With 8,688 choristers officially counted by the Guinness World Records, Ang Dating Daan Chorale has set a new world record for the Largest Gospel Choir.
Ms. Fortuna Burke Melhem represented Guinness in the record-breaking attempt during Ang Dating Daan‘s anniversary celebration at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on October 12, 2015.
“The record for the largest gospel choir was 4,745. Today you have the grand new Guinness World Record title,” Ms. Melhem officially announced that got the crowd on their feet and broke out into ear-defeaning cheers.
The adjudicator also disclosed that Guinness “gets 60,000 applications per year and only a tiny, tiny proportion of those applications are actually welcomed into the Guinness World Records family.”
“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,” she added.
At around 11:00 p.m. Philippine time, Guinness posted an official tweet.
ADD Chorale performed a number of praise songs segued with audio-video presentation of Ang Dating Daan’s history on radio, television, and the web.
Bro. Eli Soriano, Overall Servant of Members Church of God International (MCGI) and host of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) program, capped the night’s event saying, “Singing for the glory of the Lord is our pride.”
Assembling at least 15,000 choristers at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum today, Members Church of God International (MCGI) will attempt to break Guinness’ Largest Gospel Choir world record on the 35th anniversary event of its television program, Ang Dating Daan.
Joining via live streaming, chorale groups from MCGI locales around the globe will be performing simultaneously with the assembly in the Big Dome.
The official attempt for the world record will commence at 7 p.m. Philippine time.
Tweetflood for Ang Dating Daan Happy35YearsADD
Since 8:00 this morning in the Philippines, netizens flooded Twitter and Facebook with greetings of Ang Dating Daan Happy35YearsADD.
Ang Dating Daan became a trending topic at around 10:54 a.m. It trended several times more as greetings and tweets pile up.
Meanwhile, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum…
Those who are in the big dome early posted teasers of what to expect later.
Who can stop a thankful heart?
Southwest monsoon, colloquially known as “habagat,” makes commuting more grueling to the already heavily-traffic Northern Philippines. Braving the heavy rain are the tens of thousands members of the Church of God International to join the hundred thousand others worldwide for the international thanksgiving to God.
The 3-day event kicks off today at exactly 6:00 a.m. Philippine time, simultaneously monitored in all time zones through the 1,361 satellite-dependent monitoring centers. More locales are connected through the Internet. MCGI’s Music Ministry leads the congregational singing. Teatro Kristiyano, the theater-dance group of the Church, later joins the Music Ministry in a festive production number.
Appetizer. At around 8:00, Bro. Eli Soriano‘s huge smile flashes on the screen, welcoming attendees from every part of the globe. A taste of the overwhelming biblical wisdom being looked forward to in the 3-day event, Bro. Eli shares a tasteful appetizer revealing the time of Christ’s coming that sends brethren and guests alike into cheerful whistling.
Grateful. “I am grateful that I see this day. I am with the congregation in offering thanksgiving to God for many things,” Bro. Eli is especially thankful for the 16,864 new members added from January to September 2015.
The MCGI Overall Servant also cites the growing number of locales in South America. In Brazil alone, there are now 102 established locales including those in Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, and Espiritu Santo. There are 307 other places that received preaching through DVDs and 58 places by Internet link. Places with ongoing indoctrination currently total to 187.
Latin America records 167 coordinating centers with only three countries left to reach.
Children and Salvation. Why should children be given high importance? How does salvation work for them? Why does God allow children to die in earthquakes and other calamities?
These and many more questions are not left unanswered in the whole-day discussion of the Day 1 topic. Bro. Daniel Razon, Supporting Overall Servant, tackles the Bible’s standpoint to explain the lead-off questions of the topic. Bro. Eli wraps up the highlights with surprising biblical wisdom.
Day 2, July 6, 2013. Time stamp is in Philippine time.
Thanks be to God for another day! It’s day 2 of MCGI international thanksgiving.
6:00 am – Hymns of worship blend with morning east breeze and night west wind as congregants from MCGI locales around the globe raise their voices in congregational singing followed by a song and dance performance from the Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiyano.
7:15 am – It’s bed time in the West side of the earth! Bro. Eli welcomes event-partakers and calls brethren from London and the Americas to be more patient and stay awake, saying, “We need patience to receive the promise (of salvation).”
7:40 am – “Happy second day of thanksgiving, brethren!” Bro. Daniel greets with a warm smile. He kicks off serving today’s topic revealing the manifold wisdom of God. Discussion circles around the saints, the wicked, and judgment day.
9:00 am – Consultation time. Bro. Eli answers questions of faith from brethren and guests.
10:40 am – Bro. Daniel is back on stage for the concluding part of the topic.
11:30 am – Jamming in the house! Back to back praise songs played in drums, sang in high spirit and danced in jovial rhythm lift much more the already ebullient atmosphere.
12:00 pm – Happy chow time! Break for lunch….
2:30 pm – Both young and old are back on stage for group presentations. Moving on to Luzon region with Aming Amang Banal (Our Holy Father).
2:45 pm – Going out of Philippine shores, the Foreign Ministry unites the continents of the world to offer praise and thanksgiving to God.
3:14 pm – They are so thankful to God for their calling to the Church. The newly-baptized members from Santa Cruz, Bolivia sing their overwhelming joy in the Spanish version of Tapat na Mangangaral (Faithful Preacher).
3:23 pm – It’s the Church elders’ turn! Pag-asa ng Puso (Hope of the Heart) fills the air.
3:30 pm – Break for mid-afternoon snack…
4:45 pm – Early members bear witness to how MCGI that started from a group of a few hundreds became a worldwide organization and still growing huge. They share experiences of important events that made what MCGI today is.
Why the history-telling?
“The intent of this portion of our program is for us especially the new brethren to be well-informed of how the Church grew into an international organization having an extraordinary zeal to preach the Gospel. So that the story of salvation will reach every member of the Church,” Bro. Eli explained.
“And to our non-Filipino brethren, so that you will know how the people so poor like the Filipinos have sustained the evangelization works so that they can reach your place,” Bro. Eli added.
Day 1, July 5, 2013. Time stamp is in Philippine time.
6:00 am – Members Church of God International commences today its celebration of the Feast of the Lord. The Music Ministry leads the congregational singing of hymns of praises and thanksgiving. This international thanksgiving of the group is held quarterly for 3 days.
7:00 am – The Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiyano, the dance-theatrical group of MCGI, performs Pasalamat ng Buong Bayan for the opening salvo.
7:10 am – “Good morning, Philippines!”
“Good noon, Middle East!”
“Good evening North and South America!”
Bro. Eli Soriano greets attendees from around the globe participating in the event via live streaming: Asia, Europe, the Americas, Middle East, Africa, and Oceania.
7:30 am – Why does MCGI hold thanksgiving?
“We make God happy whenever we offer Him thanksgiving,” Bro. Eli explained.
“In everything give thanks to God,” he added.
7:40 am – Bro. Daniel Razon, MCGI Vice Presiding Minister, takes the stage for the first biblical topic of the day.
In the introduction part, Bro. Daniel recalled his experience working in Channel 4 to relate his point plainly about being a spokesperson of someone. The scriptwriter of the show told him that he won’t write the opening and closing spiels for him anymore as he doesn’t read them but deliver them his own way. Bro. Daniel advised the scriptwriter to learn his style of delivery and write the spiels that way.
On Christians coming before God, Bro. Daniel shares an awakening thought –
Christians don’t just come to God to ask for something. We come to God to sing for Him, to thank Him.
When God’s blessings are overwhelming, we feel like asking for more would be too much so we come to Him to acknowledge his goodness.
“I come to acknowledge Your goodness. We are proud that You are our Father.”
Funny realities and stories come in random during his discussion echoing crisp laughter around the ADD Convention Center. One story depicting true-to-life events features a woman and her standards in searching a qualified better-half.
At age 20, she got a notebook of requirements.
At 30, the standards are cut half a notebook.
At 35, only a page defines her ideal man.
At 40, the page is trimmed down to a sentence.
At 45, realizing she might not catch up the last trip, so just anyone will do.
9:00 am – Pause for an hour break…
10:45 am – Bro. Daniel resumes discussion of the topic’s highlight.
11:40 am – A clip of the Porkchop Duo stand-up comedy video brings the topic on being concise and brief into a humorous discernment.
12:10 pm – Bro. Eli recaps and finishes the remaining points of the first topic.
1:00 pm – Pause for lunch break…
2:30 pm – Teatro Kristiyano opens the thanksgiving offering part of the program with an interpretative dance of Hanggang sa Langit.
2:40 pm – MCGI kids, known as Kawan ng Cordero (KNC), jam-packs the stage for their song presentation.
2:45 pm – A recorded video shows the KNC and kids from MCGI Free School in Ghana, Africa singing a praise song to God.
2:55 pm – Prison is not a place to be desired – a video of the life in Philippine prison reflects this reality. But MCGI has won souls of people deemed as notorious in society. Now they are offering their thanks to God for a new life and hope to salvation. Nakikiusap (Pleading) resonates the gratitude to God of the brethren from Prison Ministry.
3:10 pm – They sure make everyone feels their presence. The youth’s oozing energy mixes well with their upbeat performance of Dios ng mga dios (God of gods).
3:21 pm – From the joint force of the youth worldwide, the globe now zooms in to Southern Philippines. It’s Mindanao’s turn with their praise song, Tanging Pakamamahalin.
3:35 pm – Moving on to Visayas region, brethren who are Negrosanon, Ilonggo, Cebuano, and Palaweño sing Alay Sa’Yo.
5:00 pm – Bro. Daniel is back on stage to start the second topic for the day.
7:00 am – Pause for dinner break…
8:20 pm – Bro. Eli brushes up and continues the topic.
10:30 pm – Let’s call it a day! Day 1 ends with overwhelming joy for overflowing wisdom. Here’s a collection of heart-openers from Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel:
If we cease to forgive, we also can’t expect forgiveness from the Father. – Bro. Daniel
Every time we come before the Lord, we are obliged to forgive. – Bro. Daniel
On parent-child relationship:
There is a certain feeling of joy to parents when their child asks for something. It brings feelings of happiness. – Bro. Daniel
Ang diwa ng pagkaawa sa anak ng isang ama ay diwang galing sa Dios. Hindi lahat ng ama ganon, may ama namumuhi sa anak. – Bro. Eli
On unwanted moments:
In times of weakness and failure, our trust must always be in God. – Bro. Eli
Irrelevant sa Dios kung may pambili ka ng gamot o wala. Ang pagpapagaling nakasalalay sa Dios. – Bro. Daniel
For more words of inspiration, follow Bro. Eli on Twitter and Bro. Daniel on Facebook. For daily feeds of everything else, listen to Dear Kuya aired Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon over UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350 khz with live streaming via http://www.untvradio.com/
A scene no less than that of last week’s thanksgiving of the whole congregation, members of the Church of God International again fills the ADD Convention Center and all its locales abroad in worship to the Creator for, among many others, one great reason. Bro. Eli Soriano, MCGI Presiding Minister, turns 49 in service to God and the people.
2:00 pm — The congregational singing of hymns starts led by the Music Ministry International.
2:10 pm — A song of thanks and praise to God for giving His Church a leader like Bro. Eli, the Music Ministry International and the Teatro Kristiyano, MCGI’s chorale and theatrical groups, perform Bigay ng Dios (Given by God) to open the thanksgiving presentation part of the program.
2:20 pm — Locales and Church groups in the Philippines are off to the stage for their song number, Pagpapasalamat (Thanksgiving). A video of birthday greetings from brethren in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao plays on TV monitor.
3:00 pm — Moving from Philippines to countries worldwide, brethren from Asia and Oceania, North and South America, Canada, Europe, and Africa divisions sing A Chance to Praise our God.
3:20 pm — Video clips of Remember When concert recall an exciting night with The Platters‘ soulful and rock and roll music. Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon, sang live with the ’60s popular vocal group. Remember When was Bro. Eli’s birthday concert held at ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, Philippines.
During the concert, brethren especially those from locales abroad went frantic when Bro. Eli sang live their song requests. Dubbed Bro. Eli sings your song, Live by request, fun times on this event are happening again today.
3:50 pm — “Feliz Aniversário Irmão Eli,” South American brethren greet Bro. Eli.
4:00 pm — Another song number from Filipino brethren echoes around MCGI locales.
4:20 pm — In a video, brothers and sisters express how grateful they are to God for His diverse works to them. They are especially thankful for His works of salvation through Bro. Eli. Their song Dalangin sa Dios (Prayer to God) tells all their gratefulness and praises to the Almighty One.
4:45 pm — Newly baptized from Brazil, South America sing a Portuguese version of Tapat na Mangangaral (A Faithful Preacher). It was in the early months of 2009 when Latin America has started hearing Bro. Eli’s preaching. From 263 natives forming the first ever locale in the continent, MCGI in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries has grown significantly.
4:55 pm — Hundreds of converts from the Philippines say they heard Bro. Eli’s bold preaching and were enlightened. So they are giving thanks to God for a Tapat na Mangangaral (Faithful Preacher). The song speaks of God’s servants gratefulness to Him for the preachers He sent to His people since the early times.
5:00 pm — Also very grateful to God, Bro. Eli’s household offers a song of thanks.
5:10 pm — From South America, Bro. Daniel utters how much he thanks the Father for the life He gives to Bro. Eli.
“Salamat sa Dios sa buhay na ibinibigay Niya kay Kapatid na Eli…sa pagbibigay sa atin ng isang kaibigan, isang kasamang laging umuunawa sa ating lahat, at mangangaral na umaakay sa atin sa kaligtasan. Dalangin po natin sa Dios na sana ay lagi siyang maingatan (Thanks be to God for the life He’s giving to Bro. Eli, for giving us a friend, a companion who always there to understand us all, and a preacher who leads us to salvation. We pray to God that Bro. Eli will always be cared).”
5;30 pm — Congregational singing of hymns resumes followed by the congregrational prayer.
6:00 pm — Bro. Daniel welcomes to the Church the newly-baptized brethren. He invites guests for a Mass Indoctrination this Monday, April 8.
Day 3, March 30, 2013. Time stamp is at Philippine time.
1:00 am — Sad that the 3-day event has to be over, fulfilled and contented hearts exude from thank-givers’ faces. Everyone looks forward to the next international thanksgiving of MCGI. To God be the Glory!
11:00 pm — Bro. Eli delivers the other important points of the topic. Though highlights have been laid out, Bro. Eli said the topic isn’t finished yet and he will discuss the continuation come Saturday during the regular thanksgiving, God willing.
9:45 pm — Seeing the anxious faces of everyone to hear another long-hidden wisdom, Bro. Daniel unfolds each Bible verse that proves God having faith. It’s the second topic for the day.
9:30 pm — Fun times. Sister Luz Cruz, a Church elder and a Bible-reader, is being teased to sing for the congregation. Brethren join her in singing some popular adaptation songs like Rain and Jamaica Farewell, lyricked by Bro. Eli.
7:40 pm — Bro. Eli consumes the final hours of the 3-day thanksgiving making clear of every point in the topic. He stresses that —
Satan didn’t love any one of us. Satan didn’t show any one of us the mercy and loving-kindness that the Father has showed us. But many people have chosen to take his side.
The very goal of the Church is to unite all men under the banner of Truth.
5:30 pm – While on a mid-afternoon break, Bro. Eli once again renders biblical solutions to faith-related issues.
4:30 pm — From South America, Bro. Eli is seen in all MCGI monitoring centers via livestream discussing the continuation of the topic that Bro. Daniel started this morning.
4:20 pm — A documentary narrates how fruitful 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 for MCGI was. Thousands of souls were turned back to serving God, the global propagation continues, and God’s guidance for its leaders and the congregation, among others, are enough reasons for every member to be ever thankful to God.
The video also shows the surprised, happy faces of brethren in many locales in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, and Bulacan when Bro. Daniel unexpectedly visited them. The visit was to personally see the brethren and know their conditions.
4:10 pm — Standing with thankful hearts, the whole congregation lift its voice in uttermost praise and reverence to the Almighty One in a song Awit ng Aming Pag-ibig (Song of our Love).
4:00 pm — Portuguese and Spanish brethren from Latin America offer their songs of thanksgiving.
3:20 pm — A song of praise emanates from all points of the globe as brethren from Asia, North and South America, Europe, Oceania, and Africa offer their song of thanksgiving.
3:10 pm — The Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (Assistants to the Administration) for Luzon region greets brethren worldwide a joyful thanksgiving to God. Brethren from Luzon sing Alabok na Sisidlan (A Dust Vessel).
2:50 pm — Visayas region’s turn. The region is represented, on ADD Convention Center’s stage, by brethren from the provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental, Iloilo, Panay, Cebu, Palawan, and Leyte. They sing Bro. Daniel’s own composition, Pangarap ng Puso (Dream of Heart).
2:30 pm — Representatives from Mindanao Region offer their praise songs titled Pag-ibig Mo’y Wagas (Your Love is Pure), one of the winning entries in the A Song of Praise Music Festival (ASOP), simultaneously with all locales in the Southern Philippines. ASOP is the Church’s song-writing competition that started in 2004. In August 2011, ASOP TV was launched on UNTV to encourage amateur and professional songwriters outside MCGI to compose songs of praises to God.
A video about the Church works in the region is played on TV monitor prior their offering.
11:00 am — Back on stage, Bro. Daniel explains the next part of the day’s topic explaining in detail biblical proofs of man’s importance to God. Delighted with the wisdom unveiled at that very hour, the whole congregation cheers in gratefulness to God through songs of praises.
8:10 am — As oppose to the belief of some religious groups that the Earth is only 6 years old from the time of Adam, Bro. Daniel details the evidences proving the earth’s age is more than that. It is the topic prepared by Bro. Eli Soriano for the final day of the 3-day International Thanksgiving to God of MCGI.
8:00 am — Bro. Daniel mentions about the global evangelization efforts of MCGI through satellite broadcast. Currently, Ang Dating Daan, translated as The Old Path in English, El Camino Antiguo in Spanish, and O Caminho Antigo in Portuguese, is aired globally through seven satellites: Galaxy 19, Star One C2, Hotbird 6, NSS 806, Thaicom 5, KoreaSat 5, and Measat 3.
“With the seven satellites transmitting The Old Path broadcast in different languages, the program airing practically covers the entire globe,” Bro. Daniel said while showing a virtual footprint of the broadcast on a flattened globe on the TV monitor.
6:30 am — Congregational singing of hymns starts, led by the Music Ministry.
Day 2, March 29, 2013. Time stamp is at Philippine time.
11:00 pm — Not less than 10 people took the whole congregation to the early times of MCGI in the Philippines, how Bro. Eli started his ministry, the struggles and hardships to start and continue the evangelization efforts, and the grave threats of religious rivals to impede the growth of the organization.
While each scene flashes back, Bro. Eli explained in between the highlights of the day’s topic.
3:25 pm — Teary-eyed, Sister Corazon recalls how her and Bro. Eli’s parents became members of the Church.
3:00 pm — Bro. Eli Soriano elaborates the topic as narrators ready for their turn. He calls in Sister Corazon, his eldest sister, to tell her remembrance of the traces of the early church in the Philippines.
2:35 pm — History-telling of MCGI’s traces in the Philippines is kicking-off. The stage of ADD Convention Center is turned into a comfy living room. Narrators occupied the big sofas. Already in their golden age, they are brothers and sisters who became members of the Church during the time of Bro. Nicholas Perez, the then Presiding Minister of the church where Bro. Eli and his parents got affiliated with. They are first-hand witnesses to the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Bible about a group of a few hundreds that became a worldwide organization.
1:00 pm — Greetings of joyful thanksgiving to God from brethren in different locales busy the TV monitors while attendees are taking their lunch.
11:00 am — After an hour morning break, Bro. Daniel is back on stage to resume discussion of the topic about knowing the links of MCGI’s faith. Sister Luz Cruz, one of the Church elders, recaps what have been taught during the first-part lecture.
In his discourse, Bro. Daniel points out —
Despite all the worries, hardships, pains in this world, people still desire to live. This desire is from God; He wants us to be a part of eternal life.
7:40 am — Bro. Daniel Razon dishes out the first part of the day’s biblical topic.
Listening to the Word of God is one very essential part of every MCGI gathering. Being that important, Bro. Daniel calls on and reminds attendees to be vigilant not to be out of focus to fully understand the topic being served. Today’s discussion focuses on the need for every member of the Church of God to know the history of his faith.
Bro. Daniel is quoted saying…
Every happening has a start, and so is our faith.
In school, many finds studying History boring. Tracing the history of our faith, however, is very interesting.
Every member of the Church of God has an obligation to know the history of his faith.
To prove our connection to something, we have to trace the links.
7:30 am — The Teatro Kritiyano and Music Ministry takes the center stage with a medley of songs of praise and thanksgiving for a production number. The whole congregation jams with two more upbeat songs.
6:00 am — Hymns in Filipino, English, and Spanish versions set the mood of congregants as the second day of MCGI’s 3-day International Thanksgiving commences. Video feeds of the Church’s music ministry members based abroad and in Philippine provinces leading the congregational singing of hymns in their locales regularly flash on the main TV monitor. Congregants attending outside the ADD Convention Center, the MCGI headquarters, in Apalit, Pampanga join the live event through live streaming.
The 3-day long thanksgiving of the whole congregation is set every quarter.
Day 1, March 28, 2013. Time stamp is at Philippine time.
10:50 pm — Bro. Eli calls it a day. Day 2 of MCGI’s International Thanksgiving will start at 6:00 am, God willing. Another biblical topic is to be served followed by a history-telling of MCGI’s milestones after lunch.
8:12 pm — Bro. Eli continues the discussion of the day’s biblical topic about the importance of God’s one day.
Bro. Eli refutes the belief of other religions like the Seventh Day Adventist that God’s one day is equivalent to 1,000 years of man. Their interpretation is not biblical, he said.
2:45 pm — Consultation hour. Bro. Eli answers questions and solve concerns of brethren and guests relating mainly to spirituality and faith. He also answers queries about health backed-up with professional advice from medical doctors.
2:00 pm — Various groups in the Church offer their thanksgiving songs starting from Kawan ng Cordero (KNC), the children’s group of MCGI, followed by brethren from Prison Ministry, and the group of young adults. More thanksgiving song offerings from brethren in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and abroad await the rest of the 3-day event.
11:50 am — While delivering the topic, Bro. Daniel gives audiences a taste of The Platters’ song “Remember When.” The Platters will grace Bro. Eli’s birthday concert on Sunday, March 31 live at ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, Philippines. The ADD Convention Center is MCGI’s headquarters.
10:12 am — MCGI Vice Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon delivers the first biblical topic of the 3-day International Thanksgiving to God. He discusses about how important God’s one day is.
10:00 am — Brethren and guests globally jam in praise and thanksgiving to God. Kids and adults alike sing and dance in a festive choreography.
8:45 am — A video of a debate between Bro. Eli Soriano and Pastor Elmer Albuera of Remnant Israel Yahweh’s Assembly in Yashua Messiah (RIYA-IYM) plays on TV monitors while everyone is on break.
7:20 am — Bro. Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister to MCGI, greet attendees from different points of the globe.
7:00 am — MCGI’s theatrical group, Teatro Kristiyano, and Music Ministry dance and sing to the beat of songs of praises to God for their opening presentation.
6:00 am — Members Church of God International locales worldwide join the 3-day International Thanksgiving to God set today until March 30. The event starts off with a congregational singing led by the Church’s Music Ministry.
After the grand success of the A Song of Praise Music Festival Grand Finals, the international organization from where ASOP TV originated will again fill the air with songs of praises to God come September 28 to 30.
Not just 12 praise songs but scores of them will pack the 3-day International Thanksgiving event of the Members Church of God International. Expectedly, a number of these songs are products of the ASOP song writing competition.
MCGI International Thanksgiving is a quarterly worldwide event where congregants offer praises and thanksgiving to God through songs and hear biblical topics delivered by the MCGI preachers. Attendees from abroad participate in the event through live streaming.
Praise Song is Older than Earth
“Music is older than the world, and praise songs are the oldest of musical kinds,” revealed Bro. Eli Soriano during the ASOP TV Finals Night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last Monday.
Bro. Eli is the Presiding Minister to MCGI and the mind behind ASOP Music Festival. The contest was conceptualized for TV by Bro. Daniel Razon, MCGI Vice-Presiding Minister.
Bro. Eli explained that when God made the Earth, the angels sang and shouted for joy. That song, he added, was a music of praise to God. He read Job 38:7.
Singing songs of praises and thanksgiving to God is an essential part of MCGI gatherings. In 2004, Bro. Eli announced that the organization is holding a song writing competition to encourage Church members to produce original praise song compositions; thus, the birth of A Song of Praise Music Festival.
ASOP became an anticipated yearly event since then, organized by the organization’s Music Ministry. Its success urged Bro. Eli to make the competition a biannual event inside MCGI.
ASOP on TV
Songs about friendship, long-lost love, adultery, longing, and even of things like horses, guitar and bread are congesting the mainstream media.
But “we lack songs of praise,” Bro. Eli said. So he asked Bro. Daniel to conceptualize a TV version of ASOP.
In August 2011, an ASOP concert was held where some of the country’s best performing artists interpreted the contest winners from 2004 to mid-year of 2011. ASOP TV was simultaneously launched that night and started its airing on UNTV by early September of the same year.
ASOP TV Winners
On its year 1, ASOP TV has received hundreds of entries from professional and amateur song writers. Twelve best songs vied in the grand finals last September 24 where Purihin Mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas of Antonio Estrella, Jr. was adjudged 2012 Song of the Year. The song was interpreted by Universal Records artist Gail Blanco.
Runners-up, from first to third, included Analyn Altejos’ Purihin Ka Hanggang sa Kailanman (interpreted by Nikki Valdez), Domingo Rosco, Jr.’s Puso kong Nabuksan (interpreted by Catherine Loria), Rommel Arguelles’ Reasons to Believe (interpreted by Gian Magdangal).
The People’s Choice award went to Jaime Enriquez’s Pag-ibig ay Dios interpreted by Renz Verano. Nikki Valdez was awarded Best Interpreter.
The other song finalists were I Will Still Praise You of Rigor Jay Arellano, Ikaw ang Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman of Christian Obar, Be My Everything of Jessa Mae Gabon, Sa’Yo of Marlon Nabia, Purihin Ka ng Aking Luha of Gerwin Villa, Sa Iyo Aking Ama of Alex de Guzman, and The Sweetest Moment of Edwin Marollano.
The ASOP TV album – distributed for free – was under the musical arrangement of Mr. Vehnee Saturno and released under Universal Records.
ASOP Songs at MCGI International Thanksgiving
Attendees of the MCGI International Thanksgiving to God are hopeful to see special performances of some of the ASOP TV grand finals entries during the 3-day event.
Moreover, in its list of thanksgiving songs to be offered by members coming from different groups, In This Journey, one of the ASOP song of the year awardees, is to be performed by a group of Church members from abroad called Foreign Ministry.
As MCGI reaps souls in various countries, praise songs are also translated into different languages that proves one realization of Bro. Eli’s hopes for people to desire singing not just songs about love or material things but of praises and thanksgiving to God.