The Modern Day Miracle That is The Old Path

The sick healed; the elderly cared for; and wayward children find heart once more to obey their parents.

Though The Old Path is a far cry from touch-your-TV-screen-and-get-suddenly-well kind of programming, the peace of mind and goodwill it has inculcated in people throughout its three-decade run remains nothing short of a miracle.

Three’s A Crew

From the beginning, The Old Path has already been a wonder of sorts. Manned (and “womaned”) by only three production crew members, the Ang Dating Daan (ADD) broadcast started on radio in 1980 via DWWA 1206 KHz.

Its live biblical Q & A format soon gained popularity among its listeners, and just months after, Bro. Eli was invited to the Dis is Manolo and His G.E.N.I.U.S. Family radio program. The show originally featured a panel of preachers from various religions to entertain the listeners’ queries. Not long after being on board, the Bible-based preacher would become its sole resource person.

In 1983, ADD would start its television broadcast on IBC 13 with a total of three people behind the whole production. Bro. Eliseo Soriano was the host and Sis. Luz Cruz was the researcher and executive producer. Bro. Daniel Razon, who was still in high school then, became the director, editor, sound man as well as other technical positions needed for a TV show to run.

Now, that same radio-television show is being carried by cable lines, Internet packets, and seven satellites circling the globe. To Portuguese-speaking nations, it is known as O Caminho Antigo; to Spanish-speaking peoples, as El Camino Antiguo. And the list goes on of the languages that Ang Dating Daan is now heard in.

But while broadcast milestones and breakthroughs are undeniable achievements of The Old Path, its crowning glory will always be the countless people it has helped, and taught to help.

34 Years That Count

In the Philippines, they are known as the Ang Dating Daan or ADD, a term that has perhaps been perpetually cemented in the minds of many Filipinos to be the name of the Church. But in both legal and biblical lexicality, the organization behind the program is known as the Members Church of God International or MCGI.

Of course, elsewhere, MCGI is recognized as Membros Igreja de Deus Internacionale or Miembros Iglesia de Dios Internacionale or in any other translation of the Church’s name where its members can be found.

However, should memory fail to remember proper appellation, it can always turn to pro bono action.

Free medical missions, public transport rides, sheltering and feeding programs are just some of the charities that the MCGI brethren commit to daily. Add free college programs; homes for the elderly, youths, and abandoned babies; and that most noble of public services: Reading and giving God’s advice, Gospel; the world now has a miraculous thing unfolding before its very eyes. If anything, it is a remarkable set of events reminiscent of the time when early Christians preached in diverse languages simultaneously and healed the un-whole without remuneration; albeit with the aid of modern science and technology.

To imagine that all these sprung from and flourished in a third-world country like the Philippines may leave others in unbelief, as miracles often do. But despite all odds, The Old Path has proven to be the program it always was — one of faith, hope and love. Basa. (Read)

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16, KJV)

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Dr. Mon Del Rosario: Being on UNTV’s ASOP is “Very Fulfilling”

ASOP Judges having a blast during an episode of the pioneering Gospel program on television of UNTV. (Photo courtesy of ASOP Facebook Page)

ASOP Judges having a blast during an episode of the pioneering Gospel program on television of UNTV. (Photo courtesy of ASOP Facebook Page)

The “regular guy” who crafted Filipino hits like Isang Linggong Pag-ibig and Sino Ang Baliw, and that Il Divo classic, Somewhere in My Past, is having a “very fulfilling time” mentoring on television.

“I only experienced this now, wherein the judge becomes a mentor,” expressed Dr. Mon Del Rosario, on being a part of the pioneering Gospel-songwriting competition of UNTV, the A Song of Praise Music Festival or ASOP.

Conceptualized by BMPI CEO Kuya Daniel Razon, ASOP started airing in September of 2011 on UNTV. The first of its kind, ASOP allows its judges to comment on each song entry, fostering songwriting education for both the participants and the masses.

Dr. Del Rosario, who has judged in various competitions, said that being on board ASOP is a really defining experience. The composer-cum-record artist told that in other judging engagements there is no opportunity for rapport with the composer. With ASOP however, “I have a chance to build friendships, to encourage them.”

A Nationwide Ticket to Teach

Though a medical practitioner by degree, Dr. Del Rosario is a teacher by heart.

“This is a nationwide ticket [to teach],” explained “Sir Mon,” who expressed that teaching would be his chosen profession had he not become a doctor.

However, the doctor added that imparting music-making dos and don’ts actually work both ways. “Before every episode, I study; I go back to the theory. So when I speak there, I would make sense; I become sharper as well,” told Del Rosario.

A Medical Approach to Music-Making

Despite having traded the scalpel for the pen, the doctor is still able to dissect every now and then. Albeit, for music-making.

“It’s like the medical field applied to music,” commented Dr. Mon who is known for giving spot-on comments on how to improve the contestants’ songwriting craft.

“I was surprised during the first episode. When I spoke, nobody else did,” recounted Dr. Mon of his first experience judging in ASOP. “I asked why, and got nervous. ‘Did I do anything wrong?’”

It turned out however that what the doctor did was just exactly what the program prescribed. “So later on, from just being a special judge, they made me a regular judge,” continued Dr. Mon. “They needed a matador [laughs],” he added.

Do-Re-Mi

Recounting how his now three-year tenure all began, the doctor admitted that he wasn’t familiar with the new network due to a number of projects he had in his hands.

“Heber Bartolome told me about this,” he said. “When he told me that it was Kuya Daniel Razon heading the network, I said, ‘Ah! I know him.”

Dr. Mon explained that he has been one of the people in the music industry who have been pushing for the Composers Society Advocacy way back, but that there was no broadcaster backing, except for Kuya Daniel. “My general manager then told me that, ‘Daniel is our ally.’

A doctor in his own right, D Hum Razon is a veteran broadcaster who launched ASOP in the intention of bringing back songs of praise that encourage people to acknowledge and praise God.

“I haven’t seen any songwriting contests that talk about praise to God,” told Dr. Daniel during the ASOP Year 3 Grand Finals on September 23, 2014 at the Smart-Araneta Coilseum.

May Awa ang Dios (God Has Mercy) claimed the Song of the Year title on the said event — a poignant ballad resounding a common utterance of the Filipino populace about trusting on what the mercy of God can do in people’s lives.

“This is a very great thing, the songs of praise. That at this moment, we humble down ourselves and express that we won’t be here if it weren’t for Him above,” told Kuya Daniel.

Far More Than Just Wordplay

Wordplay can turn a simple statement into an effective pun or a memorable lyric. It has the ability to surprise by breaking otherwise cliché sentences.

But as well-seasoned writers and speakers know too well, there is a wise difference between being playful and being absurd. And in the recent case of a pastor named Barbara Taylor — between being biblical and being blasphemous.

In her book called “Let There Be Night,” the author alleged that important biblical events that involved the Israelites, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul happened at night, and concluded that “Darkness holds more lessons than light.”

However reading from the actual Holy Book itself, Taylor’s statements fail immeasurably from what God’s words really mean.

In his post titled “Let There Be Night” Eschews Guidance and Growth, award-winning-blogger Bro. Eli Soriano not only cites verses debunking each of Taylor’s claims, but also proves that the word of God is far beyond the meddling of any mortal. And is worthy of all the reverence it deserves.

Take note that there was an inherent darkness before God pronounced and expressed what was in His thinking, “Let there be light.” Contrary to what Taylor espoused, what is biblical is, Let there be light and not, Let there be night! — Bro. Eli Soriano

Amen.

At the End of the Day, It’s Really About the People

A couple of years back, UNTV — a media network — started Clinic ni Kuya (Big Brother’s Clinic).

For the first time in Philippine broadcast history, people lined up outside a television station not to seek a few minutes of fame on a game show, but daily, free medical, dental, and legal attention and care.

Clinic ni Kuya would later on spread across the country and continue to offer its free checkups and medicines to more people. That is, alongside medical mission programs the Public Service Channel conducted in far-flung provinces through its Mobile Clinic.

UNTV also has an Action Center to handle people’s medical, legal, and even lost-family-member concerns. Apart from its hotline numbers, UNTV Action Center put up a Facebook page in January 2014. (In the Philippines, some service providers offer free Facebook on prepaid mobile phones.)

Now, UNTV aims to give not only more services, but bring them closer to the masses.

UNTV People's Day - Pasay City April 2014

Going to Barangay Malibay in Pasay City, UNTV Action Center hosted its second People’s Day on April 25 this year. Joining the Good-Samaritan sequel were the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Reserved Command to *name a few.

UNTV-CEO Kuya Daniel Razon said that the monthly activity will offer varied services depending on the barangay’s needs. “If there’s something more they need, we’ll add that service to that particular barangay,” told Kuya Daniel.

Arcenia Cortez, an 82-year-old woman said of the recent People’s Day, “Medical missions are of great help to the poor who receive free medicines, as we don’t have money to buy them.”

In the past years, UNTV has also done relief efforts to calamity victims and even participated in a Simultaneous Medical Mission that served over 20,000 Filipinos in a single day (less a worldwide-worth of traffic-jam-induced stress on a weekday).

And while UNTV may in fact be a media network, in deed, it remains as the Philippines’ Public Service Channel. For at the end of each operating day, it’s not just about the people watching. But about the people.

Photo credit: Rey Vercide, PVI

* ANG DATING DAAN FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL INC

– UNTV NEWS AND RESCUE

– KAMANGGAGAWA FOUNDATION INC

– MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION

BOARD

– PHILHEALTH

– MANILA DOCTORS MEDICAL CENTER

– ARMY GENERAL HOSPITAL

– ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES RESERVED COMMAND

– ST CIVIL MILITARY OPERATION COMPANY

– CUT ENCARNACION SALON

– I LEARN

– RED BULL

– ST AVENUE ADVERTISING AND DESIGN CORPORATION

– ALBA CATERING

– POCARI SWEAT

– TIMOTEO PAEZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

UNTV Drones: Giving a Better View of Life

A UNTV Drone captures a bus ferry cruising pass the Post Office in Manila along the Pasig River.

An air-conditioned passenger boat in the Pasig River is seen passing by the Post Office. The small Philippine flag on its tail waves along as it treads the rehabilitated river’s contours. It may not be the ferry’s maiden voyage, but both its cruising and its capture on camera are calls for celebration.

Last month, UNTV reported about the bus ferries of the Nautical Transport Services Incorporated (NTSI) which will start its operations this April 2014. Especially with government road infrastructure projects at hand, the service offers a more fluid commute from Pasig to Manila and back than the usual hours-long jeepney or bus rides.

Using one of its aerial drones, UNTV was able to give its viewers a different kind of television experience: the Philippine Eagle kind.

Flying drones for news reportage is unheard of in the country, and quite possibly even in Asia. But according to UNTV-CEO Daniel Razon, news coverage is only the drones’ pilot use.

“One of the drones we are acquiring now has the capability to carry a lifesaver,” told *Kuya Daniel. The drones’ ultimate use will be for rescue missions, Razon added.

The test flight of the public service network’s first drone showed the extent of Typhoon Haiyan’s damage to Tacloban City in November of 2013. The drone flew approximately 90 feet off the ground to deliver the clear breadth of the city’s devastation.

A UNTV Drone greets Manila with the sun and the streets on view from way up high.

A UNTV Drone greets Manila with the sun and the streets on view from way up high.

Since then, UNTV’s drones fly daily for a refreshing take on traffic news or a Peter Pan view of a new means of public transport.

This April, as commuters take a bus with propellers and not wheels, a UNTV drone will once again hover on high to deliver live coverage to home viewers from a good distance.

According to an NTSI representative, each bus ferry comes with a sufficient number of life vests and a member of the Philippine Coast Guard on board. And while authorities assure that there is no need for worry, a UNTV drone carrying a lifesaver may just come in handy.

*The veteran broadcaster has been affectionately called kuya or big brother even those among and beyond his peers for his various public service initiatives. Under his stewardship, UNTV — with its slew of services — has become the Philippines’ Public Service Channel.