Manila, Philippines – Led by “Truth in Focus” hosted by Bro. Eli Soriano, four (4) other television programming produced by the Members Church of God International (MCGI) aiming to spread God’s words and charity, received Anak TV seals of approval on February 23, 2016.
Award-winning praise song competition “A Song of Praise” (ASOP), charitable program for the marginalized sector of society “Munting Pangarap” (Small Wish), as well as public service show “Kaagapay” each take home an Anak TV seal award.
Anak TV also gave its stamp of approval to Philippine television’s “Bible school on air,” the KNC Show.
Receiving the awards for the said shows, Kaagapay host Ms. Annie Rentoy spoke about Kuya Daniel Razon, the UNTV-BMPI Chairman and CEO, for coming up with these original programming on UNTV.
“I would like to thank God for Kuya Daniel Razon, because he is always there,” started Ms. Rentoy, adding that the veteran media personality is the brain behind these programs who “always takes into consideration the welfare of our viewers, regardless of age – but first and foremost the welfare of children.”
“Truth In Focus” is MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano’s English-format expository program about God’s truth written in the Holy Scriptures.
This is the seventh consecutive time that MCGI shows received recognition from the Anak TV Foundation.
These MCGI programs are being aired on UNTV Life UHF Channel 37, together with other shows such as Bread N’ Butter, Cook Eat Right, Doctors on TV, Easy Lang ‘Yan, Frontliners, Justice on Air, Quick Action Team, Rise N’ Shine, Rotary In Action, and Spotlight, which also receive seals of approval from the Anak TV foundation.
The youth-oriented program “Klasrum,” which aims to equip teens with a useful and fun guide to help them with different life situations which range from academics to social responsibility, also received an Anak TV seal of approval.
“We thank God for all the opportunities that He gives us. It’s our first year [on air], yet [the Anak TV foundation] already gave us this award and recognized our efforts. Thank you so much, Anak TV and Kuya Daniel,” remarked Klasrum host Joshua Dionisio.
The Anak TV Seal of approval is given to Philippine television shows and hosts who promote media literacy and advocate for child-sensitive and family-friendly programming. MCGI television programs airing on UNTV Life have been receiving Anak TV awards since 2009.#
Wish FM’s “Golden Sundays” got a little more golden as it started airing songs from the “A Song of Praise Music Festival” (ASOP) of UNTV Life on October 18, 2015 from 5-6 a.m.
Kuya Daniel Razon announced that the management of Wish FM agreed to broadcast ASOP songs during the recently concluded ASOP Grand Finals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“So your songs, all your songs, both winning entries and not…watch out and you’ll hear them air on Wish FM every Sunday,” Kuya Daniel told the 12 songwriters during the grand finals.
The event, which was held on October 13, 2015, was the culmination of ASOP’s Year 4, after choosing a winning song for each month of the year.
The Do-Re-Mi of ASOP on TV
The Philippines’ biggest Gospel songwriting tilt began as a Church-wide biannual event of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) in 2004.
In September 2012, MCGI Overall Servants and ASOP creators Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon extended it to television. The contest is open to all amateur and professional songwriters.
ASOP is a first of its kind not only in theme but also in format with a live panel of judges commenting after each song entry is performed.
One of the grand finalists this year, Leonardo De Jesus III, told that he has no formal training in songwriting, but only applied what he learned from the ASOP judges every time he tuned in.
ASOP airs its weekly eliminations on Sundays from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., giving P20,000 to the winning song.
Monthly winners get P50,000 and are hailed as the music fest’s grand finalists. Consolation prizes to non-winning participants are also handed out.
Serious Money, Sincere Effort
The song-making competition, which recently debuted via radio airwaves, gives over P1M in tax-free prizes with half of it going to the Song of the Year winner.
Bro. Daniel remarked that the grand prize’s amount is equivalent to one who earns P40,000 per month, “That means, you can consider just writing songs of praise to God for the whole year.”
Introducing Bro. Eli to the huge crowd, Bro. Razon said that he “is the man who really insisted that this [ASOP] be on television [through UNTV Life]. He is also the one who shells out [money] and extends his help for our composers to have a little token for their efforts.”
Bro. Eli, who spoke via live video streaming, shared his high regard for songs of praise.
“The thickest book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms, having less than 150 chapters,” remarked Bro. Eli. “It just shows that speaking of divinity, songs are important for God.”
The Old Path host added that praise music to the Lord does something for people. “It can strengthen our faith. It can give hope to us, and to other people as well.
“So I’m thankful for the continued participation of our composers, especially of our judges, here in the A Song of Praise Music Festival,” said Bro. Eli.
From The Old Path’s 34th anniversary to citations in the Philippines and Brazil, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) left the last quarter of 2014 with much to remember by.
34 Years of Religious Service
Marking the 34th year of its flagship program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), MCGI held a month-long celebration of good works. MCGI congregants in different parts of the globe lead public service endeavors like cleanup drives and medical missions. This is apart from the Church’s day-to-day humanitarian activities.
Members in New York launched a clean-up drive in the city’s Belvedere Park. Liberians welcomed patients of MCGI’s free clinic there, while Ghanan members attended to the refugees in its charity home.
In the Philippines similar services took place like the medical missions in Cavite and Bicol provinces, which benefitted about 5,000 indigents.
MCGI topped of its celebration of good works with a Worldwide Bible Exposition on October 30, 2014 that once again challenged The Big Dome’s 20,000-plus seating limits.
A Song of Praise (ASOP) interpreters like Frenchy Dy, Gerald Santos and Beverly Caimen to name a few, welcomed the massive crowd with a slew of winning songs from the Philippines’ first-ever Gospel songwriting tilt on television.
Bro. Daniel Razon then delivered a keynote speech on the worldwide reach of The Old Path in its 34 years of programming before giving the floor to Bro. Eli Soriano. Soon afterwards, Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot (The Bible Will Answer. Ask Bro. Eli), the trademark question-and-answer segment of the program, took off. Guests at the coliseum and from more than 1,360 remote points across the globe asked their questions of faith live to the MCGI Overall Servants.
In the same month, MCGI together with media partner UNTV, received a citation from the Philippine Embassy in Brazil for their extensive aid to their fellow Filipinos and Brazilenos.
“MCGI or The Old Path is of great help to the embassy because of your widespread outreach to this place, which is seldom reached by our people,” expressed Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva G. Betita to an MCGI representative.
The attaché added that with the aid of UNTV, the country’s consular services in the region reaches as many people as possible. The year saw many succesful Filipino registrants for the upcoming national elections, one of the joint efforts of the embassy and UNTV.
The MCGI brethren in Brazil on the other hand have been recognized for their public services to their fellow Brasileiros. Like their Filipino counterparts, Brazilian members are active in donating blood and in caring for the elderly.
“When you sang and dance for them and they clapped, it is different for them… to them it is very satisfying,” told Jeruza Mogarte, Corner of Old administrator of an elderly home in Porto Alegre when MCGI and UNTV visited the residents in their place. [Links to Youtube video about it]
Dugong Bayani Award
For donating over 10,750 blood bags in 2014 alone, MCGI received the Jose Rizal Award from the Department of Health for the third consecutive year.
Philippine Blood Disease and Transfusion Center OIC and Executive Director Dr. Ma. Victoria Abesamis told that MCGI’s efforts are “unceasing”. MCGI conducts blood drives quarterly every year as part of its commitment to saving lives.
In the same breath, church members support UNTV’s pioneering and breakthrough advocacy of Rescue First, Report Later, which puts public safety first before breaking news. [Links to DSR site article about it]
The first ever news-and-rescue team in the Philippines was conceptualized and formed by BMPI Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel in 2010. BMPI, which stands for Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), is content provider of The Public Service Channel UNTV.
Marking his 31st birthday in the spirit on November 28, 2014, Bro. Daniel held a dinner concert for charity three days earlier to help further MCGI and UNTV’s various public services.
Bro. Daniel sang standards together with Bro. Eli Soriano via live video streaming in a concert aptly called “Double” at the Manila Hotel.
MCGI Overall Servants spearhead the funding of many humanitarian endeavors that the organization has launched in the country and abroad. Doing good to all regardless of race or religion is part of MCGI doctrine (Gal. 6:10).
In the words of the Amb. Eva Betita, “To Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, we are delighted of what you are doing. May God Almighty bless you that you may be able to continue your good works.”
Capping 2012 with new songs of praise, the “A Song of Praise Year-End Finals” on December 25 last year yielded better entries than the Mid-Year ASOP Festival in July of 2012.
Bro. Eli Soriano, who judged the bi-annual event of the Members Church of God International (MCGI), together with Bro. Daniel Razon, said that though the entries in this ASOP Finals fared much better than the last festival, they have not yet reached the standards of ‘the perfect songs for a perfect God.’
The Presiding Minister to the MCGI also commended the program and presentation of songs. The songwriting competition was held at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.
Critiquing Choruses Critical to Songs’ Success
ASOP’s much awaited segment was the part when MCGI Leaders gave comments after each song was presented. “Wordy” became the word of the night as Bro. Daniel critiqued the ‘compacted’ structure of the choruses’ lines. He stressed the importance of writing a chorus, that it should contain a song’s most crucial musical lines.
What also makes this songwriting festival unique is that comments are accompanied by suggestions on how the lyrics can still be improved. As in most of this edition’s entries, it was their choruses’ lyrics that Bro. Eli made minor changes to, with the composer’s indulgence.
Other pieces of musical advice the Vice-Presiding Minister to the MCGI gave included proper choice of words, intended audience, and music length. He has composed several songs in the past; some of which have been rendered by popular Filipino artists like Jed Madela and Richard Reynoso.
Also a songwriter himself, Bro. Daniel shared his songwriting technique where he starts with a song’s chorus first, making it easier to develop the other parts. He noted however that the ‘build-up to the chorus’ is highly important as well.
For his part, Bro. Eli did ‘live editing’ of the choruses. Since most of the songs had lyric-length issues, he would request interpreters to repeat the chorus applying his suggestions.
Bro. Eli voicing his thoughts on how to properly end a chorus melodically speaking. In the end, the MCGI Leaders added another line to the song entry’s chorus completing it.
The Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) host even wished that he had time to talk with the composers and see their work before the event. However, his regular Bible Expositions in different languages and time zones and other responsibilities make him unavailable for the endeavor.
After some words were omitted and a few notes changed, the songs’ choruses ended up with an easier singing and listening experience. The crowd gathered at the Convention applauded as they heard the song’s improvement outright.
Two songs were awarded Song of the Year-End with a score of 94.7%. Sharing the title were Ang Una Kong Pag-ibig (My First Love) from South Korea and Walang Kasing Tamis (Nothing Sweeter) from the National Capital Region.
Bro. Eli also expressed his appreciation of all the singers’ interpretation of the songs. He remarked however that ASOP is not about the way the songs of praise were sung, but how they were crafted.
He said that he and Bro. Daniel are “focused on a song’s lyrics,” on its being biblical, and on the “faith of the brother that is in the song.”
The MCGI Leaders hope that members will continue to improve their songwriting for “the Greatest Person in the universe.”
For the complete list of winners, please see here.
Pampanga, Philippines – There is a safer, better, and more meaningful way to close the year.
The year-end biannual A Song of Praise Music Festival echoed December 29 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, two days after the last quarter thanksgiving of MCGI.
“For Your Delight” composed by Bro. Rigor Jay Arellano of Pampanga Central Division was selected Song of the Year. His composition earned praise at the on-the-spot critiquing of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. Last June, his piece “No Words and Notes” was first runner-up, while the grand prize went to Sis. Liezl Capulong who represented North America, with the song “Awit ng Pag-asa” (Song of Hope).
Sis. Robie Rose Demelletes bagged the Best Interpreter citation for her outstanding rendition of National Capital Region’s “Walang Makapaghihiwalay” (Nothing Can Separate).
Bro. Alfonso Malasaga of Agusan del Norte received a special citation for his lively reggae composition “Buhay Ko’y Nabago” (My Life’s Been Changed), which perked the audience to dance. Bro. Eli Soriano remarked, “Napasaya mo kami, kapatid.” (You made us happy, brother.) Before the program’s finale, the audience insisted an encore of his song. Vice Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon eased himself to dance to his unique beat.
Ten finalists from various regions have reached the final leg of the festival after all songs have been pre-selected in their respective localities. These local and foreign entries were from Pampanga (Gaano Pa Kung Ikaw-How Much With You) which ranked third, Bicol (Dakila Ka O Ama-You Are Great Oh Father) which placed second, Negros (Forever We Praise You Father), Panay (My Song of Gratitude), Butuan (Dakila Ka-You Are Great), Chicago-USA (Hiwaga sa Pasalamat-Mystery in Thanksgiving), and Singapore (Dakila ang Pag-ibig Mo-Your Love is Great), which both tied at the first place. The non-winning finalists received consolation prizes for their contribution to the musical contest.
Bro. Eli Soriano emphasized his challenge to the Congregation to produce more beautiful and meaningful songs. To this, Bro. Daniel Razon added memoirs of his first try in composing as something he did not expect because he is not really a composer. In his frequent contacts with the Music Ministry Core, they often asked him to compose songs for the Church. He often replied, “Pray unto the Lord that He satisfies your heart’s desire. Ask Him to give you a song.” Surprisingly, according to him, it did not cost a day to finish one. Bro. Daniel was surprised to finish song after song. All the pieces that he composed are now being used by the MCGI Congregation in offering praises.
Both encouraged the brethren to continue supporting the goal of making more and better songs for God’s glory. They hope that the next festival will feature more and finer songs than their precedents.
The ASOP Music Festival has been producing songs for five years. The next musical mid-year celebration comes July 2010.