Manila, Philippines (December 9, 2016) – Ang Dating Daan (ADD) is all set for a special “Worldwide Bible Exposition” 6 p.m. tonight, December 9 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City, in commemoration of the program’s 36th year in broadcasting. The event will be simulcast in more than 1,360 MCGI satellite monitoring centers in the Philippines and abroad.

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With the theme of “Reviving Humanity’s Faith and Hope Through Evangelization,” Ang Dating Daan will give more than 8,000 copies of the Bible for free, to thousands of expected guests in the 15,000-seating capacity arena. The program is known for giving away free Bibles to its listeners and has been recognized by the Philippine Bible Society as a regular donor and major distribution partner of Tagalog Bibles.

The event will highlight learning God’s words through the Bible Exposition, or simply “Bible Expo,” a Bible symposium which started in 1993, where the live audience can ask impromptu questions of faith to Bro. Eli with answers coming from the Bible. It became a permanent segment called “Itanong Mo Kay Sorano, Biblia ang Sasagot” (Ask Soriano, The Bible Will Answer).

Last year, during its 35th anniversary, Ang Dating Daan bagged the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Gospel Choir” with 8,688 choristers, singing songs of praises for the glory of God. Persons with disabilities were invited as special guests during the event held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ang Dating Daan is produced by Members Church of God International (MCGI). It started on the radio in 1980 and television in 1983 and now the longest-running religious program in the Philippines. Its catchy title “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path) was based from Jeremiah 6:16.

The program is hosted by international televangelist, Bro. Eli Soriano, the Assistant Overall Servant (Presiding Minister) to MCGI and public service advocate, Bro. Daniel Razon, MCGI’s Assistant Overall Servant (Vice Presiding Minister) as co-host.


Watch a classic opening billboard (OBB) of Ang Dating Daan:


Looking Back: 36 Years of Evangelization

For the past 36 years, Ang Dating Daan persists in propagating the gospel, using all means possible – print, radio, television, internet and social media – preaching the gospel based on the Bible and answering questions of faith. It also launched various public service and charitable projects, heeding Biblical admonitions.

Bro. Eli began his town-to-town preaching and held nightly Bible studies in 1970s, but later realized that his entire lifetime is not enough to cover the Philippines. With this in mind, he decided to launch a 30-minute radio program over AM station DWWA 1206 KHz in 1980.

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Bro. Eli Soriano during early years in broadcast.

Bro. Eli who used to be a cook at a young age, sells “lumpia” (spring rolls) to sustain payment for the radio airtime. After a month, he was invited to become a panelist in Don Manolo Favis’ radio program on DZBB 594 KHz, “Dis is Manolo and his GENIUS (God Eternal News in Universal Salvation) Family,” along with other preachers coming from different denominations. In 1984, Mr. Favis recognized Bro. Eli as “The Most Outstanding Gospel Minister of the Year.”

The program was heard from one radio station to another – DWAR, DZME, DZMB, DWAD, DZRD, DWAN ane DZXQ. In 1999, it went on a nationwide radio broadcast in when it acquired timeslots in Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), DZRH and 100 Radyo Natin stations.

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Ang Dating Daan program logo changed over the years.

In 1983, Ang Dating Daan launched its maiden television broadcast in Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) 13. It started with only three persons handling the production consisting of Bro. Daniel Razon as all-in-one director, cameraman and video editor, Sis. Luz Cruz as executive producer, make-up artist and researcher and Bro. Eli as the main host. The show transferred to RJTV-29, PTV-4 and SBN-21.

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Ang Dating Daan transferred from one TV station to another. UNTV-37 became its permanent home since 2004.

In 2004, Ang Dating Daan found its permanent home – UNTV-37 (now UNTV News and Rescue), owned by the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation under a 50-year lease agreement with Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI). The station was transformed to a public service channel and became the program’s partner in its charitable and public service initiatives. In 2011, it also acquired its own radio station, UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350 kHz (formerly DZXQ).

Internet and Social Media

In 1999, Ang Dating Daan launched its official website – http://www.angdatingdaan.org. It consistently gained recognition from now-defunct Philippine Web Awards as the “Most Popular Website.”

With smartphones becoming popular, MCGI launched the “MCGI Broadcast” mobile application where mobile users can watch Ang Dating Daan in Tagalog, English, Portuguese and Spanish using their Android, iOS and Windows-powered devices, anytime, anywhere.

In 2016, Ang Dating Daan made another milestone in religious broadcasting when it aired its Worldwide Bible Exposition through Facebook Live and YouTube.

Intense persecution

Because of straightforward preaching, multiple lawsuits were filed by critics to plague the program’s hosts. The program itself was not spared. Detractors from other religious groups joined forces and petitioned against its airing on IBC 13 while its radio program in DZRH was interrupted for 10 days in 2001.

In 2004, ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), a powerful and influential religious group, lodged a complaint against Bro. Eli before the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). The MTRCB preventively suspended the program for 20 days. Later, the MTRCB imposed a penalty to its main host Bro. Eli, a 3-month suspension from appearing on the program.

In October 2005, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) issued a resolution citing abuse of authority committed by MTRCB, violating Bro. Eli’s human rights, when it indefinitely suspended him from appearing on any broadcast, whether free or cable television. In 2009, the Supreme Court rendered a decision, upholding MTRCB’s power to impose preventive suspension but applying the 3-month suspension only to the program and not to its host, Bro. Eli.

In 2005, Bro. Eli was forced to leave the country due to intense persecution of his opponents from influential religious organizations and their allies in the government during that time. While the turn of events may seem unfavorable for the loyal televiewers of the program, it opened the doors for the gospel to reach other parts of the globe. Leaving his homeland gave Bro. Eli and the congregation the opportunity to preach the good news on international scope.

International Expansion

In 2004, the program’s English counterpart was aired for the first time in United States and Canada. Globecast carried MCGI’s TOP (The Old Path) Channel via direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcast. The Live Bible Expo also reached foreign shores when Bro. Eli went to Singapore in 2005 and in Los Angeles, California in 2006.

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In 2004, MCGI signed a contract with Globecast for the launching of TOP (The Old Path) Channel in USA and Canada via direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcast. Photo courtesy of TheOldPath.tv

The program is now gaining strong viewership in Latin and South America. Starting from one-hour graveyard timeslots in local television stations, MCGI began rolling out its own broadcast network in Spanish-speaking countries (TV La Verdad) airing El Camino Antiguo and Portuguese-speaking countries (TV Verdade) airing O Caminho Antigo.

Its broadcast emanates from a small garage, transformed into a makeshift broadcasting studio. Since then, the number of MCGI Coordinating Centers in the west started to grow as the program reached more viewers.

From its humble beginnings, the program is now being aired in more than 70 countries, carried by at least seven satellites and is being translated in different languages.

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Today, Ang Dating Daan airs on its own radio and television channels and translated in different languages.

Charities

Ang Dating Daan is also known for its zealous efforts in doing public services and charities for the needy, heeding Biblical admonitions. Aside from free medical and legal assistance and scholarship grants, the program also supports feeding programs, medical missions, mass blood-letting, free rides and livelihood programs. It also maintains orphanages and infant care facilities and recently, providing counselling assistance to rehabilitate drug surrenderers, in support to the government’s fight against drugs. [techthetruth]

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