Philippine Bible Society

Going Against the Flow (A testimony from Aida Gonzales)

Ms. Aida Gonzales is a 52-year-old Roman Catholic journalist and businesswoman from Tanauan, Batangas. She currently hosts the radio show Buhay Metro on DWIZ from 2:00-3:00pm each weekday. But this isn’t her first time being on air. She’s been in the media industry for 30 years already. Being the experienced media practitioner that she is, Ms. Aida has the tools, the connections, and the ability to develop her new radio show Buhay Metro into anything she wanted. But she chose the path that would glorify God the most.

“I left the life of ratings and commercialism behind. My purpose [now] is to spread the Word of God. I want to give an alternative,” Ms. Aida explained. The radio show is called Buhay Metro because Ms. Aida wanted to emphasize that the lifestyle of the people in this city was becoming more and more disturbing.

She said, “My primary purpose for Buhay Metro is to share God’s goodness in my life. I want to connect it to the [city] life now. Everything is wrong. Wrong food, wrong relationships, wrong faith, and wrong mindset.”

 This idea of “wrong relationships” has a deeper meaning in Ms. Aida’s life. Her being a mistress for 30 years caused her to become exhausted, guilty, and lost.

She recalled the time when she heard a voice whisper to her, telling her to get her life in order.

Ms. Aida couldn’t understand what the voice meant at the time. She knew that there were others who were mistresses as well. She felt that her life held many blessings; therefore, she felt like God couldn’t be punishing her. But the guilt grew.

She began looking into Scripture-based materials—Christian books and songs—that eventually led her to the Bible.

“There was sin in my life,” she remarked, remembering that season of exhaustion and guilt.

Ms. Aida had thought of surrendering her wrong relationship back in 2012, but she didn’t feel ready yet. She said, “At that time, I wasn’t stable. I wasn’t ready to let go because things would change. But then I remembered what God said in the Bible. So, I kept going back to the Bible verses I picked up while in that phase of searching.”

This back-and-forth consultation with the Word of God led Ms. Aida to proclaim this statement: God will take care of me.

In 2017, she ended her wrong relationship and left her old life behind.

But she revealed that many problems came about after she broke off relations with the man. Ms. Aida wondered, “Lord, why so many struggles?” She thought that by doing the right thing, her struggles would end. Ms. Aida recalled the time when she cried and bowed down on the floor in tears to God.

Once she got through those tough times, she admitted that she truly felt light after stopping the wrong relationship. “It’s just me and my Creator at the end of the day,” she said.

Today, those problems she encountered have been smoothed out. She realized that as long as she pleases the Lord, she doesn’t have to please anybody else.

In 2018, there was a radio program from DZAM that was being offered to Ms. Aida. The package offered to her was unusual; it wasn’t customary for that kind of package to be offered to anyone. But the program pushed through.

The said program aired on two Saturdays. By the third week, there was no episode to air because Ms. Aida was already in Jerusalem.

Before her trip, Ms. Aida noted how she was randomly contacted by one of the program’s agents, asking her if she wanted a free trip to Jerusalem. Overjoyed, she said “yes.”

“That’s on my bucket list. I want to go there before I die, be with the Lord, and really ask for forgiveness. My sin was really great,” she said.

While in Jerusalem, there were two days in her eight-day trip that really hit her hard. The first meaningful one happened during their visit to the tomb of Jesus. On that same day, many years ago, she pursued a relationship with a married man.

The second meaningful one was during her breakfast time at the Nazareth Hotel. She went down to eat with her female roommate. But when she got there, the table she was supposed to eat in was already full. Two people then stood up, providing vacant spots for both of them. Ms. Aida was shocked to overhear that the people in the table were talking about adultery. The lay minister seated with them was giving a testimony. He shared about how he cheated on his wife, how he left his family, how he stayed with his mistress, and how his wife struggled because of his wrongdoings.

Ms. Aida said, “My group didn’t know that I had that life. They didn’t know me.” When asked about her realizations at the time, she confessed, “I was so ashamed. That’s when I realized how undeserving I was of [God’s] love. I couldn’t face Him. The weight I gave Him was so great.”

Shaken awake by that realization, she told God, “Please, Lord. Please change me.”

Doubts and questions have swirled in her mind ever since leaving the married man. But this experience in Jerusalem made Ms. Aida firmer in her decision that she was never going back to her old sinful life.

Ms. Aida has now lost her attachment to material things. She commented, “Worldly living is so bad now. Many people need to be saved from that. Many people are so attached to their lives. They forgot or don’t know who they came from. Now, if I don’t believe in God’s Word, I would probably just please myself in my sinful ways. I would just dwell there. But God allowed me there to test me. That was part of my journey. I got to know the Lord in that sinful relationship. I got to know His Word.”

She also compared her life back then—when she still didn’t have a consistent Bible reading habit—and her life now. She used to curse all the time. Her voice was always high, loud, and angry. Now, she can’t utter any of those bad words. In fact, she was recently brought on as a guest in a radio program where many of the people used curse words. But she couldn’t speak or read out any of them; she just spelled them out to fulfill her role and do her job at the time.

“I’ve been on and off radio. But God brought me back,” said Ms. Aida. Back then, her family had no money for college tuition. But at the last minute, her mother found a way to pay her tuition and Ms. Aida was able to enroll in Mass Communications.

She kept leaving her media career for other business ventures. But she would often fail and end up wasting millions of pesos. This was a pattern throughout her life.

But she learned that God’s plans for her will always surpass her own.

She was approached by someone from DWIZ at a Christmas party last December 2018 and was told that they had a vacancy. Interestingly, the program director couldn’t give the 2:00-3:00pm slot out before to the many applicants waiting in line for it—the slot was still occupied at the time. But then the original slot holder suddenly left and the spot went directly to Ms. Aida.

“Now, I realize, maybe my purpose is really in media,” she said. To further support her realization, she recalled how her old program with DZAM stopped after she came back from her Jerusalem trip. This meant that her involvement in the radio program led to her opportunity to go to Jerusalem and have those life-changing realizations.

Ms. Aida exclaimed, “Imagine how God moves. He really has a plan for me and it’s a good plan!”

When asked about the Bible’s impact on her life and her radio program, Ms. Aida said, “So many were shocked. People knew me as a sinner before. But if I could just bring one person at a time closer to God, that’s already a big deal because there really is life after death. Without exaggeration, especially if you read [the description of heaven] in the Bible…Lord, I’m looking forward. You know, God really changed me. Before, I used to want to travel to different places. Now, I just want to go to Bible study. The Bible is part of my advocacy. I want women in that situation to realize that God loves them so much. If they regret and repent, God will accept them. God wants them to be free. I want them to wake up. Imagine, [right now] they have no freedom. But really, living life is so amazing.”

In her Buhay Metro episodes, Ms. Aida normally starts by asking, “Did you open your Bible today?”

We thank the Lord for changed lives like Ms. Aida’s. Without a doubt, the Bible’s transformative power is incomparable and powerful. The Word of God filled Ms. Aida with strength, courage, and purpose. Now, she dedicates her radio program to sharing the Gospel. May we be as brave as Ms. Aida, who has experienced God’s goodness, mercy, and love firsthand.