Daniel Matsunaga (MNS Photo)

Daniel Matsunaga (MNS Photo)

“Pinoy Big Brother: All-In” big winner Daniel Matsunaga considers his stay inside the famous yellow house his best experience to date because it brought him closer to God.

“All I had was God and the housemates. We didn’t have gadgets, phones, nothing. It was hard,” he said during the ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship.

It was Matsunaga’s first public speaking engagement on his spiritual life.

Pasensiya na. First time ko ito kaya medyo shy po ako. I want to tell you how wonderful God is. I had him in my life since I was 9 (years old),” the Japanese-Brazilian model candidly admitted with a child-like demeanor.

Matsunaga’s spiritual journey started when his mother had a near-death experience when she was attacked by an unknown creature when they went fishing in the Amazon in Brazil during their family’s one-week holiday.

They noticed a change in their mom whose usual happy demeanor shifted instantly to depression. They were six hours away from the nearest hospital and had to change boats to get there. To make matters worse, their boat got stuck and he and his dad had to push it.

Daniel Matsunaga (MNS Photo)

Daniel Matsunaga (MNS Photo)

At the hospital, they became anxious because his mom said she felt she was going to die. However, a friend of the family brought a pastor who spoke to her, and according to Matsunaga, she was healed both physically and spiritually.

Matsunaga attributed their family’s spiritual transformation and growth to this trying experience. At home, he said they would sing Christian songs and read the Bible.

“My mom started singing (about God) and we saw the Lord in her,” he said.

Their very close-knit family was torn apart when Matsunaga, then 16 years old, decided to leave home to live in Singapore because of a modelling offer, which he willingly accepted as he wanted to help his family who was still renting a house at the time.

“God led me outside of Brazil and to different countries to share His word,” said Matsunaga.

He was already comfortably living in Hong Kong for two years with his sister Vanessa, when a pastor told them that “God has a big purpose for you in the Philippines.”

“We didn’t understand that. My work was pretty stable there already, as well as Vanessa, who was also doing modelling. We talked about it and wondered if we had to give these up,” Matsunaga recalled.

“One day, my inbox was full of emails from the Philippines. We tried it then everything happened so fast. Vanessa met her husband here in the country, then showbiz appeared in my life,” he continued.

The “Pinoy Big Brother” winner likened himself to the Biblical character Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den but survived because he chose to obey God. (MNS)