Apalit, Pampanga – (12/25/2015) The quarterly International Thanksgiving to God (ITG) celebration of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) or Ang Dating Daan worldwide, which kicked off today, has been one of the most talked about topics on Twitter. The hashtag – #MCGIThankfulToGOD – trended for more than 5 hours on December 25th (PHT).
It will be recalled, the official Twitter account of the Church of God International, @mcgidotorg, held a Twitter Live Conversation of the celebration as early as 5 am. The hashtag has been spotted at No. 4 in Philippines Trends after 17 minutes of the start time.
MCGI celebrates its International Thanksgiving to God every quarter at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, province of Pampanga, Philippines. While one of the biggest closed convention centers in the Philippines, the venue is not enough to accommodate millions of congregants.
Today, coordinating centers nationwide and around the world are being opened to accommodate members and visitors alike to participate in the event, which is being beamed via satellite and live video streaming.
Bro. Eli Soriano, the Overall Servant to the MCGI, opened the event with his remarks. Assistant to the Overall Servant, Bro. Daniel Razon earlier opened the first part of the topic.
The MCGI International Thanksgiving to God is a three-day event, which is comprised not only of the offering of the sacrifices of thanksgiving through the singing of thanksgiving songs,. Other activities packed into three days include: consultation with Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, charitable works, children Bible school, and the teaching of biblical topics by Bro. Daniel and Bro. Eli.
ControversyExtraordinary.com blog of Bro. Eli Soriano bagged the Overall People’s Champion Award and the People’s Choice Award in the Society and Politics Category of the Philippine Blogging Award on Saturday (November 21).
Organized by Essays.ph, the #bloggys2015 is an award-giving event that aims to recognize Filipino bloggers writing in a variety of niches and sectors across the Philippines.
This year’s roster of judges include Rappler founder and CEO Maria Ressa, ABS-CBN chief digital head Donald Lim, e-commerce educator Janette Toral, Nuffnang Philippines country manager Abe Olandres, and more.
Learning of the award, Bro. Eli thanked the organizers of the #bloggys2015, saying in his latest blog, “my best appreciation to the organizers of the Philippine Blogging Awards 2015 for whatever award is in store for my blog site.”
“They told me ‘it was a surprise.’ May God bless you!,” the International Evangelist wrote in his latest blog titled, “Blogging for Truth and Exposing Evil”, posted on the same date.
Through the moniker Mr. Controversy (#TheTruthCaster), Bro. Eli stressed that his writing is not meant to be awarded. “I write not to be awarded honors from humans though. If awards come, they serve to extend my purpose of reaching out to more and more.”
The official Youtube Channel of The Old Path (“Ang Dating Daan” in Tagalog) – youtube.com/theoldpath – posted today the full 15-minute performance of the Ang Dating Daan Chorale during its official bid for the “Largest Gospel Choir” title from the Guinness World Records.
The Members Church of God International, which celebrated the 35th anniversary of its radio, television and internet program, Ang Dating Daan, on October 12, 2015 at Smart-Araneta Coliseum, was the same date where the Ang Dating Daan Chorale performed before the Guinness World Records.
Before the program ends, the Guinness World Records awarded to the Ang Dating Daan Chorale the “Largest Gospel Choir” title, a new world record in its category.
The Guinness adjudicator Fortuna Burke Melhem has announced 8,688 gospel choir members participated in the attempt, which was more than double last year’s world record title holder.
On Twitter, the official Twitter account of The Old Path – twitter.com/theoldpathtv – has launched a live conversation for the launch of the video on Youtube.
As early as 10 AM, the hashtag #ADDLargestGospelChoir was trending at No. 8.
The special Ang Dating Daan anniversary program was a celebration not only of the singing of praise music for the Lord. It as well served as a venue for public charity efforts of the MCGI for the persons with disabilities or PWDs.
For their parts, Bro. Eli Soriano, the Overall Servant of MCGI, and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Assistant to the Overall Servant of MCGI, awarded P100,000 to each 12 institutions for PWDs.
Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel also gave all the attending 1,700 PWDs with their aides with cash gifts and grocery bags. Some other PWDs were given wheelchairs and raffle prizes.
The families of the gallant 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will receive more than P6-million in cash, the amount raised through the “Songs for Heroes” benefit concert initiated by UNTV and Members Church of God International (MCGI).
The P1-million of the total amount was donated by Bro. Eli Soriano, host of Ang Dating Daan religious program. The AFP Finance Center will distribute this amount to the families left behind by the soldiers killed in the all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The PNP Special Assistance Fund, recipient of P6-million, will then distribute this amount to the deceased families of the 44 members of the SAF.
Apart from these support, Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel Razon, CEO and Chairman of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International, offered to give scholarship grants to deserving dependents left behind by the brave SAF members and soldiers.
Meanwhile, Bro. Eli gave each of the families cash envelopes containing P10,000 in cash during the concert. “Songs for Heroes” benefit concert was held on March 19, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Progressive Broadcasting Corporation’s Atom Henares has pledged an additional Php 500,000 for the bereaved families as well.
Bro. Eli said the children of the SAF members can avail of the sholarship package offered at the La Verdad Christian College in Caloocan City. It will be noted that La Verdad’s free education program provides qualifying college students free lodging, meals, uniform and books.
UNTV produced the charity concert following Bro. Eli’s tweets calling netizens to support the incumbent administration, instead of calling for President Benigno Aquino III or P-Noy’s resignation.
“Instead of blaming the President, why not help?,” recalled Bro. Eli as the content of the tweets he posted using his @BroEliSoriano Twitter account. He added,“there is no Commander-in-Chief na gusto niyang mapatay ang kanyang mga sundalo (there is no Commander-in-Chief who wants his soldiers to perish).”
“Kaya, as a way of helping the President, maintain peace and order, naisip ko na mag-launch ng isang concert, for these heroes, they are heroes, (As a way of helping the President, maintain peace and order, I thought of launching a concert dedicated for these heroes, [because] they are heroes.).”
Observers note that the Aquino administation faced its harshest criticisms from different groups for allegedly mishandling the Mamasapano operation.
The official hashtag: #Songs4HeroesConcert debuted at No. 2 in Philippines trends on Thursday morning in the Philippines.
Among those who graced the concert include the heads of PNP and AFP, namely, P/CSupt. Nestor Quinsay and Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.
Present to perform during the concert were: Noel Cabangon, Faith Cuneta, Bo Cerrudo, Jonalyn Viray, Jay Durias, Neocolour with Ito Rapadas, 5th Gen, Gerald Santos, The Voysing, the Bueno Sisters, and Bembe and Trifosa Erese. The AFP and PNP Chorales also performed during the concert.
A repeat of the concert, which will be dedicated to the 77 injured SAF staff in Mamasapano incident last January 25, this year, is already being planned.
(Erratum: The amount to be received was incorrectly placed at P7-million. This has been corrected.)
Local media network UNTV, known as Your Public Service Channel, will hold a charity event dedicated to the gallant 44 PNP Special Action Force (SAF), who were killed during the Mamasapano operation against some international terrorists in Maguindanao. Titled “Songs for Heroes,” the event will be held on March 19, 2015, 7 p.m., at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The benefit concert came as an idea tweeted by the Ang Dating Daan televangelist on February 19 this year, expressing his willingness to support projects geared toward helping the families of the military heroes slain in the Mamasapano incident.
In the concert poster released by UNTV, local artists and performers will participate, together with the PNP and AFP Chorale and the AFP Combo. From the music industry, performers include Noel Cabangon, Neocolours, Jonalyn Viray, Beverly Caimen, and Faith Cuneta.
Other performers include The Voice Philippine finalists Miro Valera and Jason Fernandez. Other local performers joining the “Songs for Heroes” concert include Shane Velasco, Gerald Santos, Bo Cerudo, Jay Durias, Mcoy Fundales, The Voysing, 5th Gen, Bueno Sisters, and Bembe and Triposa Erese. Netizens, who first learned of the announcement about the concert, have praised the move as a reflection of taking action over joining other camps who resorted to blaming and destabilization. Days prior to this announcement, Bro. Eli was tweeting to his more than 70,000 Twitter followers calls to support and back President Benigno Aquino III who is being blamed for the failed Mamasapano incident. When Bro. Eli tweeted his message of support for the Commander in Chief with the hashtag, #NoynoyPaRin, concerned netizens never hesitated to join the Twitter advocacy to back up the President in fostering peace and unity. The hashtag emerged as one of the top trending topics each day, even pulling in a record-breaking five-day stay in the Philippines Trends list.
A few hours before last Monday midnight’s debate reeled, some people anticipating the mano a mano featuring the international evangelist Bro. Eli Soriano and his opponent Carlos Montemayor, a pastor of Iglesia Luz do Mundo, took to Twitter their sentiments about who will and should win.
In the debate challenge to Bro. Eli, Pastor Montemayor has the task to: 1) prove that in this time there is an existing apostleship; 2) prove the use of the material veil in woman is a commandment of God in the New Testament; and 3) defend tithing is aso for our time. The debate was streamed live over the Portuguese counterpart of the Ang Dating Daan radio-television’s Youtube Channel — Youtube.com/OCaminhoAntigoHD — for those watching from the different corners of the world.
Offline or even from his hometown, the Philippines, locals already expected victory for Bro. Eli, whose many constituents believe remains to be the Philippines’ finest when it comes to debates. Netizens root for Bro. Eli to win, not simply because of ‘Pinoy pride’ or the glory brought by representing the Philippines in the international scene.
As soon as Bro. Eli’s and Montemayor’s camp get seated, the viewer counter of O Caminho Antigo Youtube channel busily rise up to reveal more than a thousand watchers, where majority of viewers came from the Philippines, followed by those from North and South America and Middle East.
While Portuguese was the main language used in the debate, such became less of a problem as soon as fellow netizens offered to help by pouring their translation of the discussion into the Youtube Channel’s chatboard.
Of Tweets, Emojis and Emoticons
Simultaneous with the raves and wild applause from the audiene in the venue, netizens expressed their amazement on social media. The Web then serves as an extension of the venue, giving a bigger spotlight to winnings yet magnifying the humiliation of the losing party.
Hence, everytime Bro Eli would stand to speak, cross examine Montemayor and defend his side, the crowd’s reaction reverberated not only within the confines of the venue’s four corners. The crowd emotion and raves extend far onto the boundary-defying world wide web.
As in every moment when Montemayor unreluctantly showed his rude behavior, took his unfair swipes against Bro. Eli and untoward attitude before the audience, netizens are quick to take note and poured in their sentiments into the Youtube chatboard.
Witty chat messages on Youtube, tweets and posts on Facebook streamed through the social media timelines and walls, often punctuated with emojis and emoticons and accentuated by screengrabbed images from the Youtube channel. What these whole thing showed was what netizens discovered as a unique mode of online expression.
On Twitter, the situation was 180-degree different. Sharp and sometimes humor-laced banters, candid observations and screenshots of captured moments were quite succint and easily digestible because Twitter limits posts to 140 characters per tweet.
In Celebrity-Worship Era, Twitterverse Has A New Tribe
In a celebrity-worship age that dominate Twitter, it has of late becoming rare to see real conversations and real humans using Twitter for more meaningful, significant and intellectual discussions among netizens. But participants of the #DebateBroEli social media conversation could hardly be discounted as mere bots because sentiments expressed through tweets were filled with careful reasonings, sound logic, that come with thoughtfulness and sincerity in the manner of communication.
Moreover, what #DebateBroEli showed however, was the vibrant and dynamic interaction that blossomed among netizens. As some shared their sometimes poignant, clean humor and overwhelmed expression about their experience in watching the debate, some even offered assistance in the form of translation.
Thus, the collective fervor of netizens that leaned in favor of Members Church of God International’s Bro. Eli winning the debate has electrified Twitter on early Morning morning. It was not a long shot, according to netizens who believe the televangelist’s mastery of the Bible has always been his huge edge over the Peruvian pastor.
Filipinos used to watching the radio-television host beat all his debate opponents from the Philippines and abroad knew already what the outcome will be. And the moment everyone’s waiting – after more than three hours of debate – Bro. Eli was declared the winner of the debate.
With ego bruised, Montemayor, walked out of the venue with his men even before the debate was over. Observers noted the pastor’s walking out was a tactic to leave the impression that he was not given due process, but the reality spoke of the contrary. During the debate, the Peruvian pastor was also said to be unruly and arrogant, setting a bad example as the supposed leader of their sect.
Yet Bro. Eli has shown the opposite of Montemayor’s uncalled for behavior. The Filipino evangelist was well-composed, coolly-relaxed, and humble as always.
To this win, Bro. Eli tweeted:
Isa lang gagawin natin: let’s proclaim the glory of our GOD and let them say all manner of evil against us! Maligaya tayo maligaya rin sila!! — Brother Eli Soriano (@BroEliSoriano) March 3, 2015
And as soon as Twitter noticed the euphoric tweets of netizens, it eventually opened its trends list gate and allowed the hashtag #DebateBroEli to debut at No. 2 in Philippines trends. For more than 10 hours trending, it rested for more than five hours in the No. 1 spot.
For the nth time, the debate triumph solidified Bro. Eli’s position as the most sensible televangelist and best Filipino debater in religion. Some netizens tweeted there is one lesson that those challenging the televangelist to a debate must learn right away: to ask around who Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano is, the one and only Truthcaster.
As its foray as one of the top trending topics in Twitter enters fifth day, #NoynoyPaRin looked like it already broke new record as one of the longest-staying hashtag of Philippines Trends with socio-political theme and positive impact.
Within five days as one of the top trending topics in the Philippines, so many things have made Bro. Eli Soriano’s call to support and help President Benigno Aquino III finish his six-year term turned into even more meaningful and beneficial cause. Bro. Eli tweeted to his followers his opposition to statements by Catholic bishops for the Chief Executive to vacate his post.
On the fourth day (February 19) when some quarters contested the popularity of the topic as manipulated, Bro. Eli announced on Twitter that the Ang Dating Daan group will organize a charity event to raise funds for the bereaved families of the gallant 44 Special Action Force (SAF) in Maguindanao.
The move was the international televangelist’s answer to bashers and critics who accused #Noynoyparin supporters as only paid and that spin doctors were hired. Even worse, some of these critics made harsh commentary that supporters lack sincerity because tweets were spun, a misjudment of the strong throng of Ang Dating Daan members who are based in almost all corners of the globe today.
Before the charity concert was even held, Bro. Eli has tweeted an initial P1million pledge will come from the Members Church of God International (MCGI) for the fund-raising acitivty for the families of bereaved gallant 44 SAF troopers.
Longest Trending Topic Record for #NoynoyPaRin
After initiating the popular #NoynoyPaRin on Twitter early morning of February 16 (Monday), the tweets of the televangelist picked up steam that it did not wait for less than 30 minutes to climb the Philippines Trends list. The hashtag #NoynoyPaRin peaked at No. 1 in the local trending topics list.
The trending topic was lauded by the Philippine Chief Executive’s Office for keeping vibrant the spirit of democracy and supporting President Benigno Aquino III.
In the Philippines, Filipino recording artist and actress Sarah Geronimo was regarded as the record-holder when it comes to the longest running trending topic. The hashtag Sarah G Day trended in the Philippines, United Arab Emirates and Worldwide Trends for four days.
Sarah G. Day, however, is an entertainment-theme topic along with the #SarahGDay hashtag, floated by netizens from February 20, 2012 to February 23, 2012.
IlonggoTechBlog.com reported the reason the term trended was due to Geronimo’s guesting on three ABS-CBN shows — ASAP, The Buzz and Gandang Gabi Vice — to promote the new show of the actress Sarah G Live.
On February 20 this year, meanwhile, #NoynoyPaRin coninues to sizzle in local trending topics list, boosted when Bro. Eli tweeted additional details about his upcoming charity concert for the gallant 44 deceased troopers. Bro. Eli earlier tweeted that P1 million initial amount of contribution will come from MCGI.
Bro. Eli also tweeted his more than 64,900 followers to stay focused on the theme of the campaign: to express sympathies to families of the heroes of Mamasapano incident and to support causes for the country’s future.