Christian Media: Where Truth Meets You

Meeting the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ

People share the moment they met Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Different stories, same feeling: grateful for the chance to meet God's chosen leader. 


Ericka: To be honest, I really prayed hard… to find the right words.

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I really prayed hard…

Isabelle: I felt shaky. I was holding this letter, and I started rehearsing in my head what to say…

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…and I started rehearsing in my head…

Tyler: He finally gets to me, my name is announced, “Brother Tyler Toledo from Dallas, Texas.” I get really nervous…super nervous. 

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And I shake his hand…

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Voiceover: Every year, countless members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo make their way to #1 Central Avenue in Quezon City, Philippines, to attend Balikbayan Day on Tuesdays. “Balikbayan” means “one who returns to one’s country“—which roughly translates to “Homecoming Day.” 

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Balikbayan Day

Homecoming Day

Voiceover: “Balikbayan” didn’t formally become a word until the 1970s due to the increase of overseas foreign workers. But for members of the Church, Balikbayan Day Tuesdays is a chance for people from all over the world to have their blessed moment with the Executive Minister.

Adara (Balikbayan Day – May 2019): When I finally got the chance to shake hands with Brother Eduardo, I said to him, “Thank you, for everything that you’ve done for me and my family.”

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I said, “Thank you…”

Shannon (Balikbayan Day – May 2019): I wanted to say all of that. But I guess what came out of my mouth was, “I love you so much. Thank you.”

Ericka (Balikbayan Day – November 2014): And I asked him, “Is there any way for me to help while I’m here in the Philippines?”

Voiceover: For Ericka, that blessed moment she had with Brother Eduardo went beyond what she could’ve expected. 

Ericka: I actually got the chance to help the Church, In INCRadio, INC TV, and in the INC Music Department as well. So I’m just really grateful and humbled because of that opportunity.

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I’m just feeling grateful and humbled…

Voiceover: Although Balikbayan Day Tuesday in the Central Office officially began the 1980s, Brother Felix Manalo always made time to meet and talk to the brethren in the early days. And Brother Eraño Manalo carried on that same practice, which continues today with Brother Eduardo. Young members from all over the world look forward to it, the same way their parents did decades before. 

Tyler (Balikbayan Day – April 2019): I know that coming up is Balikbayan Day,  and I wanted to prepare for it. So I go to the mall and I buy the nicest, newest barong, or Filipino formalwear for men, to wear to the Balikbayan Day. I get up super early that day, and I get ready, and I call a RideShare. And just driving into the Central complex, I’m overwhelmed in the most positive way.

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I’m overwhelmed in the most positive way. 

Voiceover: Church Of Christ members from near and far line up even before dawn just for the opportunity to see Brother Eduardo; to seek advice, ask for a prayer, or like Tyler, Adara, Isabelle, Shannon, and Ericka, to personally deliver a message.

Adara: What was really beautiful was that as Brother Eduardo was making his way through the line of brethren you could see that he took the time to speak to each and every one of them. To really show his love for them…

Isabelle (International Kadiwa Conference 2019): I think that’s what that feeling was when he entered the room. It was this immense feeling of love and happiness for all of us. 

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Immense feeling of love. 

Tyler: I was rehearsing what I was saying over and over in my head, and suddenly, we’re all kind of lined up in a semicircle and [Brother] Eduardo enters and I get really nervous. Super nervous.

Voiceover: Then, Tyler’s very awaited blessed moment finally came. 

Tyler: He finally gets to me, my name’s announced, “Brother Tyler Toledo from Dallas, Texas”, and I shake his hand and I say “Maraming, maraming salamat po sa lahat.” 

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“Maraming, maraming salamat po sa lahat.” 

Tyler: And [Brother] Eduardo looks at me, and he kind of leans in as if I was going to say something else, but I didn’t. I didn’t have anything else prepared. And he looked at me and he kind of smiled and he moved onto the next person. What did I just say to our Executive Minister?!

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In my head, I wanted to say, 

Tyler: In my head, I wanted to say thank you — maraming salamat…

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Thank you

Maraming salamat

Tyler:  for — sa

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Tyler: everything — lahat

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Tyler: Maraming salamat sa lahat. 

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Maraming salamat sa lahat.

Tyler: But, after Google translating all of that, this is what I got. So the translation on the internet was “thank you very much everyone.” 

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Thank you very much, everyone. 

Tyler: I just spoke to our Executive Minister in a grammatically incorrect and not accurate sentence. Regardless of how embarrassed I was, I feel like any moment with [Brother] Eduardo is a blessed moment. 

Voiceover: While Tyler’s moment may have happened in the Philippines, members no longer have to travel halfway across the world to have a moment of their own. Today, our Executive Minister makes time to go to the brethren directly, and visits local congregations big and small. And members are forever grateful for their blessed moment. 

Despite his busy schedule, Brother Eduardo continues to listen to what each member has to say, what weighs on their hearts, and guides each one of them to keep God’s commandments. We give all glory and praise to God for a leader who works tirelessly in bringing us closer to the Almighty Father each and every day of our lives. 

Shannon Santamaria (Waiphau, Hawaii): I wanted to say thank you for being the first one to love the Church, and to put your life for the Church.

Ericka Celestino (Bournemouth, UK): We love you so much, [Brother] Eduardo.

Isabelle Alfonso (Concord, California): Happy 10th Anniversary of your dynamic leadership. We love you!

Meane Glauser (Geneva, Switzerland): I would like to thank Brother Eduardo V. Manalo for being such a good leader for us…

Tyler Toledo (Dallas, Texas): I was able to realize and see firsthand the love of the Church Administration and our Executive Minister. And for that I am forever grateful. 

Kayla Thompson (Bellmore, New York): Thank you so much for everything that you do for all the brethren all around the world…

Erik Lachendro (Windham, Connecticut): It doesn’t go unnoticed, we truly love you for everything that you do for the Church. 

John-Kevin Glauser (Geneva, Switzerland): Even though I know it’s very hard to guide the whole Church, you still do your best to guide us on the right path…

Tony Marciano (Anaheim, California): …those who would try to undermine the Church, you show your strength and resilience through that. And it’s an inspiration for us…

Kayla: And we continue to pray for you and your success as you continue on in leading us in this work.

Tyler: Maraming salamat po, ka Eduardo, sa pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa buong Iglesia—I hope I did that right!

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Thank you very much, Brother Eduardo, for your love and concern for the entire Church.



Available downloads

Meeting the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ