My feet are still buried in the lovely sands of Boracay!
Monthly Archives: April 2010
Today we commemorate the Day of Valor, formerly called Bataán Day, to remind us of the heroism of our soldiers there (together with American forces) against the Japanese invaders during World War II.
Bataán, the last province to surrender to Japanese aggression in the Pacific, was a bloody witness to that country’s victory over our shores. Major General Edward P. King, Jr., seeing the futility of putting up a gallant stand against the Japanese, was forced to surrender more than 76,000 of what is left under his command after three months of fighting the invaders. Of this number, almost 12,000 were American soldiers, thus making this the largest American military force in history to surrender to an enemy.
What followed next after the surrender was the brutal Bataán Death March, wherein the prisoners were forced to walk from Mariveles, Bataán to Capas, Tarlac under harsh conditions that would’ve made both Freddie Krueger and Jason Voorhees weep.
More or less 20,000 men died from the Bataán Death March.
We owe our freedom and our dignity to these great heroes of World War II. But may we not have wars anymore. Nowadays, wars are reserved only for the stupidest of men.
Day of Valor or not, the heroes of Bataán shall never ever be forgotten that easily.
The frequent brownouts in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces have led to speculations that this is a “dry run” of sorts for the upcoming May elections. One cannot help but suspect this scenario because next month’s elections will be the first time in history that COMELEC will use a computerized system of collecting and counting votes.
Below are more details of the recent power failures…
As if the sizzling summer were not enough, rotating brownouts are back in Metro Manila and Luzón, shutting down air-conditioners and electric fans that help people cope with the heat.
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distributor, said all cities and towns in its franchise area were affected by the outages Wednesday as a result of the huge power supply deficit in the Luzón grid.
In Metro Manila, traffic in certain areas like the South Expressway at the Pásay Road, Buendía and Vito Cruz intersections were particularly heavy. The traffic lights went dead.
Policemen had to direct the traffic to keep the vehicles flowing.
Meralco said it implemented two-hour rotating brownouts between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the whole of Metro Manila and in the provinces of Batangas, Bulacán, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Quezon and Rizal.
The power supply deficiency in the Luzón grid reached 662 megawatts (MW), bigger than Mindanáo’s deficit of 538 MW as of Wednesday afternoon, according to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
Metro Manila and other parts of Luzón may continue to experience one- to two-hour rotating brownouts on Thursday as several power facilities are not operating.
Acting Energy Secretary José Ibazeta said the power situation would normalize in Luzón by “next week or so.”
Perhaps the most prominent highway in modern Philippine History is EDSA.
Formerly known as Highway 54, it was constructed during the American Occupation of the country. This 23.8-kilometer circumferential road runs through five cities (Pásay, Macati, Mandaluyong, Quezon, and Caloocan) and actually stands on what was then a very long coastline hundreds of years before the place was occupied by humans (that is why workers in construction sites along the area usually find seashells during a dig).
EDSA became famous throughout the world during the tumultuous decade of the 1980s not because of its length nor its notorious traffic. It is because this highway was the site of the bloodless 1986 coup which toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos and his cohorts from Malacañang Palace.
It is sad to note that only a few Filipinos today know that this highway was named after the initials of an illustrious Filipino writer and historian who lived during the Spanish and American era. His name is pifanio e los ntos, and his birthday falls today.
No festivities along the highway named after him?
Anyway, below is a brief biographical sketch of this “gentleman from the old school” written by Renato J. Mendoza (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).
EPIFANIO DE LOS SANTOS
Historian and man of letters, Epifanio de los Santos was born in Malabón, Rizal (the lakeside province once known as Morong –Pepe–), on April 7, 1871, to Escolástico de los Santos and Antonina Cristóbal.
When he was seven years old, he studied under a certain Maestro José Flores. He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ateneo de Manila; and his Licentiate in Law from the University of Santo Tomás in 1898.
A brilliant student, Don Panyong’s versatility covered such different endeavors as painting, music, history, literature, law, politics, and others. In his diverse studies, he became acquainted with Germans, French, and Greek literatures, not to mention English and Spanish.
Aside from his achievements in literature, he occupied the following government positions: provincial secretary of Nueva Écija; governor, fiscal of Malolos for 10 years; director of the Philippine Library.
Don Panyong spent most of his time in extensive researches and historical studies which resulted in the formation of one of the most comprehensive Filipiniana collections of his time. He died in Manila on April 18, 1928, of cerebral attack.
Señor de los Santos was also regarded by his peers (notably Cecilio Apóstol, a famous Filipino poet in the Spanish language) as one of the best Spanish-language writers during his time. Some of his notable works are Algo de Prosa (1909), Literatura Tagala (1911), El Teatro Tagalo (1911), Nuestra Literatura (1913), El Proceso del Dr. Jose Rizal (1914), and Folklore Musical de Filipinas (1920). He also wrote the biographies of notable Filipinos in history such as José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Rafaél del Pan, and Francisco Balagtás.
Speaking of Balagtás, de los Santos 1916 translation of the former’s 19th-century Tagalog epic Florante at Laura is now considered a classic in Philippine Literature.
It’s ironic, therefore, that those who look back with such reverence to our pre-Hispanic culture should be the loudiest sneerers at Christianity in the Philippines as being mere folk Catholicism, or superstition. They mourn for being lost what they attack for surviving. When they decry the town fiesta they are decrying the old pagan harvest festival, which, as may be observed in the highlands of the North, also entailed open doors, loaded tables and a lot of conspicuous consumption. –Nick Joaquín, IKON, FRIAR AND CONQUISTADOR
We woke up this morning to the tune of marching bands and jolly voices. Outside our apartment, San Vicente Road is filled with vehicular and human traffic caused by today’s festivities. Our barrio (or barangáy) is celebrating the feast day of its namesake and patron, Saint Vincent Ferrer of Valencia, Spain.
Barrio San Vicente is the second largest barrio/barangáy in the Municipality of San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna (the largest being Barrio San Antonio). San Vicente covers an area of around 665 hectares. But in terms of population, it is the town’s largest: it has more or less 97,000 residents. San Vicente also has a few plantations dedicated to mangoes and sinigüelas. Many residents here also raise fowl and cattle. There are also a few remaining sampaguita backyard farms which made San Pedro the Sampaguita Capital of the Philippines.
Capilla de San Vicente Ferrer
According to a brass marker, the current site of this chapel was donated by the Oliver Family in 1902. The chapel was then made of wooden materials and was only used during Holy Week and the town fiesta. The chapel got burned down in a fire accident, and was rebuilt in 1965. The current church was designed by Architect Isidro Pili; it is now made of stone and adobe and is actually quite large for a chapel. Since then, even Flores de Mayo festivities were held there, as well as Anticipated Masses (or Saturday night Mass) administered by Santo Sepulcro Parish Administrator Msgr. Jerry V. Bitoon.
Saint Vincent Ferrer
He was a Spanish Dominican missionary from the Kingdom of Valencia. Saint Vincent was born on 23 January 1350. He entered the Dominican Order during his late teens where he studied philosophy and theology. There he lived the life of a hermit, reading nothing but Sacred Scripture (which he eventually memorized!). As a philosopher, he published a treatise on Dialectic Suppositions after his solemn profession. He then became a Master of Sacred Theology. He was then sent to Barcelona and eventually to the University of Lleida (Catalonia, Spain) where he earned his doctorate in theology.
Later in life, he traveled to different parts of Europe preaching the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and converting many people into Christianity. Many attested that the Lord God blessed him with the gift of tongues.
Vincent Ferrer died on 5 April 1419. Since then, that date has become his feast day (and that is why our barrio is full of merriment today). More than three decades after his death in Brittany, France, Ferrer was canonized by Pope Calixtus III.
1 But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
5 They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
6 He is not here, but he has been raised.
Rejoice! The Lord is risen! Happy Easter everyone! =)
New American Bible
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194 (202) 541-3000
December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Today, all Christian nations (particularly Catholic countries such as ours) commemorate the day that the Lord Jesus Christ’s brutalized body was laid in a sepulcher…
In Roman Catholic Churches, the sanctuary remains stripped completely bare (following the Mass on Maundy Thursday) while the administration of the sacraments is severely limited. Holy Communion after the Good Friday service is given only as Viaticum to the dying. Baptism, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick may be administered because they, like Viaticum, are helpful to ensuring salvation for the dying. All Masses are severely limited. No Mass at all appears in the normal liturgy for this day, although Mass can be said on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday for an extremely grave or solemn situation with a dispensation from the Vatican or the local bishop.
This is what a compleat Catholic should fight for – the return of the one, true Holy Mass. The Mass of all time. The Tridentine Mass.