ASOP Goes Mainstream: Wish FM Plays Songs of Praise

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.

UNTV CEO Kuya Daniel Razon stands before a Smart-Araneta Coliseum brimming with people during the ASOP Year 4 Grand Finals on October 13, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
UNTV CEO Kuya Daniel Razon stands before a Smart-Araneta Coliseum brimming with people during the ASOP Year 4 Grand Finals on October 13, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

“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.

Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Chairman of the Board of Judges, expressing his sentiments to the crowd. "I felt like I was praying all night," he said of his ASOP experience. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Chairman of the Board of Judges, expressing his sentiments to the crowd. “I felt like I was praying all night,” he said of his ASOP experience. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

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.

Leah Patricio raises her award in gratitude to the One above. She was hailed as the Best Interpreter of ASOP Year 4's Grand Finals. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
Leah Patricio raises her award in gratitude to the One above. She was hailed as the Best Interpreter of ASOP Year 4’s Grand Finals. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

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.”

MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano speaks giving scientific and biblical insights on the importance of songs of praises via live video streaming. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano giving scientific and biblical insights on the importance of songs of praises via live video streaming. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

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.”

Kuya Daniel Razon (center) and ASOP Hosts Richard Reynoso and Tony Rose Gayda sharing a candid moment on stage. The comedic chemistry of Reynoso and Gayda serve as tension-breaker before winners are announced. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
Kuya Daniel Razon (center) and ASOP Hosts Richard Reynoso and Tony Rose Gayda sharing a candid moment on stage. The comedic chemistry of Reynoso and Gayda serve as tension-breaker before winners are announced. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

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.

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: September 11, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on September 11, 2015 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Gilbert Loreto, 33, Former Born Again Member, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I want to have a new life, and for my sins to be cleansed. I’m now ready to serve the Lord. I’m prepared already.

My neighbor invited me to a Bible Exposition at first. He just told me to listen to the topics, and I found it okay.

Everything was taken from the Bible. And that’s when I learned that if it comes from the Bible, you’ll see that there are the Lord’s commandments in it.

It’s different here than in my previous religion. I was a Born Again member and also got baptized in the Mormons’ religion.

Our neighbor told me to just continue listening, and that it would be better if I would be able to listen to the doctrines. Then, I decided that I was ready to become a member of the Church of God, of The Old Path.

On Being Baptized

It felt nice. I felt that it was easy for me to have mercy on others. Also, I was able to discontinue with my vices. Many bad things were gone away from me. It feels so light inside. I’m elated. It’s like I have this new life.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli preaches well. He is truthful because what he teaches is from the Bible. He knows a lot and is so wise, because it is God who gave his knowledge.

~o~

Sis. Elaine and Elaisa Garcia, 16 and 15, Former KNCs, Laguna Province

On Joining the Church of God

Sis. Elaine: I want to obey God’s commandments, especially because we have our parents supporting us.

Sis. Elaisa: I want to obey the commandments of God.

Sis. Elaine: The lessons from the doctrines are in the Bible and are true. So thanks be to God.

Sis. Elaisa: Our parents are members of the Church. Ever since we were kids, my parents had always brought us to Church services. That’s why we went to the KNC [Kawan ng Cordero or Flock of Lambs] where we listened to Bro. Eli until we grew up.

On Being Baptized

Sis. Elaine: I was crying because of sheer joy. I was elated. It feels so light inside.

Sis. Eliza: I’m happy. I felt light.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Sis. Elaine: Bro. Eli, I hope that I will get to see you personally, God willing.

Sis. Elaisa: May God keep you and I hope you will have more strength.

~o~

Sis. Lilibeth Magadia, 23, Former Catholic, Laguna Province

On Joining the Church of God

I love the teachings. Also, before my day comes, I want to have done something worthwhile in my life.

While surfing channels on television before, I was able to listen [to Bro. Eli]. I don’t recall what channel it was as it was since a long time ago already.

But it was in the recent Bible Exposition that I got to listen to it more intently, and it continued from then on.

I felt very welcomed [at the locale]. Actually, I’ve long been wanting to know someone who can make me understand what is in the Bible. And now I have.

On Being Baptized

I’m a new me. I feel like someone new.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I wish you long lives that many more people’s hearts will be enlightened.

~o~

Sis. Lourdes Icban, 21, Former KNC, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

I wanted to join already. I was also moved by the songs of Bro. Daniel; I got encouraged by them, and also by the songs of Bro. Eli.

I was a KNC before as well; only, I wasn’t able to continue listening to the teachings. So now, with God’s mercy, I decided to pursue this.

When I was in Grade 4 or 5, I was in the KNC. I wasn’t able to listen for a long time. I guess, because also of my youth and vices here and there.

Lately, I’ve been pondering about it, and as I said, I got encouraged by the songs of Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. That’s why I became a member this day.

On Being Baptized

I was crying. After I got immersed, I felt okay already.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that they will be able to encourage many more to join and be members here.

To God be the glory

MCGI Breaks Guinness World Record, Promotes Charity for PWDs for The Old Path’s 35th Anniversary

With 8,688 choir members, Members Church of God International (MCGI) broke the Guinness World Records for the Largest Chorale Group during the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path or TOP) program’s 35th anniversary celebration on October 12, 2015.

The Ang Dating Daan (ADD) Chorale graced the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, from the stage to its aisles, singing and dancing to 18 numbers of songs and medleys of praise in different languages.

The official praise song piece of the grand Ang Dating Daan Chorale is a 15-minute long medley composed of four MCGI praise songs entitled “Stand Up,” “Praise the Name,” “Hallelujah, Amen,” and “Enrich the Spirit.”

The four songs are original compositions of one of MCGI’s resident composers and conductors, Bro. Bong Rueda.

Guinness official adjudicator Ms. Fortuna Burke Melhelm confirmed the record-breaking feat on the same day of the event.

“It takes an organization that’s very special, very talented, and it takes the best in the world to get a Guinness World Records title,” started Ms. Melhelm.

“The record for the Largest Gospel Choir was 4,745. Today you have the brand new Guinness World Records title,” Ms. Melhelm gleefully finished, which was met with the deafening cheers of those in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

For his part, Bro. Daniel Razon, the Assistant to the Overall Servant said the award is an additional blessing from God as the group thank God for the 35 years of the Ang Dating Daan program.

Bro. Daniel Razon proudly holds up the Guinness World Records plaque for Ang Dating Daan Chorale's musical feat of being the Largest Gospel Choir in the world, presented by Guinness Adjudicator Ms. Fortuna Burke Melhelm. (Photoville International)
Bro. Daniel Razon proudly holds up the Guinness World Records plaque for Ang Dating Daan Chorale’s musical feat of being the Largest Gospel Choir in the world, presented by Guinness Adjudicator Ms. Fortuna Burke Melhelm. (Photoville International)

“This is something that we did not intend to do – to get the Guinness book of world records [title]. But our hearts intended to give thanks to God,” remarked Bro. Daniel as he received the Guinness World of Records award. “And we believe that this is an additional blessing that came from the Lord tonight, as we thank Him for the 35 years of ADD television program.”

“And so for that, we will always say: to God be the glory,” Bro. Razon added tearfully, as he held the Guinness plaque up for the crowd to see.

The evening filled with songs of praise also featured Ang Dating Daan Hosts Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel offering praise song numbers. Live via satellite, the MCGI Overall Servants sung “The Promise“ and “Through the Years” back-to-back before the entire crowd that filled The Big Dome to its limits.

Charity Work for PWDs

Witnessing the festivities from the front row were persons with disabilities (PWDs), or in MCGI lingo, “Very Important Disabled Persons.” The VIDPs are given special privileges like seating priority during concerts or events along with the elderly.

Not only were they witnesses to the grand musical event, they were also recipients of MCGI’s charitable endeavors. 11 PWD groups received Php 100,000.00 each to help start businesses or fund their operational expenses.

Persons with disabilities clap their hands in appreciation of Kuya Daniel Razon's heartwarming song rendition of the song "The Promise". (Photoville International)
Persons with disabilities clap their hands in appreciation of Kuya Daniel Razon’s heartwarming song rendition of the song “The Promise”. (Photoville International)

Some of the recipients are the Markina Persons with Disabilities Federation, Paranaque Association of Persons with Disabilities, and Samahan ng mga Magulang na Iniingitan ang Lahat ng Batang Espesyal (SMILE) Inc., to name a few.

“It is the first time for us to receive such help for our federation. As you know, we have a lot of indigent members, and this money coming from The Old Path can help us start a livelihood,” in an interview said Gil Flores, Vice-President of the Marikina Persons with Disabilities.

Bro. Eli Soriano also donated a number of wheelchairs for the PWDs, and gave additional financial assistance to 30 PWD raffle winners. On top of this, all 1,700 PWD guests as well as their aides and family members, received cash gifts and grocery bags before the event ended.

The record-breaking event which featured acts of charity, as well as audio-video presentations of The Old Path’s humble beginnings with intermittent praise songs sung by thousands of chorale members, was high on emotion.

Synchronized singing -- The Ang Dating Daan Chorale sings a lively choreographed four-song medley in their successful attempt to a Guinness World Record. (Photoville International)
Synchronized singing — The Ang Dating Daan Chorale sings a lively choreographed four-song medley in their successful attempt to a Guinness World Record. (Photoville International)

“The official Guinness World Records attempt that took place here today was really impressive; it was really emotional and it was also really powerful – there were lots of charity work that came about here today. And it was incredible to see so many people coming together and doing good and breaking a brand-new Guinness World Records title,” said Ms. Melhelm, Guinness Adjudicator, in an interview with local television channel UNTV.

“I am overwhelmed by the record that the Members of the Church of God set tonight,” expressed Bro. Eli Soriano, who joined the festivities via live web streaming from South America.

Bro. Eli added, “Singing and praising the Lord is older than the universe itself as recorded in the Bible. Now, having the record of the largest [religious] choir group, singing for the glory of the Lord is our pride. Thank you Guinness. May God bless you.”

(Written by Rigor Arellano and Pauline Arellano)

Congregants of MCGI told during 3rd Quarter International Thanksgiving: “Be A Blessing to Others”

“Christians are meant by God to be blessings to others.”

This was part of the message delivered by Bro. Daniel Razon during the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) third quarterly International Thanksgiving at the ADD Convention Center and thousands of monitoring centers held on October 2-4, this year.

And a quarter of MCGI’s works attest to this remark by the Assistant to the Overall Servant of MCGI, which culminated to a three-day offering of thanksgiving by the whole congregation across the globe.

MCGI Thanksgiving

Three Months of Giving, Being Blessings to All

This past quarter, congregants all over the world united once more in charitable works in celebration of UNTV Life’s 11th anniversary. Church members took part in one or more of the mass clean-up drives, tree-planting activities, feeding programs, blood donation drives, and more that were conducted from the smallest of barrios to the biggest of cities.

UNTV Life, in partnership with MCGI, mounted mass clean-up drive efforts that covered the whole Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) district of northern Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, MCGI volunteers abroad participated in different public service efforts in their respective communities. Feeding programs and elderly care activities were among those done in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Quito, Ecuador and Colombia. In the United States, members volunteered in charity works in New York, among others.

A three-day public service activity was also conducted by UNTV Haiti and MCGI in cooperation with the Philippines’ 19th Contingent in Port Au Prince, Haiti.

Heightened Propagation Efforts Locally, Internationally

In addition to being blessings to the community via public service, MCGI congregants strove to bring spiritual enlightenment to more souls through heightened propagation efforts this past quarter.

For the past three months for example, attendance to MCGI’s monthly Worldwide Bible Expositions increased more than 250%. From a regular number of approximately 20,000, the event saw 30,000 more participants, totaling 50,000 attendees in a Worldwide Bible Exposition event during the quarter.

This is in support and cooperation to Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon’s call for each brethren to invite a guest, hence, the “Project 1:1.”

The Ang Dating Daan Chorale at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 practicing for the 35th anniversary celebration of The Old Path. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
The Ang Dating Daan Chorale at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 practicing for the 35th anniversary celebration of The Old Path. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

Aside from these regular monthly expositions, Bible Expositions in Spanish and Portuguese continue weekly catering South and Central American nations. MCGI also launched this past quarter regular Bible Expositions in Africa and the United Kingdom broadcast over The Old Path’s Youtube channel.

Propagation efforts in South America advanced as MCGI acquired new broadcast relay stations in the effort to reach more souls. The Church also established more coordinating centers in Mexico and other countries in Central and South America. Also known as monitoring centers, these coordinating centers are where brethren hold congregational and Church gatherings and activities.

The congregation also thanked God for the Church’s flagship radio, television and Internet program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) which reached its 35th year. The show, the longest running of its kind, has been one of the primary instruments and platforms used by MCGI through Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, in propagating biblical truth and widsom.

For this past quarter, more than 5,000 souls were added to the MCGI fold.

The International Thanksgiving celebration of MCGI is also called Thanksgiving of the Body, wherein Church members from all over the world simultaneously thank God for a quarter-full of His loving-kindness and deliverance.

(Written by Yanna Ferrera)

Ang Dating Daan Turns 35, Features MCGI’s Largest Chorale to Date

The Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) official Bible-based religious program Ang Dating Daan (ADD) commemorates its 35th year on Philippine airwaves with an official attempt to break world record with the largest gospel choir.

On October 12, 2015, MCGI’s ADD Chorale, composed of 13,000 strong choir members, will serenade the anniversary’s spectators at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, as well as viewers via satellite and web streaming technology.

Incidentally, this is MCGI’s official attempt to break a Guinness world record for the “Largest Gospel Choir” category.

The MCGI Chorale practicing at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 for Ang Dating Daan's 35th Anniversary celebration on October 12. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
The MCGI Chorale practicing at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 for Ang Dating Daan’s 35th Anniversary celebration on October 12. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

For Ang Dating Daan’s anniversary this year, aside from the praise song festival, the celebration will also put on the spotlight several Persons With Disabilities (PWD) groups as honored guests.

“We have different groups of PWDs, that with God’s help, we want to direct good works to,” remarked Bro. Daniel Razon during a recent Thanksgiving to God celebration of MCGI.

“Our fellowmen will be the highlight of our anniversary,” stressed Bro. Razon, Assistant to the Overall Servant to MCGI.

ADD Chorale members in different continents such as the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa, will take part in the grand event, joining the bulk of the ADD Chorale members who are to gather in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Guinness bid is the latest among MCGI’s praise song endeavors.

On a weekly basis, MCGI’s locale and division chorale members lead brethren in the congregational singing during prayer meetings, worship services, and thanksgiving to God celebrations.

MCGI holds yearly Music Ministry chorale fests and workshops for the benefit of its thousands of choir members in the Philippines and abroad.

Realizing the great importance of singing songs of praises to the Almighty, since 2009, MCGI continuously holds 24/7 non-stop singing of praise songs, based on 1 Chronicles 9:33.

An MCGI Chorale member unites with the rest of the grand chorus that filled the ADD Convention Center during their practice on October 4. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
An MCGI Chorale member unites with the rest of the grand chorus that filled the ADD Convention Center during their practice on October 4. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

A year after, MCGI opened its A Song of Praise Music Festival to the public – a praise song composition competition open to both amateur and professional songwriters.

The Ang Dating Daan, also called as The Old Path, is one of the Philippines’ longest-running religious programs. It is now translated in different languages, and airs on the radio, television, web and satellite in various countries worldwide.

(Written by: Pauline Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: August 28, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on August 28, 2015 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Antonio Wong, 50, Former Catholic, Manila Province

On Joining the Church of God

I saw the truth; the teachings are truly from the Bible.

Ever since I watched on television and listened continually, the words of the Holy Scriptures gradually sunk into my heart and mind.

On Being Baptized

I feel good. I feel light inside, as if all the pains are gone, as well as the doubts I had in my mind.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli, I hope that he will be able to live longer that he may be able to preach to more people who haven’t yet heard the truth.

For Bro. Daniel, I hope that he will continue his good deeds: His “Isang Araw Lang” (Just One Day) motto, No good work will yield evil.

~o~

Sis. Jennifer Yanzon, 40, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

My husband has long been listening and he invited me to a Bible Exposition. Alhough, I declined his invitation and told him that I wasn’t ready yet.

He always watched on TV. He would tell me, “Watch here so that you’ll know about it,” as we were Roman Catholics before. “So you’ll know the difference,” he added

I watched and said, “I’ll try it. But I can’t say if I’m going to like it or not.” Then, we went to the locale. That’s when I found that I liked the teachings because everything is from the Bible.

With Catholicism, it’s different. It’s like half of it is from the Bible, and the other from the priest’s sermon.

Here, everything is from the Bible. That’s when I started following him. [Points to her husband]

I learned a lot from the doctrines. It’s good because you will find all the answers to your questions there.

On Being Baptized

It was a different feeling. I felt that my sins have been washed away, that they were all gone. I also felt light inside.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, many thanks for the Bible Expositions that you do. The Lord made you instruments for us to learn the truth. What you teach is different from what our former religions teach.

I learned a lot from you. So many, many thanks to both of you, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. Many, many thanks.

~o~

Bro. Jimmy Yanzon, 44, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

Perhaps, it’s God’s calling to me as nobody lead me here. I guess, it’s just like that when you are being called by God.

I’ve been listening for about four years. I just watched [The Old Path] on TV. I watched it and compared it with those of other religions.

I also attended their services, and listened to their doctrines. However, it’s far more different here; the doctrines of the Church of God are unparalleled.

On Being Baptized

I felt light, and so different than from before.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Firstly, thanks be to the Lord, and thanks also to Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel whom He made as instruments. I’m thankful also for the teachings they preach. Thank You Lord.

~o~

Sis. Nerissa Galvan, 30, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

It’s because of my fear in God that I got from hearing His words since I was in college.

Actually, I was a BREAD [Bible Readers Society] member at the Philippine Normal University. I knew there members like Kuya [elder brother] Jeff Samson, Ate [elder sister] Beth Gillen.

I just listened to the Bible studies, but I didn’t decide on becoming a member immediately. I graduated first as I am older than they are.

– – –

I had an elementary classmate in the Locale of Magda. He chatted me on Facebook and invited me to the indoctrination. That’s how it all began.

Actually, I know almost all of the doctrines as I was eager to attend Bible studies. They would invite me to join, but I refused as my heart was still hard back then. I couldn’t yet accept things.

It was on a Monday, August 11, when I first attended the Mass Indoctrination. The moment I got seated, I already cried.

When [the choir] sang, I was crying and I didn’t know why. Until the time came that I felt strength in my heart that I was really going to pursue this despite the hindrances that came.

On Being Baptized

My cousin texted me and asked how I was. I said, “It’s finished, and I have fulfilled my dream.” [Laughs]

I really wanted to join already as I was afraid that it may be too late for me. I have been called many times before and I have dreamed different dreams already.

I think I was already being told that this was my last chance, that if I wouldn’t join, something bad might happen to me.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli, many, many thanks to God for preaching to us. I hope that I will be able to see you personally.

~o~

Bro. Christopher Espina, 36, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

I joined because I got amazed in watching the programs of Bro. Eli Soriano.

The words are taken from the Bible. The meanings are really deep. That’s why I got interested in listening to him.

I started listening in about 1998. I just felt that I was being called right now as many trials have come in my life. The trials I faced came one after the other.

Before, I would attend MCGI gatherings, but haphazardly. That’s why I felt that I was being called already, that my life may be in order.

On Being Baptized

While I was in the water, I was really crying. I don’t know if many were able to see it. Actually, the baptizer had trouble understanding my answers when I spoke.

That’s why he repeated his questions, because I was really crying. The feeling was different; I don’t know what it is.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, I hope that I will see them again. Way back in 1998, I came here in Apalit and sought to see them personally, and I did.

I hope that their lives will be longer for those like me who wish to join as well. I hope to be with them for a far longer time, because I know that I still have many things that I can learn from them.

~o~

Sis. Regine Alvarez, 16, Former Catholic, Nueva Ecija Province

On Joining the Church of God

Because of the truth. The teachings here are different, unlike in others where it is just nothing.

My friend invited me here, who is now a member. I listened during the Mass Indoctrination, and he brought me once to a Thanksgiving service.

On Being Baptized

I can’t explain it. I felt so empty before. Then, “Wow! So this is how it feels.” I felt happy, so very happy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Thanks be to God as they teach truthfully. I hope that their lives will be longer and that many more people will join.

To God be the glory

From Philippines to Colombia: MCGI Joins UNTV Life’s 11th Anniversary Celebration

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) took part in UNTV Life’s 11th year anniversary, embarking on multiple public service initiatives from across the Philippines to different parts of the world.

Members in Bataan, Iloilo, and Bulacan, to state a few, participated in cleanup drives in barangays, which also served as an anti-dengue activity by clearing out possible mosquito-breeding areas.

Video: More than 500 fruit-bearing tree seedlings planted in Nueva Ecija

In Nueva Ecija, members took part in planting 500 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees on a mountain in Brgy. Sto. Niño. The effort is part of MCGI and UNTV’s tree-planting advocacy to help fight climate change.

“I hope that there will be more agencies or groups like this that show concern for the environment,” said Brgy. Chairperson Romeo Mangaliman of Mulawin, Orani, Bataan about UNTV and MCGI’s efforts.

Video: 1,000 mangrove seedlings planted in Masbate

Meanwhile, about 1,000 mangrove seedlings were planted in Masbate City in Southern Philippines, where its residents rely mostly on fishing as their income source.

Mangroves serve as an abode and birthplace of fish. However, a series of floods and super-typhoons like Ruby and Yolanda have destroyed the mangrove ecosystem in the area, greatly affecting their livelihood.

From Community to Elderly Care, Locally and Globally

Over 200 residents of elderly care facilities in Bogota, Medellin, and Bucaramanga in Colombia received a warm visit, free meals and gifts from MCGI and UNTV volunteers.

Video: MCGI and UNTV Visit Over 200 Elderlies in Colombia

Carlos Julio Aguilar Alvarez, 74, is a two-year resident of Fundacion de Albeiro Vargas y Angel Custodio. He told the UNTV news team in Colombia that he seldom sees his loved ones, and thanked the channel for giving what elderlies like him need.

“On their 11th anniversary, they chose to help the elderly. This deed is something valuable,” said Albeiro Vargas, the foundation’s founder.

Video: Elders in Brazil Receive Entertainment, Gifts, Meals from UNTV and MCGI

“We thank God, and we are honored to help and to take part in this kind of endeavor that UNTV has started in the Philippines, and now, we have it here in Brazil too,” expressed Bro. Jander Ferreira Toledo, an MCGI member in Brazil.

Helping the Homeless and the Hungry

In the USA, MCGI and the broadcast network also helped at Habitat for Humanity in Maryland. The volunteers lent their hands in lifting and shelving the organization’s merchandize and construction materials, which the same uses to help build affordable and environment-friendly homes for the marginalized.

Video: Lending Helping Hands for Habitat for Humanity

“They’ve come together and done an amazing job as a team, and helped Habitat for Humanity, ReStore, make some more money to help more families,” said its manager, Heather Cummings.

“Happy 11th anniversary to UNTV!” she greeted.

Meanwhile in Texas, MCGI parents and children spent their family day to help out at the Houston Food Bank by boxing food items for shipment to hunger-relief charities.

Video: Volunteering at Houston Food Bank

The collective effort of the MCGI and UNTV volunteers resulted to a total of 900 boxes.

Volunteer manager Jim Day said of the effort, “I’d like to thank Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel for mobilizing volunteers here to us today at the Houston Food Bank.”

Known as the Philippines Public service Channel, UNTV Life offers a variety of services including a free clinic and pharmacy (Clinic ni Kuya); and free land, sea, and air rides (Libreng Sakay).

A member of the Church of God International hands out free meals at an elderly care facility in Singapore. MCGI visited SilverAce Ntuc Eldercare as part of UNTV's 11th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
A member of the Church of God International hands out free meals at an elderly care facility in Singapore. MCGI visited SilverAce Ntuc Eldercare as part of UNTV’s 11th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

UNTV, now UNTV Life, started in 2004 under the helm of veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Razon. Razon is Assistant to the Overall Servant of MCGI, Bro. Eli Soriano.

Through the leadership of the MCGI Overall Servants, the religious organization has been supporting the network’s various good works throughout the years.

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: August 21, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on August 21, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga

Bro. Oliver Monteloyola, 42, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

This is where I heard the true doctrines, and they’re really good. They will truly go right into your heart and mind.

I’ve long been seeing him [Bro. Eliseo, on TV], but I just ignored him back then. Recently, I was able to listen to him again, and I felt that…

I have also been indoctrinated in the Iglesia ni Cristo, but I wasn’t satisfied with their teachings. That’s why I got baptized here.

On Being Baptized

I feel relieved.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that they will be able to help many more people like me. I hope that many others will be able to hear them, because the true teachings are here.

~o~

Sis. Mary Beth Villanueva, 20, Former Catholic, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

I learned the truth here. My mother brought me with her in attending Church services. It’s good. I learned a lot.

I felt like crying [the first time I attended]. I guess it was because I remembered all the sins I have done.

On Being Baptized

I’m happy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Many thanks to them because I have been enlightened because of their teachings.

~o~

Sis. Grace De Vera, 41, Former Mormon, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I believe that the true teachings of God are here.

When my brother and I were still young, we used to watch him [Bro. Eliseo] on IBC 13, if I’m not mistaken.

Then it was gone. A few months after that, I tried to watch it again. I said, “Oh, The Old Path is still on.”

So I listened to it again. That’s when I heard the answers to the questions I had that my previous religion wasn’t able to answer.

– – –

My brother is already a member in Abu Dhabi. So he told me, “Ate [elder sister], try first to attend the indoctrination as that is the beginning.”

He also told me that it’s okay to attend other Church services, but that I needed to learn the doctrines of Jesus Christ first. So I got encouraged.

Every time I listen to a topic, it’s like there’s something urging me to go on. So even if my husband tried to dissuade me, I disregarded that and still continued listening daily [to the doctrines].

Then, when it was only a few days left [till baptism], my husband didn’t scold me about attending anymore. [Laughs]

On Being Baptized

It’s different. I can’t explain it. I just really feel light.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, please continue in teaching for many more souls to be lead unto salvation.

~o~

Sis. Nilda Ledesma, 38, Former Born Again Member, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I have long been watching [The Old Path program], ever since I was a maiden, and its teachings come from the Bible. All the teachings are good. No evil is taught here.

In my previous religion, you need to give 10% or tithes. From the way I see it, they’re just about being snobby or snooty there.

Here, people are down-to-earth. Even those who have high positions are humble.

On Being Baptized

I’m happy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I thank them for teaching the truth, for telling it faithfully to people as life is much better when you have God.

~o~

Sis. Catherine Fuentes, 17, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I kept on listening to Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, and [eventually], I wanted to join already.

I found the teachings to be truly good. Also, it’s here where my beliefs have been changed. I learned all the right teachings and truths. This is where I heard everything.

On Being Baptized

I’m happy. I’m happy because now I am here.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I’m thankful for them for their instruction. I learned by listening to what they are preaching.

To God be the glory

Newly Baptized Testimonials: August 7, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on August 7, 2015 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Neri Santos, 47, Former Iglesia ni Cristo Member, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I chose to leave a chaotic one [religious group], and this is where I found the right teachings. I was able to listen via radio in Isabela Province after I came back from Saudi Arabia.

My girlfriend introduced this to me. Also, I have an uncle who is also a brother-in-faith. He was the one who urged me to go on with the indoctrination.

On Being Baptized

I felt lighter as compared to when I was in the INC.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Many thanks Bro. Eli. Because of you, I was able to listen to the truth. I’m also thankful because God still gave me an opportunity to know Him through Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path].

~o~

Sis. Nerissa Santos, 52, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

When I listened to the indoctrination, I saw the big difference. [Starts to cry]

My heart, my mind were more enlightened that it’s really different [from my previous religion]. So, I decided to keep listening and continue with the baptism.

My husband and I were listening [to the program]. He also read the Bible as he was a Born Again Christian before. He told me, “Let’s listen,” and I saw that it was all right.

The difference is great, especially with what I learned since I was little until I grew up. In Catholicism, they don’t read the Bible. With my husband’s, they needed to learn to read it. But with Bro. Eli, my understanding deepened even more.

On Being Baptized

I felt different. As Bro. Eli said, you have to forget the sins you committed and those who have committed sins against you.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope they will continue their preaching that many more people who do not know God may know Him the more through that means.

~o~

Sis. Mercedita Paler, 61, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

The teachings are really good here in the Church of God. It’s only now that I came across something like this, because in others, you won’t see this: the true teaching. I really feel that it’s true.

My husband and I have long been listening, for about 10 years now through television only. The time came when he became a member already, and I got encouraged to join as well. He just went first.

Also, I’m sick. As far as what the doctor has told me, I won’t get better anymore. But I thought, it’s only the Lord who can heal us. That’s also another reason why I joined here.

On Being Baptized

I was smiling because I felt so happy inside. I was crying as well, but because I was happy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that their program will continue so that they may be able to help many more people.

~o~

Sis. Avelina Arsenio, 37, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

The teachings are really good. They are really related in the Bible.

The owner of the house we rent invited us. It was my first time to listen on the first day of our indoctrination, it was on August 1.

The [doctrines] are good, and can change your views in life.

On Being Baptized

I felt very good!

Even when I was just first attending the indoctrination, I didn’t feel physically well to the point that I didn’t almost want to attend.

But as the days passed by, until the seventh day of indoctrination, it was gone. Before, I had trouble walking. I was palpitating whenever I walked. I couldn’t even walk short distances.

Now, when I attended today, especially after I got out of the swimming pool [baptistery], I have been walking seven times back and forth here already; it’s like my former strength has returned.

I’m amazed because it’s like all I needed was a dip in the pool, but I believe it wasn’t only as is. There really was something there.

I have long been bearing the pain, about two years already. But it’s only now that I have felt like this again. I hope that the feeling continue because I want to be able to work again.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that their preaching will continue that many more people will join.

~o~

Bro. Joseph Ison, 34, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

To obey His commandments, and fulfill the laws that we must do as a human being, as His servant, as His disciple.

I got to listen through my brother and mother; also, on radio and television as well.

On Being Baptized

I felt light. After I got out of the water, it felt like there was light, though my eyes were closed.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I’m thankful that God used you as instruments in sharing the word of God. Let us continue praying for the ministry that the propagation of the Lord’s words will be wider in extent.

Many thanks for keeping your duties of imparting the word of the Lord to us.

To God be the glory

Newly Baptized Testimonials: July 31, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on July 31, 2015 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Sis. Paula Batan, 16, Former KNC, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I got encouraged to join as well because I study in La Verdad Christian College.

It’s because this is where I saw the true Church that the Bible speaks of. Also, I really felt that I can avoid the things that I mustn’t do, which I really liked doing back then. It’s like I have accepted that truth already.

I was surprised at myself as I wasn’t like that before, even when it comes to apparel. I can now dress like this [wearing modest apparel], and go out of the house without makeup. It’s a different feeling; I don’t know why! [Laughs]

I also talked to my classmate who was a Church Worker. She explained to me, “When you already feel it, don’t dilly-dally anymore as Bro. Eli said.”

On Being Baptized

I was crying and crying back there. It’s like in the movies when everything I have done came flashing back to me. And now, I’m here, on this moment that I have been waiting for.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Thanks be to God because if I hadn’t known them, I wouldn’t have learned the things I now know. My mind was enlightened to the truths that aren’t being taught by preachers in false churches.

~o~

Bro. Godofredo Calinog, 47, Former Catholic, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

Before, I didn’t believe in the Lord. However, I also had a sickness before; I thought I was going to die. I promised the Lord then that I would serve Him. I made a vow.

I vomited repeatedly. My whole body soon felt weak, and I was dizzy. Actually, I just avoided the doctor [after seeing him] so that I could just recuperate at home. It happened only last year. I’m thankful that my physique has returned.

Our housemate and our son have long been members. [Our son] resides in Manila, but he came here to us in Pampanga.

They invited my wife first. Then, when they invited me as well, I willingly went with them. Now, we have only one faith in the Lord.

On Being Baptized

I felt light inside.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope they will continue their good aspirations and duties in the Lord.

~o~

Sis. Jessabelle Pastor, 21, Former Foursquare Gospel Church Member, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

This is where I found peace in my heart.

I have already been to different churches, and then lately, my friend invited me. I went with him, and that’s when I saw that it’s different here. It’s different in the Church of God.

Actually, he’s just new in the Church. He has just been recently baptized, and he was just invited to the Church as well by his workmate.

We learned so many teachings that we didn’t learn from the churches we formerly belonged to.

There are many teachings that we must all remember, and keep in our hearts and minds that we may not sin against God.

On Being Baptized

I felt that all the weight I carried on my chest were gone. It’s like you’re not thinking of any problem, but that you just have a new life.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

My message for Bro. Eli is that may he continue the good works he does, and lead many more people like me to return unto the old path.

~o~

Bro. Edgar Dela Fuente, 43, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

The teachings in the Church of God are good.

At first, I listened only through radio, on Don Manolo Favis’ program. Then later on, I also watched on television.

Actually, I think it has taken me ten years before I came to this day that I have been baptized.

I hear the teachings that he [Bro. Eliseo] says, that the end of this world is drawing near. So I told myself, “I need to hurry that I may not be too late.” What he says really fit what is now happening in this age.

On Being Baptized

I felt chills after I got out of the water.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that The Old Path will continue that many more people will be lead unto this Church.

~o~

Bro. Romeo and Sis. Estrellita Empleo, 59 & 61, Former Catholics, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

Bro. Romeo: We can’t find the answers in our minds to this, but perhaps in our hearts. We were perhaps searching for something.

We were from Catholicism, from different religions even: Bread of Life, Word for the World, Word of Hope. Then by chance, we were able to listen to Bro. Eli Soriano on television as he was mentioned as well by my sibling who watches him.

He’s not a member though. But then every time my brothers and sisters and I would gather and talk about the Bible’s verses, my brother who listens to Bro. Eli is different.

As we listened [to my brother speak] as seekers of truth, it struck us as peculiar because we didn’t hear those things from other congregations and that we weren’t really learned when it comes to the Bible. But with him, the teachings that he shared with us are from the verses that Bro. Eli flashes on the TV screen.

—–

So from thereon, I felt I was challenged. One time, I saw him [Bro. Eliseo] on TV, and I felt drawn to the program. “It’s good,” I said.

The things I was hearing, I could read in the Bible. Because before, I used to only hear [verses] from what pastors relayed to us, but I found that what they say is not what is exactly meant [by the verses] as when I heard them from Bro. Eli as he explained them on television and radio.

So that’s when I started; I felt encouraged to listen from thereon. I would tune in to it from time to time, whenever I was available. It’s like I got hooked to it.

—–

Later on, my wife was onboard as well. I didn’t invite them [his family] or what. I just set the radio on as he preached the Bible.

[At first] they were able to listen only by chance, like whenever they would pass by. But it wasn’t yet in their hearts.

Perhaps, there are verses that are meant for us, wherein your heart will be touched or you’ll say, “Ouch.” It’s when you’ll see, through Bro. Eli’s reading of the Bible that [others’ teachings] are really just sayings of men, baseless, untrue.

——

Until the time came for me, perhaps the Lord has also made me understand already, that the truth is indeed the word of God, nothing else.

I also learned how to stick to [what is written]. You must not add nor take away anything from it. The Bible, as it turns out, according to Isa. 34:16, is already complete and doesn’t need any other reference.

We used to see our brother as someone weird, but then, we became united in opinions eventually. During our Bible Study, we would unite in what is right, like what the Bible says: You have one Spirit, one song, one Lord, one God, one Church, one teaching.

If only pastors would base their teachings, and would not add nor take away anything from what is written, but would all be based in the Bible, perhaps we will not be in strife.

Sis. Estrellita: They are really God’s words. It’s like our hearts were the target, and it went right into it.

Bro. Romeo: I didn’t force you, didn’t I?

Sis. Estrellita: No. I just said, “I want to come with you. I want to listen personally.” I told him that on TV and radio, it’s like he’s jumping from one topic to another because he is answering whatever it is that people asked him.

But when we started with [the indoctrination], I said, “Please take me with you.” So I went with him. That’s when I understood that what Bro. Eli says is so beautiful. It’s like a step-by-step teaching.

Bro. Romeo: The biggest question we had regarding religion, the Bible answered. We have no doubts now. They were all answered by the holy words of God.

On Being Baptized

Bro. Romeo: It felt so good. In other words, I felt fulfilled.

Sis Estrellita: Yes, it was amazing! I said, “What is this? It’s really different.” It felt like I was walking on air after getting out of the water. I said, “What a wonderful feeling.” [Giggles]

Before [immersion], I was feeling a number of things,s my stomach even ached. I told him that perhaps I might go to the restroom. After I got immersed in the water, it became okay. I said, “Wow, this is okay!”

Bro. Romeo: That’s what I heard from Bro. Eli. Whenever he was attending, despite not feeling well, he said that right after baptism or any Church gathering, the sickness goes away; you feel lighter. Though it may not be totally gone, you feel like it’s lessened.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Sis. Estrellita: Bro. Eli, keep on doing the things that you do now. We pray for you, that your life will be longer, because you are able to help many people and their minds are enlightened by the word of God.

The same goes for Bro. Daniel. He is very well; both of them are. So, many, many thanks to them, because at the least, our minds were enlightened unto the Lord through them.

Bro. Romeo: I share the same sentiments for Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. What is said in Daniel Chapter 12, that in the last days, the wise shall understand the word of God, but the wicked shall not.

You are but wise men, Bro. Eli, foremostly, compared to all the pastors that before persecuted him and told that [the Church] is a cult.

But the way I see it now, as Bro. Eli said, “If we are Christians, we should be different from them from the inside, out. That’s what I saw now.

That’s why, sometimes, they laugh at us because we’re not luxurious. We don’t follow the course of the world, which is in the Bible: That we should not conform but be transformed according to the will of God that Bro. Eli teaches. Many thanks to you.

Long live, and may he give you many more believers whose lives you will touch. The same with you Bro. Daniel Razon, many, many thanks. To God be the Glory.

To God be the glory

MCGI.ORG CLEAVE TO WHAT IS GOOD