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Category Archives: Christianity

Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus Christ!

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A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Truly, not even the largest birthday cake in the world would be able to hold all the birthday candles that you have accumulated since your terrestrial birth! Thank you for EVERYTHING! :D

 

 

How was Simbáng Gabí celebrated during the Spanish times?

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Have you ever wondered how the Misa de Gallo or Simbáng Gabí was celebrated during the Spanish times? Then come and visit the Holy Family Church in Roxas District, Cubáo, Quezon City from December 15 to 23 at 10:00 PM to witness this historic Filipino-Catholic ritual that is filled with so much “sense of the sacred“! And hey, don’t forget to bring your candles or lanterns (farol with light), OK? You’ll find out later on. ;-)

See you there!

My Filipiniana wedding!

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Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
—2 Thessalonians 2:15—

Jennifer “Yeyette” Perey and I have been together for 14 years. She was my college classmate (the prettiest in class, if I may add), my barcada, my “ate” (she’s three years my senior), my partner in crime, my best friend. Hindí man niyá acó lubusang naiintíndihan, tacbuhan co siyá palagui sa touíng bad trip acó sa cung anó mang bagay sa buhay. And vice versa. She had no fondness for almost everything that interests me. Books and politics bore her to death. And she couldn’t care less for the difference between nationalism and birthday parties. In the same vein, I dislike her diversions: showbiz and fashion, and the usual girl talk.

But as children of the 90s, perhaps the only thing which drew us towards each other is our susceptibility to the frivolities of our youth. It was an era of youth itself, when youth in the history of Time was at its happiest, when “happy-go-luckiedness” was basic canon, an age when democracy in our country was having the time of its life, when hip hop and metal were waging war against each other, and when primetime cartoons and sitcoms were the subject of next-days idle talk inside classrooms. It was a time when rebelling was no longer dangerous but fun, a time when pop culture has reached its zenith to the point of being making itself stale (and it did).

When Yeyette and I met, it was a time when euphoria made itself blatant as the most sought-after objective of man.

We never ignored the future, but we cared less for responsibilities. Unselfishness was but a precipitation on a windowpane on which we merely used to write down our names. Youth was all there was. We thought it was immortal. Although it never lorded us over, it never commanded us to do anything, it, however, tolerated our every whim, blinding us with the “truth” about pleasure.

Fortunately for me, I was not your average petty bourgeois. I was also an observant SOB and a worshipper of books dealing with various subjects. And even before me and Yeyette were already an item, I was already in pursuit of truth. Religious truth, that is. And so: growing up with a non-religious Catholic mom, I freely received various books and pamphlets from her JW cousins; as a teen, I showed interest with my maternal grandmother’s UCCP; I then spent several months with the MMCC; a couple of weeks with the INC; was a fanatic Ang Dating Daan fan for about two years, etc. Becoming more adventurous, I then joined DeMolay.

Looking back, I believe that listening to all those sects led to my disenchantment with organized religion which was further augmented with my activities as a young socialist activist. Imagine just what kind of existential angst I had to go through.

During my training with De Molay, my friendship with Yeyette ended up with her getting pregnant. Then Krystal followed. Then life in its most ostentatious color.

Our frosty windowpane was shattered with just a snap of a finger. All of youth’s promises, lost (I imagine José García Villa mockingly slapping our faces with yellowing rough drafts of his “Footnote to Youth”).

Youth betrayed us. Pop culture popped rather hard in front of us, stinging our faces painfully.

Our first photo together taken at Bacoor, Cavite (circa 1999).

In the difficult events that followed (and being unable to make a compromise with my dad regarding Yeyette’s pregnancy), I resigned myself to the notion that life’s a bitch, so it’s better to love myself. I gave up the idea of God. But not my family.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

My apologies; it’s not my intention to write a pathos-incensed story of our love life in one blogpost, so never mind the —if you may— kick-a$s intro, hehehe! It might take me forever to write about it. So let me just fast-forward things up to the time when me and Yeyette were already proud and happy parents of four kids: Krystal, Momay, Jefe, and Juanito. It took a family of my own to make me realize that God is real, God is true, God is within us, that family is the covenant He speaks of.

Yes, I became a Christian again, but only after torturous months of joblessness and defeat, reawakenings due to a rereading of Philippine History and philosophy (particularly metaphysics and theology), and wrestling against myself if I was to abort my second child or not. In the end, Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason) won over me. Life became clearer then. And I didn’t even have to read The Purpose Driven Life (as a matter of fact, I haven’t even read it yet).

And since me and Yeyette didn’t want to live a life filled with guilt over what we did (hooking up together much to our respective parents’ disappointment and heartbreak), neither did we intend to continue our lives in “fornication”. Although we were wed civilly, we are not yet married in God’s eyes. A couple of years from now, we’ll be in our 40s. We didn’t have any plans of going beyond that age limit before officially tying the knot.

And so three months ago today, on a dreaded Friday the 13th which was also our 14th anniversary as a couple, me and Yeyette were finally married in our parish church. It was a simple ceremony, really, as it never had the grandeur similar to other weddings. However, it had the elegance, the sacredness, and the character of a true Filipino wedding…

Photo by Mao Joseph Almadrones.

…because we were married using an ancient Catholic rite: the Rito Mozárabe or the Mozarabic Rite which was the original Catholic form of worship in the Philippines from the Spanish times up to the late 1950s. The wedding took place before the entrance of the church; it lasted for about half an hour. Afterwards came the nuptial blessing using the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, also known as the Tridentine Latin Mass. The languages used during the entire ceremony were Spanish and Latin, the way it should really be.

Ours can be considered a historic wedding because it was the first time —at least in the Southern Tagalog area— that a traditional Filipino wedding occurred since the late 1950s; a similar wedding occurred earlier this year, but it was held at the Holy Family Church in Cubáo, Quezon City.

And speaking of Tridentine Masses, it was a startling coincidence to find out later on that our wedding happened on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the promulgation of the celebrated apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI! And our wedding also occurred during the final months of the Year of Faith, probably one of the most awesome things to have happened to someone who was once faithless! Friday the 13th be damned!

Really, AWESOME is all I could muster from my thoughts. :D

Invitation card designed by young Church historian Jesson Allerite.

Our wedding rings on my wife’s Filipiniana bouquet composed of sampaguita, gumamela, ylang-ylang, pandacaqui, camia, and champaca flowers. The bouquet was designed by renowned florist Serge Igonia, a native San Pedrense.

I said goodbye to my long hair on the day of my wedding, LOL! It was Ryan Panaligan, Yeyette’s friend who is a personal stylist of Jed Madela, Luis Manzano and other ABS-CBN stars, was the one who took care of our hair and make-up. And now he’s styling another hunk in this photo.

My bride and our daughter Krystal.

Our boys: Momay, Jefe, and Juanito.

The centuries-old and miraculous Cruz de Tunasán —a “victim” of José Rizal’s satire— became part of our historic wedding!

A modest string of sampaguita flowers are hanging by the church pews on either side of the carpeted nave. San Pedro Tunasán is also known as the “Sampaguita Capital of the Philippines”.

With former San Pedro Mayor Calixto Catáquiz and his wife, incumbent Mayor Lourdes “Baby” Catáquiz who served as our wedding sponsors.

The bride arrives in an elegant looking carroza.*

The Mozarabic wedding is about to begin.

Locution of the admonition and exhortation. Reverend Father Michell Joe “Jojo” Zerrudo, pastor at the Holy Family Parish in Quezon City and also a renowned exorcist, officiates the rare wedding.

Union of our right hands.

Father Jojo blesses our rings and arrhae.

Fr. Jojo places the ring on my right ring finger.

Fr. Jojo gives me Yeyette’s ring which I then insert to her right middle finger.

Fr. Jojo transmits the arrhae to my hands…

…which I then transmit to Yeyette’s hands…

…which she then transmits back to Fr. Jojo.

Done with the Mozarabic Rite wedding! And nope, I’m not doing a rendition here of John Cena’s “you can’t see me!”. I was just proudly showing off my golden ring. :-)

The nuptial blessing begins (using the extraordinary form of the Mass). Both me and Yeyette were led by Fr. Jojo towards the altar. We were holding on to the edge of his stole as he recites Psalm 127. Go figure. :-)

 

The Catáquiz couple. Behind them is Señor Guillermo Gómez, a giant in Philippine history and letters who is also one of our wedding sponsors. Accompanying Señor Gómez is Valerie Devulder, French-Filipina granddaughter of the late Francisco Coching, “Dean of Philippine Comics”.

Sampaguita and camia flowers strewn all over the carpeted nave.

Imposition of the veil as Señor Gómez looks on. Renowned Catholic apologist Carlos Antonio Pálad

Nuptial blessing.

This moment brought me to tears, for I have not received Holy Communion in years. Tita Joji Alas, one of our wedding sponsors, is seated beside Señor Gómez.

My bride’s turn to receive the Body of Christ.

Sorry, no kissing in Tridentine Mass weddings. But of course, a couple should not show an intimate moment right in front of the altar. That is what I call a Novus Ordo Mistake.

Standing behind us: my cousin Jam, Tita Joji, Mayor Baby, my maternal grandmother Norma Soriano, Yeyette’s dad Jaime Perey, my dad Josefino Alas, Mayor Calex, and Señor Gómez.

Throwing rice grains to the newlyweds is an old Filipino custom. I just treat it as tradition. And hey, what our friends and family members flung at us are organic rice grains, LOL!

❤ ❤ ❤

CLICK HERE for more photos! And for an explanation of our wedding’s symbolism or the rite as a whole, CLICK HERE.

*Special thanks to Gerald Ceñir and the rest of the “Tridentine Boys” (Jesson, Mao, Juhnar Esmeralda, Satcheil Amamangpang, Miguel Madarang, and Justin Benaldes) for making this dream wedding come true (Gerald has been helping me in planning for this wedding since 2009!). Thank you also to former Biñán councilor Rómulo “Ome” Reyes for allowing us the use of his carroza, and to Mr. Ronald Yu for sponsoring it. To all who attended our wedding: ¡muchísimas gracias!. And more importantly, THANKS BE TO GOD!

Stay tuned for more of “My Filipiniana wedding!”

How to help Yolanda victims

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So you want to help the victims of super typhoon Yolanda but don’t know where to start. One easy way is to logon to a search engine and look for charitable orgnizations. Then you may donate relief goods and/or cash, or even assist in repackaging the goods themselves. Below are just some of the institutions (with their contact details) that offer immediate assistance…

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya

For in-kind donations, ABS-CBN is accepting clothes, shoes, blankets in good condition, canned goods, and drinks. You may send it in ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya drop-off centers.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Adamson University Charity Hub

Adamson University (AdU), through the Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES), is launching the AdU Charity Hub once more to provide relief and help to those affected by super typhoon Yolanda. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) and the Vincentian Family Coordinating Council (VFCC) Philippines will be collaborating with AdU in this effort. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Ateneo de Manila University Disaster Response and Management (DReAM) Team

The Ateneo de Manila University Disaster Response and Management Team (DReaM Team), in cooperation with Jesuit NGO Simbahang Lingkod Bayan (SLB) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, organized a relief operation for the victims of  super typhoon Yolanda. DReaM Team is accepting cash donations and relief goods. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Ayala Foundation, Inc.

The foundation is appealing for help to assist the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. They are accepting cash donations:

* Click here for local credit card holders.
* Click here for US-based donors.
* Click here for A-Deals Subscribers.

Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Caritas Filipinas Foundation

Caritas Filipinas Foundation is accepting cash donations through banks and online.

For donation in PhP from overseas:
Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Branch: Intramuros
Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation Inc.
Account Number: 4951-0071-08
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

For Donation in USD or EUR from overseas:
Bank Name: Philtrust Bank
Branch: Head Office
Account Name: CBCP Caritas Filipinas Foundation Inc.
DOLLAR Account: 0034-0001716-6
EURO Account: 0035-0000008-6
Swift Code: PHTBPHMM

Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Cebú Provincial Government

The provincial government of Cebú calls for volunteers to repack relief goods for Northern Cebú, Leyte and Bojol victims. For those who are interested, you may contact Evelyn Senajón at PSWDO, Ground Floor Executive Bldg., Cebú Provincial Capitol at 254-7198 and 254-8397.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Department of Social Welfare and Development

Location: NAIA Chapel Road, Pásay City (at the back of CAAP)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development accepts cash deposits through their Landbank of the Philippines account. The account numbers: Current-3122-1011-84 Savings-3124-0055-81. If you wish to volunteer in repacking relief goods, you may call 8512681 for schedule.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Gawad Kalinga — Operation Walang Iwanan: Typhoon Yolanda

Gawad Kalinga accepts cash donations only at their Philippine Peso Current Account number-3101 0977 56 BPI EDSA Greenhills and US$ Savings Account number-3104 0162 34

* BPI EDSA Greenhills. Their swift code is BOPIPHMM

Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

GMA Kapuso Foundation

GMA is accepting monetary and in kind donations. For relief goods, the drops off points are:

GMA Kapuso Foundation. 2nd Floor Kapuso Center, GMA Network Drive corner Sámar Streets, Dilimán, Quezon City. Call 928-4299/928-9351.

GMA Kapuso Foundation Warehouse. 366 GMA Compound Tandang Sora Avenue Brgy. Culiat, Quezon City. Call 931-7013.

Monetary donations can be deposited at any Metrobank, UCPB, PNB and Cebuana Lhuillier branch. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Jollibee Group Foundation

The Jollibee Group Foundation accepts cash or check donations to these bank accounts:

PESO ACCOUNT:
Metrobank – Cubáo Araneta Branch
Account Name: Jollibee Group Foundation
Account Number: 473-7-47301401-3

DOLLAR ACCOUNT:
BDO – Megamall Branch
Account Name: Jollibee Foundation, Inc.
Account Number: 100-661-267-008
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

For inquiries or donors who would want to advise regarding their assistance, you may call +63.2.688-7133. For your donations to be properly acknowledged, you may either fax the bank transaction slip at +63.2.688-7038 or send a scanned copy of the bank transaction slip to foundation@jollibee.com.ph with your name, address, and contact number. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

McDonald’s

All McDonald’s stores nationwide are now accepting donations in kind such as bottled water, rice, ready to eat food, toiletries, beddings, clothes and medicines for affected communities in Tacloban and other nearby areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

In partnership with ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya, Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units, collected relief goods will be distributed to these affected areas.

For cash or check donations, customers may be advised to directly deposit to:
Account Name: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines

Citibank N.A.
8741 Citibank Bldg., Paseo de Roxas Makati City
Account No# 060-1374-005
Swift Code: CITIUS33

Account Name: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines
Bank of the Philippine Islands
CA# 3021-4107-47

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Operation Blessing Philippines

The group is accepting cash donations only. The following are the details to send money.

Metrobank
Account name: OPERATION BLESSING FOUNDATION PHILS., INC.
Account number: 270-3-27050273-4

Banco de Oro (Bdo)
Account name: OPERATION BLESSING FOUNDATION PHILS., INC.
Account number: 30000-55279

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Account name: OPERATION BLESSING FOUNDATION PHILS., INC.
Account number: 3001-0040-33

You may also send your donation in the form of check or postal money order payable to Operation Blessing through mail. Address it to Operation Blessing, P.O. Box 2572 MCPO, 1265 Makati, Philippines. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine Red Cross


You may donate to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) through SMS by texting RED and send it to 2899 for Globe and 4143 for Smart. You can donate the following denominations: Globe: ₱5, ₱25, ₱100, ₱300, ₱500 or ₱1,000 and for Smart: ₱10, ₱25, ₱50, ₱100, ₱300, ₱500, or ₱1.000.

For cash deposits:

Banco De Oro
Peso: 00-453-0018647
Dollar: 10-453-0039482
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Metrobank
Peso: 151-3-041631228
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM

Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090
Swift code: UBPHPHMM

For in-kind donation you may send it to the PRC – National Headquarters in Manila. You may also contact them to arrange donation pick-up.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

United Nations Children’s Fund

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are accepting cash donations. The amount that you may donate from the choices are ₱1,500, ₱3, 300, and ₱5,000. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (UP) Office of the Student Regent are accepting donations in cash or kind. Their drop off point is Vinzon’s Hall, UP Dilimán, Quezon City. You may contact Alex Castro at 0917-8725396 or tweet him at @uscupdiliman, Eds 0927384-1392 and Zie 0916796-5740. Please click here for more information.

*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*F*I*L*I*P*I*N*O*e*S*C*R*I*B*B*L*E*S*

IMPORTANT NOTE: The government has been receiving some flak over the seemingly incompetent handling of the crisis, particulary the distribution of relief goods and medicine. One major complaint is that these have not been reaching their designated areas on time, if at all. To my observation, I think one major reason why the flow of relief goods is slow is because there is a severe lack of repackers. There has been a steady supply of donations all right, but not enough people to repack them, hence slowing the pace of our government’s relief efforts. This has been confirmed by Twitter user Lendl Tan-Monterola (@_lendl_) who was part of one of the repackaging teams.

To those who read this: please, please, PLEASE spend a few hours of your time to join the repackaging of relief goods. Our countrymen in the Visayas region are starving every day. Thank you so much.

The Filipino Spirit vs. Yolanda and the Bojol tremors: brief thoughts from a historical viewpoint

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The Filipino Spirit vs. Yolanda and the Bojol tremors: brief thoughts from a historical viewpoint

Before 1565, we were a disunited bunch. Filipinas as we know it today (as Luzón, Visayas, and Mindanáo) did not exist yet during that time. And it is with certainty that Taclobanons back then were only concerned with their own territory and people. But so it was with Tagalogs, Cebuanos, Bicolanos, and all the rest of the ethnolinguistic tribes that were soon destined to become part of the Filipino nation. Noóng unang panahón, caniá-caniá talagá silá. Each group were concerned only with their internal affairs because each thought of themselves as independent.

But after 1565, all these tribes became ONE NATION. It was our CHRISTIAN FAITH which binded us into ONE PEOPLE. That is why all of us, whether we are in Aparri or in Joló, wept and grieved when the island province of Bojol fell under the mercy of last month’s killer tremors. And now we have the heartwrenching aftermath of Yolanda‘s deadly wrath to contend with. Much of the Visayas region was ravaged by devastating winds never thought to have been possible before. But among the towns and cities that were affected, it was the historic city of Tacloban in Leyte Province, “Ang Puso ng Silañgang Cabisayaan” (The Heart of Eastern Visayas), that was totally destroyed.

So even though many Filipinos have never been to either Bojol or Tacloban, they all feel the same pain and anguish that Bojolanos and Taclobanons feel now because through centuries of Filipinization, they have become our brother Filipinos. They are no longer Waray, and we are no longer Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicolano, etc. We are simply Filipinos as created by the FAITH bequeathed to us by Our Lord and Savior. We have become ONE FILIPINO nation because of our FAITH.

No wonder why, even though our archipielago is a Babel of tongues and microcultures, we do not hesitate to help each other in times of distress. Just like what is occurring at this very moment (it would have been unimaginable before 1565 that a Tagalog would be helping a Visayan and vice versa).

And rest assured that with this FAITH of ours, we shall rise again, in the same manner that it created our unified spirit in 1565…

¡Un gran saludo al espíritu filipino!

Marrying in ancient, sacred Catholic rites

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It may seem improper to share to all of you today one of the best and greatest moments of my life, my wedding, especially on a time like this (re: the earthquake crisis in the Visayas). But more than a month after that simple yet historic Filipiniana wedding of ours, news about it came off the press just this morning… so maybe its better if I attempt to offset all the bad vibes besetting the Catholic Church in Bohol and Cebú with this article…

Marrying in ancient, sacred Catholic rites

The bride, wearing the traditional baro’t saya and a long veil topped with a tiara of sampaguita flowers, arrived in a horse-drawn carriage at the San Pedro Apostol Parish Church in San Pedro town in Laguna.

The groom, who sported a black suit that matched his bowler hat and cane, waited for her at the church’s doorstep.

Without the usual wedding frivolities, they exchanged vows—in Spanish—in the Mozarabic Rite of Toledo held on their 14th anniversary as a couple.

Click here for the rest of the story!

Marrying in ancient, sacred Catholic rites

Special thanks to Maricar Cinco for the excellent photo and write-up. :-)

For whom the bells toll: unity against government corruption

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A few days before last Friday, I saw this announcement on my Facebook timeline:

I haven’t been joining protest marches since my forgetful days as a young student activist. Truth to tell, I no longer believe in the power of mass protests, especially in our times when the powers-that-be are at their strongest. Anyway, I had half a mind attending the nationwide pealing of all church bells although our parish church is just a safe walking distance from our apartment. I thought of maybe just listen to the pealing of the bells from our balcony and utter a short prayer to help combat government abuse of the pork barrel.

Friday arrived and it was dark and drizzling, all the more reason to completely cancel my plans of witnessing the pealing of the bells. But for some inexplicable reason, something stirred me from my laziness to attend. So I took up my camera and told Yeyette that I had to cover the event, maybe take a short video of it then go home immediately.

Upon arrival at the church, the drizzle became all the more incessant. I looked up towards the bell tower, but saw nobody up there. I looked around for any sort of activity pertaining to the ringing of bells against government corruption.

Nada.

I went inside the church and saw only carpenters and stone masons (our church is currently under renovation). Perhaps there are people already in the campanario? I decided to have a look and see, introduce myself as a local blogger and one of Mayor Baby‘s writers (more on this in a future blogpost), and ask permission if I could record what they were about to do.

I’ve climbed up our bell tower numerous times already. It wasn’t easy this time because of a lot of construction materials being hoarded in there at the moment. Upon reaching the top of the bell tower, I was dismayed to find out that nobody was there. And it was less than five minutes till 1:00 PM.

Probably nobody in the parish office heard about this call for holy solidarity against a secular evil that is currently besetting the country. Or perhaps they already knew but they didn’t care at all? Really, I dunno.

I looked down towards the parish office. It was closed, and nobody seemed to come out towards the bell tower to ring its old Sunico bell. I harkened in the cold air, straining hard to listen if other nearby parishes were already ringing their respective bells — nothing but vehicular traffic noise. There was no more time to go down to the parish office and inquire. Using my initiative, I had no other recourse but to ring the bell myself.

It was my first time to ring a church bell, so pardon me if I was tolling it lightly. Besides, I was a bit nervous that the people overseeing the parish office might come out and climb angrily towards me. But then I already thought of a justifiable excuse that what I was doing was all over the news, and that they should update themselves once in a while. Surprisingly still, nobody went up to check. It’s either I was really tolling it lightly and they didn’t hear it, or maybe they did but they never cared at all.

I just tolled it for a few minutes, especially since it wasn’t safe for one’s ears to ring a church bell at a very close distance (stupid me, I should have pulled the rope connected to the bell which is right below the campanario).

Did the tolling of church bells against the pork barrel made any difference? Since I myself have already believed in the ineffectiveness of street protests against government iniquities, what difference does the harmless pealing of bells make? Not much. But I think the Church in this country needed to have a voice to speak out against the pork barrel scam. Just last August, news broke out that retired Monsignor Josefino S. Ramírez was renting a posh property owned by controversial Janet Lim de Nápoles for a whopping ₱280,000 a month, making everyone think where does he get all that cash. And even before that, there were already reports that some priests were in the payroll of Nápoles via her dubious company.

The CBCP commented on the issue, even releasing a strongly worded statement last September 5 against pork barrel misuse. But everybody, most particularly the very meek anti-Catholic kiddos in social media, were too busy condemning the priests in particular and (quite laughably) the Church in general. They were, indeed, having a field day.

The tolling of the bells, at least to my mind, was supposed to be another Church statement against thievery in the government. Last Friday’s church protest was more palpable. And if I may add: just in case those priests connected to Nápoles did err, it was just them, not the Church as a whole.

I just hope that if ever there will be another call for unity like this, there would really be a show of unity. Not to mention coordination. I’m trying hard to remember the last time that all the church bells in the entire archipelago were tolled; I couldn’t remember any event.

*******

On another note, ringing those bells myself made it all the more enjoyable as I already have a personal connection to the San Pedro Apóstol Church because that is where I was wed during last month’s Friday the 13th…

Oh shucks… the WEDDING!!! I haven’t even written anything about it yet here on this blog!

OK, up next: OUR FILIPINIANA WEDDING! Stay tuned, folks! :D

Matrimonium 2013

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Matrimonium 2013

“I give you a companion, and not a slave; love her as Christ loves his Church.”

The authentic Filipiniana wedding of the century… coming soon! :-)

Tridentine Mass Wedding?

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So much has been said and written about the Tridentine Mass, especially during the previous papacy

…but not much has been said and written about the Tridentine Mass Wedding! :D

Photo courtesy of Dei præsidio fultus.

Coming soon on FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS!

Webster defines what a Filipino is

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The Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (New York: Portland House, 1989), of which I have a copy, correctly defines what a Filipino is:

Fil·i·pi·no (fil’əˈpē’nō), n., pl. -nos, adj. —n. 1. a native of the Philippines, esp. a member of a Christianized native tribe. —adj. 2. Philippine. [< Sp. derived from (las Islas) Filipinas Philippine (islands)]

Take note of  the phrase “a member of a Christianized native tribe”. This is historically precise because it was the Spanish friars who, upon baptizing the indigenous, automatically Hispanized them. We say automatically because the once pagan indigenous were assimilated into the societies (reducciones which later became pueblos, parroquias, etc.) that were created by the friars for them. In other words, those who were baptized or Christianized were welcomed into a new society which provided them the benefits of cultural dissemination, in a way “civilizing” them because  new concepts and tools from the West were by far and comparatively more advanced vis-à-vis the latter’s cultural way of life.

From these baptized ethnolinguistic groups or tribes evolved the Filipino.

In this regard, it is scientifically, culturally, and historically imprecise to say that the Ifugáos, the Mañguianes, the Aetas, the T’bolis, even the Moros, and all the other unbaptized ethnolinguistic groups to be called Filipinos for the mere reason that they did not assimilate themselves into the societies that could have shaped and molded them into the Filipino cosmos that was the world of José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Padre José Burgos, Luis Rodríguez Varela, and the rest.

This Webster definition is the reason why, in a previous blogpost (Filipino, in a jiffy), I named only three attributes which defined what a Filipino is:

1) Hispanic culture, with Malayo-Polynesian elements as a substrate.
2) The Spanish language.
3) Christianity (Roman Catholic Religion).

The indigenous who never got the chance to be baptized into the Christian faith were not Hispanized, thus failing to be Filipinized in the process. Of course, we can still say that the rest —particularly our indigenous brothers— are Filipinos. But only by virtue of citizenship (most notably, jus soli).

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