Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
Given with just a single page of Simon Vela’s life to expound in a musical, young Simon puts to work his skills and creates a happy musical that he thought would be best until his priest friend comes home from Rome, drunk and unhappy and infected Simon with his disillusionment with the Church.
While casting his musical, Eliza, a young rebellious socialite engaged to be married to a man out of duty, enters his life. Like Simon, she is in a quest, a quest for the freedom she can only dream of.
As music brings them together, fate pulls them apart with circumstances beyond their control. Take part in Eliza’s and Simon’s quests through Simon’s Way as you indulge in the rich music and performances of the top artists and musicians of the Philippines and Asia. Witness how faith and music strengthens a love destined to be undone survive the many challenges of life brought about by wealth, greed, confusion and, even, death.
This is not just another love story crafted to move us into tears, it is also a journey meant to teach us to have faith, to dream again and never lose hope in all things eternal and unseen.