I’ve been part of Victory since 1992, back when I was an incoming senior high school student at Philippine Scholastic Academy.
But since being invited to Victory U-Belt, I became part of a high school Victory group, which helped me grow in my newfound faith in Christ.
Through the years, I’ve been blessed to be part of a thriving movement that is completely committed to these four words: HONOR GOD and MAKE DISCIPLES.
Below are 30 ‘radical’ (and random) reasons why I celebrate Victory’s 30th anniversary…
- RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: I came to know Christ in Victory in 1992
- LEARNING THE BASICS: I got mentored and learned my spiritual disciplines through the help of my Victory group
- WALK THE TALK: I disciple people today because there were people ahead of me, who taught me and showed me how to do it.
- I AM NOT ALONE: In my down moments, the very people who came to cheer me up, pray for me, encourage me and support me, come from my friends in Victory.
- LOVE LIFE: Through the prayers and support of my pastors and friends in Victory, I came to know my future wife (Ava) and eventually, got married at Victory
- PARTNERS: Also, my wife and I are blessed by our U-Belt Kids teachers who have been God’s instruments in helping us disciple our kids Bea, David, and soon, Niquee
- SPIRITUAL MENTORS: Thankful for Victory pastors Joseph Carodan, Noel Ojerio, Gilbert Foliente, Bong Navarro, Gilbert Espiridion, Tito Falguera and Ferdie Peralta for their impartation in raising kids and discipling them.
- FIERY IMPARTATION: Can’t forget Ptr. Marc Constantino, whose passion for God and compassion for young people “infected” me since my college days at UST. Of course, I can’t forget the many “open-air” preaching I experienced with you during our days in Recto.
- PROPHETIC: You may not know him, but Roland Bitor, now serving as a college dean at Malayan U. (formerly Mapua) in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, helped plant the seed of writing in me. I remember during the Youth Camp in 1995 when he prayed for me that someday, I will be writing books. I’m currently in the process of publishing my very first book (although I’ve been part of the book Philippine History of Basketball, that was co-authored by Beth Celis and Dr. Christian Bocobo.)
- FOUND MY PURPOSE: Discovered my purpose in life through the messages I heard in Victory
- CHANGE THE CAMPUS, CHANGE THE WORLD: I always have fond memories while serving as one of Victory U-Belt’s campus missionaries alongside Youth Ptr Ryan Tan – seeing God grow the youth from 500 people to over 5,000 students today!
- OUR HEROES: A big salute to today’s batch of LifeBox U-Belt campus missionaries, who abandoned lucrative job offers and professional careers to answer the call of God to disciple the next generation of leaders in our nation
- DISCIPLING OTHERS: Blessed to be used by God to serve as a spiritual mentor to then college athletes JayArr Estrada, Luis Palaganas, Eric Suguitan, Amiel Nava, Roberts Labagala, Mark Barroca and King Borlongan, who are all being used by God is so many ways.
- CHAMPIONS: Had a lot of wonderful memories with Champions for Christ, Victory’s ministry to athletes where I worked hand in hand with Ptr. Joseph Carodan, Roy Moralde, Dan Harder, now pastor of Victory Quezon City, Rene “Cheps” Espina, Ptr. Lee Concepcion, the Olympian swimmer, William Duguil and for a time, Honey Gee…
- Thankful for my U-Belt Discipleship Coaching group – the two Melvins (Piza and Medenilla), Ariel, Faus, Mike S, JR S., Eric, Vic, Jerick – whose passion for God is impacting a lot of people today through their respective victory group.
- Of course, I can’t forget my other former DCoaching leaders, who today, are being used by God in various ways – Paul H., now serving as Victory Caloocan’s youth pastor, Paul A., now based in EN Dubai, Harwin, Francis, my brother, who’s getting married soon, Megan, Roland V., now one of U-Belt’s young, dynamic leaders, Lennon, the gung ho campus missionary in PUP, Jimrod and Romy, my dear friends, who are now part of Victory Malate and Ortigas, respectively, Ramil Aguilar, now based in UAE.
- EQUIPPING: Thankful also for the many trainings I had with Victory that had a lot to do with preaching and teaching.
- Can’t forget my MPD training. God used it to teach me to trust Him, at the same time, it gave me the opportunity to share the vision to people and helping them become part of God’s exciting plan in reaching the next generation.
- HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: Every time I remember UE, it reminds me of the “carinderia” at the back of Gastambide, where I used to meet and eat with JayArr, Paul, Eric and Luis – reminds me of how God can use simple food joints in “shaping” world changers today
- LEADERSHIP LESSONS I RECEIVED: While I write for Spin.ph today, much of the leadership and every other “intangibles” I carry in my sportswriting career, were influenced by Ptr. Gilbert F. and U-Belt’s pastoral staff
- Learned a lot also from Victory U-Belt’s do-it-all, “super” admin people Jing Navarro, Krish Rola and Claudette Alipio
- OUR INSPIRATIONS: Thankful for Ptr. and Ninong Rey Corpuz and Ninang Menchie, your lives are an inspiration to us – your way of raising up your kids are worth emulating
- Learned so much also from some of our couple friends Kuya Mike and Iyah A., Jek and Mich Halili, Bobby and Marie A., Louie and Melyn A., mommy Luz M., mommy Libby, mommy Esther C.. and soon-to-be-married Harllan and Rhen…
- Thankful also for public speakers Chinkee Tan and Jayson Lo, for taking the time to share your lives and impart your wealth of knowledge and experience
- Life-long friends Bonnie & Grace Banez, now based in the US, Darwin and Jo Adalia, Alvin and Jo Ang – whose lives are a constant encouragement to me and my wife …also Ptr. Arnold and Indi Palaganas, who, during my early years in the ministry, encouraged me and empowered me to lead…
- Ryan Gidor, the faith-filled senior pastor of Victory Bacolod, whose life has been an inspiration, to me as well. Miss our good, ‘ole days at UST where we pray together and bless our campus…
- My “spiritual fathers” Louie Lintao, Ruselle Tan, Elvin E. – people who painstakingly discipled me during my “introvert” days as a high school and through sophomore year in college
- VLI and ENLI – the “leadership school” where I learned the fundamentals of leadership, spiritual disciplines, heart for missions, among others
- My VLI 3 classmates – The “Enforcers” – now changing the world by impacting the cities and nations
- Ptr. Steve, Ptr. Joey B., Ptr. Juray, Ptr. Jun E., Ptr. Manny C., Ptr. Ferdie C. – you’ve all influenced me in one way or the other through the countless messages I heard – live or through podcast
- WRITING STILL, PUBLISHING SOON…