For early risers who wish to begin their day with a “spiritual vitamin”, Kape’t Pandasal has filled and nourished countless yearning souls for more than a decade now.
This October, the designated month of the Most Holy Rosary, Jesuit Communication Foundation’s (JesCom) daily reflection and prayer program Kape’t Pandasal celebrates its 14th anniversary of spreading God’s word through the medium of television.
The daily reflections aired at the break of dawn are written and hosted by Jesuit priests, Fr.Jboy Gonzales S.J., (JesCom Executive Director) Fr.Emmanuel Alfonso S.J and Fr. Ernald Andal, S.J., along with the special participation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Kerygma Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ms. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng.
As the sole lay preacher in the group, Ms. Singson-Kawpeng describes the unique collection of Kape’t Pandesal hosts as “Holy Company” wherein she feels very much privileged to interact with.
“Being around such Holy Men of God, and serving shoulder to shoulder with them, creates in me an awareness that reminds me to seek greater growth and seek the Lord more,” she says. “I believe that you’re the average of the five people you hang out most with, and it’s the same in ministry and service life- serving with people of this caliber inspires me and pulls me higher in my work with the Lord.”
Looking back at her own journey as a longtime host of Kape’t Pandesal, Ms.Singson-Kawpeng’s fondest memories remain her brief yet treasured encounters with her fellow presenters.
“Every time I run into Cardinal Tagle or have a short chat with Fr.Nono, I feel those short encounters really bless me,” she recalls. “Back in 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer and Cardinal prayed over me. He gave me a consecrated tilma from our Lady of Guadalupe, and I felt that throughout my therapy Mama Mary was with me. That’s the standout moment for me, being in Kape’t Pandasal, it deepened my devotion to Mama Mary.”
For Ms.Singson-Kawpeng, “Kape’t Pandasal’s” continued success over the years can be attributed to “the way it makes the Gospel relevant to daily life.”
“In a world that’s going so fast, where life’s pace is hurried, all people need is to pull back and pray,” she adds. “It’s always a challenge to make the Gospel fresh, alive and relevant to the youth, especially millennials who are so exposed to all sorts of media messages. Ministries like Kape’t Pandasal make what is true mainstream and accessible through TV or YouTube. The challenge is to keep on evolving- the Gospel’s values remain unchanged but the way it is delivered adapts to the times.”
When envisioning the exciting future in store for Kape’t Pandasal’, Ms.Singson-Kawpeng smiles and wishes that she could “stay forever young” as she prays that “I hope God will not allow me to age! I can’t keep on writing books for single women, baka lola advice na mabigay ko.”
In truth, Ms.Singson-Kawpeng believes that the younger generation holds the key for Kape’t Pandasal’s growth in the years to come. “We have to raise up the young people to take up the mantle. The youth might have better ideas in communicating God’s word and serving the Lord”
As Kape’t Pandesal continues its partnership with ABS-CBN, airing Mondays through Fridays, 3:45 am on the Kapamilya network, and moves forward with a brand new ‘look’ to its enlightening episodes, Ms.Singson-Kawpeng expressed her message of hope for the loyal viewers of the USTv Students’ Choice awardee for Best Catholic Program.
“I pray that they will deepen their relationship with the Lord. I hope that our reflections will inspire them to seek God. I pray that Kape’t Pandasal helps them tune in to God’s voice and realize what He’s doing in their own lives.”