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RH Law must win

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Not many people today know that hundreds of years ago, at a time when banking was still in its infancy, the Catholic Church fought the concept of interest. It lost that battle. Since then, poverty and misery became a horrible tandem, a terrifying economic force to reckon with. And since that defeat, the few filthy rich has occupied the zenith of society, lording us over with laws meant to stimulate and protect their illogical hunger for profit.

During the last century here in the Philippines, the local Catholic Church fought Republic Act No. 1425, more famously known as the Rizal Law. The law mandated that all educational institutions in the country must offer courses about the life and works of José Rizal. It lost that battle, too. Since then, Rizal and his Masonic novels (not exactly all of his works) have become the mouthpiece of anti-Catholicism and pro-liberalism.

And now, for the past few years, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is in another uphill battle, a battle that I expect it to lose. I am, of course, referring to Republic Act No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 or simply the RH Law. The final deliberations of the Supreme Court to decide on the constitutionality of the RH Law is about to end. And tomorrow they will reveal their final decision if this law should be upheld or repealed.

Looking back at the general history of the Catholic Church, I see that is has a disappointing win-loss record. Heck, even its Founder was humiliated in public, tortured, and then crucified to death. And do I even need to mention the countless martyrs that we have who died for Him? But I guess this rather humiliating win-loss record has been written in the stars. It should really end up that way.

If our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, was humiliated and persecuted, so must we His followers follow the same fate. Scary thought, but I think that’s the only way true Christians must go through on this realm in order to get to the next (and final) one. I see life now more like a video game: we play, we struggle, we lose, we fight in order to reach the next level. And upon reaching the next level, we play, we struggle, we lose again and again, but we stand up and fight once more in order to reach another much higher level (in the immortal words of Joana Angelica Romero: “And it goes on and on and on.” :D )

I think you guys should know what the final level is. And if we lose all our chances (or “lives” in video gaming parlance), well, it’s “Game Over” for all of us. Doón na papasoc sa escena si Mang Taníng.

In other words, we Christians must suffer, must be persecuted, in order for us to be “made worthy of the promises of Christ”. Besides, we do not stay here on Earth forever. So we might as well allow are enemies to persecute us, and we should remain humble about it (Matthew 5:5, 10).

As what pro-life leader Eric Manalang told me a few months ago: “…we have been and always will be fools for Christ… ahh, such sweet persecution.” (1 Corinthians 4:10). Now I understand what he meant.

This is not to say that we Christian Filipinos must give up the fight against the evils of the RH Law. Whether or not this law should win in the end, the most important matter is that we fought the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7), that we never gave up, that we stood up against it despite the overpowering odds.

Those who oppose us outnumber us, yes. They are the majority. But always remember this: Matthew 22:14. That is why I think that the RH Law must win this time, as with all the past enemies of the Holy Catholic Church.  If our Lord and Savior was fated to die to save us, so must be with the prophecy of a chosen few come through. :-)

But y’know what? I might even suffer a heart attack if ever the RH Law loses.

NCCA’s “Bloggers’ Hour”: Philippine Arts Festival 2014 — Art on the Edge

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It’s all systems go for this year’s National Arts Month!

In preparation for the upcoming Philippine Arts Festival (PAF), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held its second “Bloggers’ Hour” last Thursday in its headquarters in Intramuros, Manila. The first Bloggers’ Hour was two years ago wherein I signed up as ALAS FILIPINAS. The blogpost I wrote for it was largely ignored in this wonderful country of ours because it was written in Spanish. Although I was hoping to grab the attention of the Spanish-speaking community overseas, it was not a clever move if I had wanted a Filipino audience. Actually, I didn’t. But never mind that. Anyway. This time around, I signed up as the Filipino eScribbler. And yes, I bet this pretty blogpost of mine will garner thousands of hits. Because the NCCA said so.

Last Thursday, me and other fellow bloggers who attended the simple gathering were informed about the upcoming events for the PAF 2014. The PAF is a month-long celebration held every February in time for the National Arts Month which was created by virtue of some presidential decree which nobody has ever heard of. This year, the event will start from January 31 up to March 3.

PAF 2014 will have a “soft opening” later this morning. At exactly 8:00 AM, there will be a flash mob of various artists coupled with performances by hip hop, ballet, and Filipiniana dancers at the Doroteo José station of the Light Railway Transit in Manila. It will be followed by another one at the Metro Railway Transit’s Cubáo station in Quezon City at 10:00 AM. So slackers who plan to be late for work will have a pretty good excuse: “I was mobbed by people with fancy Bohemian clothing, and they were armed with paintbrushes, chisels, and they were talking smack verses! I was totally helpless, boss!”

I’m supposed to be there later but I couldn’t because I haven’t slept yet since yesterday morning, and I’m still wide awake listening to the howling Siberian winds outside, and it’s close to 4:00 AM as I write this, and I have a thousand other lame excuses. But I think the ever-reliable blogger Gemma San José will be there to blog about it. So stay tuned to her blog Lifelong Learning. And yes, her latest blogpost has just saved me (and probably the other bloggers) from further explaining in detail what the highly informative NCCA Chairman Felipe de León, Jr. spoke about during last Thursday’s Bloggers’ Hour. Snippets of his absorbing impromptu speech about Filipino Identity and the arts can be viewed from Hoshi‘s video below:

And yes, that pretty boy to the right of the video is me. Talicogenic pa rin.

NCCA’s Bloggers’ Hour may not be as huge as other blogger events, but I am still honored to be part of it nonetheless especially since it is organized by the country’s bastion of —what else?— culture and the arts.

Hey. It would be nice if you’d get rid of that humdrum existence of yours once in a while. Or even for just a month. Let February do that for you. It’s National Arts Month, and art is on the edge. Better be there when it happens. As they say over at the NCCA, “Halina’t maqui-sining“. It’s guaranteed to get funky and fun. :D

Click here for more photos of Bloggers’ Hour. You may also visit PAF’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Expansionist Red China vs Imperialist Uncle Sam

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Red China vs the US WASPs? Yes. I hate sounding like a warmonger here, but it is bound to happen. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. No two empires in history ever existed at the same time. So one must fall.

And their battleground? Hapless República de Filipinas, of course.

Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it has illegally occupied for years.

It will be an intolerable insult to China

According to experts, the Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea.

Click here for more.

 

It would be sheer luck if no battle ever happens on any part of mainland Philippines. So better be prepared than sorry, that’s all I really wanted to say. Because looking back at our history, most government officials have “safe passages” to fly away anytime from this pork-barrel-riddled country of ours. And we poor commoners are the ones left behind to suffer for their governmental inadequacies, nay, dumbfoundedness and sheer stupidity and cowardice. Well, there’s always an exception, such as the regime of Governor General Simón de Anda (1701-1776).  Hindí nang-iiuan. But that’s another story from another time, when our national identity was at its peak.

It’s hopeless. We are no match against China, of course. And our puppet government has no other choice but to kowtow to Uncle Sam’s every military whim and fancy. Because war is big business. At this point, all we can do is pray and blog and complain and provide some good ‘ol pep talk…

We are mere ants compared to the big boot that is Red China. But they should remember that ants bite back. And the sting lingers.

We are mere dogs chained to our U.S. neocolonial masters. But they should remember that dogs bite back. When we do, it’s usually rabid.

We can easily be defeated, there is no doubt to that. Our military might is a joke; it has become a sham ever since Ferdinand Marcos was ousted unceremoniously. But in the end, the Filipino spirit will never falter. Defiantly.

I don’t usually swear, but right now… I am REALLY angry. So fuck you both, China and US. My middle finger salutes you. Be proud.

Three Kings 2014

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It’s that time of the year again, for gift giving. And since it’s the first day of school this year, we just had fast food early this morning. Healthy.

Here’s hoping that this Filipino tradition —the gift giving every January 6, not the Jollibee Breakfast Meals— would be followed by more Filipino families in the future. Not just us. We kinda feel alone and “Jurassic” whenever we think that we’re the only ones doing this today. Sana hindí lang camí. :-)

Happy Three Kings, everyone!

2014 for the win!

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At the start of every year we always ask ourselves, “what’s in store for me this year?” I’m sure many of you asked poor 2014 about it when it has not even lasted a full day yet. But didn’t it even occur to you that it is us who create our own destiny? A year is not like a box filled with life’s goodies such as those captivating words on the photo above (with acknowledgments to the Fountain International School, by the way). We should not liken life to a calendar year. While life may be a box filled with chocolates, a year is an empty box. And we have an obligation to fill it up. Therefore, it is good ‘ol 2014 who should ask us instead:

“What are you gonna fill me up with?”

A year is just a number. But with our own perseverance and faith in God, we have the capability to make it come alive. Don’t falter whenever you encounter bad-tasting chocolates; that is part of life which Forrest Gump’s mom failed to tell him. Just spit it out and move on. As we say in Spanish: así es la vida.

So let us make 2014 a meaningful one. Happy New Year! And may God bless and guide us all!

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

My other blog is celebrating its seventh year of existence today. Go check it out! And if you like this blog, then you should also like its Facebook page, too. Also, you may want to follow me on Twitter as well so that we could troll attention-hungry celebrities together. :D

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

 

 

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!

Hispanity Day

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To my fellow Filipinos: be aware, be PROUD, of who and what you really are.

“To accuse the Spanish, over and over again, of having brought us all sorts of things, mostly evil, among which we can usually remember nothing very valuable, ‘except, perhaps,’ religion and national unity, is equivalent to saying of a not very model mother, that she has given her child nothing except life, for in the profoundest possible sense, Spain did give birth to us — as a nation, as an historical people. This geographical unit of numberless islands called the Philippines –this mystical unit of numberless tongues, bloods and cultures called a Filipino– was begotten of Spain, is a Spanish creation. The content of our national destiny is ours to create, but the basic form, the temper, the physiognomy, Spain has created for us.”

–Nick Joaquín (La Naval de Manila, October 1943)–

You can’t continue being a Filipino if you continue harboring a hatred of our Spanish past. That glorious epoch is what created us.

 ¡Feliz Día de la Hispanidad! :D

Tropical storm Maring pummels San Pedro, La Laguna

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Habagat and tropical storm Maring. A terrible combination.

This is probably the worst flooding I’ve ever witnessed in the Sampaguita Capital of Filipinas since we moved here in 2004. So when the torrential rains weakened late this morning, I decided to take a walk (or should I say, wade) around the young city. It was a detestable sight.

San Vicente Road underneath San Pedro bridge.

Floodwaters entered many homes.

Calle Mabini at the Población.

Futile dredging.

¡Sigue, lañgóy pá!

National highway. Right goes to Población; left goes towards the San Pedro bridge leading to Muntinlupà City.

The murky waters of the San Isidro River (upstream) taken on top of San Pedro bridge.

Boundary.

San Pedro’s public information officer and local historian Gaudencio “Sonny” Ordoña (white cap) leading a team of rescuers.

Cameraman from GMA News.

The railway below San Pedro bridge. It was engulfed by the rampaging waters of the San Isidro River twice this morning, destroying the shanties of these people.

A variety of filth is impeding the flow of the San Isidro River!

:-(

And now my feet and legs are itching like mad.

CLICK HERE for more photos. In the meantime…

‘Maring’ may turn into typhoon before heading to Taiwan — PAGASA

By 

4:31 pm | Monday, August 19th, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical storm “Maring” (international name Trami) may still intensify into a typhoon before it leaves the country’s area of responsibility on Thursday morning and heads for Taiwan, according to the country’s weather bureau.

Luzon would continue to feel the effects of the habagat (southwest monsoon) being enhanced by Maring, until Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday.

The weather bureau said the habagat dumped the most rain from Sunday morning to Monday on Cavite Province and on Manila in the National Capital Region.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/469103/maring-may-turn-into-typhoon-before-heading-to-taiwan-pagasa#ixzz2cP9vUwbU

There you go.

Happy 442nd birthday to La Laguna, my beloved adoptive province!

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Soon after my discovery of La Laguna province’s long-lost foundation date last year, ordinance #44 , s. 2012 was drafted by then provincial board member Neil Nocon who also chaired the committee on education, tourism, history, arts, and culture.  But up to now, the ordinance has not yet been passed, mainly perhaps because of the previous elections (and Mr. Nocon sadly did not make it to the winners’ circle). Nevertheless, Dr. Nilo Valdecantos, tourism consultant to Governor ER Ejército, did not have to wait for its approval to have the date celebrated. He organized a simple yet lively festivity which took place in his avant-garde café-art gallery called Kape Kesada last night as we welcomed the 28th of July with much music, poetry, and booze!

Last year, the date was celebrated only in our humble abode (and online by a few concerned Lagunenses such as Gil Nielo Almendral of ABOUT LAGUNA). So last night’s event can be considered as the the very first grand celebration of this special occasion as we await the passing of the ordinance that was drafted by the very active and passionate Neil Nocon.

Left to right: me, Dory Colcol, historian Nonia Tiongco (of the Santa Rosa Studies Center), and Dr. Nilo Valdecantos (owner of Kape Kesada and organizer of the event).

Homegrown talents of Paeté.

“Ang La Laguna ay isáng nápacagandang lugar. Mayaman sa calicasan, cultura, at casaysayan. Daluyan ng macasining na camalayán at mg̃a obra. May auit ang bauat diuang malayà.”

—Dr. Nilo Valdecantos—

Mario Valdellón rocks the house!

Many talented and well-known Paeteños graced the affair. Also in this photo are three of Paeté’s best talents, below us seated by the window (left to right): former Paeté mayor Elmoise Afurong (now DTI member for the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Council; he also owns Exotik Restaurant in nearby Kalayaan), world renowned neo-genre painter Dominic Rubio (right below me), and famous movie and TV actor Leandro Baldemor.

With BOSERO photographers of Paeté (left to right: Aieen Tanay, Jade Cadang, Mira Umali, and me).

¡Muchísimas gracias por el apoyo, Señor Nilo Valdecantos! ¡Eres un amigo de buen corazón! =)

With my publisher and editor Ron Yu of In-Frame Media Works.

CLICK HERE for more photos! And watch out for my debut book LA LAGUNA The Heart of the Philippines (an In-Frame Media Works publication) coming out before the year ends! :D

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