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Kuya Daniel: A True Friend and Big Brother to All

Kuya.

It is a title that resounds. A title that befits him for his kindness and generosity.

Mr. Public Service: a friend, and brother.

Is he not but one man?

Reflecting upon his numerous achievements and noble works in broadcasting and numerous others in public service, one can say that such feats are but impossible to achieve by a single person.

But Kuya Daniel Razon has done through God’s help these amazing works, showing once again what pure motive to serve God can do – exceeding the ordinary, even the wildest expectations anyone can set.

(Photo from Daniel Razon Official Facebook Page)

In the thirty-three years that he had committed to serve God and his fellowmen, Kuya Daniel Razon has alit a candle, the light of which brought forth causes that benefit many people.

What would modern journalism be like without UNTV News And Rescue, which tweaked mainstream practice focused on being first? This news-and-rescue advocacy prioritizes saving lives of others at the expense of breaking news first.

Or where would some thousand deserving yet poor students be now without the chance to get enrolled at  La Verdad Christian College? The tuition-free education program is one of the country’s first that have yielded thousands of graduates and now socially-useful citizens of the country.

Moreover, many of residents from various urban barangays and provincial areas are satisfied beneficiaries of his People’s Day Medical Mission outreaches, not the least those who avail the free services of Clinic Ni Kuya, Legal Center ni Kuya and Botika ni Kuya, among others.

As a nurse, the works of this man we call simply as Kuya Daniel is truly an inspiration. Like the thousands of lives changed through his works, inspirational speeches and sermons before the congregants of the Members Church of God International (MCGI), my life’s been changed and improved each day by big brother.

What encouraged me to pursue nursing as a professional career was the beauty of its nobility: spending a very fulfilling life serving others. Thankfully to God, I had been given the chance to become a volunteer staff of Clinic ni Kuya (CNK) Medical Mission in Cavite.

This opportunity gave me a grasp of Kuya Daniel’s genuine commitment to a lifelong advocacy. As a weekly regular volunteer with Clinic ni Kuya, we catered to hundreds of patients every week for free, including medication and follow-ups.

Many look up to him, and many should.

(Photo from Daniel Razon Official Facebook Page)

In line with advocacies that are truly patriotic, committed to nation-building and life changing, my admiration of Kuya Daniel’s bold ambition has given me a rich well of inspiration to do good despite the odds – because as Kuya Daniel always utter: doing good will reap no evil in due time.

Many look up to him, and many should.

So I take this opportunity to tell my fellow youth, let us walk in his example.

Of course, it cannot be expected of many of us to institute Transient Homes like the one Kuya Daniel Razon has helped put up in  Quezon City, which is the first of its kind in the Philippines, nor put up an all-expense-paid school like the La Verdad Christian College.

But what can be expected of us is to devote our works to things that are not futile – to things that are of greater cause.

 

Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon has a name that is not simply words. He is an elder brother, a teacher, a father, and even a friend to those in need.

For a man of true valor – kind and God-fearing, we are thankful forever to God. Happy 33 Years of Service to God and Humanity, Kuya Daniel Razon!

 

To God be the Glory!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Take on Issues: Christianity and Democracy

There are many religions on this earth, each claiming to be the real one. Certain groups believe that religion is fiction. According to Karl Marx, “Religion is the opium of the people.” I beg to disagree. Perhaps ‘False Relgion’ is the opium of the people.

People of faith are being bashed on media and internet for the actions of a couple. Some people do things that are downright dishonorable – subject to criticism and disapproval by the rest of society. And this causes the world to be misled, to believe in the entirety of atheistic principles – including the nauseous idea that people came from apes. Such that even Richard Dawkins believes that the God of the Bible is a sadomasochist! God forbid anyone be misled by this foolish man. (See: The Sadomasochistic Tales of the Stupid Richard Dawkins by Mr. Controversy)

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In the U.S., people celebrated the day when all of the states of this superpower country legalized same-sex marriage. They took to twitter with the hashtag #LoveWins. But later, in Kentucky, there was an issue regarding deputy clerk Kim Davis who, according to her beliefs, refused to issue a same-sex couple a marriage license – a clear violation of their constitutional rights. Davis believes she has a right to the practice of her faith, thereby not granting the marriage license to which she believes is a practice of her faith. But where do we draw the line between religious rights and constitutional rights?

Let’s talk about democracy first and get this thing straightened out.

In Democracy in Brief of the Bureau of International Information Programs, it is written:

Democracy, which derives from the Greek word “demos,” or “people,” is defined, basically, as government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents. Or, in the memorable phrase of President Abraham Lincoln, democracy is government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

But on page 26, under “Rule of Law,” the following is stated:

democracy pic

No individual is above the law. Clear as day!

I am no expert at politics, but I think this part of the conversation is pretty much intact. That said, despite having her religious rights, Kim Davis obviously have violated the law of the land. The rule of law defends against threats of tyranny and lawlessness – she can’t be exempt from the law because of her beliefs. This is where the “Separation of Church and State” comes in.

So, on the grounds of democracy, Davis’ actions are undoubtedly wrong. But on the grounds of Christian faith, could she be correct?

What better way to cross-examine this issue by going to one very unrefutable Christianity exposé blogger, Mr. Controversy?

Here is an excerpt taken from the website ControversyExtraordinary.com:

Christ emphatically expressed that there are things for God and things for Caesar. Christ did not remove from his disciples the acknowledgement to government and to Caesar’s power. In fact Christ even taught His disciples to subject themselves to the power of the government.

MATTHEW 22:17-21
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
ROMANS 13:1-2
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
I PETER 2:13
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

But even to such submission, Christ emphatically expressed that there are things for God which are not meant to be spent for luxurious lifestyles.

Mr. Controversy in “Iglesia ni Cristo Straining the Gnats but not the Camel,” ControversyExtraordinary.com

The Philippines has democratic constitution like that of the United States of America and should adhere to the same logic. In the above excerpt, the author accurately explained that Christians do subject to government.

In the blog above from which I just quoted, Mr. Controversy addresses against a certain issue regarding a religious organization which claims that their religious rights are being violated.  From August 28 to August 30, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo group rallied in protest of the Department of Justice’s move accepting the complaints filed by Isaias Samson Jr. against, not the church group, but 8 individual members of the church group. It turns out that, for the Iglesia Ni Cristo sect, when Justice Secretary Leila De Lima did her job, she simply violated their religious rights.

They rallied on the weekend along one of the busiest highways of Metro Manila, EDSA. They exclaimed, in summary, that they wanted the government to get their nose out of their church affairs. But is this a legitimate complaint?

In an article by Patrick Quintos of ABS-CBN News published in August 31, it says:

Expelled INC minister, Isaias Samson, earlier filed a criminal complaint against eight members of the INC’s Sanggunian before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ has yet to act upon the complaint, but the INC has already accused the agency of selective justice, calling on the government to leave the matter alone to the church, citing the Constitution’s provision on the separation of the Church and the State.

“Religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo members cry for separation of Church and State in their protests along Shaw Boulevard on Sunday, August 30.” (Photo & Caption: Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV

Netizens react to INC rallyists who condemn Justice Secretary of the Philippines. (Photo taken from Twitter)

Netizens react to INC rallyists who condemn Justice Secretary of the Philippines. (Photo taken from Twitter)

See Tweet-reaction Compilation by Rappler: INC protesters anger commuters, stranded motorists

“I don’t want to have this conflict. I don’t want to be in the spotlight. And I certainly don’t want to be a whipping post,” Davis said. “I am no hero. I’m just a person that’s been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work, be with my family. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience.”

– “Kentucky clerk won’t interfere with gay marriage licenses,” Associated Press published on Yahoo.com, by Claire Galofaro

Despite saying she does not want conflict, Davis continues to say that she has no plans on resigning from her government position, and she will not go against her conscience. This is despite that she had sworn oath to do her duty under the authority of the laws and provisions of the constitution.

Photo taken from Twitter

Photo taken from Twitter

Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore put it perfectly when he asked the rhetorical question, “Since when do federal employees get to renegotiate the conditions of their employment?… Like her job has to match the view of the world in order for it to work.” He further adds, “Why is speaking her mind a quality admired and rewarded above all others right now?” He went on to compare her actions to Donald Trump’s public statements against Mexicans.

In addition to her actions, she comes out to Kentucky in election season in support of Huckabee. Wilmore termed that the lady is “forcing her beliefs” on the constitution which is clearly a violation of individual rights as well.

(You can watch the Nightly Show whole commentary on this below.)

What kind of God do these people serve? What kind of God does Davis serve? As proven with the verses stated earlier, the God of Christians definitely wouldn’t have His people ‘force’ their beliefs on anyone.

Of course, the law of man is imperfect. Absolute justice isn’t exactly being carried out everywhere at all times, especially in places where democracy does not apply, such as in the Middle East, and China.

But according to Televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano, “In God’s justice, the worst crime done ignorantly, especially of unbelievers, is pardonable (1 Tim 1:13).”

Therefore, ignorance is pardonable.

In the truest sense of God’s justice, no biblically inclined mind and thinking will conform to the internationally accepted fallacy of human principle on laws  Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

The principle  states, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith”.

The primary logical question is: How can you comply with a law you do not know?

The lawyer Apostle Paul said, where there is no law, sin cannot be imputed (Romans 4:15).

“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”

“Because the law brings punishment from God. Where no law exists, there can be no sin”

God’s law is just and is the formidable bastion of justice (Romans 7:12).

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

Is it justice being served if somebody is being prosecuted for an offense based on a law not known to him?

– Bro. Eli Soriano in “Ignorance of the Law Excuses Someone,” Elisoriano.com

This being the world we live in, it is nice to know that there is true justice that will be served in the end.

“God is a God of perfect justice.Hope in your heart that there is a time — a perfect time for God’s intervention… and it is coming soon!”

– Bro. Eli Soriano in “Perfect Justice in God’s Perfect Time,” elisoriano.com

I support Mr. Controversy and Bro. Eli Soriano, and I urge you to read up more about these controversial issues pertaining to faith from these two blogs: controversyextraordinary.com and elisoriano.com/blog

To God be the Glory!

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Honoring Peacekeepers Of The Country: The Philippine National Police

Following the retirement of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Pio Catapang last June, General Leonardo Espina also steps down from his post in the Philippine National Police (PNP). In his place,  in the PNP Change Of Command Ceremony in Camp Crame, held last July 16, 2015.

Photo Credit: Philstar.com

Knowing Our Police Force

In accordance with Republic Act 6975 aka. Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, the PNP we know today was officially formed in January 29, 1991, upon the merging of the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police. With Headquarters located in Quezon City, the 160,000 strong force belongs under the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Leonardo Espina became the 19th PNP Chief in February 2015 following the removal of PNP Chief Alan Purisima from his post. The Force had suffered greatly in January, when 44 officers in the Special Action Force fell during the Mamasapano Maguindanao encounter.

The New PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez officially took over on July 19. As I listen to his inaugural speech, I have come to know the 20th PNP Chief as someone promising. In words put simply, like all the PNP Chiefs before him, he is not meek on wanting to make improvements and changes in the Police Service, for the betterment of this country – the safety of its people. (See: Marquez’s Inaugural Speech FULL TEXT)

Espina, on Tuesday, earlier remarked on Marquez’s “proven track record,” describing him, rather, to be a hardworking officer.” In his inaugural speech, he mentions a new anti-crime model they’ve been working on.

 

Looking Forward to Peace

I admire the force and its efforts to sustain peace within the nation’s borders. For instance, the PNP’s preparation for President Benigno Aquino III’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) was substantial and, as Marquez put it, “not overkill.” I would like to believe that PNP is taking every step to observe peace within the country but what about us? What part do we play?

In keeping the peace, there should be mutual agreement amnong all concerned parties for the Police Force does not have simply one enemy. We keep blaming and blaming but what do we really do? In the end, rallies are futile and blaming reaps nothing. I support these peacekeepers in their intentions and admire all those who have joined the force for the greater good, not for self-profit or gain but genuinely for the peace.

Truly, there has not been enough thanks but criticism, not only toward the government but most especially even towards our Police force. And, in this scenario, we cannot blame them if they are discouraged by these strong oppositions that aim to further the demise rather than help the cause.

But for this matter also, it is very timely for events that promote our heroes rather than destroy them. Such was with the recently concluded “Songs For Heroes 2: Ang Mamatay ng Dahil Sa’yo,” a benefit concert under UNTV: Your Public Service Channel in which we showcased talents from and for the PNP and AFP. On behalf of the Filipino people who truly care, I support our peacekeepers and their sacrifices for our country throughout the years.

 

See also:

PNP Change of Command Ceremony (Video) | Rappler.com

TRANSCRIPT: SONA 2015 sa Wikang Filipino | UNTV Web

7 Reasons to Watch and Support Benefit Concerts like Songs For Heroes 2 | With Letters and Time

Songs For Heroes 2 | PNP Public Information Office

SAF44 Inspired Sequel Concert: Songs For Heroes 2 | Medium.com

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Honoring the Peacekeepers of the Country: Philippine Military

What if the Philippine Military Didn’t Exist?

A country is defined by many things – its people, its culture, geographical borders and natural resources, but what would our country be without its military?

“We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’” – Allen West.

Today, the Republic of the Philippines stands strong, having good ties with many countries including strong nations like the United States of America.

According to a global review of military forces, the country ranks 40th in the world (See: GlobalFirePower.com), ranking 6th strongest military in South East Asia, after Malaysia. The Philippine Military has around 220,000 active frontline personnel and 430,000 in reserve.

So, what if, all of a sudden, it disappeared?

A Nation Divided

Without a military to protect us, we would not stay united for long. It is most likely that we would be easily colonized by surrounding countries like China and Japan, and stronger nations such as the United States, and since we will not be a threat to any invaders.

Because of its geographical position, the country holds fairly well economically. So why wouldn’t we be targeted by larger nations for trade and natural resource, to add to that?

The Republic of Minerva fell after Congo recovered the disputed land. They didn’t have the military means to fight back. Thus, without our military, we can only imagine what will become of the Philippines. Our nation may inevitably become disputed territory itself.

At present, there are only 23 nations without an active military. Unlike these 23 nations, the Philippines cannot afford to lose its own.

Collapse from Within

According to Global Fire Power Staff Writer, “With a growing economy and lack of bordering neighbors, the main threat to the Philippines comes from within.” I quite agree. A lack of military force to sustain government may result in an uprising within its own people.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, together with the Philippine National Police, are peacekeepers of this nation. Russel Neglia says, “No nation can call itself great without an efficient military.” (See: Why A Nation’s Military Is So Important) So whether from within the country or in the international playing field, we civilians have a lot to be thankful for.

Showing our Appreciation

Our land, water and sky is kept safe by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose lives are dedicated to protecting us, just like those from the Special Action Force (SAF) who were part of the Mamasapano Expedition in January 2015 where 44 brave men died.

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(c) Songs For Heroes on Facebook

The day of the encounter, our country suffered a great loss and we sympathized deeply with the families they left behind. In March, to commemorate these valiant men, UNTV: Your Public Service Channel launched the “Songs For Heroes Concert,” a project initiated by Bro. Eli Soriano of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) and Mr. Public Service Daniel Razon in coordination with the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, which was held at the Araneta Coliseum in March.

“…Let us be like our Gallant 44 heroes who have died for the sake peace.”

Bro. Eli Soriano, Songs of Heroes Concert, March 2015

Over 6 Million in pesos was raised for the benefit of the bereaved families, but it doesn’t end there.

Another benefit concert is promised and coming to fruition soon, proving time and again the Public Service advocacy of UNTV. Together, let us look forward to and support “Songs For Heroes 2” which is aimed at assisting members of the SAF who were injured during the Mamasapano Maguindanao encounter.

To know more about Songs For Heroes Benefit Concert, read the following articles:

http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2015/03/26/1437501/songs-heroes-raises-p6m

http://www.untvradio.com/proceeds-sa-songs-for-heroes-concert-ipinagkaloob-na-sa-pnp/

http://www.untvweb.com/news/the-night-we-sang-for-heroes/

https://airamesereth.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/3-good-things-the-songs-for-heroes-concert-showed-us/

To know more about the Philippine Military, see the links below below:

http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=philippines

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Bro. Eli: Steward of Truth & Servant of God for 51 Years

“There is no better way to live our lives than to live by the intent of our Creator” – Bro. Eli Soriano

Photo taken from usnews.com

An unforgettable encounter

When my grandmother died of heart attack, it was as if the pain caused by her death was unbearable. But nothing beats the hurt that cuts deep into my heart by what happened during her wake. Yet, I consider that opportunity something of importance, a great chance that helped make me stronger. It was because I have gained the best opportunity to defend someone dear to me.

When someone is dear to you, you couldn’t just sit back while people spoke ill of that person. The person am talking about is Bro. Eli Soriano. Even though I considered my grandmother dear to me, so is Bro. Eli, ever since that moment when I learned the truth of the Bible through him.

I am the kind of person who hardly show up at any family get-together, so being there, at my grandmother’s wake in June last year was quite unusual in itself. The last time I saw her alive was at the burial of my maternal grandfather. I think they said she insisted to come. I loved her for that and regret the times I couldn’t spend with her.

PG from the Drawing of S. L. Fildes “The empty chair” Gad’s Hill Ninth of June 1870 / Photo taken from: finedictionary.com

My mother text-messaged me one Sunday morning and broke the news. I was in Pampanga at the time and left in quite haste. I had decided to visit her wake with my paternal uncle.

At the wake, he introduced me to a few relatives. I’ve seen a few of them before; and most are already familiar of me. Incidentally, this was because I had also attended the wake of my second-cousin who died in February. (It was a car accident.)

I took a long look inside the coffin—a long last look at my grandmother, who, even in death, wore a smile. Before I went there, my heart was heavy with guilt knowing that she had expressed how much she loved to see us but I couldn’t make the time.

There were a few among our relatives who took notice of me. They eyed me strangely, and I thought I knew why. I took a liking to one of the elder women who dressed familiarly simple. She had her hair in a bun and wore a long skirt. Finally, she asked, “You know, I’ve seen you before. You always seem to dress like that, very modest and meek.”

They were third-cousins perhaps once-removed. One thing led to another and I found out they belonged to Haligi ng Dios Kay Kristo Hesus. I had also told them of my faith, that I joined Members Church of God International (MCGI) recently. I mentioned that it was the group led by Bro. Eli Soriano. “You are knowledgeable of him, I believe,” I inquired of the woman who asked to be called Lilang. (Lilang refers to an old aunt in their province.)

I had been eager to find brethren among them. So it hurt my heart to hear how they were very contrary towards Brother Eli. It was not a surprise for I have already heard about the history of both our faiths.

Times Have Changed

On April 7, 1964, at the age of 17, Bro. Eli Soriano was baptized, joining a congregation of Christians then led by Bro. Nicholas Perez. (See: http://www.elisoriano.com/biography) After the death of Bro. Perez, there was disarray in tenet which led to the division of the church members allegiance to different people who claimed the right to lead them after Bro. Perez. One of the groups listened to Soriano, and the one which now claims the name Haligi ng Dios Kay Kristo Hesus, was led by the late Levita Gugulan.

I knew a different Bro. Eli from the one my Lilang had imposed from the stories told in their church. She claims to have worked with him back in the day, being a deaconess in their church. She says she felt it as a waste for such a man, who was so knowledgeable of the Bible and so good at defending it to turn corrupt. She tells me that she heard Brother Eli was infuriated to find Gugulan in the position of authority instead of him, so that is why he led some astray. These are all LIES! –lies of their congregation that scarred into their history; and she openly stated, “It’s so wasteful of you to be of Ang Dating Daan, with Soriano” to my face with a sympathetic front that left me pitying her instead. I saw her sorrow and her sister’s too. But my heart was heavy thinking how deceived they are.

It will be almost two years for me in the Church. Bro. Eli has been leading this congregation as a servant of God for five decades, and tomorrow marks his 51st year of service. If you ask any true brethren why we love Bro. Eli, they’d tell you that his sympathy for his fellowmen is sincere.

Photo Credits: MCGI.org

I have not been in the Church for that many years, but already I feel the power of the Holy Spirit working in Bro. Eli with every lesson he teaches based on the Holy Scriptures. My aunts told me these most-likely fabricated and/or exaggerated stories about Bro. Eli, in order to pull me out of the brotherhood, the Church I now knew. They pitied me and told me what a waste it was for me to be with the congregation, following after the biblical preaching of Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. But I knew better. I stood fast to my faith for I knew that they were wrong.

Some people simply look into his eyes as he spoke, and they believed he preached in all honesty and commitment. But God works in ways you cannot imagine, that words do not stay merely words, but become actions. Members of the congregation work together, and this in itself is very inspiring.

Times have changed. The congregation he led since that time grew much stronger and much faithful. Lilang mentioned variations between the practices theirs during Bro. Perez’s times and ours now, and that is because Bro. Eli never ceased studying the Bible, improving the practices of faith of the brethren as we continued to grow.

A True Servant of God

As written in prophecy according to the Bible, many were called to the Church. Many turned back to the Lord through the efforts of the congregation which did sympathize with Bro. Eli and the work of God. I believe it so because I witnessed it myself.

Delegates wave their flags while joyously cheering “To God be the Glory!”/ Photo by Hazel David (@hazeeyski) via twitter

I felt his compassion and dedication to the work of God. I realized so much here compared to when I was a catholic, a self-acclaimed non-denominational Christian, and later even a deist. It was only Brother Eli’s words that struck me, that intervened in my heart and changed my outlook in so many aspects of life completely.

If my Lilang were to read this, she’ll then know that I’ll never turn away from that, not even by the words of blood-relatives. It is justice to stand in the truth, and God is first before anyone else, even family; And I wish that everyone would realize that Bro. Eli is not what the fabricated stories and false accusations claim him to be.

And to Bro. Eli, in the fifty-first year of your service to God, beloved Brother Eli, I believe that God works in you. Happy 51st year in service to God Bro. Eli Soriano, Steward of Truth & Servant of God!

Brother Eli in Brazil during the International Thanksgiving in April 2015/ Photo Credits: MCGI.org

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3 Good Things the Songs for Heroes Concert Showed Us

Earlier this year, 44 soldiers of the Special Action Force were killed by muslim rebels during a mission in Mamasapano, Mindanao. When Televangelist Brother Eliseo F. Soriano of the group Members Church of God International (MCGI) heard of this great casualty, he no sooner proposed that a Charity Concert be launched to commemorate the so-called Gallant 44, and provide help to the families they left behind.

With the efforts of Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon and UNTV: Your Public Service Channel, the ‘Songs for Heroes Concert’ was arranged and set on March 19, 2015 at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena. The concert venue was easily jam-packed, and it was a total success. At least 7 Million Pesos was raised for the families of the Gallant 44, members of the Special Action Force who were killed. It was amazing to see a lot of people come together to support the event, and a lot of famous people who helped sponsor the event. (See: Brother Eli Soriano’s Call on Twitter Produced Full House Songs For Heroes Concert)

Being able to partake in this moving event, I feel quite inspired and uplifted. I feel happy and just thankful to God for these families, despite the heartache they have recently suffered. And with regards to the concert, here are 3 wonderful facts that it has taught us:

1. Officers are tough-looking, protectors of society who can sing.
In this heartwarming event, we were able to witness performances not only from renowned musical artists, bands and YouTube sensations, but from AFP and PNP’s very own. A notable performance by 3rd Class Officer Lorly Diatras with his rendition of the song “Go the Distance,” sung with the AFP Combo, was well-loved by the audience. The Philippine National Police’s very own Major Allan Cabanlong also sung the tear-jerking interpretation of “In My Life” together with the PNP Combo.

“PNP Major Allan Cabanlong singing ‘In My Life,'” Originally posted on Twitter by @TheOldPathTV

And the AFP and PNP Chorale in their uniforms were admirable as they sung the Nationa Anthem, standing alongside artists Jayson Fernandez, Miro Valera, Jeck Manuel and Mcoy, when they later performed the Medley songs “Salamat” and “Iisang Bangka” which emphasized how life may not always be a smooth-sailing voyage, and that true friends are needed during times of the rough waves.

“The AFP and PNP Chorale,” Photo taken by Prince Maverick Medina Marquez/Photoville International (taken from untvradio.com)

As Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, AFP Chief of Staff, later mentioned in his speech, “While you may see us as tough-looking individuals displaying no emotions, as what our duty requires, we also have lighter sides which we are so willing to display especially tonight. We in the Armed forces of the Philippines are very much privileged to join our celebrity entertainers, as well as our talented singers and musicians in performing for tonight’s benefit concert.”

2. You can bring the starry night sky to people who need them.
All the performances were very heart-warming and tear-jerking. Some songs were about patriotism; others poked through hearts and made to reminisce the happiest moments of the families of the SAF 44 before their tragic deaths.

Some in the audience were in tears as they listened to the duet performances of Faith Cuneta and Bo Cerrudo, performing the songs “Dakilang Lahi” and “Iisang Lahi.” The group 5th Gen performed “One Sweet Day” which, on a positive light, brought a message of hope that they would one day see their loved ones’ smiling faces again.

“These people are very simple people who died na wala silang naiwan sa pamilya nila kundi yung pagmamahal nila sa bayan… in this way malaking bagay itong magagawa dahil itong benefit concert na ito ay makakatulong lalo na sa family ng mga naulila ng ating mga heroes.” (“These people are very simple people who died leaving nothing to their families but love for their country… in this way, it is a great contribution because this benefit concert will help especially the families left behind by our heroes.”)

– Jeck Manuel, Artist/Performer

You wouldn’t exactly be able to choose which performance stood out because all were lovely and special in their own way, with each performer really pouring their sympathies for the families. But when Noel Cabangon took the stage to perform “Kanlungan” and asked the audience to ‘light up’ their cell phones, it sent a beautiful message that I wished could’ve wipe the tears of the grieving family members. Because when there’s rain pour, it’s quite hard to see the beautiful stars in the night sky.

“MOA Arena lights up with cellular phones while Noel Cabangon plays ‘Kanlungan,'” Photo by Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International for MCGI

These families were grieving, yes, but after the rain has passed and dark clouds lifted, it would be wonderful to see the countless stars that are perhaps willing to guide the way to a peaceful heart—reminding them that there are so many people who sympathize with them. And I learned that if you can’t be under the starry night sky because of the dark clouds, you can still light up the dark MOA Arena during a mesmerizing star-light performance.

#Songs4HeroesConcert "Panapanahon ang pagkakataon, maibabalik b khapon."

A post shared by Reese Q, RN (@reese.likethechocolate) on

This brings me to my third point.

3. There are people who genuinely care.
When some families were interviewed and asked about their thoughts regarding the benefit concert, one of them, Nicky Nacino, Sr., father of late SAF member, PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr., honestly replied that he at first doubted the gesture by UNTV saying, “Kasi marami ng gumamit ng [nangyari sa] SAF para lang mangalap [ng pera]. Iyon po yung una kong reaksyon, pero sa nakita ko po ngayon parang nagagandahan naman ako kasi pag pasok palang namin iba yung tumanggap. Habang hinahatid kami, iba ng iba. ‘Uy okay ata ito’ sabi ko” (“Because many are using the SAF [incident] to garner [money]. That was my first reaction, but with what I have seen now, I found it pleasing because even when we first came here, the welcoming was different. As we were escorted, it was improving. ‘Oh, I think this [event] is okay,’ I told myself.”)

We admire your sincerity and believe that you also found it in your heart the sincerity of this event that was meant especially for you.

Brother Eli Soriano, the proponent of this Benefit Concert, through live-streaming, spoke at the event, reminiscing how he thought of the idea in the first place. “Karangalan para sa kanilang pamilya na sila’y sumuong sa mapanganib na lugar para lamang ipatupad ang batas, to serve the warrant of arrest of some suspects of criminal acts; na aking naisip ang bagay na ito na ‘papaano kaya matutulungan?’ Kasi I want to sympathize with these people, yung kanilang mga naiwang pamilya… (It is an honor to their families that they infiltrate into a dangerous place for the sake of fulfilling the command, to serve the warrant of arrest of some suspects of criminal acts; then I thought this, ‘how could [we] possibly help them?’ Because I want to sympathize with these people, the families they have left behind…)”

@BroEliSoriano on Twitter

Brother Eli Soriano also offered free scholarship at La Verdad Christian College Caloocan for the children of the Gallant 44, and thanked all those who supported and graced the event, acknowledging Atom Henares, president of the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation who so willingly donated an additional 500,000 php for the families.

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PNP Officer-in-charge Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, through Police Superintendent Nestor Quinsay said, “On the part of the PNP, we will always be here for the families and loved ones of our brave 44. While we move forward from sadness we felt in their tragic death, bilang kinatawan ng PNP, lubos po ang aming pasasalamat sa lahat ng nakiramay at patuloy na tumutulong sa pamilya ng ating magigiting na pulis.”

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The outpouring love and support was plentiful. Being able to witness such an event take place for the benefit of these families, to help them in the process of grieving, letting them know that a lot of people cared enough about them and that they are not alone in seeking justice for their loved ones’ deaths, it was just such a worthwhile experience.

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Thanks be to God. May God bless us all.

“Nakita ko na marami pala kaming kasama na lalaban para sa hustisya.” (“I see [now] that many are actually with us to fight for justice.”

– Erica Pabalinas, widow of Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas

Kuya Daniel Razon, in agreement with Brother Eli Soriano, plans to make a second Benefit Concert dedicated to the other 77 injured SAF 44. Everybody is waiting for it to come to fruition.