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Who Danced On National Television And Embarassed Herself?

April 9, 2007

Someone sent me a link on youtube entitled Tessie Aquino Oreta says “Sorry”. Since I don’t have cable television I have not watched what apparently many others have. I clicked on the link and watched the post. I thought it was a pretty good thing, until I read all the comments from those who have viewed the clip.

I guess many of those who made comments are questioning the intent of Tessie’s apology. Unfortunately definitive conclusions cannot be made on the basis of a 59 second video clip, who knows what her true motives are? Which brings me to the reasons why I am writing this post:

First, I met Tessie right after the dancing incident happened when she was still a senator. I have seen her grow as a Christian at close range in the years that followed. It is my hope that this blog will help others know the real story behind her apology.

Secondly, this blog (In Good Company) is all about the interesting people I meet along the course of my ministry as a pastor and Tessie qualifies for a post here. Her transformation has been such that I want my friends and family to know she has become a friend.

Time and time again I have seen how adverse circumstances and situations of helplessness have caused people to call on God. Fact is people don’t realize their need for God until a similar situation happens to them. This truth applies to most people including senators like Tessie. In her arrogance God humbled her, which resulted in her need for God.

I met Tessie during a dinner at her relatives’ home. They were members of our church, Victory Christian Fellowship. I guess not very many people liked having dinner with her at the time. My first impression was a headstrong woman laced with a strong sense of self-confidence. On the other hand, I knew the Holy Spirit was working on her.

Not long after I received a call from her and asked if she could meet with me. Tessie came to my home complete with the entourage of a senator. It was there that I spoke to her about how God brings to light things in our lives so that we can deal with them, things like pride. To my amazement she received my words, yet still with a hint of reservation almost like one who says “I am sorry but…..”

That afternoon Tessie and I prayed in full view of staff and bodyguards. I told her of the importance of reading her Bible and the need to live a life of prayer. But the acid test was when I asked if we could meet once a week to lay the foundation for being a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ. The look on her face was obvious…..she did not see that coming.

Tessie said she was busy with the Senate. To which I responded, I am asking for 60 minutes a week, surely you have that time for the things of God. I told her to pick any day and any time she was available and I will be there. Now she had no more excuse. Eventually she acquiesced. Tessie said, okay, Monday 7:30 AM.

To this day I still wonder if Tessie said that so I would back off. Sundays are my busiest days and getting up at 6:00 on Monday (my day-off) was a “bummer”. Again I surprised her by saying “I will be there” – (looking back I surprised myself too).

And so it would come to pass that I met with Tessie every Monday morning with another member of our staff. Each week she had questions mainly because she kept reading her Bible. And each week we answered her queries. Gradually Tessie grew in the knowledge of her God.

In time I connected her to Tony and Fenian Moran. It was this couple who relentlessly taught her the foundations of the faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Several months after, Tessie publicly declared her trust in Jesus and had herself baptized in her own swimming pool.

It has been about 5 years since I met Tessie. In some of those years I have received phone calls from her reporting how she said sorry to members of her family, friends and political adversaries. I can no longer count the number of times Tessie has told me “Joey, ang yabang ‘ko no.” The once headstrong woman has become a peacemaker, a daughter of the KING.

Last year Gerry Lirio of the Philippine Inquirer wrote an article entitled “Ninoy sister finds renewal, forgiveness” an article based on an interview with Tessie, there he recorded her remorse and publicly ackonowledged her mistake and apologized.

Is Tessie really sorry? I believe she is. All she has done was make public what I have seen her do in private in the last 4 years.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48

See also my other posts:
Discipleship and the NCAA
Prayer and the Snails

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