UNSCRIPTED


Every sunset promises a sunrise of hope.

Dusk’s ambiance might be a bit depressing, but after midnight’s darkness is a splendid dawn!

How God transforms a life of a person constantly astonishes me. It’s just unfathomable! I’ve likened it to dusk until the deep darkness of midnight which beckons a glorious dawn.

I’ve also associated that to the mysterious metamorphosis. I may not fully understand how a butterfly would freely flutter its fragile wings out a dark cocoon after an alteration of a caterpillar into another winged creature, but I can just gaze it with amazement.

Nature truly testifies to our Creator’s unchanging love that can change! The growth and development of each creature is unscripted.

When life's at its ebb, the Sun of Righteousness is there to brighten and to bring beaming back.

When life’s at its ebb, the Sun of Righteousness is there to brighten and to bring beaming back.
Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Behind the Scenes: When God Directs

It was never an accident for Bro. Cesar Montano to be among more than 20 thousand people (police’s crowd estimate) who converged at Liwasang Bonifacio on February 22, 2014 for Hope Manila 2014: iCare, a praise and thanksgiving fellowship. I deemed it was long planned by the Scriptwriter and Director of his life, before he was invited to take part in “Love in Action” victory celebration for free (it’s a protocol to pay for an actor’s appearance, but he never asked for it). It was a divine appointment, and we’re grateful for Bro. Jerry Sevilla who introduced him before his rendition.

Brethren welcomes Bro. Buboy

Brethren welcomes Bro. Buboy. He came to praise God and not to be praised.

Gracing the event, the world-renowned actor, director, scriptwriter, producer, singer and composer offered heartwarming songs. He sang with all his heart under the scorching sun. I felt the solemn presence amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. He sang “How Great is our God”, “Sa Awit Kong Ito”, his noteworthy composition of gratitude and God’s transforming grace, and another composition about love for our country (I forgot the title).

heartfelt gratitude of praise

heartfelt gratitude of praise (Photo by Jed Donaire)

Giving back the glory to the Master Musician

Giving back the glory to the Master Musician

gleeful and full of gaiety

gleeful and full of gaiety

Sa awit kong ito idaraan ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan!

Sa awit kong ito idaraan ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan!

He seemed not to be the famous person thousands are idolizing. With humility, he emphasized that he is nothing before God. He’s there not just as the typical Cesar Montano, but as a child of the Author and Finisher of his faith. He testified of how he grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist community. He related his childhood memories in Sta. Ana SDA church, the pioneer SDA church in the Philippines. He acknowledged God’s goodness, that despite the times he chose his own path and has gone far from Him, He never left him; He even came closer and rescued him.

Bro. “Buboy” was overflowing with gratefulness having a very devoted mother, Sis Erma Manghilot for her inspiring influence. She would always encourage her children to have family worship, that even though he’s still sleepy for a morning devotional, he would sing along: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saves a wretched like me…” (He sang the stanza with the crowd).

Bro. Buboy singing at Love in Action Victory Celebration, Feb.22, 2014, Liwasang Bonifacio, Lawton, Manila

 “Sa Awit Kong Ito”: A Privilege of Praise

Listening intently to Bro. Buboy’s first composition, I was moved and inspired by the lyrics and harmony. It’s an offering of a contrite heart, as he bore witness of God’s matchless love and mercy. He’s more than grateful to God for being patient with him, for his guidance and grace that led him on track. A week after, a family friend, Errand Ong shared a music video of the song interpreted at UNTV ASOP Music Festival.

Three years ago, Bro. Cesar started composing the song after praying so hard to God to use Him for His purpose. “Before God I am nothing, I am here not for competition…I just need to share it, motivated by the Holy Spirit”, he uttered in an interview (ASOP Music Festival). The song was interpreted by Mcoy Fundales (lead singer of KENYO, and of Orange and Lemon). Mcoy shared his experience how he prepared and the reaction of his mom, “I was practicing it with a guitar last night, nagulat ako matapos magpractice, yung nanay ko, nakikinig. Pagkatapos, lumapit at maluha-luha sinabi, ‘Anak, nagbago ka na nga!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Bro. Cesar continued: “Isa pong karangalan ang makapiling po kayo lahat…It is my honor to praise God! Sinong ayaw sumama magpuri sa ating Panginoon? I am nothing, I’m nobody before God. Lahat ay pahiram lang ng Panginoon. It is a song of God, every word came from God. Wala akong maipagmamalaki. ” He also mentioned that his kids, especially Cheska (the youngest) used to sing this song during their Bible studies at home. They’re the first judges and interpreters of his compositions.

“Sa Awit Kong Ito”

Nandito ako nagpupuri sa’Yo oh Panginoon

Sa’Yong kabutihan at katapatan na walang katulad

 

Kalungkutan na dati ‘di maalis

Sa puso kong lagging mapagnais

Ngayong natagpuan ang pag-ibig Mo

Salamat buhay ko’y binago Mo.

 

Purihin, purihin ka Panginoon!

 

Koro

Pinagkakaloob ko sa’Yo aking Ama

Buong buhay ko puso’t kaluluwa

Sa awit kong ito dinaraan

Ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan.

 

Kalungkutan na dati ‘di maalis

Sa puso kong lagging mapagnais

Ngayon natagpuan ang pag-ibig Mo

Salamat buhay ko’y binago Mo.

 

Purihin, purihin ka Panginoon!

Reading the citation of the plaque of recognition/appreciation for Hon. 'Pangulong' Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, one of the guests of honor for Hope Metro Manila 2014: iCare, "Love in Action" victory celebration of the Central Luzon Conference. Photo Credit: Rudolph Albert Eser Masinas

Reading the citation of the plaque of recognition/appreciation for Hon. ‘Pangulong’ Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, one of the guests of honor for Hope Metro Manila 2014: iCare, “Love in Action” victory celebration of the Central Luzon Conference.
Photo Credit: Rudolph Albert Eser Masinas

It's about God's providential workings how   I was able to host. I was sick on Friday night, the Lord sustained my health. He also provided Anthony Esguerra as a co-host, in a short notice.

It’s about God’s providential workings how I was able to host. I was sick on Friday night, the Lord sustained my health. He also provided Anthony Esguerra as a co-host, in a short notice. (Photo by Jed Donaire)

Sunshiny Sunset

After his rendition, I was prompted to hand him the tissue. As a host of the event, I didn’t hesitate to come up on stage, gave him tissue to wipe his beads of sweat. He was beaming and his exceptional humor made the congregation applaud with laughter.

“Andito pala si Sunshine! …Joke lang, si SUNSET pala! Salamat Sunset! Sunset, kasi magsusunset na”, Bro. Cesar teasingly said. It was a mixed euphoria of delight and surprise on my part. (Like any normal woman, I’ve got KILIGayahan haha! I’ve been a fan of this gifted and transformed actor/director since I was a child).

I’ve been grateful for the new nickname he’s given. After the event, many people, friends and acquaintances used to call me “Sunset”. I preferred sunshiny ‘Sunset’. I would never forget that event, not only because of this, but for the transforming experience in that event.

A living legacy of God's unchanging love.

A living legacy of God’s unchanging love. (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

Bro. Cesar Montano is a legacy of God’s faithfulness. His heartfelt musical renditions and his participation in the victory celebration were well appreciated by everyone who saw and took part in the Hope Manila 2014: iCare fellowship. Sealing his musical testimony, Pastor Nepthali Manez, President of the North Philippine Union Conference, offered a special prayer for Bro. Buboy, his family and ministry.

"Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God." ~Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 98

“Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.” ~Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 98

Bowing before God, a prayerful person is uplifted to the throne of grace. :)

Bowing before God, a prayerful person is uplifted to the throne of grace.🙂 (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

Both Bro. Buboy and Pastor Neph Manez are grateful for the privilege of praise & prayer

Both Bro. Buboy and Pastor Neph Manez are grateful for the privilege of praise & prayer. (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

“In watchfulness and prayer is the only safety for both young and old. In the battle with inward sin and outward temptation, even the wise and powerful Solomon was vanquished. His failure teaches us that, whatever a man’s intellectual qualities may be, and however faithfully he may have served God in the past, he can never with safety trust in his own wisdom and integrity.”

~Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings p. 82

Superb serenity scene of Manila Bay sunset Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Superb serenity scene of Manila Bay sunset
Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Every sunset reminds me of the funny encounter with Bro. Buboy, and every sunrise reminds of how great is our God who is worthy to be praised, worthy to be served. It’s a joy to keep him and his entire family in my prayers, knowing that God has greater plans for their lives. About a decade ago, I used to worship with his younger brother, Rommel Manhilot (real family name) with his wife Cathy, children, and other relatives at Quezon City. Those times are also memorable and meaningful.

I look forward to having more worship with these loving brethren and the rest of those who attended Hope Manila 2014: iCare victory celebration. Until the new Heaven and new Earth comes, where sunset and sunrise won’t be experienced anymore; for the Sun of Righteousness’ glory alone would illuminate forever.

Singing the closing song, 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' with Friends for Life singers, and the Manila City Hall Band gave me goosebumps. It was a foretaste of heavenly praises in the world to come when all God's children gathered home!

Singing the closing song, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ with Friends for Life singers, and the Manila City Hall Band gave me goosebumps. It was a foretaste of heavenly praises in the world to come when all God’s children are gathered home!

Watch the coverage of Hope Channel (this event was covered by ABS-CBN News Network too)

Caravan of Hope “Love in Action” Victory Celebration

More about Cesar Montano & Mcoy Funtales “Sa Awit Kong Ito”

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Jed Donaire, Rudolph Albert Masinas & Hope Channel Philippines. Videos credit: You Tube, UNTV, Hope Channel Philippines. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

This is the 1st part of the series of blog post for the Hope Manila 2014; iCare “Love in Action” Victory Celebration. Keep posted!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Exciting Event, Life story, Ministry, Object Lessons

2 responses to “UNSCRIPTED

  1. Hi Curly.
    I just follow you. I will read your post…🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s