Monday, September 12, 2005

All They Asked for was a Greeting...

(Email sent to the Tiguls last Saturday. If this sounds like a congratulatory greeting to our very own, my apologies, but it is. Proud to be, happy to be, a QT. Even if I’m already a Lola as Gay serves as branch Mama.)

The spirit of joy and celebration overflowing from the hearts of the QT’s was unstoppable. I would like to report to the Tiguls (read: Lingkod QC former Service Council & earlier, not necessarily older, members) what the QT’s have been up to recently.

As an offshoot of the stunning video prepared by Gay’s Unit for the June QC anniversary featuring sisters singing to the tune of “Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo” (see lyrics at, Ted & Gay commissioned Janice, Sheila, and the rest of the QT’s to record an anniversary greeting for Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon nationwide, to be shown at the Metro Manila 21st anniversary. With lyrics by Gay, minus-one by Karreen’s uber-talented brother Jobin Ballesteros (professional ito), a videocam, a reading lamp-turned-props-microphone, and QT’s characteristic passion for excellence, another classic came to life and it was shown last night.

It was impossible not to be swept with the wave of enthusiasm from the members to come up with the surprise number. I was particularly surprised, however, because I was the one who sent the e-mail from Lingkod Manila (c/o Jabar) to the BLs and BWMs asking for a greeting for Lingkod’s 21st anniversary. I don’t remember any mention of a grand production number in that request, but there’s just no stopping what’s in the hearts of the QT’s, so they responded in the only way they knew how – in the most showbiz, fun, wholesome, and entertaining manner possible.

The shooting took one hour only at the closing of the Sisters’ Household, as the brothers and I were invited for the Lord’s Day celebration. It was a joy to see the seemingly quiet and shy sisters putting on lipstick and powder just to sway in front of the cameras, singing about the 31 branches of Lingkod on its 21st anniversary, emphasizing “ang ganda ng mga sisters, ang galing ng mga brothers”. Even if the video was not shown last night, the shooting itself was reward already as everyone had the time of their life watching the footage afterwards! Audio recording took another night at Jobin’s now famous bedroom – with just a microphone and state-of-the-art equipment. One by one, the Lingkod singers recorded their respective parts. The rest waited at Karreen’s bedroom, surprised by shrieks of delight from those who entered the door with lines like, “One take lang ito, thank you, thank you!”. Where do we get these people? So talented, so passionate, and soooo … on fire. Hehe

I asked Ted if the number was approved by Lingkod Manila, the organizers. The incoming BL of that branch had to call up Ted to verify the equipment we needed – and QT’s who overheard the conversation butted in, “We need a good sound system, LCD projector, laptop…” Career! Over sa O.A. talaga!

On the night itself, we positioned ourselves near the aforesaid equipment and tested the video, and those from Lingkod Office and other branches who had a glimpse of the number said, “City of Stars talaga kayo.” When the video was finally shown, everyone laughed and was entertained! Honest. This is not a biased account, promise. The brothers from the Servants of the Word reacted – why is it that sisters were “maganda” and the brothers were just “magaling”? Lingkod staffers said, “Kakasuhan na namin kayo, Lingkod QC. Masyado kayong magaleng!” My ears grew tired of flapping by themselves (palakpak tenga) and I prayed for the grace to respond graciously to everything that was said. Who wouldn’t be happy at that moment???

The video was followed by Tina’s sharing. It provided a period and made the greeting complete – as Tina showed how she slowly grew to love God more through community, and how she was transformed from a reluctant member into an Action Group Leader after three years. It showed that God Himself is the one at work and He uses community and its members to make His presence felt to do what we ultimately do – bring lives to Him, Christifying the workplace.

The experience of the Lingkod WOW video (based kasi ito on the WOW Philippines song of Department of Tourism, recorded by Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta, Jessa Zaragosa, Lea Salonga, etc.) was so beautiful because the effort was not merely by one person, or those who were on the video, or those who were behind it, or those presently serving, or those who recorded the song – but the ultimate lingkod video was a production of Lingkod QC, who has always been blessed with the spirit of joy, the gift of song/dance/pen/visual art, and the passion to give the best in everything, that God may be glorified.

A brother from another branch made a comment that was unforgettable. He said, “Sis, ang ganda ng video. Nakaka-uplift at nakaka-encourage.” Brothers and sisters, this is our gift and our mission – to spread the good news the QC way, to show that struggles may come but the goodness of the Lord is more powerful than anything and if we but focus our eyes on Him, we can do anything.

Lord, I hope you were pleased, it was because of you that we were able to do that.

This is the Lord’s promise fulfilled – He gave us a theme this year, “Joyfully, we proclaim God’s glory”. At last Friday’s anniversary, we did just that, thanks to Him who made it possible.

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