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Advent Hope Opens for Zigzag

LED lights marked their paths very early that Sunday morning of March 5, 2017. Despite the darkness,

January 22, 2019 |

By Michael T. Dalida

the South Oriental Mindoro (SOM) District brethren inched their way to the assembly area. They signaled the south’s first move to an Oriental Mindoro-wide anti-drug campaign. The North Oriental Mindoro (NOrM) District made the same preparation as Lakeside District (Victoria and part of Naujan) set to follow. Soon, the rising sun spotted lines of vehicles from northern and southern parts of Oriental Mindoro moving toward a common point. Decked with balloons and streamers, the long convoys converged to a place called Zigzag. “To make an impact, we had planned a long motorcade from the north and south [of Oriental Mindoro] where every district would follow one another until they all met at the venue,” Pastor Robert Dulay, Oriental Mindoro Area Assistant Coordinator, explained. Before 9 o’clock a.m., the long line of vehicles parked along both sides of the zigzag road. Their shirts conveyed their intent: Hope Zigzag. It was the launching day of Hope Zigzag Project. An anti-drug rally, the launching program flashed its theme, “Sagipin ang Bukas: Kaya ko ‘to ng walang droga.”

An abandoned resort in Brgy. Happy Valley, Socorro, Oriental Mindoro became alive as thousands of participants sheltered under huge military tents and trees surrounding the makeshift platform. The peaceful view, overlooking the Naujan Lake, somewhat gave a refreshing feeling amid the growing heat of the sun. “It was not an easy preparation. Just to think that it’s a big event attended by VIPs. We had guests from provincial and local governments. Then there’s the concern to make the greatest impact possible,” the event host, Pastor King Ruallo of Central Oriental Mindoro (COM) District, said. Guests from South-Central Luzon Conference and North Philippine Union Conference arrived, some made their way up the platform to make their remarks. Pastor Arnel Gabin, NPUC Health Ministries Director, emphasized the need for awareness programs on evils of drugs. “This anti-drug campaign helps to remind the public that there’s nothing to be gained in drugs,” he said. “It’s not worth to try it or use it, because it destroys the future of everyone involved.” Also, administrators, health and police officials from the provincial government, as well as the regional office, came as honored guests. Vice-Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor talked about the strong temptation of drugs, especially on young people. He inspired his audience with quotations from the Scriptures. Governor Alfonso “PA” Umali, Jr. praised the efforts of the Adventist Church. “I am happy for Adventist friends who help our government in the drug problems,” he said. Besides speeches, the program featured song composition, slogan and poster-making contests. One winning slogan said, “Zigzag angdaraanan kapag droga ay sinubukan, Diyos ang kasagutan sa tuwid na daraanan" “That’s a nice program. I am gladdened by the remarks of one speaker who said that he was happy to see the support to the program of every Adventist even down to the smallest kid,” said Sis. Dorie Plotado of Bongabong District.

Spearheaded by the COM District (Socorro and Pola), under Pastor King Ruallo, the project coordinator, the action plan for the work began to take shape. A special group of volunteers, known later as HisApprentice, formed through the guidance of God, he revealed. Composed of professionals, high school and college students from various churches in the district, the team 

 

helped in medical missions, Hope Impact, anti-drug campaigns, Global Youth Day, feeding programs, VBS, Care Group meetings, health lectures and visitations. “HisApprentice also worked with the local government for drug surrenderers’ counseling and moral recovery programs,” Pastor Ruallo reported.

On June 9-24, 2017, the first reaping campaign yielded 46 individuals at Mindoro for Christ efforts. Before that, HisApprentice conducted satellite meetings as ground preparation. Follow- up efforts later increased the total number of new Advent believers to 62. Pastor Ruallo voiced his concern, “We now
need a house of worship for our new brethren near their place. We can’t afford to take them to the nearest church every Sabbath.” Faced with the challenge of acquiring a church lot, Pastor Ruallo expressed faith that God would provide the means to have it. He said that lands in that part are not sold per hectare but in bulk. That is, at least 10 hectares each deal. “We encourage you to join us in praying for Hope Zigzag and for HisApprentice, and that the name of our Lord may be glorified through this project,” he appealed. The birth of the Hope Zigzag Project came by God’s providence. In its previous meetings, the Oriental Mindoro Area Council received divine impressions to bring the message of hope to this place. The 5-kilometer stretch had felt no Adventist presence nor witnessed a Sabbath church worship for a very long time. Yet commandment-keeping travelers often passed this memorable zigzag way, unaware of its needs. “The Area Council had observed that it lacked a concerted effort of its own to advance the gospel in its territory. It was suggested in a meeting to adopt Zigzag as an Area evangelism project. That’s how Hope Zigzag began,” said Pastor Randy Gagarin, Area Council treasurer and Gloria District pastor. Other districts in the Area included Pinamalayan, Bansud, and Roxas.

Yesterday’s hope is now a reality. It is how God has opened His work for His willing servants. “We request that whenever you travel this way, please offer your prayers for the total success of God’s work in this area,” Pastor Dulay appealed. 

Calmed
An obituary of Domingo S. Filomeno, also known as Ka Menong,

Domingo “Domeng” Filomeno who is known as Ka Menong was born on the 15th of April 1927. Ka Menong, married to Loreta Paner is a zealous worker of God providing Bible studies to interests every Sabbath afternoon with other laymen.

Despite his unnumbered invitations to different churches around plus multi-ministry appointments both in conferences and local churches including Radio Broadcasting Ministries, Ka Menong remained in the church in Singalong Manila for 50 years along with his 10 children.

Ka Menong is a portmanteau of Filomeno and Domeng created by Manalo Favis, a program host during the ‘80s and ‘90s. This exposure, along with the nickname, led him to be the great Ka Menong most modern apologists look up to and, most importantly, from whom Christ’s character of humility emanated.

Spreading across the country, this program transmitted through waves reached many families and individuals who then became avid listeners and supporters of the program, even if they are hundreds of miles away.

Tatay has done so much that to account all his experiences and activities and its ripples to others, it would deal us quite a large amount of time. But if there is one word that may describe his life as an apologist, as a friend, as a father, as a husband, and as a man, it would be calmed – calmed from his previous life full of grief and darkness, calmed from being a furious man, calmed from being a sinner, and calmed from being who he was. Tatay has been calmed – calmed by Christ. Have we?

 

 

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