|The A Song of Praise or ASOP 2013 Grand Finals Night will be on September 9, 2013 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. To God be the glory!|
It was the eve of September 19 and I had just received a text message earlier in the day that my scheduled promotional for the A Song of Praise (ASOP) Grand Finals 2012 was moved the next morning.
Normally, it would’ve been a breeze travelling to UNTV in Quezon City from Pampanga, but this was happening to the Philippines back then:
(Read: Hundreds flee as heavy rain lashes Philippine capital)
As soon as I had prepared my things, including a custom-made shirt protector, I left at about 7 or 8 p.m. in hope of getting to EDSA before 5 a.m.
Against All Floods
With flooded streets virtually everywhere, public transport was hard. I spent thirty minutes or so just waiting for a jeep to take me to the usual stop for buses that went straight to the North Luzon Expressway.
When I got off, it started to drizzle. Unfortunately, my short-term memory loss attacked when I was preparing my things and I forgot my umbrella. So I roofed my custom-made shirt protector over my head as I waited for a bus.
Of course, my protector could only hold off so much water, and it was starting to rain. In a dark crossroad where I’ve tried to seek shelter under a tree and other forms of covering nearby, I actually thought for a spark of moment to go back. But there are just some things beyond the measure of mathematics, logic, and meteorology — the sound reasons of faith.
In that dark and wet time, a man saw my predicament and offered me cover until the rain waned. Once it did, I went again to the bus stop. Luckily, one came by; only it wasn’t going towards Manila, but to San Fernando.
I took the ride, hoping that there were still buses there going to Manila. I reached San Fernando, alighted the bus, and soon found myself with a fellow traveller cozying up under a store’s awning.
I asked where he was going and he said “To Baguio.” When he found out I was going to Manila, he said that there was a station in Dau. The rain resumed its heavy pouring when the air-conditioned bus going to Baguio came by, so I decided to accompany my traveler friend.
So Close, And Still So Far
After twelve miles farther into Pampanga, I said thanks and bid goodbye to my traveler friend and arrived at the bus station.
I saw a signboard that said “Cubao” and felt relief. When I approached its conductor, I learned that the bus with the same signboard I just saw leaving was one of the last two for the night.
Seeing that it was still mostly empty, I said to the conductor that I would just go and grab a bite to eat. I don’t remember what fast-food it was, and whether I had rice or not, but I think it was Chowking.
Meanwhile, I met these two girls whom I shared a laugh with who took awe and delight in my going to Manila at that late a hour and in that weather. They wished me good luck when I told them about ASOP.
After eating, I returned to the bus station and saw that the bus was leaving. The conductor saw me and signaled me to rush. I got on it thankfully.
Relief and Refuge
The conductor asked where I was going, and I said to UNTV. Since it was right en route, he said that I can sleep and that he’ll just wake me up when I get there. At that time I felt comforted, and felt more tangibly my hope of getting to my destination in time.
So I slept. And though I was half-awake when the conductor approached me to “wake me up,” I appreciate much his commitment to his promise. When I looked out the window, I saw the Kamanggagawa Transient Home, which was established with God’s help through the kindness of Bro. Eli Soriano and Kuya Daniel Razon.
I boarded off my last bus for the morning, thanked the conductor and went straight for the Transient Home. I looked at the time and it was already past 4 a.m., so I immediately took a shower, put on the shirt and slacks that I have carried for miles in the rain, and brisked walk to UNTV.
A Good and Bright Morning
It was about 5 a.m. and I got in time for makeup and all. When I saw the other composers arriving, Mr. Domingo Rosco Jr. and Mr. Alex De Guzman, the cold day felt warmer.
Finally, the hosts of the Pondahan of Good Morning Kuya called us in, and welcomed us to sit on their cozy bench in front of a made-up sari-sari store that have witnessed countless witty remarks made on pressing issues and heartfelt advocacies realized into public services.
[Read: Kahit Isang Araw Lang (Even Just for a Day) Unity Run Breaks Guinness World Record]
(Read: The Birth of Rescue First, Report Later)
Before we went on air, the hosts told us that we should give the public a sample of our song entry.
♫ So I’ll thank You now for all Your love and kindness
Yes, I’ll praise You now for all this hurt and sadness
For nothing bad will come, I know, to those who love You so
And in the end I hope this too I’ll do — I will still praise You ♫
Thanks be to God for all that He has done, continues to do, and will do in my life. And thanks be to God for a show like ASOP where we can express through our humble songs His wondrous works and ways in our lives!
To God be the glory!
To watch our interview, here is the link on Youtube. May we see each other God willing on September 9 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum!