How a Hug from This Man Changed my Life

Uncle Delfin. Photo from Abijov Ong's Facebook Page

I can still vividly remember the first time I stepped into Victory Greenhills. My wife (girlfriend back then) were going through tough times and she convincing me to attend a “service” in Music Museum on Sunday. Going to a place and interacting with people I didn’t know made me uncomfortable. I was very uneasy about the idea because believe it or not, at that phase in my life I was very anti-social. I was very jaded about friendship and had trust issues.

Anyway, I parked the car and we started to walk towards Music Museum. I can still remember thinking to myself that it was just 1 hour and I’d just have to go through it once. Boy was I wrong.

When we entered the Music Museum lobby, a fairly old man approached us with a bright and warm smile. I had no idea who he was but it felt like I knew him since forever. He went up to me, shook my hand firmly, and then gave me a hug. I almost broke down in tears. It was as if a sledgehammer hit the stone wall around my heart and mind and made an opening wide enough that made me receptive and open to the preaching later on. To make a long story short, the message of that day was about relationships and at the end of it the pastor did an altar call and we gave our lives to Jesus.

Uncle Delfin. Photo from Abijov Ong’s Facebook Page

I eventually found out that the man who gave me that life-changing hug was one of the volunteer ushers and he was called “Uncle Delfin” by a lot of people. Sunday after Sunday he would go and greet people coming to church with that trademark smile and hug of his. I can’t count how many times I felt reassured of God’s love each time he’d come up to me and give me that hug and I’d feel as if a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Sadly it’s been a while since I last saw Uncle Delfin though because he moved to Victory Fort and I stayed with Victory Greenhills.

Last Sunday during the Sunday service, Pastor Dennis Sy said that one of the volunteer ushers was in the hospital battling it out with cancer and that he was dying. Despite how sick he was, the man kept on saying that he wanted to keep on serving Jesus as much as he can. That he wanted to get up from the hospital bed, go to service, and keep on serving as an Usher. I had a bad feeling when I heard this.

Fast forward to today. I just found out from Abijov Ong that Uncle Delfin is the usher Pastor Dennis was talking about and that he was dying from pancreatic cancer (click to read Brix Briones’ account of his experience with Uncle Delfin as shared by Abijov). As soon as I read the update my heart broke and I found myself in tears. Just like Brix, I never really knew Uncle Delfin but I felt God’s love through him.

I’m writing this because I know that a lot more people have been touched by Uncle Delfin’s kindess and love. Even if you haven’t met him I hope that this short entry will give you at least an idea of how great this man is. Please do say a prayer for his complete and total recovery.

Uncle Delfin is proof that random acts of kindess can change lives. He changed mine.

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91:3-4

By Carlo Ople

Currently serves as the Sr. Manager for Social Media Marketing for TV5. Prior to this he was the Founder and Principal Consultant for Catalyst Interactive Marketing Inc., Digital Marketing Manager for Friendster, and Casual Games Marketing Head for Level Up! Inc. Happily married to Michelle Orosa-Ople.


  1. You touch my heart,upon reading this,i don’t know, i can’t explain why my tears keep dropping.Man this is good and Gods gift for my birthday,thank you for sharing.God bless you always sir Carlo.

  2. He gave me one of those signature hugs as well. I thought it was weird at the time since he hugged me as I had my eyes closed and hands raised while singing and I still smile whenever I think of that instance; It’s definitely one of my favorite stories from church. When I finally thought about it, I found it awesome that there was someone there who genuinely cared for me even though I was a stranger. I’m sad to hear that this is the reason why I haven’t been seeing him around as often as I used to. We would exchange smiles and greet one another, but I never knew his name until now.

  3. Carlo, I didn’t know you were a Christian! Thanks for posting this… It’s really interesting to know how ushers can really make or break someone’s first time in Victory. Up to now, I can also remember the day I accepted the Lord and stood up during altar call more than a decade ago. I pray for Uncle Delfin’s recovery — may our Healing God cover him with his unfailing love.

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