Ang Dating Daan’s 34th Anniversary in New York: A Celebration of Good Works in the Big Apple

Events and Second Glances, News

New York, USA — The New York viewers and supporters of the Philippines’ longest-running and multi-awarded religious program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) celebrated the program’s 34th year anniversary with good works along with the rest of the world.

One with the anniversary’s theme “Shaping a Nation Zealous of Good Works,” the members of the Church of God International of New York and New Jersey set off to clean one of the biggest parks in New York — the popular Central Park in Manhattan.

ADD 34th Anniversary Public Service in New York

At 9 o’ clock in the morning, the volunteers braved the chilly low temperatures of early fall in New York to get to Central Park’s Belvedere Castle, for registration and documentation.

Supporters of religious program's Ang Dating Daan volunteered to clean New York's Central Park  in celebration of Ang Dating Daan's 34th Anniversary on Oct. 30, 2014. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Supporters of religious program’s Ang Dating Daan volunteered to clean New York’s Central Park in celebration of Ang Dating Daan’s 34th Anniversary on Oct. 30, 2014. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

After filling out the necessary paper work, the volunteers walked the expanse of Central Park, with blue latex gloves and plastic bags in tow, helping to keep one of the most beloved parks in the city clean.

Walking around New York's Central Park. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Walking around New York’s Central Park. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

Youth ministry members of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) in New York led the volunteers in cleaning up Central Park for ADD's 34th anniversary celebration (Photography by Pol Arellano, Photoville International - NY).

Youth ministry members of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) in New York led the volunteers in cleaning up Central Park for ADD’s 34th anniversary celebration (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

A volunteer walks along one of Central Park's many roads during MCGI's clean-up drive campaign. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

A volunteer walks along one of Central Park’s many roads during MCGI’s clean-up drive campaign. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

Service with a smile. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Service with a smile. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

As the mid-afternoon sun rose higher, the spirits of the volunteers soared as well, walking for blocks and roaming around to pick up trash and disposing of them properly.

After walking around Central Park for most of the day, the more or less forty volunteers parked their plastic bags in the proper receptacles and made their way back to Queens to make early preparations for another event — a worldwide event from which souls of people all over the world will benefit.

Worldwide Bible Exposition in the Big Apple

As guests in the Philippines trooped to the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the Ang Dating Daan 34th Anniversary Worldwide Bible Exposition held on Oct. 30, 2014 at four in the afternoon, the MCGI Coordinating Center in Queens, NY welcomed guests and brethren as early as four in the morning.

Not too early for spiritual bliss. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Not too early for spiritual bliss. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

With bright, excited smiles, the event’s participants made their way inside the coordinating center to find their seats.

Meanwhile, some of the brethren were busy preparing breakfast for the visitors and brethren alike: brewed coffee, fresh fruit salad, bagels and other breakfast staples were served for free — an MCGI trademark.

The event started off with a beautiful musical production by the MCGI-produced A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival finalists, wherein a medley of praise songs were rendered to the delight of those in Smart-Araneta Coliseum, and in various parts of the world.

Immediately after, a video of Ang Dating Daan’s humble beginnings were shown on the screen, as introduced by hosts Lyn Perez, Annie Rentoy and Jun Soriao. The video featured the start of Ang Dating Daan’s broadcast — how it just started with three people: Bro. Eli Soriano, Bro. Daniel Razon and Sis Luz Cruz.

Brethren from New York watch a video of Ang Dating Daan's humble beginnings during the Worldwide Bible Exposition on Oct. 30, 2014. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Brethren from New York watch a video of Ang Dating Daan’s humble beginnings during the Worldwide Bible Exposition on Oct. 30, 2014. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

Fast forward to Ang Dating Daan’s broadcast in today’s time. More than three decades have passed and Ang Dating Daan is now regarded as the longest-running religious program in the country, and is now translated in various languages such as Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish and Portuguese, to name a few.

Testimonials of brethren of different races surfaced on the screen, one of which is a Spanish-speaking brother from Central America, and was to the delight of a Spanish brother based in New York who attended the event.

Hno. Marcelo Flores of New York smiles after hearing a Spanish-worded testimonial from Central America. (Pol Arellano, Photoville New York).

Hno. Marcelo of New York smiles after hearing a Spanish-worded testimonial from Central America. (Pol Arellano, Photoville New York).

After the informative video, the Church’s Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano members presented a lively and vibrant praise song and dance number. This was immediately followed by the congregational singing and the solemn opening prayer, a staple in all of MCGI’s major events.

Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Daniel Razon made his way to the Smart-Araneta’s center stage to greet everyone who came. The guests in New York listened on as he thanked the many guests who graced the momentous occasion.

And when Bro. Daniel finally introduced the man behind Ang Dating Daan, the hoots and cheers of those in Araneta were undeniable — which was the same case in New York.

Happily listening. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International - New York).

Happily listening. (Pol Arellano, Photoville International – New York).

Bro. Eliseo Soriano surfaced on screens the world over, greeting everyone who came to  participate in the spiritual event. “We are celebrating the 34th anniversary of this program. Gracias a Dios! Salamat sa Dios!,” remarked Bro. Soriano.

After a brief opening statement from the international preacher, Bro. Soriano immediately went on to the much-awaited Question and Answer portion of the event.

Bro. Eli answered questions from the main venue itself and from different parts of the Philippines and abroad. And as always, his informative, truthful and oftentimes interestingly entertaining answers are based on the Bible.

Questions ranging from what were included in the Book of Life, what the mark of a person who’s about to die was, to when does a day start according to the Bible, and much more were raised and answered,  all with sound biblical bases.

On that evening, Bro. Soriano even answered a Spanish-speaking guest’s question in Bogota, Colombia in near-flawless Spanish.

As the night progressed in the Philippines and as the sun rose higher in New York, more questions from different parts of the world emerged and were successfully answered. Bro. Soriano tried to answer as much questions as possible, to serve and enlighten more people in one night of spiritual reckoning.

A little before eleven o’clock in the morning in the USA, Bro. Eli invited everyone to join in the event’s closing prayer.

“A good evening to all who attended, to all brethren in the whole world!,” remarked Bro. Eliseo Soriano as the special Worldwide Bible Exposition in celebration of Ang Dating Daan’s 34th anniversary came to a blissful close.

#BibleExpo: Biblical Wisdom through a Hashtag

News, Events and Second Glances

From music to money, the flexible pound sign (#) has been making  lives easier since the 12th century.

And it was that one fateful day in August of 2007 when a mere suggestion by Chris Messina turned out to become the start of something that would change the face of the # forever.

Photo courtesy of InternetMediaLabs.com, from the article entitled The Hashtag: A Door to Discovery on Twitter. Link: http://internetmedialabs.com/twitter-hashtags-101-guide/

Today, the hashtag is everywhere – Twitter pioneered its usage while Google + and now Facebook has followed suit. Thanks to one symbol, social media users are now able to follow and track what topics interest them.

Just as long as a topic is preceded by the #, it is archived in the vast recesses of the Interwebs and will be there waiting patiently for you to peruse it until you get to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot.

Fast forward to six years from the first hashtag created: August 2, 2013 – a group of people who believe in sharing God’s wisdom to others via technology will be making use of this popular symbol to impart biblical logic to the world.

God willing, these people will be using the hashtag #BibleExpo on Twitter, Facebook and Google + for the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) Worldwide Bible Exposition.

The official Bible Exposition hashtag: #BibleExpo. Photo courtesy of Ang Dating Daan's Facebook page.

The official Bible Exposition hashtag: #BibleExpo. Photo courtesy of Ang Dating Daan’s Facebook page.

Just like the hashtag, Bible Expositions were created to bring people who would like to learn more about an important topic together – salvation. Visitors from all over the world get to ask their questions on the Bible – and they would get a Bible-based answer from international preacher and MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eli Soriano and Vice-Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon.

During Bible Expositions, guests and online followers who may be stuck in traffic or their work desks benefit from the live blow-by-blow account of the questions and answers from the live Twitter feed from the Church’s official Twitter accounts –  @TheOldPathTV (English) and @AngDatingDaanTV (Filipino), as well as from visitors who join in on the live blogging using the #BibleExpo hashtag.

There’s a lot of use to the #. And for a group of humble believers the world over, its use is of something great:

#Salvation

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References:

1] http://socialmediatoday.com/kevin-basset/1545426/history-hashtag-infographic

2] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/magazine/in-praise-of-the-hashtag.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

3] http://www.mcgi.org/about/leaders/

4] http://internetmedialabs.com/twitter-hashtags-101-guide/