Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan: Magicians discover miracles of kindness, generosity and faith in their lives

We would be amazed every time we witness the unbelievable and mind-boggling tricks of magicians whom we usually see at birthday parties or in competitions. And it would farthest on our minds to think that these talented magicians had their own life struggles even before they learned their craft.

One of them is Rosela Rondez, also known as the lady magician. Rosela lived a comfortable life before. She had her dad who was very supportive of her especially of her studies. However, the tables have turned when her father suffered from a stroke. Rosela had a classmate whose father was a magician. She thought that learning and doing magic tricks could serve as a bonding moment for her and her dad even though he was sick. However, Rosela’s father eventually died. And that’s when things became difficult for her. She noticed the difference between the treatment of her mother to her and her brother.

She noticed that her mother loved and appreciated her brother more than her. That’s why Rosela decided to work as a house helper for her relatives. Until her aunt encouraged her to join a church youth camp. And that’s where she met JB, a gospel magician. Rosela said that she felt like she went back to childhood when she watched him do his magic tricks. She eventually became very interested to learn how to do those amazing illusions. JB guided Rosela and advised her to not keep grudges towards her mother. Later on, she learned how to do her own piece of magic and eventually became a great magician. That led to Rosela’s healthy relationship with her mother. Her mom would be the one to always assist her during her competitions and performances. Rosela shared in delight how glad she felt when she saw how proud her mother would be of her every time she performs. And Rosela owes a lot from JB who served as her father when he needed one. She gave him a set of cards to show her appreciation for the guidance that he has given her.

Jerben “JB” Sedoli is a leadership trainor and a Gospel magician. As a magician, he needs to be quick in doing his tricks. However, JB’s skill of being quick was first used inappropriately. He shared that he started stealing at the age of seven. He shared he would steal his father’s savings and their appliances just so he could sell them. He admitted that he experienced being disciplined by his parents physically. This was until his parents separated and his mother left them without a warning. JB couldn’t refrain himself from stealing until he became a teenager. For instance, in a religious camp, he stole an MP3 player and a mobile phone.

But when he knew God more through the religious group that he joined, JB left his bad deed in the past and became devoted to serving the Lord. JB asked Him to complete his family, and promised that he’ll serve Him forever. And his prayer was granted. JB’s mother came back and they got to reconcile. He also learned gospel magic from the same religious group he joined. Being closer to God wasn’t an easy journey for JB but with the help of one of his mentors, Ruther Urquia. JB said he first watched him perform on Pilipinas Got Talent. He realized how Ruther supported him in sharing the gospel through magic. Ruther would always tell JB to not look down on himself. He did not only teach JB magic tricks, but he also taught him how to strengthen his faith in the Lord. To give Ruther thanks and appreciation, JB gave him a Christian book.

Ruther, a magician and a ventriloquist, has always put big smiles on his audience every time he performs because of his humor. But behind his funny side were heartaches from his past relationships that haunted him. One of those was when his ex-girlfriend just broke up with him one day because he was told she just doesn’t have feelings for him anymore. While he was in the process of healing, he met Jean, his one true love. He met her on a medical mission in Benguet. Ruther shared he was mesmerized by her smile. Until he finally fell for her. Eventually, he decided to confess his feelings for her through a poem he made. However, when he already told Jean about it, she suddenly did not talk to Ruther anymore. And that broke his heart again. Fortunately, he was able to move on and focus on his craft. He even had a long-time girlfriend during that time.

Little did he know Jean was destined to come back to his life. After about four years, they met once again at the birthday party of Jean’s nephew. There Jean confessed to Ruther that she also loves him. Luther was about to settle down already with his current girlfriend that time. However, he said that he realized he’d live a dull life if he let Jean go. He said that the process wasn’t easy at all but in the end, he chose to be with Jean. They were the happiest when they got married but problems arrived when Jean was pregnant with their child. It was an unsuccessful pregnancy as she had problems with her ovaries. After that, Luther was the one who needed to undergo operation. Their savings were already lost while they still needed money for the hospital bills.

He was just so blessed to have his friend, Alakim, who didn’t have second thoughts about helping him. When Alakim knew about their situation, he called Ruther immediately to ask what he could do. Alakim decided to do the shows left by Ruther. Alakim did not think anymore if he would earn from it. What mattered to him most was what he could do to help his friend. Since then, their friendship became stronger. They both even joined Pilipinas Got Talent together. To thank his best friend for everything that he’s done to help him, Ruther gave him a Bible, because he knows that as long as God is with friend, he will be okay.

Allan “Alakim” De Paz is an illusionist, magician, actor, gamer, and influencer. Ever since he was younger, he was already captivated in the world of magic. His friend Kimar introduced him to the craft and that’s when he started to learn about it. They would perform at parties, until they decided to join a television show where they needed to have tandem name. Since his friend’s name is Kimar, they decided to combine their names and became “Alakim,” a name he uses up to this day.

He was left alone to continue doing magic when Kimar went abroad. Alakim did various jobs -from being a band rapper, waiter, bartender, to being a mountaineering guide. He didn’t have a clear direction towards the career that was right for him. All he knew that time was he needed to earn money as his girlfriend got pregnant during that time. And he even got luckier when he joined and entered the grand finals of Pilipinas Got Talent in 2010.

However, he and his girlfriend faced another problem when their son suffered from a kidney disorder. But eventually, Alakim’s son recovered. However, he faced more ordeals after that. His partner almost died with her troubled pregnancy, which tragically led to her baby’s death. Her dead baby was inside her womb for four days, and that brought infection in her body. Alakim’s partner was saved although she suffered from behavioral conditions like having too much anxiety.

But his birthday changed his life forever. His partner surprised him on his special day. However, during the celebration, an issue about cheating was brought and that triggered once again Alakim’s partner. They fought and his partner got the gun that he used for his hobby target shooting. When Alakim was about to get the gun, it was too late. His partner already shot herself. On the same day, his birthday, his girlfriend died.  Police initially charged him with parricide and sent him to jail. He would lose all his savings, as a result of the incident, selling his possessions that he uses for his livelihood. After nearly four years, Alakim was proven not guilty. With the help of his loved ones including his friends, Alakim was able to recover and had since continued to work hard especially for his children.

Alakim’s terrible experiences made him stronger and more generous as a person, and this allowed him to help Ruther, who had been encountering similar difficulties in life. With his example, Alakim inspired Ruther to become more skillful in the magical craft, aside from being closer to God. And this led to Ruther’s influence on JB, a fellow Gospel magician whom he taught and guided in the world of magic and with that guidance, JB became also a successful in his magical journey, aside from strengthening his relationship with God. JB shared these accomplishments JB with Rosela, whom he mentored and advised like a true father, and this led to Rosela’s healthy relationship with her once estranged family.

These are stories of kindness and selflessness we all recognize each week on Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan, hosted by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo, Saturdays, 6:45pm on the Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live.