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)

Song Entries from North and South America Share ASOP Music Fest Mid-Year (5774) Top Prize

Laging Nariyan Ka (You’re Always There) by Bro. Aaron Romero from North America and Kaya Ikaw Ang Dios (Because You Are God) by Sis. Loida Dumandan-Del Rosario from South America shared the A Song of Praise Music Festival of the Mid-year (5774) “Song of the Year” prize.

Both first and second runners-up came from the Luzon Region: Sasambahin Lagi (I Will Always Worship You) by Bro. Nestor Torres and Dinggin Mo (Do Hear) by Sis. Dalisay Painaga, respectively.

Moreover, Walang Hanggan Kitang Mamahalin (I Will Love You Forever) by Bro. Jojit Angon from the Asia-Oceania Division took the third-runner up prize during the finals night of the songs of praise writing festival.

ASOP 5774 winners with ASOP Music Festival co-creator Bro. Daniel Razon (fourth from right) and Church Helpers of the Ministry. (Courtesy of PVI)
ASOP 5774 winners with ASOP Music Festival co-creator Bro. Daniel Razon (fourth from right) and Church Helpers of the Ministry. (Courtesy of PVI)

Meanwhile, the Best Interpreter Award saw a triple tie: Sis. May Checa, Bro. Abigail John Operario and Sis. Lady Leoncio who interpreted Bro. Torres’ composition.

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano and Bro. Daniel S. Razon, the Presiding Minister and Vice-Presiding Minister to Members Church of God International (MCGI), respectively, served as main judges during the ASOP grand finals night at the ADD Convention Center on September 29, 2014.

MCGI follows the calendar observed by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles (Exo. 12:1-2; Matt. 26:1-57).

The MCGI Leaders started ASOP in 2004 in an effort to produce original songs of praise for the Almighty. To date, about 250 songs have been written by Church members in different languages and Philippine dialects.

A Group Effort

The winning song entries will then be recorded for MCGI brethren to listen to. Then in every upcoming ASOP finals, the Music Ministry will assist in the arrangement of each song entry.

In addition, Bro. Eli tasked the Helpers of the Ministry Bro. Danny Navales and Bro. Mel Magdaraog to take charge in improving their lyrics.

Sis. Elis Franco interpreting one of the two "Songs of the Year" in the ASOP Mid-Year 5774 Music Festival before the panel of judges. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
Sis. Elis Franco interpreting one of the two “Songs of the Year” in the ASOP Mid-Year 5774 Music Festival before the panel of judges. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

As Bro. Eli further announced, a group of composers who will craft songs for the Church will be launched soon.

ASOP finals entries come from various Church Divisions, wherein different eliminations are held to select their respective region’s participating song.

Introducing Songs of Admonition

Meanwhile, Bro. Eli announced the addition of a new song category: songs of admonition in future ASOP.

Citing Col. 3:16, The Old Path host explained that songs may serve as a reminder of God’s laws to people, like those telling husbands to love their wives or children to obey their parents. “That’s why I seek wisdom in songs,” the international evangelist added.

In his closing remarks, Bro. Eli invited all composers in the Church to submit entries, and stressed once more the importance of quality time and efforts to making the perfect songs of praise, “to be dedicated to the greatest person in the universe. And that is our Creator.”

ASOP Mid-Year 5774 Full List of Winners and Interpreter:

Song of the Mid-Year: Laging Nariyan Ka, Bro. Aaron Romero (Composer/Lyricist), Sis. Ellis Franco (Interpreter)

Song of the Mid-Year: Kaya Ikaw Ang Aking Dios, Sis. Loida Dumandan-Del Rosario (Composer/Lyricist), Sis. Joanne Sandrino (Interpreter)

1st Runner-Up: Sasambahin Lagi, Bro. Nestor Torres (Composer/Lyricist), Sis. Lady Leoncio (Interpreter)

2nd Runner-Up: Dinggin Mo, Sis. Dalisay Painaga (Composer/Lyricist/Interpreter)

3rd Runner-Up: Walang Hanggan Kitang Mamahalin, Bro. Jojit Angon (Composer/Lyricist), Sis. Lheng De Matos (Interpreter)

Best Interpreters: Sis. May Checa, Bro. Abigail John Operario, Sis. Lady Leoncio

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

A First, Bro. Eli Hands ASOP Music Fest Top Prize to All Finalists

All thirteen finalists of the A Song of Praise Music Festival shared the “Song of the Year” award, a historic awarding in this bi-annual Members Church of God International (MCGI) songwriting competition.

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano broke the “big news” during a regular Thanksgiving service on April 19 this year, two weeks after the songwriting festival was held on April 6, the second day of the International Thanksgiving to God (ITG).

Interpreters and composers get interviewed before a worldwide audience during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 that coincided with MCGI's South-America-hosted International Thanksgiving.
Interpreters and composers get interviewed before a worldwide audience during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 that coincided with MCGI’s South-America-hosted International Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of James Espiritu, PVI)

Although not unusual that two or three winners share the grand prize, declaring all finalists winners surprised everyone. It was a move that was made so much special because the Presiding Minister celebrated his baptism jubilee on April 7 this year.

Organizers said that over half-million cash prizes will be split to all winning composers, lyricists, and interpreters.

Philippine Finalists

The Philippines was represented by finalists from the regions of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro and Romblon (LBMR), Central Visayas, and Mindanao.

Cavite Division was the first to perform with “Mula ng Makilala Ka,” (Since I Met You), an original composition by Bro. Juanito Pascual and interpreted by Bro. Reynan Nueva.

“Dakilang Pagmamahal” (Great Love), a composition by Bro. Empol Balbin, represented LBMR Division.

The song titled, “We Sing You Praises”, composed and interpreted by Sis. Naomi Sorianosos with Sis. Jenny Gonzales, represented the Central Visayas region.

Rounding up the four songs hailing from the Philippines is “Sana ay Pakinggan” (Please Hear Me) from Mindanao Division’s Bro. James Almaden and performed by Sis.Nicole Ann Villagonzalo.

Asia and Oceania Finalists

Mongolia’s entry entitled “Budhing Walang Kapaslangan” (Clean Conscience) is one of the three finalists from Asia/Oceania Division. The song’s composer is Bro. Boy Gan and was performed by Bro. Nestor Torres.

Vietnam’s “Nais Kong Awitan Ka” (I Want to Sing To You) composed by Sis. Marjorie Navarro and interpreted by Sis. Maricel Ciricaco.

Last to be presented from the division is “Sa Puso Ko” (In My Heart) by Bro.Jude Abarca from Singapore, and performed by Bro. Gino Mendoza.

Middle East Finalists

“Ang Aral Mo Ama” (Your Teachings Oh Lord), composed by Sis. Joana Fortaleza and Sis. Roschelle Tantay and “In You My Lord,” composed by Bro. Bernardo Flores, are entries from Dubai-UAE Division.

Sis. Erlyn Dondriano interpreted “Ang Aral Mo Ama” while Bro. Rigor Arellano sung “In You, My Lord”.

Europe, Africa, and Israel, North and South American Finalists

Completing all 13 finalists are entries from Europe/Israel/Africa, South and North America, respectively.

Randy Mangiliman’s composition, “Mapagmahal na Dios” (Loving God” represented Europe/Israel/Africa in the songwriting tilt and was interpreted by Sis Dalyn Concepcion.

Bro. Mark Libradilla sings "Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” written by Sis. Loida Dumandan from South America-Brazil Division during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, North of Manila. (Photo courtesy of Caloy Nicolas, PVI)
Bro. Mark Libradilla sings “Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” written by Sis. Loida Dumandan from South America-Brazil Division during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, North of Manila. (Photo courtesy of Caloy Nicolas, PVI)

Brazil’s entries include “Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” (Until Forever), written by Sis. Loida Dumandan and performed by Bro. Mark Libradilla; as well as “Dakila Kang Manlalalang” (You Are The Great Creator), written by Sis. Fe Sunga, sung by Sis. Jelisa Trangia, made up two of South America’s winning pieces.

East Coast, North America was represented by Bro. Aaron Romero’s entry, “Merciful God”, which Sis. Myka Cloma performed during the finals night.

ASOP Music Festival entered mainstream television to discover local and international praise song writers. ASOP TV, featuring a weekly and monthly elimination rounds, airs every Sunday on UNTV 37.

(Written by Apple Arco)

Non-Stop Singing Choir in MCGI on Its 4th Year

Apalit, Pampanga — King David’s assembled 4,000 choristers has been the model followed by the continued singing in the choirs of the Members Church of God International (MCGI).

Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon launched the nonstop singing of praises to God last August 10, 2008, then reading as basis 1 Chronicles 9:33, where choristers sing songs of praises to God day and night.

Bro. Daniel, Assistant Overall Servant to MCGI, recalled that during King David’s time the congregations devoted time and effort to the work of singing worship songs to God and so the congregants today should do the same. God is pleased when His people offer songs, said Bro. Daniel, adding that God in return, protects and shields His Church from sorrows, troubles, and evil.

The Choirs of the Members of the Church of God International
Choirs of the Members of the Church of God International

Bro. Bong Rueda, the head conductor of the MCGI Chorale, said that immediately after Bro Daniel gave the directive, the ADD Chorale assembled the next day for the 24-hour singing starting at the ADD Convention Center Chapel.

“Participants from different locales take turns in fulfilling this duty,” added Bro. Bong. Choirs can choose their lineup of songs, and Bro. Bong clarified that their group “was instructed to specifically sing praise or worship songs.” Choristers can also sing solo during their schedule.

The Choirs of the Members of the Church of God

In celebrating their 4th year of service, the Members, Church of God International Choral Group did a medley of praise songs on August 11, 2012 at the ADD Convention Center.

The choir groups in the Church take turns in filling the 24-hour schedule, while the National Choir performs majority of the part. The nonstop singing is being held at the MCGI Chapel at the Convention Center, the Philippine headquarters of MCGI.

Ang Dating Daan Orchestra playing for the choirs of MCGI

Following Bro. Daniel’s instructions, with the supervision of the group’s adviser and coordinator, Sis. Ruth Soriano, the music ministry of MCGI called on their youth members and scheduled the first day of nonstop singing of worship songs.

Apart from the nonstop chorale singing, MCGI also has an hourly prayer round the clock via its Community Prayer online portal on MCGI.org. The hourly prayer program, where members and visitors can also listen to praise songs played over the Internet, started in early 2011.

The regular role of the Church’s Chorale members include the leading of the congregational singing for regular church services, opening songs and intermission numbers for events and other broadcasts.

(Written by: Apple Arco)

Shouts of Praise and Thanks to God Almighty Echo ‘Round the World’

Merry shouts, loud praises, and lively dances dominated the final leg of the 4th quarter International Thanksgiving this December of the current year. The festive merrymaking concluded the three-day spiritual celebration by congregants of the Members Church of God International which started on December 24.

Members in the 46 countries poured out their joy as songs of praise to God came in an almost endless fashion, with each region’s year-end video documentary played one after the other.

Bro. Daniel Razon, the Vice-Presiding Minister to the MCGI, joined the congregation in offering songs of praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty.
Bro. Daniel Razon, the Vice-Presiding Minister to the MCGI, joined the congregation in offering songs of praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty.

As the ceremonies came to a close and egress in the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga was slow because of the bulk of people moving, the night became filled with the glorious songs of members who rendered them in high spirits.

Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, Presiding Minister and Vice Presiding Minister to MCGI respectively, were all smiles at seeing the congregation in such merry mood.

Prior to the close, Bro. Soriano led the Congregation in offering two songs of praise and thanksgiving. The songs reflect a deep longing for God’s affection and mercy and at the same time show profound and unspeakable feelings of gratitude towards the Creator.

As the enthusiasm of the congregants perked high, they extended the merry-making or literally "jamming session" up to the wee hours of night, Philippine local time.
As the enthusiasm of the congregants perked high, they extended the merry-making or literally “jamming session” up to the wee hours of night, Philippine local time.

As the enthusiasm of the congregants perked high, they extended the merry-making or literally “jamming session” up to the wee hours of night, Philippine local time.

Abroad, the same scenario was seen, and time and seasonal differences seemed of miniscule importance. The sun was already up in the Western Hemisphere but the MCGI congregants continued their “electric song retreat.”

The “jamming session” as it has been called by the congregants had been a trademark of MCGI thanksgiving closings. Unlike other jamming sessions practiced worldwide, MCGI “jam” is all good, clean fun. No incident of raucous crowd bursts or tensions have been reported yet in all the years the Church has been celebrating their International Thanksgivings.

The "jamming session" as it has been called by the congregants had been a trademark of MCGI thanksgiving closings. Unlike other jamming sessions practiced worldwide, MCGI "jam" is all good, clean fun.
The “jamming session” as it has been called by the congregants had been a trademark of MCGI thanksgiving closings. Unlike other jamming sessions practiced worldwide, MCGI “jam” is all good, clean fun.

Members overseas were in the same festive mood during the finale. Smiling faces and greetings flooded the live stream, especially when the technicians flashed webcam frames on the huge LED monitor mounted on the Convention Center’s grand stage. In turn, the Philippine congregation exchanged ‘hand waves’ and hellos to all brethren who were monitoring.

The dates of the first quarter International Thanksgiving for 2011 are still to be announced by Bro. Eli Soriano. The celebration is anticipated to be either on March or April next year.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Bro. Eli Soriano Lauds New Praise Songs

Apalit, Pampanga — The A Song of Praise Music Festival Finals Night last July 13, 2010 gathered once more the composers, lyricists, and song interpreters of Members Church of God International for a night of divinely inspired Christian music.

There were 18 entries that came from Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia with Church Leaders lauding the recent crop of songs as an improvement from all those entered in the past.

This edition of ASOP, which stands for A Song of Praise Music Festival, scores the most number of honors given to finalists than anytime in its history. Total cash prizes amounted to PhP535,000 (US$11,630).

The Song of the Mid-Year came from Quezon-Marinduque, Philippines, which was interpreted by Sis. Geraldine Moje, who was also a runner-up in the Best Interpreter award. The four first runners-up included entries from Bulacan, NorthEastern Mindanao, Singapore, and Hongkong.

Bro Daniel Razon gives the closing remark during the finals night of the A Song of Praise Music Festival at the ADD Convention Center.
Bro Daniel Razon gives the closing remark during the finals night of the A Song of Praise Music Festival at the ADD Convention Center.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region and South America bagged the second and third runner-up awards, respectively.

Interpreters for the entries from the National Capital Region and South America, namely Bros. Ronald Calpis, Bro. Anton Estrella Jr., and Sis. Yuan Rabago tied for the Best Interpreter award.

MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eli Soriano challenged the future participants to the contest to devote more time to compose songs that are more convincing and evoking to the soul. He also reminded the attendees to “work further [in creating songs] because it is God who inspires us. We must not rely on our abilities.”

Bro. Eli Soriano encouraged future participants to create more songs of praises.
Bro. Eli Soriano encouraged future participants to create more songs of praises.

Bro. Eli said he appreciated and is well-pleased with the efforts of the contestants to come up with songs that praise God.

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon gave their remarks and impressions of the songs interpreted that night. Their observations served as pointers and learning hints which both participants and the audience listened to with great interest.

Bro. Daniel advised, “Kneel, fast, and call upon God whenever you are working on a song. With God’s help, we are now seeing a level-up of the quality of our work. But then, let us continue to strive for better results in the future festivals to come.”

ASOP finalists performed their closing song-and-dance presentation to cap the finals night.
ASOP finalists performed their closing song-and-dance presentation to cap the finals night.

The next A Song of Praise Music Festival comes around December.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)


MCGI.ORG CLEAVE TO WHAT IS GOOD