Today is Uriah Vanden Bos' Birthday! He looks great in a Barong Warehouse barong. I have known him a long time and to honor him and our friendship, I want the world to know what an amazing person he is. Uriah is a bonafide Jack of All Trades: pastor, mechanic, contractor, musician, singer, PXC host, fighter, and many more. I first met him dancing in a Hip-hop club when we were much younger, probably about 12 years ago. He was this crazy kid who would do flips off of the speakers and drive around in his motorcycle like there was no tomorrow. To make a long story short, overtime we grew to be very close friends and he has come a long way from that wild child I met in a smokey club a long time ago. His main purpose(s) now are spreading the messages of his ministry, helping people devastated by calamities, and being a great example of a life with God.
Chelo: Please list all of your many jobs.
Uriah: "Well, I think this all starts with a definition I have for what I do or for what people think that a missionary is. I believe the definition of a missionary is simply this: doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done no matter what the task might be. How do we know that we are qualified to do something if we have never tried to do it? Starting off at a young age I was taught that it was important to try everything and that is exactly what I have done all these years. Bringing my “job” title into the picture is kind of funny to think about.. There is no real title for what I get to do. First and far most though, my main job is simply this: To preach the gospel everywhere I go and be a witness, which I guess has been titled Pastor in today’s world. Pastor/teacher, which with that comes all my other jobs or things I do on a day to day basis. Music is one of my passions, so I like to incorporate music into everything I do. I think I am more a music pastor than a normal preach preach preach pastor even though I do both. So teaching worship, musical instruments, and music is very important to me."
"Among those two main things, construction is high on the list, whether in the U.S. or here in the Philippines. I want to teach better ways of building to lengthen the life of the structures we live in or worship in. From time to time I get to teach welding, mechanics, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, agriculture, pig farming, chicken farming and whatever else comes along. On top of all this, I also love to put on exhibition basket ball games throughout the island, whether it be sports clinics for kids or teenagers or just games in the different barangays. We take a team of guys along with a couple guitars, a drum box and basketballs, and go do a little music, speaking and playing. Bringing the whole barangay out to hear about the gospel. This is not a religion but a relationship with the God that created us. Teaching basketball and other sports is an awesome way to give back to the people."
"I also help train local boxers, and teach off and on MMA classes for those interested. I love fitness training, so I invite the youngsters to come and train with me whenever there is time. The list could always go on and on depending on what needs to be done.. Having an open mind to learn anything anywhere has been very important to me, either from books or on the spot training."
Uriah is very modest, but he is also well known for being a PXC (Pacific Xtreme Combat) host and commentator. He thrills local Filipino crowds with his comedic style in hosting and fluency in Tagalog, Bikolano, and English. He also used to be a motorcross racer and we were even contestants together on a TV show last year as Team Green in Yamaha's SZ16 Adventure Challenge, which was like Amazing Race with motorcycles.
Chelo: What is your main passion in life?
Uriah: "My main passion is life is being a witness, which is spreading God’s love to everybody I come in contact with. It's hard to be positive all the time, but teaching ourselves to look at the positive over the negative aspects can help and encourage people in numerous ways. I can witness in so many different ways whether it is in sports, in training, music, and construction. Basically in everything I do, I try to do it in a way that would please God and help people see HIS love through me. Greatest passion of all is serving Christ and being an example to those around me."
I was lucky enough to witness a baptism at a waterfall by Uriah's ministry in Catanduanes.
Chelo: How are you and the mission teams you are working with helping calamity victims in the Visayas? Where can others send donations to?
Uriah: "This past year has brought a lot of new calamities to our country, with earthquakes in Bohol and typhoons in the Visayas. I have had numerous opportunities to go down to Bohol and Tacloban to help out. Four of us from Catanduanes went down to Bohol in January and helped rebuild houses in Barangay Matabao for two weeks. In February, I got to help drive a big truck full typhoon relief, down to Tacloban for a Christian ministry. While we were there, my buddy and I went to surrounding barangays and helped setup water filtration systems in churches and barangay halls. I think we were able to pass out almost 200 systems."
"For the most part though, we are centered here on the island of Catanduanes, which is an island off of the bottom of Luzon in the Bicol region. We are used to typhoons and earthquakes also, due to being the typhoon capitol of the P.I. and being right next to Mount Mayon. We have been here since 1995 and continue to help and spread the gospel anywhere we can. We build houses and churches when and where needed. We run a discipleship training ministry where we bring guys in from around the island to teach them what we can while they are in college and then they go out and teach what they learned. We have had young people from the US, Canada, other parts of Asia come and stay for long periods of time to learn and grow."
"Life is always busy with things to be done, and there is never a dull day in my life. I always leave an open door for anybody that wants to come and see what we do. There are beaches and waterfalls and caves and good food and good fellowship all in abundance. If you want to step outside your normal life and have some excitement and new experiences. Come and see what we do and if God moves your heart to be apart of what we do, than awesome! We always have projects that need funded, whether working on church buildings, building new buildings, expanding other building or doing sports ministries in barangays. Sports equipment is always needed: basketballs, basketball nets, paint for courts, boxing equipment, shoes for students… the list can go on and on."
If you would like to get involved in Uriah's projects, here are his contact details:
To contact Uriah Vanden Bos please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only a small percentage of the world knows what a Barong Tagalog is. It is not only a cherished garment, it defines a nation through its creation. It embodies the art of rare artisans of embroidery and weaving. It gives men an excuse to wear something beautiful, yet it is still masculine.
The Barong Tagalog also known simply as “Barong” or originally as “Baro ng Tagalog” (dress of the Tagalog) is the Official Filipino National attire. It has a similar cut to a men’s dress shirt but comes in varied natural fabrics such as Jusi, Pina, Abaca, Organza, and the more recent Pina-Jusi. It can be long or short-sleeved with various collars, colors, embroideries, appliques, and/or paintings. It is predominantly worn by men, but there are female variations as well.
Most historians agree that the Barong originates from the Spanish era when Filipinos were forced to wear see-through clothing to deter them from hiding any weapons on their person. Also worn untucked, though it makes any fabric more suitable for tropical weather, it originally was to convey a lower class than the Spaniards. And though it started as a symbol of oppression, when the Filipinos gained their independence from Spain, it had become such a staple in the Filipino culture and wardrobe that it was honored by Presidents Manuel Quezon and Ferdinand Marcos as the national attire.
Today, barongs are worn in the workplace and most importantly at special occassions such as weddings, debuts (a Filipina girl’s special 18th birthday), fiestas, political functions, and any other formal events. Many fashion designers have also embraced it by adding it to their collections and putting their own spin on this true classic. It is known so well world-wide that even non-Filipinos, such as the famous director Quentin Tarantino wearing one at the 65th Golden Globe Awards night, are often more than happy to sport it.
Here is a beautiful song by haranista Ruben Tagalog, aptly titled, "Barong Tagalog."