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Vandalism in Mount Batuláo!

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The vandalized boulder you see in the two photos above is not an ordinary boulder. It is one of those iconic boulders you encounter in Monte Batuláo’s breathtaking peak (Camp 10). Tapos ganitó, binaboy ng mg̃a tarantadong itó, masabi lang na nacaratíng silá sa taás ng Batuláo.

And who did this desecration two days ago? Thankfully, the idiots were stupid enough to leave more evidence of their environmental CRIME.

Click on their names below to get to their Facebook accounts:

1. Janet Páyad

2. Robert Paul Ador

3. Ermel Atendido

4. Eduard Palima

5. Erland Fajardo

6. Mark Anthony Abarracoso

7. Rocy Flores is one lucky scoundrel because I couldn’t find his (or her?) Facebook account.

To you who read this, I encourage you to send these filthy animals some “love”.

I’ve been to Batuláo’s peak only once and that was many years ago. Yet the  spellbinding beauty of its surroundings makes me feel as if I just climbed there yesterday. That’s how unforgettable the place is.

And now this?! I never thought that these bozos from View Park Hotel had the tendency to revert into cavemen-like behavior.

To the management of View Park Hotel: what do you intend to do about this? Because each time we pass by your place, or even just hearing your hotel’s name, we will always be reminded of this vandalized mountain boulder of majestic Monte Batuláo.


Special thanks to my mountaineer cousin Paolo Raphael Balicao and his group for sharing these photos. May the protection of our mountains against brainless scums such as those from View Park Hotel be every mountaineer’s advocacy and responsibility.

The stolen image of the infant Jesus of Betis has finally been recovered!

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Official Statement of the Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage (ACCH) – Archdiocese of San Fernando on the Recovery of the Stolen Image of the Infant Jesus of Betis
The image of Betis Church’s Infant Jesus that was taken from Virgen de la Correa’s embrace in the afternoon of 30 December 2013 has been recovered with the help of renowned ecclesiastical art restorer Thomas Joven.

Joven, who heads the Parish Pastoral Council of San Guillermo Parish of Bacolor and who also serves as member of the Tangible Heritage Committee of ACCH, reported his find to diocesan church authorities as the image surfaced in the antiques market, days after it was reported to be missing.

The Infant Jesus was stolen as the Betis community was celebrating its parish fiesta. Ivory parts of the image (particularly the head, hands, and feet) went up for sale in the antiques market in Manila not long after. Joven intimates that he spent ₱167,000 to be able to retrieve and secure the image and is ready to turn it over any moment to the parish priest of Saint James Parish in Betis Church, Guagua. The image was handed to him in a small plastic bag minus the body and the hairpiece.

ACCH denounces the theft and trafficking of stolen religious icons and other church treasures. In recent years, this illegal trade has been carried out with alarming boldness and shamelessness. In cases like this, some unscrupulous entities are bound to make easy money. It is most unfortunate that they choose to ignore the fact that what make religious icons priceless and precious are the historical, cultural and spiritual meanings that Catholic devotees attach to such symbols of their faith.

ACCH commits itself to helping curb the illegal trade of stolen religious icons and other church treasures. We vow to cooperate with authorities to minimize the threat of losing more church goods to thieves. In this regard, we enjoin all parishes of the Archdiocese of San Fernando to:

1. Undertake a parish-wide inventory and documentation of all church goods and properties;
2. Institute security measures (e.g. installation of CCTV cameras/alarms or hiring of security guards) that can help deter theft of these goods;
3. Remind parishioners to be more vigilant in protecting the material treasures/tangible heritage of their respective parishes;

Our gratitude to antique collectors, media entities, netizens, heritage workers,and to everyone who offered leads and prayers, and who helped spread the word about the theft of the image.

The recovered ivory parts of the Niño Jesús del Virgen de la Correa of Betis with ecclesiastical art restorer Tom Joven who helped get back the image.

Photos and text from Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Fernando.

One of Betis Church’s centuries-old icons: STOLEN!

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An Appeal to Cultural Heritage Workers, Antique Collectors, and to the Public from the Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage – Archdiocese of San Fernando
The centuries-old, ivory image of the Child Jesus of Betis Church’s Virgen de la Correa (see photo below) was stolen yesterday, 30th of December 2013, after the town fiesta procession. We appeal to you to be on the look-out for this significant piece of Betis heritage and let us know of possible leads that can help us recover it.
Betis folks have always been proud and protective of their religious and cultural heritage. The images of Virgen de la Correa and the Child Jesus are among the legacies left by the Augustinian missionaries who established a mission in Betis in 1572. These are properties of Betis Church, as documented in the 1790 Santa Visita de la Iglesia de Betis (Archdiocesan Archives of Manila Box 6.A.3, Folder 9).
If you can offer information about the missing image of the Child Jesus, please contact:
1) The Office of Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David: cellphone no. (0917)508-0302; tel. no. (045) 888-63-55, loc. 2; Email:
2) Saint James the Apostle Heritage Foundation, Inc.: tel. no. (045) 900-00-22

Photo and textual info from Thomas Joven.

Now on its fourth year: still no good news on the Maguindanáo Massacre

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Photo: AP/Bullit Márquez

The grisly Maguindanáo Massacre is now on its fourth year, yet there is still less positive news for the deadliest incident in the history of news media. Because despite the overwhelming evidence, nobody has been sentenced yet. Incredible.

The perpetrators must be silently thanking Janet Nápoles and super typhoon Yolanda for stealing the limelight from them. But the scoundrels must have forgotten that Filipinos no longer have a short memory span — they will have to curse for social media for that.

Justice delayed is justice denied. But we’ll continue to be on guard. A-holes.

Looting in typhoon-devastated Tacloban

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The streets of Taclóban City in Leyte were in chaos Saturday as several residents began looting grocery stores and breaking into shops for food and other basic items they needed to survive in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda.
Video footage recorded by the team of GMA News correspondent Jiggy Manícad showed several men breaking into what appeared to be the storage area of a grocery store in the city and grabbing as much bread and softdrinks bottles as they can get.
Manicad said some residents have even resorted to forcibly entering fast food shops and destroying ATMs to get food and cash.
Click here for the rest of this news article. And click here to watch the video.

“…sana po ang armed forces macapagpadala po ng fuerza…
—Ted Failón—

“What breakdown of “law and order”? When people are starving and the government cannot do anything, it’s their right to take over supermarkets and malls to distirbute food and feed themselves. They should really do it in an organized manner that can provide equitable distribution to all the needy.”
—Sonny Melencio, Chairperson of the Partido Lakas ng Masa

“Whose law and whose order are we supposed to protect? This is not looting. These are the people trying to protect themselves from an uncaring and murderous system — a system that kills. We should call for the people to take over supermarkets, rice depots and so on, and take control of food and relief distribution themselves. Not looting. It’s wealth distribution.”
—Reihana Mohideen, Chairperson of Transform Asia

“Thou shalt not steal.”
—Exodus 20:15—

“And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness.”
—Matthew 19:16-18—

What goes around comes around.

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I’m not supposed to blog yet because of a deadline. But I just couldn’t let this one pass my restless attention:

MANILA, Philippines – A Manila court found prominent tour guide and reproductive health advocate Carlos Celdrán guilty of “offending religious feelings,” according to a statement made by Celdrán himself on Twitter.

Celdrán was charged with violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (offending religious feelings) after he disrupted a service at the Manila Cathedral on Sept 30, 2010. Clad as the Filipino national hero José Rizal, the outspoken reproductive health advocate held up a sign with the words “Dámaso,” in reference to the villainous priest in Rizal’s famous novel “Noli Me Tangere.”

But here’s the best part:

A copy of the decision tweeted by Celdrán shows that he was sentenced to serve a prison term of not less than two months and 21 days and not more than one year, one month and 11 days.


This photo’s gonna get real soon. But I’ll visit you there, Twitter buddy. I promise.


By the way. Today is the birthday of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher, and patron saint of intellectuals. I just don’t believe that today’s development coinciding with the saint’s birthday is a coincidence. It ain’t. :D

I only have four beautiful words for this ultrapositive development: justice has been served.

Lo que se siembra se cosecha, Carlos. Just ask your dad what the heck does that mean.

Maguindanáo Massacre, now on its third year — but still no justice

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It’s been three years. THREE YEARS. Yet justice has not yet been served. Justice delayed is justice denied.

But let us take a brief moment to pray for the eternal repose of the victims. And pray that the criminals, whoever they are, will have a change of heart, and that may their consciences be moved…

The year of the “digital karma”

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In the Philippines, at least, the year 2012 has ushered in the “Age of the Digital Karma”.

Thrilla in NAIA (6 May 2012)

Motorist bullies MMDA officer (14 August 2012)

Man attacks female restaurant cashier (21 October 2012)

Amalayer (14 November 2012)

Moral lesson: RESTRAINT. If you don’t want to be the next viral superstar of the worst kind, take this 90s advice from Prettier Than Pink:

So next time you’re caught on camera doing the nastiest, don’t say that you were not informed.

The North American Invasion of the Philippines Continues

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Below is a grueling exposé of how the evil US military forces have once again occupied our nation.


José Miguel García

From identifying ourselves with our nation in the 1900s when we were a newly born nation, we had reverted back to identifying ourselves with only ourselves, our family, or our clan just like when we were not yet a nation before the 1600s. An indication of how we identified ourselves with our nation was demonstrated in a letter by Ellis G. Davis, Company A, 20th Kansas about us in the 1900s: “They will never surrender until their whole race is exterminated. They are fighting for a good cause, and the Americans should be the last of all nations to transgress upon such rights. Their independence is dearer to them than life…”1

Today, the North Americans of the United States continue to violate our nationhood. The difference is that today, we Filipinos continue to defend their violation.

In the 1960s, the United States of the North Americans provided landing facilities inside their base here in the Philippines to the Air Force of Great Britain during our conflict against the latter over the Sabah territorial dispute.2

There is now a US military base inside the camp of the AFP Western Mindanáo Command yet the AFP has no control over it. Filipino soldiers among us do not have access inside without permit from the US occupational forces. As of this day, we have no control of foreigners like the North Americans of the United States on what they do in our own country. The senate rejection of the US bases in the Philippines in 1991 is only true within our minds. But they are not true beyond our minds.3

On July 2002, a Filipino among us, Buyong-buyong Isnijal was shot by US Sgt. Reggie Lane in Tuburan, Basilan.4 In November 30, 2007, North American occupational forces led by a certain Master Sgt. Ronburg ordered the staff of the Panamáo District Hospital in Panamáo, Sulú to shut down operations after sundown, threatening to shoot us if they did not follow his orders. Filipino military officers among us were impotent in leading our forces to defend us Filipinos in that part of the country against such violation of our nationhood. This deprived 40,000 among us Filipinos of that area, of medical care every night for around one month.5 The commission on human rights and the Sulú Desk reported on the involvement of US troops in the wanton carnage and absolute mayhem of nine filipinos which included a Philippine Army soldier on vacation, a pregnant woman, a four-year-old, and a nine-year-old in Ipil, Maimbung, Sulú on February 4, 2008. The provincial governor denounced this atrocity.6,7,8

A certain Filipino military official of Western Mindanáo Command admitted that he disapproves the practice of higher-ranking Filipino officials among us saluting lower ranking US troops or acting as bodyguards for them.9 Another Filipino official among us, Philipine Navy Lt. Nancy Gadián also told the media that US troops behavior towards Filipino soldiers even of higher rank is that of a human master towards a dog.10

Under these circumstances is the official mission of the US military in the Philippines today: to train us Filipino soldiers hardened for decades of combat against terrorists in a jungle, in a hot and humid tropical environment, home-ground of the latter who have also been veterans as well as slippery in-fighting and, most notably, have been products of CIA-directed: recruitment; training; funding, and; combat experience in engaging Soviet paratroopers in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan during the US-caused Afghan-Soviet War.11,12 What combat skills, techniques, and tactics will the US soldiers with less experience in these types of combat and terrain than we have as we have been directly involved with for decades, can they teach us?13,14

In Vietnam, they lost. In Afghanistan, they were never generally engaged in the daily face to face battles in every corner of the local terrain.15 In Iraq, they engaged their enemies with heavy reliance on massive technology and firepower only after they have softened defenders in their homegrounds after they have intervened in the domestic social affairs processes. Aside from local insurgents with which their original motive they corrupted, the US also transmitted local insurgent looking foreigners to increase the strength of the local insurgents. It is these insurgents who were generally engaged in the daily face-to-face battles in every corner of the physical and social terrain with the enemies of the United States of the North Americans. What they achieved in the Middle East was that they were able to destroy their supposedly military enemies only after they have destroyed the whole of the nation of their enemies. It is this whole nation who happened to be the collateral damage — a term they very often used conveniently. Therefore, it is not so much the combat techniques and tactics that they can teach us. Rather, it is their brand of military strategy —the whole of the subject nation being destroyed in order to destroy the subject enemy— that they can teach. The Abu Sayyaf issue is just one of the results of the CIA creation of religious fighters from Muslim regions including Mindanáo to fight a proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Based on US media reports themselves, Abu Sayyaf has a relationship with Al Qaeda which the US created to fight a proxy war in Afghanistan.16,17,18,19,20,21,22

A brother filipino, Gregan Cardeño, was recruited as a security guard with Skylink Security and General Services, an agency based in Zamboanga City and a subcontractor of DynCorp International, a contractor of the US military. On January 30, 2010, he signed a contract with the agency to work as a security guard for the American military personnel assigned to the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in Maguindanáo. However, on February 1, 2010, Gregan was brought to the JSOTF-P military barracks of the North American of the United States occupying the Philippine Army’s 103rd Battalion Headquarters in Camp Ranao, Marawi City, to work not as a security guard but as an “interpreter” for the US troops. On February 3, 2010, inside the US facility in Marawi City, Gregan was reported to have died. The local police, headed by one SPO3 Ali Rangiris, told Carivel, the sister of Gregan, that when he arrived at the scene of the incident, he found the body of Gregan on the floor and the area already “contaminated.” Filipino investigators have been blocked by the North Americans of the United States occupational forces in Mindanáo to conduct investigation inside their facility. Captain Javier Ignacio of the Western Mindanáo Command helped the family of Cardeño in the investigation. On March 25, 2010, Capt. Ignacio was gunned down by unknown motorcycle-riding gunmen in March just before he was about to execute an affidavit regarding his knowledge about the circumstances of the death.23 A Filipina was gang-raped by members of the United States Marine Corps in Subic in 2005. The case however was dismissed inspite of the overwhelming evidences.24 Another Filipina whose name was hidden was raped by a North American in Macati City in April 2009. But due to fear of ending up like another case of Nicole, she did not charge her rapist in court.25

Are we already independent? Except for Carlos García, we never had any president who could not be controlled by the United States of North America and stay long as president.26 All these presidents are products of US-tampered development of our educational system. The guns are the tools of the North Americans to destroy our defenses and control our archipelago. The English language is the tool of the North Americans to destroy our identity and control our minds.27

This US control of our national developmental code is the cause of why despite of our Asian neighbors having already overtaken us in defense status today, despite of our having had an excellent defense system in 1898 up to the early 1900s, having been able to militarily maneuver for years against being caught, locked, and controlled by the world power US aggressor forces until they resorted to massive kidnapping and extermination of the civilians among us, and despite of decades of US pumping of military aid, training, guidance, and tutelage to us, we are still dependent on US and impotent in defending our nation against foreign invaders today.

Have we not been an invaded territory by the United States of the North Americans until today?



1. Kipling, R. Letters from the Front: An Insight into the Filipino-American War
2. Vizmanos, D. 2002. Rejoinder to Pro-Balikatan Arguments. Bulatlat, Vol.2, Number 7.
3. Citizens Peace Watch. 2008. Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zamboanga City and Sulu, pp. 3-6, 64. Quezon City.
4. Conde, C. 2002. Terrified Basilan Woman Swears U.S. Soldier Shot Her Husband.
5. Alipala, J. 2007. Talks of U.S. Interventions Prompts Sulu Meetings. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
6. Citizens Peace Watch. 2008. Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zamboanga City and Sulu, pp. 6-9, 64. Quezon City.
7. Alipala, J. 2008. Sulu ‘Massacre’ Survivor Claims Seeing U.S. Soldiers. Mindanao Bureau.
8. Watson, P. 2008. U.S. role in Philippine raid questioned, Los Angeles Times.
9. Citizens Peace Watch. 2008. Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zamboanga City and Sulu, p. 10. Quezon City.
10. Calonzo, A. 2009. U.S. Troops Joined Combat In Mindanao, Says Navy Wistleblower. GMANews.TV.
11. Chossudovsky, M. 2002. The Nobel War Prize.
12. Bengwayan, M. 2002. US Forces in the Philippines Facing CIA-Trained Abu Sayyaf Terrorists.
13. Citizens Peace Watch. 2008. Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zamboanga City and Sulu, p. 10. Quezon City.
14. Vizmanos, D. 2002. Rejoinder to Pro-Balikatan Arguments. Bulatlat, Vol.2, Number 7.
15. Blum, W. Afghanistan- 1979-1992: America’s Jihad. U.S. Military & CIA Interventions Since World War II.
17., International Solidarity Mission, Statement of the, “Against U. S. Armed Intervention in the Philippines July 24-31, 2002,”
18., A six-part series The United States in the Philippines: post-9/11 imperatives, By Larry Chin
19. James M, & Cooley J. 2001. The Abu Sayyaf-Al Qaeda Connection. ABC News. pp. 1-2.
20. Chin, L. 2001. The Abu Sayyaf. The United States in the Philipines: Post 9/11 imperatives, Part 6, Yonip Library Section – Visiting Forces Agreement and Balikatan Exercises.
21. Santuario, E III. 2007. Abu Sayyaf: The CIA’s Monster Gone Berserk. Constantine Report.
22. Cooley, J. 1999. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism. Pluto Press, 345 Archway Road, London N6 5AA and 22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012, USA
23. Zarate, C. I. 2012. Gregan. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
24. Rodis, R. 2009. The Subic Rape Case.
25. Olea, R. 2009. Another ‘Nicole’: Filipina Accuses US Marine of Rape; Case Heightens Junk-VFA Call.
26. Carlos P. García. Wikipedia.

Decline in morals

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We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side; one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach.
—Bertrand Russell—

Last October, the whole world was shocked when a surveillance video in Foshan, China caught a van recklessly and mercilessly running over a two-year-old girl. And for a harrowing ten minutes or so, several passersby didn’t bother to help the severely injured toddler. She died in a hospital a few days later.

A few days before the above incident, Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs passed away after a long bout with pancreatic cancer. The internet community all over the world wept and heaped tons of praise and eulogy to this pioneer of the personal computer revolution. Many of these people didn’t even know who he really was until after he died. But for many, many years, the whole world has been cognizant of the famine and hunger that is going on for decades in various parts of the African continent.

On 29 October 2011, local Philippine showbiz was rattled with the murder of young character actor Ram Revilla. What made this more sensational was that Ram was no ordinary actor — he was the son of former Senator Ramón Revilla, himself a legend in Philippine Cinema. Ram is also the half-brother of current Senator Ramón “Bong” Revilla, Jr. But what shocked the nation even more was when the motive behind the killings was exposed: Ram was killed because of sibling rivalry. Results of the investigation revealed that at least three of Ram’s siblings (RJ, Ramona, and Gail) were involved. And all this bloodbath because they were fighting over the monthly allowance they were receiving from their ailing father.

Ram and his siblings RJ and Ramona. Both his siblings were accused of masterminding his murder.

The police were adamant and mighty confident with the results of their investigation: Ram was indeed ordered to be killed by his siblings.

Two days later, international singing sensation Charice Pempengco’s father was stabbed to death in San Pedro, La Laguna. The YouTube sensation’s dad was estranged from her since she was three years old. She then went on to become one of the greatest singers discovered from the internet. But at the height of her fame, not once did she try to visit her dad. And just when the father died did she pay him a visit: but already a lifeless shell inside a coffin. She then went on to tell the local press how she loved her dad so much, singing here and there in every interview, hoping that her hymns would be heard by her dad. And last November, she paid the ultimate tribute to him in Mandalay Bay. For all intents and purposes, it was mere gimmick, perhaps wittingly or unwittingly from her part. But the result remains the same: to garner sympathy to add up to her stardom’s poignancy, reminiscent of many other attention-starved celebrities who came before her.

And speaking of celebrities, we have another revelation on moral issues, this time from the not-so-moral Mo Twister:

This confession (if true) reveals a dirty truth behind the local mass media and how they wants to portray their up-and-coming starlets: seductive yet virginal at all costs. And contractually, they should remain that way. Otherwise, their careers would have to join the breadlines. For Rhian Ramos’ part, as per Mo Twister, their baby’s life had to go to in exchange for the mother’s blossoming TV/film career.

In local politics, President Noynoy Aquino‘s relentless pursuit for his predecessor‘s alleged crimes as well as the current Supreme Court Justice’s “crown” is a classic example of misplaced priorities. Running after them for their past (and current) crimes is OK. But that shouldn’t be the number one priority, something that seems to be the obvious in the current administration’s activities. And so the million-dollar-question is: will this pursuit even uplift our economy?

In the video below, Noynoy made no qualms in attacking Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona for his being a midnight appointee (which is true anyway) as well as other iniquities done in collaboration with allies in the legislature. However, these attacks were not done in a proper forum.

Indeed, the other is thick-faced. But the other one is rude.

And do we even have to mention the rude one’s clamor for the passing of the RH Bill, the controversial bill that has divided our nation?

Finally, Lady Gaga’s music video, a post-apocalyptic orgy entitled “Judas” —released just in time for the Holy Week—, needs no further description:

The sacrilegious video, by the way, was directed by a self-professed “Christian”. And Lady Gaga fans all over the world even enjoyed this visual-aural “art” without minding the profanities nor the religious sensitivities of many people involved.


These are but some of the moral issues that hit the headlines last year. We have asked for too much liberty. Now that we are enjoying an excess of liberalization, are the above examples the price that we have to pay?

What does 2012 has in store for us?

Nothing. It is us who fill up the events of an empty calendar year. Our destiny is ours to make. And it is up to us if we allow or disallow morality to guide our actions.


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