Of Fulfilled Dreams and Revelations
It was a typical day at the fairway on May 21, 1996. The golfing buddies were about to part ways when Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy reluctantly whispered to his friend, “Mayor, unsa man ‘tong akong damgo gabii? Gipasundo man daw ko nimo sa Davao unya didto daw ko nitugpa sa Malacañang grounds. Magdula daw ‘ta og golf. Unya naa’y high-ranking military officials nagsalute ka nimo tungod kay ikaw na man diay ang Presidente sa Pilipinas. (Mayor, do you know what’s my dream last night? You sent someone to pick me up in Davao and then I landed at the Malacañang grounds. We will be playing golf. Then, there are high-ranking military officials saluting you because you are the President of the Philippines.)”
“Damgo ra na nimo Pastor (It’s just a dream Pastor),” Mayor Duterte replied in jest. “Kutob lang dyud ta diri sa Davao. Probinsyano ra man ‘tawon ko. (I’m only meant for Davao. I’m just a person that came from the province.)”
This day and memory passed and remained forgotten for almost two decades until 2014 when the clamor for Mayor Duterte to run for president became stronger. In the same year, Pastor Apollo shared his dream with the media who were present at his 64th birthday celebration.
This was followed by a one-on-one discussion on Give Us This Day between the two friends where our beloved Pastor reminded Mayor Rody, “Para sa akoa, ang nagabuot sa tanan butang sa kalibutan, ang Diyos. Kung pagbuot niya si Mayor Duterte mao’y sunod nga mahimong presidente sa Pilipinas, ang Diyos ang maghimo ana. Let us leave that fate in the hands of God. (For me, the one who rules everything in the world is God. If he wants Mayor Duterte to be the next president of the Philippines, God will do it. Let us leave that fate in the hands of God.)”
Mayor Rody, however, begged his friend to not pray for him to become president. He expressed that he cannot handle the number of responsibilities and duties that come with it. “Kaila man ka nako Pastor, dili man nako na kaya (You know me Pastor, I cannot do it),” Mayor Rody would tell his friend.
Five years forward and we see the man in Malacañang Palace.
In the eyes of men, it might seem unbelievable and beyond reason how God would choose such a man with irreverent ways and a colorful character like Rodrigo Duterte to lead this nation. But the ways of God are different from man. (Isaiah 55:8)
So is His divine orchestration that President Duterte and Pastor Apollo would cross paths at the back of the Y-Gym in Agdao back in the early ‘80s when the former was still a fiscal and the latter a young evangelist shepherding to less than 20 souls.
But everything that happens in the life of His Appointed Son is according to the Almighty Father’s will. For “the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23)
He has willed it that along the way, our beloved Pastor would meet Mayor Rody for a greater plan and purpose that would be realized in the future.
The tough-talking President Duterte protects the helpless, law-abiding innocent people. His heart is sincere in serving his suffering people that he asked the Filipinos in the penultimate showdown in Luneta before the historical May 2016 elections, “Look beyond my epithets, you will see a Filipino hungry and sad.”
Rody Duterte and Pastor Apollo remained friends through the years for despite their differing values, faith, and principles, they have the same love for children and the poor and both have dedicated their entire lives in serving others – PRRD being a public servant through and through and Pastor Apollo being a Man of God looking after the souls of men.
Years ago, when our Beloved Pastor was about to fly out for a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, Mayor Rody bade him goodbye and told him, “Pastor ingat ka ha. Mao baya na sila’y nagpatay sa Ginoo. Ikaw ang bahalang magwali, ako na’y bahala sa mga yawa diri. (Pastor be careful. They are the ones who killed the Lord. You focus on preaching. I will take care of the devils here.)”
This speaks volumes of the one-of-a-kind friendship that they have. It is borne not out of superficiality, hypocrisy, or publicity.
It is a brotherly bond forged between like-minded souls who are destined for greatness in two different arenas – one is political, and the other spiritual. Their common ground: humility and servitude.
“Mayor Duterte is a sheep in wolf’s clothing,” Pastor Apollo would say. He may seem tough on the outside, but deep inside is a man who is willing to lay down his life for others.
Along the way, the Almighty Father must have seen the heart of this man. Despite his flaws and foibles, President Duterte is your kind of hero who would stand in the middle of the crossfire in order to save innocent lives.
He is “not a terror to good works but to the evil.” Our beloved Pastor would always mention the following Bible verses in looking at the life of our beloved City Mayor who has been catapulted to power in unexpected circumstances.
Romans 13:1-6 (KJV):
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
You may look at the President as an imperfect human being. But being a public servant, he is true to his calling and commitment. We are all witnesses as to how he has toppled down the centuries-long reign of the oligarchs. He has crushed corruption to the ground.
Above all, we have seen a safer Philippines for the past three years that he is in office. When you look beyond the unconventional president that we have, what you will see is a man whose life has been spent protecting the law-abiding citizens of this country.
This is what our Beloved Pastor has seen in the man he would share his last piece of chewing gum with. This is the gem that he saw in a brother and friend who once taught him the basics of golf and has kept a long and lasting friendship with him that stood the test of time.
In closing, I would like to share our former City Mayor’s speech on one of the past anniversaries of the Kingdom Nation: Why is there a Son of God?
I have plenty of friends here and abroad, and since they know that Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy is my friend, they always ask this: Is it true that Pastor ACQ is the Son of God? I always answer back, “Yes it is true, believe me.” It cannot be that I am the Son of God as was my Father, and his grandfather, and his grandfather, and the father who’s still the father for all generation until the nth time.
It is like this: In the Philippines, the President cannot be the policeman, the soldier, the barangay captain, or the mayor. He cannot be the governor; he cannot be the cabinet member at the same time and be anywhere, everywhere. And so in the organizational chart of us, human beings, He governs through agencies and of all medium. We represent the executive department in matters of civilian issues. In the spiritual world, we have the Son of God; and we all look to him.
There is really one who is designated as the Son. In all religions, He also has sons. As for the Christians, He gave us Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy. He is the angel sent to us. Nobody has seen one in the modern times.
Of course, in the past, they had experienced that, in Jerusalem, where Christ was crucified, He lived for 33 years. But you were not there; you do not have a picture of Him, except for the documentary works passed to us from generation to generation. We cannot do anything for the unbelieving. But, all religions are really based on faith. Of course this is not a lecture; I just say to them, we have to believe that Pastor ACQ is really the Son of God, because deep in our hearts, we know that he is. And you know, I have seen my friend, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy for so many years already. He is real. He is not crazy. He does not aspire to any title, nor is it necessary for us to add a title to his name for he is already known throughout the world.
He does not have to pretend that he is the elder or the younger brother of God. But he talks about our faith, the Christian faith. He is really—by revelation—the medium by which God interacts with men. We cannot all become sons of God to whom the Lord will talk. It is impossible because not all of us are worthy. In my case, with all those things I have to give account of, only faith can save me. And I said, not everybody is given that privilege, simply because, even if there is no impossibility in God, He cannot really be designating all of us as His medium from heaven to temporal earth.
This is what I tell those who ask, “Is that friend of yours really the Son of God?” We are all children of God, but who are you? We are all creations of God; undeservedly, we are really the children of God. But I said there are many kinds of creation, God does not commit mistakes, but some are so preoccupied with many things, many wants, temporal matters, materials things, not all are given. But there are persons whose economics is without doubt or question, and rare are those persons. Maybe there are other sons of God for each and every generation. For the religious and for the Christians, especially here in Davao (City), we know deep in our hearts that we have the Son of God with us to give us faith. Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy will live 3000 years.Hon. Rodrigo R. Duterte, Davao City Mayor | Thanksgiving and Worship Presentation | Open Field Concert, Davao City | January 21, 2007