Strengthened Faith: What We Need To Survive COVID-19, According To Dingdong Avanzado
"If there’s something that I learned from all of this, it's how to strengthen my relationship with God," he says
Dingdong Avanzado misses playing golf and his buddies. He could definitely use a plate of his favorite dish from his go-to Japanese restaurant too, not to mention a good haircut and a proper shave. He misses a ton of things about pre-pandemic life, truth be told.
He wonders what life will be like as a singer whose lifeblood is live performances, considering society's "new normal" of wearing masks, social distancing, and limiting out-of-house activities. What will be of onstage artists like himself in the future?
For people like Dingdong—for everyone, really—wallowing in the uncertainty and anxiety brought about by the COVID-19 crisis can be just as lethal as getting a positive diagnosis. Worrying is an unhealthy, soul-crushing thing, and Dingdong refuses to bow down to it.
Instead, as he passes the time during quarantine, he's setting his heart and mind on something much more uplifting, joyous, and enriching: deepening his faith.
"If there’s something that I learned from all of this, it's how to strengthen my relationship with God. I really believe in my heart that this thing happened for a reason and God is sending a message, so if there’s something that I would say na natutunan ko, ’yun ’yung mas naintindihan ko pa how to communicate with Him, how to pray, and also, how to be a more effective leader," Dingdong starts.
In fact, praying is the first thing he does in the morning and the last thing he does at night—aside from giving his wife, Jessa Zaragoza, a good morning and a good night kiss, of course. (They celebrated their wedding anniversary under quarantine, too!).
Staying in touch with God through prayer has proven to be even more effective (and much more comforting) than turning to nightly news reports for answers.
"I listen to the news but hindi na masyado. I go more on things that [are] deeper. Mas naging malalim ako. Mas lalong malalim ang mga pag-iisip ko," he continues.
Besides, now that he's spending quality time with his family including his daughter Jayda who is also a singer, he much prefers to fill their hearth with positivity—positivity, and lots of bonding over food, Netflix, and from time to time, TikTok videos, too, he jokes.
"I think the fruit of the spirit is positive eh. It’s the truth, so if you have the truth, if you know the truth, that will keep you positive. So having God and the wisdom of God will keep you positive," Dingdong shares.
But let's not forget that Dingdong has his heart in some else aside from his faith: his love for music. And in this time, his creative outlet has likewise helped get him through the toughest of days.
He's got a recommendation for those looking for spiritual, emotional, and mental respite: "Music that’s inspirational, s'yempre Christian music, something that you’d like to listen to... 'Take Me Out of the Dark' is also a song that I like," he shares.
On his playlist are also "Times of Your Life" by Paul Anka, "Handog" by Florante, and of course, his own hits, "Maghihintay Sa’yo," "Basta’t Kasama Kita," and "Tatlong Beinte Singko."
Take someone's hand and dance at home and sway to rhythm, play them in the background while you're making lunch, or listen to them while you're in the tub for a good soak—your call. As long as these songs put a smile on your face and inject a dose of hopefulness in your lives, Dingdong will be more than happy to have shared them, and the gift of faith, with you.
Dingdong still has dreams of the state of the world improving, though. After all, the only way for things that have gone to the lowest of lows is to slowly start climbing back up. And for Dingdong, "up" to him means one day getting to perform with or be onstage with an international artist. And getting to explore more of Europe, too.
It seems like such a big dream to have in a time when many people are unable to see a future past the next two days, but that's exactly the message Dingdong is trying to send—with faith and prayer, even the most far-fetched aspirations can feel possible.
It's an uphill climb, however; Dingdong's dreams, returning to life as we knew it, reuniting with loved ones, finding a vaccine, rebooting the economy, healing scars—all of it is. But as the faithful like him will tell you, with God, anything can be done.
He shared a Bible verse as a last note: "If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and will turn from their wicked ways, then I from heaven will hear and forgive them, and I will heal their land.' That is my message."
Now, to return to quarantine activities: countless replays of Die Hard, and good old fashioned time with the family.
Check out Dingdong Avanzado's performance for Metro Safe & Sound: The Unplugged Music Video Series on May 1, 4PM on Metro Channel and Metro.Style's YouTube channel.
Photos from @dingdongavanzado