My ‘Radio Son’ Jordan Escusa Wins 2014 KBP Golden Dove Award for Best Jock!
When my hubby Ron and I arrived at the Star Theater where the 22nd KBP Golden Dove Awards was being held, I wondered to myself if this time around, our radio son Jordan Escusa was going to finally win. You see, last year, he was nominated in the same category (Best Jock) but lost out to a DJ from Monster Radio. We were sad that night but still happy since our boy was nominated in the first place. Exactly the same feeling of the parents of a runner-up, I guess.
So this year, I was praying that he’d finally take the title. And as we waited for his category to be announced, I remembered the boy that I had met some 13 or 14 years ago…
THAT FATEFUL PHONE CALL…
It was 2001 then. I was a radio newscaster for NU107 and I hosted my own show every Monday night called “Against the Flow”. It was a Christian rock show. Jordan was one of the show’s avid listeners and one night he called. He had finally gotten through after an hour of dialing and was so excited. I don’t really remember what we talked about but I do remember a boyish voice with an American twang super-thrilled just to be talking to me.
As we continued to chat on the phone, something weird happened. I felt something in me say, “Invite him to the station.” So I blurted this out to the kid and he was left squeaking in disbelief. So was I, at least inside my head. Why did I invite this stranger over? What if he turns out to be some stalker from the loony bin? Well, it was too late to back out; I just told myself that if he turned out to be someone who belongs in a straightjacket then I’d have the guard deal with him.
MEETING JORDAN FOR THE FIRST TIME…
The day of his visit arrived and the kid, to my relief, turned out to be quite normal, cute too, but a little too chatty. So I took him for a tour of the NU107 studios; it was in Strata 2000, Ortigas Center at the time. The place used to be called Strata 200 until the millennium happened then they added a zero to be ‘in’ with the times.
Anyway, all throughout the tour, Jordan was gushing over everything – the DJ’s booth, the office section, the production room and even the cracks on the walls. Then he shared hes story: when he was 15 he had been forced by his parents to move from California to the Philippines as ‘disciplinary action’ for getting involved with the wrong crowd.
WHEN JORDAN MET JESUS…
In the beginning the Philippines truly felt like punishment, he said, but then after he arrived he had a spiritual revolution. He met Jesus. That was in May 1997 when he was only 15 or 16. He realized that he was all messed up and that his parents were right. Fast-forwad to 2001 – he was in my station telling me this story in his hip-hop twang. By that time he was 20 and studying to be a youth pastor for his church in Taytay, Rizal.
Suddenly, that voice inside me suddenly whispered, “Tell him that you want to train him. For radio. Tell him now.” I looked at this nobody kid from LA and told myself – now that is too much! He’s a spaced-out kid with an annoying accent and it would take years and years to train him to sound half-decent. You’re being emotional. So I opened my mouth and said: “Would you like to train to be a DJ?”
Again, the words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. ARGH!!! I had successfully trapped myself again! How would I get out of this one?
Ah… I’m sure he’ll trip up and eventually get bored with training, specially if I make it hard for him, I told myself. But as the training days went by, I just couldn’t find it in myself to make him suffer. I mean, how can you be so mean to a kitten you just adopted, right? He was a sweet and helpless little thing who was so eager to learn.
JORDAN BECOMES MY CO-HOST ON “AGAINST THE FLOW”…
Before long, he was co-hosting Against the Flow with me. I forced him to read scripts, which he struggled with but did anyway. Later, I discovered that he was so much better when speaking from the heart with only bullet points to guide him. Different strokes for different folks right? So I started to give him more freedom, allowing him to deviate from script, choose songs, interview guests and occasionally be lead host on the program.
Little did I know that one day, God would move me on and put him in the driver’s seat.
In my 9th year at NU107, I had to resign due to changes in my life. Jordan had been my co-host for a handful of years by that time and could do the show single-handedly. He had grown from a squeaky-voiced kid to someone who could sound like Optimus Prime, I kid you not.
By that time he was a youth pastor giving talks not just in Metro Manila but for churches and ministry groups across the nation and even abroad. He also had gained a reputation for being a deft and extremely funny emcee/host. To me, he was as steady and reliable as a camel in the desert.
JORDAN’S SECOND RADIO PROGRAM: PERFECT RHYTHM
So, I handed in my resignation and passed on the baton to Jordan. He hosted Against the Flow alone and sustained it all the way until the death of NU107. In spite of that setback, Jordan continued his radio ministry through a second show that began in the year 2005. World Missions Communications Asia-Pacific, a Christian ministry based in Taytay, Rizal asked him to host a radio program and that spelled the birth of “Perfect Rhythm”. The show is aired over DZAS 702 on the AM band and you can listen to Jordan host it every Saturday from 11:30am to 12:30pm, to this day.
MY SCRUFFY KITTEN IS NOW A TIGER!
Jordan was like a scruffy little kitten when I picked him up so who’d think he’d turn into a roaring tiger? But in 13 years of radio, he had grown so influential that during his wedding, top Filipino singers like Gary V., Christian Bautista, Acel Bisa and Barbie Almalbis serenaded him and his wife! Jordan has truly gone far, speaking God’s message to the world through the airwaves, playing music for the soul and being nominated for awards. And yes, also winning them!
AND THE KBP AWARD FOR BEST RADIO JOCK GOES TO…
When the presenters at the 2014 KBP Golden Dove Awards finally got to the Best Jock category, Jordan was up against three or four other nominees, I can’t remember because I was just too nervous. When the presenters said: “and the winner is – Jordan Escusa!” I leaped out of my theater seat and bounded up the stage following Jordan, forgetting that I wearing 5-inch wedges! Jordan had asked me and my hubby to come up on stage if he won (how sweet!). His wife Ricci and his WMC family went up too!
The best moment during Jordan’s speech was when the audience clapped and cheered after he mentioned Jesus as his Lord and personal savior. Almost all of the other award winners thanked God in their acceptance speeches but somehow Jordan was the only one who got a big reaction from the crowd for his thank you to Jesus. How COOL is that?
A FAITH THAT MOVES IS A FAITH THAT BEARS FRUIT…
Sometimes I wonder, what if I didn’t pick up Jordan’s phone call? What if I followed my doubts? What if I gave in to my limited logic? Would today be wonderful as it is now? I think not.
So I often ponder upon that quiet little voice inside of me that urged me to move even if it didn’t seem to make sense. I followed it and moved in faith although it was a reluctant type of faith. But I moved anyway and now I see the fruit of it.
I guess this is how you know it’s God’s voice. When you follow it, great things happen!
Congratulations to you my radio son, Jordan Escusa. You have brought your mommy so much joy! It really must have been God telling me that He chose you. Can you imagine if I had ignored His voice? I don’t even want to go there. Just know that I’m so proud of you and am looking forward to more Golden Dove awards and even other honors for all the hard work you do in ministry. Thank you too for asking me and your daddy Ron to go up on stage, we were deeply touched. If we had known, he would’ve worn a suit and I a GOWN! Iguess this means next year, we will!!! Congrats anak, we love you!