Footnotes & Fillings

Worth your second glance

Tag: birthday

Dear Kuya

Kuya Daniel Razon

Dear Kuya, with all our heart, we speak

How blessed we are to have you in our midst

A God-sent man, dedicated and meek

And taught with values that the Bible speaks.

Kuya, through your many works of love

We feel the kindness of the One from up above

Through your melodies we are warmly embraced

By God’s mercy, helping us remain unfazed.

Kuya, we are thankful for the one and thirty

Years of your service to God and humanity,

And so, with all our heart, again, we speak

May He use you, as an instrument, continually

To spread hope and to multiply charity

Through your acts done in faith, genuinely.

Dedicated to the learned man who genuinely plays the role of a Kuya (Big Brother) to his fellowmen. This November, he is celebrating his 31st year in service to God and to humanity.

There’s More to Music, I’ve Learned from Bro. Eli

Music is interesting and very much enchanting. Words woven with notes, or notes woven with words, or just the notes themselves can tickle your heart and bring about a multitude of feelings. It can touch your mind and launch a thousand memories, even relive a long-forgotten dream.

It has been with us- enchanting us- since time immemorial. Odes to triumph and losses, hymns of love and sorrow, symphonies of bliss and melancholy– men have enveloped a plethora of emotions and themes in musical pieces.

Music’s irrefutable charm has enthralled many, including me, and perhaps you too.  Personally, I have viewed music as a way to connect with others, a way to confirm that “Oh, the writer has the same sentiments as mine”. And as I tried to craft songs too— on plain papers, on edges of lecture notebooks, and on my phone— I realized that it is a wonderful outlet for my emotions.

But, throughout the years, I have learned that music can be so much more than that. Bro. Eli Soriano, a man of music and a much-loved evangelist celebrating his 50th year of service to God  this year, has taught me important things about this well-adored indulgence.

Music, how old is it really?

You have probably come across this question once, in one way or another: How old is music, really? I love music, but I do not know its history, and it seemed quite absurd. Knowing its history can make me appreciate it more, I thought. But for a long time, I have this question left unanswered.  Even the answers provided by the superb searching prowess of Google were not much of a satisfaction. But thank God, one evening, during a music festival’s grand finals night, I was able to hear the answer.

“Music is older than the world and praise songs are the oldest of musical kinds,” Bro. Eli shared citing the Bible verse Job 38:7:

When the morning stars sang together, and all the songs of God shouted for joy?

It was a joy to have a question answered, and I even got a bonus— I learned what was the oldest among all sorts of music!

Why sing praise songs?

Today, one pressing fact is that praise songs are not the ones considered by many as LSS-worthy. Scan someone’s playlist, and more often than not, praise songs are not included. But why? Are there too few artists composing such kind of music? Is there no market for these songs? For whatever reasons that may be brought about, the point is, men have been missing the great bounty singing praise songs brings.

Bro. Eli is always adamant in emphasizing the benefit of making and singing songs dedicated to our Creator’s works and loving kindness. In one musical summit of the Members Church of God International (where he is the Presiding Minister), he revealed that “singing to God is one of the few things that we can do directly to Him. We cannot serve God with our hands. But we can offer him the fruit of our lips, praising His name.”

Below, I share some words that Bro. Eli himself posted through his Twitter account. These are few reasons why we must keep our “devotion of singing and writing songs of praise to God.”

Bro Eli and Music 1

Bro. Eli and Music 2

Through these words, I have found the ultimate inspiration to go on humming praise songs every now and then. Anyway, as what Bro. Eli also told, it is not the voice from our vocal cords that counts— it is that voice from our hearts.

Music, for the benefit of others

Indeed, music, praise songs especially, offers us a grand meed, but it does not end there. Being a philanthropic man Bro. Eli is (he maintains orphanages and an infant care center and regularly mounts medical and legal missions), he used music as an avenue to help others.

Through the proceeds of the albums he made through the years, he was able to sustain the charitable projects he initiated and launched. Aside from the albums that serve as a compilation of his beloved songs, he has also held concerts that nonetheless aid in the maintenance of his public service programs.

With these albums and concerts celebrating good music, I, along with fellow supporters, am also given the opportunity to reach out to the needy alongside having relaxation and entertainment.  Having music icons such as John Claude Gummoe of The Cascades, The Platters, Air Supply and the Asia’s Queen of Songs Pilita Corales, seen live on stage is just one big bonus.

The Platters with Bro Eli

On the stage of the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, Bro. Eli Soriano sings with the vocal group, The Platters, during the evangelist’s 49th birthday concert last year (Photo by Jason Consigo).

 

Bro. Eli released albums ("Dala Kong Nakalimbag", "The Songs That I Love", "B-Side", "Bro. Eli Soriano's Wonderful World", and "Songs from My Heart") not only to share well-loved songs like "And I Love You So" and "La Historia de un Amor" but more importantly, to use the proceeds in maintaining his charitable programs.

Bro. Eli released albums (“Dala Kong Nakalimbag”, “The Songs That I Love”, “B-Side”, “Bro. Eli Soriano’s Wonderful World”, and “Songs from My Heart”) not only to share well-loved songs like “And I Love You So” and “La Historia de un Amor” but more importantly, to use the proceeds in maintaining his charitable programs.

Music truly is a precious treasure for us. Its “magic” has given refuge to men who seek to express their emotions and feelings stylishly, and has provided sanctuary to men who look for sense of belonging, a confirmation that what they feel is universal. More importantly, through the things I have learned from Bro. Eli, I realized how music can bring us closer to God, and how it can bring our charities closer to people.

 

 

 

 

A Film for Philanthropy: ‘Isang Araw’ Makes Mark as Advocacy Film and Public Service Effort for Yolanda Victims, Charity Works

‘Isang Araw’, the highly-anticipated sequel to 2009’s ‘Isang Araw Lang’ movie, aims to give a fresh insight on the nation’s concerns as well as raise funds for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda victims.

Written and directed by Members Church of God International (MCGI) Vice-Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon, ‘Isang Araw’ follows the story of Daniel, a jeepney driver who extends a helping hand in any way that he can to those around him, even during trying times.

Isang Araw as Advocacy Film

Aside from featuring an all-star cast, the ‘Isang Araw’ film serves as an advocacy film which highlights Bible-based lessons atypical in most films today.

The advocacy film Isang Araw, which started its production last September, is the second directorial project of Bro. Daniel Razon. Both this and his 2009 movie ‘Isang Araw Lang’ aim to share to the public the virtues of goodwill and genuine acts of charity. (Photo by Rovic Balunsay, Photoville International)

The advocacy film Isang Araw, which started its production last September, is the second directorial project of Bro. Daniel Razon. Both this and his 2009 movie ‘Isang Araw Lang’ aim to share to the public the virtues of goodwill and genuine acts of charity. (Photo by Rovic Balunsay, Photoville International)

“This is one thing that can serve as an eye-opener, for sometimes we tend to be confused because of the sufferings, persecutions and other circumstances— we snap, we get lost and we think of terrible things,” Bro. Daniel shared in one interview.

“Advocacy films are always awakening and are reminders to us all,” remarked premier actress Jackie Lou Blanco as she admired Bro. Daniel for coming up with an insightful movie, which is according to her, “not an easy thing to do.”

Actor Toby Alejar also commended Bro. Daniel for such project, saying that artists should do something that will leave a legacy to people notwithstanding profits or any material gains. “It is only Kuya Daniel who has the guts to create a film with sense,” said the actor.

For the Benefit of Yolanda Victims

Last November 28, UNTV personalities and fans gathered at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel for the film’s special screening and sponsors’ night entitled “Rare Moments with Kuya Daniel Razon”.

The participants of the event are all delighted for having the opportunity to watch the film and at the same time to help the less fortunate.

“The movie was great! It has many values—good values for those who have lost their ways,” said Ms. Adelina Tanuego, one of the film’s sponsor, in an interview

Mr. Edwin Consumo, a sponsor from Nueva Ecija also commended the film, “It was good not only for its Bible-based principles but also for its cause to help the needy and the victims of the recent typhoon Yolanda.”

True to is public service theme, proceeds of the film will go to the continuous charitable programs of MCGI and supported by UNTV such as the free clinic, free college, free legal consultation, free rides, among many others, under the leadership of Presiding Minister, Bro. Eli Soriano.

The sponsors of his film, ‘Isang Araw’, gathered at the Grand Plaza Ballroom of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on the eve of Bro. Daniel’s 30th anniversary to show their exceeding support to the celebrator. The organizers also prepared a special program, a generous meal and a place to showcase the items included in the ‘Isang Araw’ auction for the event’s participants. (Screenshots from UNTV's Youtube Channel)

The sponsors of his film, ‘Isang Araw’, gathered at the Grand Plaza Ballroom of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on the eve of Bro. Daniel’s 30th anniversary to show their support to the celebrator. The organizers also prepared a special program, a generous meal and a place to showcase the items included in the ‘Isang Araw’ auction for the event’s participants. (Screenshots from UNTV’s Youtube Channel)

The film’s production staff is also organizing an ‘Isang Araw’ auction for the benefit of the recent super typhoon Yolanda’s victims that struck the Eastern Visayas region of the country middle of November. All proceeds of the auction will be given to the victims.

Items to be auctioned off will include clothing worn by Bro. Daniel himself during the making of the film.

A Star-Studded Film

‘Isang Araw’ reunites the memorable characters in the prequel, which include those played by actors Rey PJ Abellana, a power-hungry congressman, Robbie Packing, Daniel’s close friend cum sidekick, and Rene Jose, Daniel’s nemesis in the Drivers Association in their community.

The movie also welcomes back Natasha Ledesma, Gerry Casupanan, and UNTV’s talents Ryan Ramos and Ley-Ann Lugod.

Making the sequel film bigger and better, ‘Isang Araw’ features veteran actors and actresses like Jackie Lou Blanco, Bayani Agbayani, Daria Ramirez, Ritz Azul, Jess Lapid Jr., Toby Alejar, Pinky Amador, Lou Veloso, Ricardo Cepeda, Eagle Riggs, Jeffrey Santos, Dinky Doo, Brandon Legaspi, Kier Legaspi, and more.

UNTV personalities like Louella De Cordova, Rep. Erin Tañada, Atty. Regie Tongol and Bro. Daniel’s wife Sis Arlene Razon, will also play pivotal roles in the movie.

The film Isang Araw is also a celebration of Bro. Daniel’s 30th year in service to God and to humanity this November.

In a recent thanksgiving celebration, Bro. Daniel, joined by his family and the rest of the Church members, offered songs of praises to God for this milestone. He also sang his newest original composition, “Magpakailan Pa Man” as part of the expression of gratitude to the Lord for another year added to his service.

A Wonderful November

Looks like November is a month of celebrations.

As the 32nd anniversary tribute of the multi-awarded religious program Ang Dating Daan kicked off earlier this month, a benefit concert entitled Keeping the Love Alive was held last November 21 in commemoration of Kuya Daniel Razon’s 29th year in service to God and to humanity. A Worldwide Bible Exposition and a thanksgiving offering followed these events.

One splendid, musical night

Thousands have gathered at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga to witness and to relive songs from yesteryears. As soon as local performers like Gail Blanco and Jayson Fernandez set the mood for the night, the crowd was caught by surprise as the legendary band Air Supply took the stage without any introduction, opening their almost-two-hour performance with their hit “Even the Nights are Better.”

Though their hair has turned gray, Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell’s voices sounded like they were still the duo who conquered the airwaves in the 80s. Yes, the Air Supply is still the Air Supply for they untiringly performed one song after the other (“Goodbye”, “Chances”, “The One That You Love” and “The Power of Love” to name a few). It was almost 10 in the evening when the band bid goodbye but the musical vibrancy was not yet ready to sleep.

Keeping the Love Alive (1)

Keeping the Love Alive (2)

Photos taken by Sophiya Baluyot

Hammilan Pavoreal, a local artist, did not fail to wow the crowd waiting for the second half of the evening with his versions of the classics such as “Just Once”, “Please Don’t Ask Me”, “Hanggang”, and “Keeping the Love Alive.”

The birthday celebrant, Kuya Daniel Razon, entered the stage with the jazz song “Sway”. He did a medley of 80s songs which he told was part of his young adulthood years. He melted everyone’s heart with his interpretations of “Lady”, “Leaving on a Jetplane”, “Babe” and most especially with “Please Be Careful With My Heart” which he sang with his lovely wife.

Another notable highlight of the concert was the set of heartfelt performances of Members Church of God International (MCGI)’s Bro. Eli Soriano. He soothed everyone’s souls with good music such as “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, “To Love Somebody”, “Words”, and “Through the Years.” As a biblical man, he nevertheless cited verses from time to time.

Aside from the music, what the attendees has brought home was Bro. Eli’s tender words of gratitude and sincere aspiration. “I hope we will always be one in doing good to people…God loves people. God wants people to be saved. And this is why we are doing this concert.”

And as the month approaches its end…

Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel again shared their time to cater spiritual queries from all over the world as the Ang Dating Daan held a Worldwide Bible Exposition last Friday, November 23. A total of 15 remote points were served but thousands of ADD Coordinating Centers across the globe were also opened to accommodate more people seeking to hear wisdom straight from the Bible. Live feed were also provided to online fans via Twitter (@AngDatingDaanTV and @TheOldPathTV) and Facebook (Facebook.com/AngDatingDaanTV and Facebook.com/TheOldPath).

The next day, the members of Church of God International offered their sacrifices of thanksgiving as Kuya Daniel, MCGI’s Vice-Presiding Minister, remembered his 29th year in selflessly serving our Creator and his fellowmen. The songs of praises and all the biblical truths and advices were a delight to everyone’s soul. What transpired that evening and what the congregants felt were beyond description—unspeakable, simply put. So let me just leave you this line from We are Blessed, a song composed by Kuya Daniel himself,

“I want to thank You and praise You from the deepest part of me”

Indeed, all we can do is to thank the One who gave us the chance to behold this very,very wonderful month!

A Birthday Gift

I thank God for giving my sister this day. Today she turns 16 and I want to take this opportunity to share with you a poem she made about faith. This may or may not touch you, but I know she wanted this to be shared with the most people possible. This is my present to her. (You may greet her a happy birthday, too!)

In and out:

Mixing in and standing out

In a world of standards, norms

To and fro:

Running, walking here and there

In a world of bumps and turns

Fore and aft:

Coming first and coming last

In a world of grades and ranks

On and off:

Pausing, later going on

In a world of stresses, strains

Up and down:

Flying, falling then and now

In a world of wins and fails

Amidst these,

Pray first before you frazzle-

There is Someone to help you

Just go on,

Someday you will see the worth

I know there’s life there after!