This is our 13th year of doing the KAOGMA FESTIVAL that celebrates the foundation day of Camarines Sur. This year marks their 440th and I can say, The Kaogma this year is a literal faith walk as the challenges we faced was nothing like those we had before. What God has taught us here though is that when you walk in faith, you are in a perfect position for a Miracle. With the many amazing stories and testimonies this event has made possible, I know I am bound to miss some of them as they are just too many to mention.
To begin with, we ran a XX Million (yes that is 2 digits) 8 day event in 4 venues with a negative 5m in our bank account. Yes, we’ve been loaning from the bank the past months just to be able to pay off people’s salaries and operation. I graduated with a major in Business Management and to be honest with you, I don’t know how that is possible.
- After 3 days of setting-up, the governor tells us that the venue will be moved. It normally takes us an entire week to set-up. So on the 4th day, we went around the other districts to look for a venue while the rest of the team dismantled what has been set-up.
- After the set-up, It started to rain. There were days it rained so hard it flooded and in one of the days, the concessionaires even caught fish and some snakes. We also experienced one morning an earthquake that lasted a few seconds.
- 2 days into the event (out of 8), the Governor tells us that the Miss Kaogma which falls on day 5 will be done in another venue.
- On Day 3, our Major sponsor backs out. So we had to deal directly with the band who they were supposed to bring. Not only did our production cost go up, it also became a logistic nightmare as there were hardly any flights left. Good thing the manager was a good friend of mine and so within minutes a new deal was set. In a minute, Kaogma just became more expensive by almost another million. Praise God though, the day after, our miscommunication with the sponsor got sorted out and things go well again.
Despite all of these challenges, the team gathered every morning to sing praises to God and do short devotions regardless if we finished late (our day 6 ended at 3am) or when we had an event starting early in the morning (Boy kayod on Day 5 started at 6am). God honored it and during these times we just kept still in His presence It was Him moving and working.
A day before our last event, this one was a left wing, our talent from the cultural office backed out leaving us with no artist. Fortunately,a few months ago, we had tried to sneak in a worship night just incase a night frees up so we already have a directory of a few churches in our hands. However, since every night had an event, we gave up saying “I guess not this year, maybe next year…” So our last day became a worship night!
There were no accidents, no untoward incidents or violence, people were happy and now as I write this we are on our last day, my song to the Lord this morning as I woke up was “Your grace still amazes me” and He led me to this verse:
2 Chro 20:17 “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you. “
For most nights, we didn’t go to the event site which was an hour away from CWC where we were. Looking back, now I know it was God who kept us from coming. Perhaps it was God’s spirit talking to my spirit asking me to just keep still. Many of the trials we faced this year we’re not those that you can just win by sheer strength, intelligence or money. Some fights are meant to be fought while on your knees.
On the last day of Kaogma, God led me to a verse that made me smile…
Deuteronomy 29:2-6 ““You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”
I remembered on day 1, the soles of my rubber shoes fell off. I just glued it hoping the shoes would last long enough as I had only brought 1 pair of shoes. Until the day I flew back to Manila, my shoes lasted.