Faith is something to cherish, something to love, something to care for
-Bro. Eliseo Soriano
Faith is something to cherish, something to love, something to care for
-Bro. Eliseo Soriano
Sober and staid
Of fear, pain
Steadfast in faith
A Great Somebody–
Help and aid.
Last night, the time when music was still music was remembered.
Following the festive International Thanksgiving of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) last March 28-30 was an evening of celebration of meaningful songs from the last decades. Entitled Remember When, this charity concert brought together thousands of congregants at the MCGI Headquarters in Apalit, Pampanga and at other more chapters all around the globe.
As early as 6 p.m. (Philippine time), the ecstatic mood was already set as MCGI-grown talents staged thrilling musical performances. This atmosphere continued to escalate as local artists Hammilan Pavoreal and Lilibeth Garcia rendered their versions of “Memory”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, and “If Ever You’re in my Arms Again.”
Rey Valera, a renowned Filipino hitmaker, sent the audience into bursts of laughter as he narrated comic anecdotes about his career as an artist. The crowd sang with him as he crooned his classic hits “Naaalala Ka”, “Maging Sino Ka Man”, and “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako”.
The almost two-hour performance of The Platters, a very successful vocal group from the 50s, was one of the highlights of the event. They shared their passion for music with the audience as they sang their chart-topping hits like “Only You”, “The Great Pretender”, “Harbor Lights”, “He’s Mine”, and “Twilight Time”.
And who would forget the remarkable moments of delight during their act? A rendition of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” together with the Presiding Minister to MCGI, Bro. Eli Soriano. A lady invited to be with them on the stage and then serenaded with the sweet song “My Prayer”. A member of group, then wearing a genuine smile, wholeheartedly gave red roses to some lucky ladies. All these added splendor to the evening.
The ambiance was at its best, yet the night was still young.
Soon after Kuya Daniel Razon went on stage, he led the crowd in singing a birthday song for Bro. Eli Soriano. The international evangelist will be celebrating his 49th birthday in spirit on April 7, a commemoration of the day when he was baptized in the Church. A set of standard songs–“Diana” , “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, “What Kind of Fool Am I”, “Together Again,” and “Mr. Lonely” to name a few–performed by Kuya Daniel followed the gracious greeting of the congregants to Bro. Eli.
Carrying on the remembrance of the music from the past, Bro. Eli lent his voice singing heartwarming songs with “Through the Years” being one of the most sentimental and moving.
He also cited verses and shared wisdom to complete last night’s wonderful concert. He said that the proceeds of the event will go to the construction of a convention center in Metro Manila that will be used as an avenue to centralize the charitable works of the Church. He further explained that in the course of doing this endeavor, there will always be hindrances. He then firmly uttered, “Let us be vigilant. Let us be watchful.”
The rest of his loving reminder he expressed through tearfully singing “Walk with Faith in Your Heart”— a sight that for sure has lingered in everyone’s heart. The evening ended with the yesteryear’s music relived, and the ardent faith of the believers edified.
(Photos by Jason Consigo)
One February night,
She gazed at the sky adorned with twinkling dots
Then streams of tears
fell from her eyes
That pair of eyes you can’t visibly spot
Where unspoken feelings reside, where deep emotions hide
She started to count those twinkling dots
And realized that like her tears, those she can’t all count
But she knows of a Great Someone who can number
Those moans and cries, those blinks and flickers
With that, all the more she recognized, How great He is! How great He is!
Looking upon the spotted evening blanket
Memories unforgettable flashed in her mind
H ea r t and heartwarming
bre a king,
They spark as the night sky jewels do, giving a gratifying sensation—
At all times- high and low- she was aided by that Great Someone
With Him, she was able to cope; with Him, her eyes are filled with hope
Later on, she again cried, How great He is! How great He is!
And as one star will soon outshine the tiny, twinkling dots
She will always have with her the picture of that evening
When she cried a river of thankful tears
Which soothed away her lingering fears
And if in this world, she’d have to have some more weeping
She would just gaze at that sky adorned with unfathomable wonders
Where tears will be wiped, where pain will no longer be felt
And where eternally, she could shout
How great He is!
How great He is!
How great He is!
Time check: Five more minutes before 10 in the morning.
It is one of those typical Sundays for most people in the city, but for Isabel and Ruben, this is a much-awaited time of the week.
While their neighbors are doing morning errands with a weekly educational television program on the background, these two are getting prepared for that two-hour radio show that never fails to tickle their fancy every week.
Isabel, a freshman college student living cities away from her parents, grew up with the wonders of the radio as influenced by her mother who used to work as a voice talent and program host in one of the local radio stations.
This very Sunday, Isabel is decided to put on the great surprise she planned for her mother’s birthday. She notified her mother to tune in to the show they were always fond of listening to. As the DJ greeted her and asked who she is greeting through this call, Isabel exclaimed, “I just called to say a very happy birthday to my mother. I love you, mom!”
Ruben was touched with the caller’s all-out greeting for her mother’s birthday. He is one of the avid fans of the show. He just loves the idea of not seeing the whole set, leaving everything to his imagination. He even sent a letter to the program, asking for the host to give him an advice on his query. Today, he will be hearing those words he hopes will solve his problem.
The story above is fictional and is rooted from the scenario when the radio was still at par with other forms of entertainment. While the time came when the radio’s glory faded away, some of you could still be a bit of Isabel or Ruben until now, still captivated by the host’s soothing voice, the mellow background music played and by the touching story you can relate to.
And for you, there is good news: a program was born to bring back the grandeur that was radio.
Launched last January 14, Dear Kuya is the latest favorite of the fans and listeners of the UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350, the radio broadcasting arm of the Philippine television station, UNTV. The show is hosted by the veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Razon who earned the nickname Kuya (Big Brother) after launching several public-service oriented projects, reflecting his personality of being a welfare-looking big brother to his siblings.
Photos taken from Dear Kuya’s official Facebook account
The program airs from Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. until 12 n.n (Philippine time). Every episode revolves around a certain issue that concerns the society (for example, surrogacy). This will be scrutinized using the standpoint of the Bible through the show’s resource person, the well-known evangelist Bro. Eli Soriano.
As the clock strikes eleven, the segment Dear Kuya The Drama breaks in. This live dramatization is based on a story from a letter sender who wishes to seek a biblical solution to his or her problem. The voices of this segment belong to the scholars of La Verdad Christian College (LVCC), one of the projects launched by Kuya Daniel together with Bro. Eli which offers free education to deserving students.
Dear Kuya ends with Bro. Eli giving his Bible-based advice to the inquirer. Being a program that offers spiritual perspective on matters of life, the show is certainly shedding a light to the radio’s comeback to its previous state in the industry. In fact, it now has a captured audience from various parts of the archipelago and of the globe—people who always look forward to listen to the show wherever and in whatever time zone they may be.
So, if you are that Isabel or Ruben wanting to hear once more the marvel of the radio and bring the back those good old days, then turn on that radio and tune in to the 1350 khz. You can also visit their site for online streaming and follow the show’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts for live feed. The choice is at the tip of your fingers. Happy listening! 🙂
In their bold faces, the blazing fervor to win you will see. In cadence, they move forward, wearing that camouflage of loyalty, that badge of identity- they are their nation’s defenders. Bullets thrown to and fro. With the perfect balance of hastiness and caution, they battle with strangers trying to vanquish the unified principles and ordeals their country treasure.
Days of struggle, nights of alertness. Weeks went on and the scuffle noisily dimmed down. The black birds feasted on the losers’ abode. The winners rejoiced and in humility, with the sweetest tears of joy, they marched towards their beloved motherland, exclaiming how that tale ended according to their wish.
They are soldiers. And you, too, are just like them, young debaters, defenders of firm arguments well-valued by your fellow believers. Worry not if you are in the side of the truth. Before you would know it, you have behind your lips a thousand bullets. With courageous stance, be on your feet before your rival, show your adversary how eager you are to face the fight.
Observe and study the techniques and styles of some of the most successful debaters. Digest their words, learn from them.
Take this case and study: in one of the most memorable US Presidential town hall debates, Bill Clinton impressed the inquirer and the rest of the crowd as he answered this: “How has the national debt personally affect each of your lives? And if it hasn’t, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what’s ailing them?”
Here is a clip of how Clinton managed to triumph over this tricky question:
The secrets why the former US President was such an excellent debater were revealed by a former colleague in an article written by Sabrina Siddiqui in The Huffington Post. According to David Mercer, one of the people behind the 1992 Bill/Gore campaign, Clinton was a natural, he always managed to work on his strengths without forgetting to cater the moderator, the crowd and the opponent. Wouldn’t you agree?
Now, not only can you learn debating tips from the political arena but in religious realm as well. For example, take a look on the way Bro. Eli Soriano, a prominent Filipino debater on religious-themed disputes, articulated and defended the biblical principles he believes in in one of his remarkable debates:
Just as how Clinton showed his faith to the American people, you can also see the man’s reliance and assurance on the side he is taking. That is a vital note worthy to be heartily kept. And in a Bible Exposition last Friday, while he clarified the postponement of a debate with a Gospel of Christ pastor in the Philippines, he nonetheless exemplified another note: the importance of always being ready to stand on the side of the beliefs you defend- wherever, whenever.
(For a background: Last December, a Gospel of Christ member participated in another Bible Exposition and later on told that his pastor is willing to have a debate about the oneness doctrine , which states that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the same. After some negotiations, the pastor said that he must consult it first to a so-called “council”).
You can watch his other debates here.
From these debaters you will learn how to wear that bold face for people to see that blazing fervor to win, how to put on that badge of identity as your philosophies’ defender, how to throw your arguments to and fro…how to battle with strangers trying to vanquish the unified principles and ordeals you treasure.
With this footnote, hopefully you will see young debaters vital ingredients on how in humility, with the sweetest tears of joy, you could march towards your fellow allies, exclaiming how your tale ended according to their wish.
Ang Dating Daan, . Debate:Bro. Eli Soriano vs. Pastor William Saraga. 2007. Video. Youtube. Web. 8 Jan 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrwLAeVOE7Y&list=PL55276B9ABF005B3B>.
Siddiqui, Sabrina. The Huffington Post. N.p., 16 2012. Web. 8 Jan 2013 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/bill-clinton-debate_n_1971685.html>.
smotus, . Clinton vs. Bush in 1992 Debate. 2007. Video. Youtube. Web. 8 Jan 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ffbFvKlWqE>.
A set of performers with brilliant voices and moves gracing a whimsical stage. A crowd’s gleeful shout intensifying the splendor of the evening. A story of a couple reminiscing how their love has gone strong, and how it will abound until the farthest future.
After the three-day International Thanksgiving of Members Church of God International (MCGI) at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga and at key chapters worldwide, the congregants stayed for another night to witness Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman (Now, Tomorrow and Forever), a concert for a cause held last December 24.
The event commenced with a Broadway-like production number of the Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano, the MCGI’s performing groups, together with local artist Hammilan Pavoreal. The presentation celebrated music that every generation has fallen in love with such as “Tonight” and “Memory”, theme songs from The West Side Story and Cats, the Spice Girls’ “Wanna Be”, Adele’s “Someone Like You”, Parokya ni Edgar’s “Harana” and the Korean hit “Oppa Gangnam Style.”
Ms. Pilita Corales, Asia’s Queen of Songs, lent her time to add loveliness to the night. Her signature voice and stylish humor never failed to send the crowd into cheerful applaud. She constantly wowed the audience with Filipino classics like “Ikaw Lamang ang Aking Iibigin Magpakailanman” and her rendition of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” with Bro. Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister to MCGI.
More than just a musical event, the concert offered a short film starring the country’s most promising artists, Dante Rivero, Boots Anson- Roa, JC De Vera, Isabel Oli, Louella de Cordova, Richard Reynoso and Kuya Daniel Razon.
Directed by Pat Perez, the story revolved around a couple, Angelo and Melissa (Rivero and Anson-Roa), celebrating an enduring love shaped by the yesteryears’ sweetest memories and fortifying obstacles. The young couple’s roles were played by De Vera and Oli.
Photo taken by Jason Consigo and Beth Borromeo
Perhaps, one of the most remarkable dialogues of the film was that of Razon’s and De Vera’s. Razon, Aneglo’s big brother or kuya in the story, emphasized how the words “Hindi ko na kaya” (I cannot do it anymore) implies that we cannot accomplish things on our own- we need guidance, help and mercy of God. And that we can have through a fervent prayer.
The tale narrated not a love story but of a story of love that transcends time.
Ms. Pilita Corales, Bro. Eli, Kuya Daniel and his wife, Ms. Arlene Razon added spark to the short film as they rendered all-time favorite love songs such as “Basta’t Magkasama Tayo”, “God Knows”, “What I Did for Love”, “Please be Careful with my Heart”, “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and “Fly Me to the Moon” in between.
The night ended with a few more performances and a message from Bro. Eli. He explained that the proceeds of this concert will be used for the construction of a convention center in Metro Manila to cater more Church members and guests. “It’s a special form of entertainment or also a way for us to advance, to fund a very priced challenge beginning outside the Church,” he said.
With that, people were left in much awe, waiting for another night of music and stories of love and charity.