Ang Dating Daan Marks Anniversary in Broadcast and Public Service
Ang Dating Daan (ADD), the multi-awarded religious program hosted by Bro Eli Soriano, is celebrating 31 years this October. Known for its vigorous evangelization works on radio and television since 1980, the show now reaches more than 30 countries globally.
Starting as a 30-minute radio program when it went on air in 1980, Ang Dating Daan went on air television in 1983. Since then, the program continued to attract more viewers and listeners, becoming a household name.
More opportunities opened for Ang Dating Daan when it reached western shores in 2004, paving the way for its launch of the Spanish and Portuguese titles, El Camino Antiguo and O Caminho Antigo in recent years. Now airing on free and cable television, especially in North and South America, these programs have a 24 hours and 7 days a week schedule. Fox Channel is the most recent addition to ADD’s official carriers.
The production staff was initially a three-man team of Bro. Eli Soriano, Bro. Daniel Razon, and Sis. Luz Cruz. Together, they pioneered the popular program, now known internationally as The Old Path. To date, ADD broadcasts in more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Central America, and South America through satellite and the World Wide Web.
The program takes pride in its unique brand of question and answer segment, Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot. The question-and-answer portion has sustained the show’s popularity among the viewing public for years. Here, Bro. Eli Soriano answers every possible question on religion and faith. What is unique about the question and answer segment is that Bro Eli answers the questions from live audience whether in the studio or when there are Bible Expositions in various places.
Because of the program's popularity, its approach in religious discussion and exposition of religious fraud, Ang Dating Daan also became the target of various hate campaigns on television, radio, broadsheets, and the Internet. Even as it continues to hail the flag in the West, censure also followed it.
It has survived not only vicious criticisms in the Philippines but also won against series of legal suits and political black propaganda which all have attempted to ban the program. Many times, Ang Dating Daan was caught in religious clashes with rivalling religious groups and targeted its cease in broadcast.
Although such efforts put a strain to the program’s survival, Ang Dating Daan continues to satisfy the religious interest of people. More to it is the support and warm welcome from those who admitted they “have grown tired of their former religions that had done nothing but to extort money from them.”
Over the years, the program has also grown to be identified in the public as promoter of social good through its charity projects and programs. It has forged numerous partnerships with government and non-government organizations upholding public service advocacies on health, education, social welfare, responsible journalism, and environment protection.
Among its programs for the marginalized sector are the free bus ride, free transient home, quarterly mass blood donations, free medical services, free legal services, feeding programs, free education, orphanages, and disaster-relief missions. It also initiated environmental awareness actions, like tree planting and clean-up drives.
The public services of Ang Dating Daan have inspired similar projects and campaigns. One such is the Isang Araw Lang (Just One Day) Campaign, a social good propaganda which upholds doing good even for just one day.
Due to its vigorous evangelization and public service programs, Ang Dating Daan has earned many citations for its contributions to spiritual and social welfare. One is the Gawad Amerika, when it named Ang Dating Daan as the Most Informative Religious Program in 2009. The following year, the Philippine National Red Cross acknowledged Ang Dating Daan as most outstanding partner for its continuous donations of safe blood.
As host, Bro. Eli has also been awarded many times, the highest distinction being The Most Educational To Follow in 2010 by Mashable.com. His blog, esoriano.wordpress.com, was chosen best from among many sites which competed in the same category. - Cecile Vizcaya