Celebrities share stage with Cardinal Tagle as witnesses of faith

Celebrities enjoy the world of glitz and glamour but they don’t get that much opportunity to speak about their faith.

In a segment called “Heart to Heart Talk with the Cardinal”, celebrities Dingdong Dantes, Dimples Roman, and Alden Richards shared stage with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle as they tell stories of conversion, compassion, and communion.

These celebrities shared the struggles they encountered in life and how these were transformed into blessings.  Each one of them gave their testimony on how their faith in the Lord changed their lives significantly.

Kapuso star Dingdong Dantes shared one of his advocacies especially in the area of education for the youth and how at an early age he found courage to send himself to school and how he landed on a good job that helped him also send his siblings to school.

“Malapit po kasi sa puso ko ang edukasyon lalung lalo na yung pagbibigay ng opportunities to young people.  Kasi way back grade school and high school ako po ay scholar of so many people and my relatives. And growing up nakikita ko yung difficulty of sending me to school especially ng parents ko, difficulty ng magulang ko and at the same time pati na rin yung mga taong tumulong sakin.”  

Dantes also shared the role of faith in his advocacies and how he was able to build a strong communion with the Lord.  He believed that the transformation of his faith came in stages where he saw the possibility that he can become an “agent of faith”.  He also considered the birth of her daughter, Leticia, as his re-birth from which he found the inspiration to continue living his life the way he is living it right now.

Actress Dimples Romana, mother of two, spoke about a part of her life where she struggled from the pain of losing her loved ones. Her sister was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of five and died at the age of nine. Four years after, her father, an employee at the Philippine Postal died of aneurism. 

During the times when Romana and her family were coping from the pain, she said she felt the presence of the Lord in their lives because of her devotion to the Blessed Mother. Her father, who was also a Marian devotee would pray over her every morning. 

“I think namamana po yan eh kaya importante sa mga magulang na kung kayo pa ay may pinaniniwalaan, mas magandang nakikita ng inyong mga anak kasi kahit po mawala tayo ng maaga, mai-imprint po sa kanila yun.  And I think I’m also, you know, I’m a living testimony to that.”

Despite her status as a popular celebrity, Romana humbly admitted that she is a servant of the Lord and the Lord is the only constant thing in her life.

“No matter, whatever we reach in life, whether ngayon pong nag-aartista ako, so I always feel like hindi naman ako artista, I’m always just a servant of the Lord, it’s really what’s constant in my life. Nothing is constant in my life but the Lord.” 

According to her, she is overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord in her life because she knows that the Lord answers her prayers in ways that she cannot fathom.

“Parang I’m always overwhelmed by the presence of the lord in my life because He never let go of my hand and it’s so funny how I’m talking to air, nobody’s really talking back to me because I cannot hear His voice.  But hearing pala is not just through the ears but through the heart.” 

Pambansang bae Alden Richards was the last to speak about how his faith in the Lord works in his life. 

Richards spoke about his advocacy in bringing education to indigenous people. He wanted to reach those who live in remote areas to feed and educate them. Also, he is the Ambassador for Habitat for Humanity whose advocacy is to provide shelter to the homeless.

According to Richards, giving is not just about money. It can be manifested in various ways by making yourself available to be of service to those who are in need.

“Ang pagtulong naman po is not necessary at the extent of finances. Hindi lang po sa pera ang pagtulong. You can help through your being a volunteer, you can give moral support to everyone. And pag sinabi po kasing charity it’s not always about sharing money to everyone. It’s about giving out yourself for service.”

The three celebrities were also joined by Brother Robito Mahinay and Sister Mary Jane Caspinio,

Brother Robito Mahinay is from the Couples of Christ Missionary in Zamboanga City.  His faith was tested when two events in his life happened that he considered the most painful experience.

Brother Mahinay witnessed how his father was killed when he was only nine years old. At an early age, he started to nurture hatred and anger in his heart telling himself, “paglaki ko maghiganti talaga ako.” When he had a family of his own, his son, a first year college student at the Western Mindanao State University was a victim of hazing.

According to Mahinay, God works in his life especially when he became a member of the Couples for Christ where he was taught how to love his neighbor and forgive his enemy. 

“Sabi ko, Lord, surrender na ako, ibigay ko sa iyo lahat, ibuhos ko to, Lord.  Sabi ko kailangan na ako magpatawad na.”

Sister Mary Jane Caspinio from the Medical Mission Sister shared that her calling is not just to help but to learn from the wisdom, struggles, and aspirations of the indigenous peoples’ care for the earth. 

“We did a series of discernment and reflections, and we felt the call to be with the indigenous people not so much on helping them but to learn from them, to learn from their wisdom about caring for the earth because it is inherent in their wisdom, in their lifestyle the connection with the earth.” 

The “Heart to Heart Talk with the Cardinal” happened on July 28, 2017, first day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE4) at the Quadricentennial Pavilion, University of Santo Tomas.

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