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La Familia Viajera — not just another travel blog

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Finally, a travel blog that I could call my own!

Actually, not just mine, but my family‘s. :-)

LA FAMILIA VIAJERA, probably the country’s first and only family travel blog (if there’s already a Filipino blog that has claimed the title first, feel free to pinch my ears when you get to see me). The blog features our very humble exploits wherever our itchy feet take us. It was soft-launched last October 21, two days after we roamed the ancient streets of Intramuros and took photos of fancy stuff there.

Fancy stuff that is our heritage.

Since LA FAMILIA VIAJERA is a family oriented blog, I will be much tamer there. I will try my best not to sound belligerent, no anti-imperialism remarks, no clenched fists raised high above the air, and no Rage Against the Machine blurting out in the background. All that indignation is reserved only for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS (I said I will try my best).

OK. I’ll shut up now and let my third blog do the talking. Please click here for my family’s first entry to its online travelogue.

And oh, did I forget to mention? My long-time nemesis Carlos Celdrán is featured there. Believe it or not. :D

PS: And since I’d be traveling with my wife and four kids in LA FAMILIA VIAJERA, there will be no more travel blogposts in ALAS FILIPINAS and FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES from now on.

 

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.

From Rappler.com.

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.

Various comments from Mideo Cruz’s sick art

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“If you just look at artwork and see what offends you, ambabaw mo (you’re shallow-minded).”
Carlos Celdrán

“What sick mind would think that this sacrilegious work promotes Filipino aesthetics, identity and positive cultural values?”
Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing

“The point is simple: You want to denigrate imams, feel free to do so. You want to make fun of bishops, feel free to do so. But you want to denigrate Islam, or Mohammed, or the Koran, think again. You want to make fun of Christianity, Christ, or the Bible, think again.”
Conrado de Quiros

“It was created by law and funded by our taxes for the purpose of awakening the consciousness of our people to our cultural heritage. Is it our cultural heritage to mock and insult religious personages and icons? Is it aesthetic to vandalize a venerated representation of objects of worship and reverence? Are vulgarity and blasphemy a Filipino value? What Filipino pride can emerge for such works? Is this our national identity? And CCP promotes it?”
Jo Imbong (Executive Director, St. Thomas More Society Inc.)—

Emedeo Cruz (I.N.C.) Sumpain ka, Bakla” and “Bakla Parusahan Ka” (Curse you, fag. You fag, you should be punished).
Hate messages from vandals scrawled across various parts of Cruz’s “artwork”—

My take on this issue? Arnaldo’s recent blogpost pretty much sums up my opinion about Mideo Cruz’s arrogant ignorance and phony artistry. Also, I have this funny feeling that Inquirer columnist Conrado de Quiros, although appearing to be neutral, wouldn’t have written an article regarding this controversy if not for those who vandalized Cruz’s offensive works (“You wreak that, or condone it, what does that say about your beliefs? You wreak that, or condone it, what does that say about your religion?”). In view of his past anti-Church articles, he would have let this Cruz issue go away if not for the vandals.

Imeldific was among the first to react against Cruz's blasphemous and offensive art. CCP, where Cruz's works were exhibited, was a product of hers.

I wish I were a painter. Then I’d paint a picture of Carlos Celdrán, but his nose will be that of a monkey’s prick. Now let’s see how these “intellectuals” and “artists” wannabes will feel about their Dámaso idol being “criticized” through art. If they react negatively, i.e., if they just look at my artwork and see what offends them, ambabaw nilá.

Lucky he, I’m no painter.

Celdrán’s antics are no longer repulsive

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Garbage collectors have been accustomed to the smell of garbage. The smell of filth. That is why they are hardly repulsed anymore whenever they are confronted by a pile of rotting fish and meat mixed with soiled diapers.

Strangely, I find Carlos Celdrán’s latest caper less repulsive, too. Aside from getting used to hearing garbage news on TV, I find his recent tarpaulin controversy more comical than ever before, but still pitiful, nonetheless. This time, however, I have to side with Celdrán against allegations that he’s a “papansín” (loosely translated as a person who perpetually seeks attention from the people around him). This is in relation to what he did two Fridays ago (18 March) against a helpless anti-RH bill tarpaulin.

Check out this video from everybody’s favorite “rational hero”:

As seen from the footage, the self-proclaimed “fat bastard” (Celdrán fans, before you strike, please be advised that this is how he described himself when he commented on a blogpost of mine last year; so there’s no need to be furious, OK? blame your idol, not me) tore down the said tarp —bearing the words “Choose Life, Reject the RH/RP Bill”—, and then ran away with it like a cellphone snatcher.

Right after that, there was complete silence. He did not mention anything at all about that roguery of his in both his Twitter and Facebook accounts. Immediately after stealing the tarp, he bragged in his Facebook account that he opened up an HSBC account in Binondo as well as scrutinized the Department of Tourism’s “Tara Ná” logo.

There was no mention at all about the now controversial tarp that he stole.

So does this latest caper of his make him a “papansín“? Definitely not. Cayá ñga siyá tumátacbo sa vídeo, eh. Dahil ayáw niyáng magpahuli sa guinawá niyáng pagnanacaw. Ayáw niyáng mapansín. Eh caso nahuli.

Now, whatever happened to that no-nonsense, trash-talking, church-profaning Carlos “Fat Bastard” Celdrán that fans loved about him the most? Shouldn’t they be disappointed with their idol, instead? He did not even inform them immediately right after he stole that darned tarp (Celdrán usually updates his “respectful” and “highly intelligent” fans on his daily activities and plans, even the most mundane ones). With all that running of his instead of another no-holds-barred attack against the clergy, it can be surmised, in a way, that Celdrán has gone “soft”.

And why is that?

It should be remembered that Celdrán still has a court case hanging over his head for his unprofessional conduct inside the Manila Cathedral last year. Thus, it is but logical for his lawyer to advise him not to do anything silly anymore especially since they are negotiating for an out-of-court settlement via a pathetic apology that I do not believe is sincere (he proudly proclaims himself a “Cafeteria Catholic” and is affiliated with the anti-Catholic group Filipino Freethinkers).

Unfortunately for Celdrán, focusing too much on his “street heroics” made him forget a Bayani Fernando legacy: the closed-circuit television cameras mounted all over the metropolis. And when reporters contacted him about his CCTV video, it was too late to deny, of course. Aside from the CCTV, there were witnesses. So right after being interviewed by reporters, he posted this on his Facebook fanpage:

Seriously. They have me on CCTV and got witnesses to ‘confirm’ it was me. Dang. I did it 3 p.m. Who says I was trying to hide it?

I do. Because in the video, you were running so fast as if a hungry pack of wolves mistook you for Grimace. And you almost ran down on a motorbike, Carlos (and not the other way around; perhaps that motorcycle dude has nine lives). And just by observing your Facebook statuses and tweets (thank you for following me, by the way; I am so honored, really), it is very obvious that you would never have mentioned anything at all about that tarp you stole if you weren’t caught on CCTV. But you were. So there. Tsk.

If there was no malice intended, especially since Celdrán thought that what he did was something heroic, he shouldn’t have run. He should have just taken that tarp off then walked away with it with his head held up high. But by running away like a thief in the night, he proved to his enemies the kind of coward that he is.

And he added that he is “coming clean”. Really. But why right after being caught on CCTV? He is saying that now only when he learned that we was caught on camera.

I am aghast that his shock-value fans did not even ask him why he was running away with his tail between his legs. Yet they still shower him with praises with his “coming clean” alibi.

Anyway, If I were stupid, I would have believed him, too.

With that pending case of his in jeopardy again, he can be considered as a lawyer’s nightmare. So how to remedy it?

By pulling off another stunt, of course. And again, at the expense of the Catholic Church’s tolerance on forgiveness. So with a barrage of mediamen, Celdrán marched to the church he profaned a year ago, to attend Mass and go to confession for the first time in years.

To my knowledge, he is the only celebrity in the world who publicized in advance his Sacrament of Penance.

There’s your hero.

Let me reiterate: the Church is not involving itself in politics. To halt the creation of life —a very natural process— is not a political but a spiritual issue, something that is already metaphysical even. The Church is entrusted to protect the sanctity of life; the government has breached it. By proposing the RH Bill, the government has tread upon holy grounds, a terra incognita not understood by secularized minds in the government. In effect, the government has declared war against the Church. It was they, not the Church, who made the first volley of shots. CBCP or no CBCP, the Church was merely on the defensive end.

It is the government, not the Catholic Church, who is guilty of violating the separation of Church and State.

We do not need an RH bill. Celdrán, for instance, has been distributing condoms to squatter families in Intramuros for years yet he did not go to jail on orders from an “evil friar”. And just visit your nearest health center; it is almost rare not to spot posters promoting “family reproductive health”. Condoms, pills, ligation in hospitals, heck, they’re everywhere. Frenzy condoms even sponsor rock concerts. You see such products in newspapers and magazines. Even on TV. And that RH Bill has not even been passed yet.

RH Bill proponents claim that this bill is also meant to educate the people about reproductive issues. Come on. I still remember clearly that I first learned about pills, IUDs, condoms, and the like when I was in the sixth grade — and in a Catholic school!

We do not need the RH bill to fight poverty. This overpopulation myth and all that hot garbage are not the cause of our economic woes. As a historian, Celdrán should know better.

Think. Don’t merely grandstand.

What would have been Rizal’s stand on the RH Bill?

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Quae visa placent. —St. Thomas Aquinas—

The website Rational Hero is actually a play on the initials RH which stands for Reproductive Health. The website, launched late last year, is a venture of controversial tour guide Carlos Celdrán, Manila Times journalist Ana Santos, Elizabeth Angsioco of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, and Ryan Tani of Filipino Freethinkers.

The founders of the website Rational Hero, erroneously using Rizal's name to forward their propaganda against the Church (and not just to clamor for the RH bill's enactment into law).

At first glance, one would think that the website is just one of those numerous online sites attributed to or honoring the national hero José Rizal since it bears his familiar photo as well as the tag “Rizal alive in every Filipino”. However, upon further browsing, one will soon realize that the website is all for the support and passing into law of the controversial, divisive, and hotly debated Reproductive Health bill which originated from Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagmán (brother of slain leftist leader Filemón “Ka Popoy” Lagmán). And this website is using Rizal’s name to help further its cause. Worse, many articles in the said website attack the Church itself, and not just about the Church’s stand against the said bill.

Disturbingly, this website is toying around with, nay, taking advantage of Rizal’s well-known battles against the Church, a battle that is already history, and even before Rizal was executed, was already history. Nevertheless, the idea of using Rizal’s former bias against the Catholic Church seemed to be —especially among today’s youth too drunk with intellectualism and a high for romantic adventurism— an ingenious catapult for Celdrán and his group.

If they ever know anything about Rizal’s retraction, then it is obvious that, despite the overwhelming evidence of the document’s veracity, they deny it. Thus, they continue praising Rizal’s anti-Catholic stance to the highest heavens. And this they use to their benefit. They deny that Rizal died a Catholic, that he was deeply sorry for the troubles his novels had caused, and that he was even given a Christian burial (more on this in a future blogpost).

But what if Rizal were alive today, would he even support the controversial bill?

Let us, for argument’s sake, consider Rizal still steadfast to his Masonic beliefs. Let us pretend that Rizal is still anti-friar. Would he join Celdrán et al?

The answer will be in the negative.

No, Catholic or not, Rizal would not even dare support such a bill. He is too rational to commit such stupidity. And why? The way Rizal wisely admonished Pío Valenzuela in Dapitan against the inevitable failure of a bloody revolution (or should I say, rebellion), Rizal will definitely admonish the proud members of Rational Hero. To him, the RH bill will be rubbish and downright evil.

Deism was perhaps the greatest effect of Masonry to Rizal’s mind. For a brief period, Rizal left Catholicism and embraced the idea of natural religion. Rizal believed that through reason and observation of the natural world alone, one can determine that a supreme being created the universe without the need for either faith or organized religion.

When he was in Dapitan, he had a healthy debate (through mail correspondence) with one of his spiritual advisers, Fr. Pablo Pastells, S.J. In the exchange of ideas about the existence of God and of God himself (as compiled and translated by Fr. Raúl J. Bonóan, S.J. in The Rizal-Pastells Correspondence), Rizal wrote:

Even so, I venture to think of him as infinitely wise, mighty, good (my idea of the infinite is imperfect and confused), when I behold the wonders of his works, the order that reigns over the universe, the magnificence and expanse of creation, and the goodness that shines in all.

Unable to pass judgement on what surpasses my powers, I settle for studying God in his creatures like myself and in the voice of my conscience, which only can have come from him. I strive to read and find his will in all that surrounds me and in the mysterious sentiment speaking from within me, which I strive to purify above all else.

It can therefore be gleaned that, even without Christianity in his life, Rizal’s belief in an unknown deity was based on a reasonable reflection of nature. And when we speak of nature, it should be observed that all elements that make it up is filled with harmony: everything in it, from predator-to-prey “relationships” to procreation to speciation, cannot exist without the existence of harmony. And this harmony is based on a metaphysical thread called “unity”. This unity means that every real being is either uncomposed or composed of parts, i.e., if it has no parts, those parts must be united in order for that being to exist, whereas when a composed being falls apart, that being ceases to exist.

Contraceptions prevent life. Therefore, it is anti-life. To make it more simpler, it goes against the natural order of things, something that a deist like Rizal will fight against. In the metaphysical sense of the word, there is no “unity” in the prevention of the creation of life. There is no unity, no harmony, no naturalness whenever man’s baser instincts prevail over the creation of something that is natural, i.e., life.

Furthermore, Rizal’s only child died during birth. Just imagine the grief, the pain of an expectant father whose hopes had died on the day he was expecting it. And after such a traumatic experience, do you even think that Rizal would have opted for “pro-choice” methods? No, I don’t think so.

A newborn human life is supposed to please the senses, our lives. But nowadays, not anymore. In yesteryears, pregnancy is a celebration, a preparation for blessing. But today, the mere mention of pregnancy engulfs the mind with fear. How twisted.

In closing, these proud self-styled “heroes” are merely shaming Rizal by invoking on his name that is clearly anti-Rizal.

Rizal alive in every Filipino? I reckon not. Just ask Willie Revillamé.

Ban Carlos Celdrán from Intramuros!

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If you believe that tour guide Carlos Celdrán should be banned from ever entering Intramuros (“the holy of holies”) forever because of what he did last Thursday, then please do join this Facebook campaign:

Ban Carlos Celdrán from Intramuros!

In the previous century, Intramuros was ruined by the US' unnecessary carpet bombing. Early this century, a homosexual zealot profaned the Walled City's only Minor Basilica. Enough with these desecrations!

¡Un abrazo!

Celdrán’s comedic act and the RH Bill’s empty orgasmic promises

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I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
—Romans 12:1-2—

Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God.
—Evangelium Vitae—

My good ol’ “friend” Caloy is at it again.
But this time, he hit it BIG time.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that I’m a semi-celebrity like Carlos Celdrán. And since I’m a semi-celeb wielding what petty knowledge I have about advocacy and what heroism really is all about, what I will do is pull up a stunt in order for me to be talked about, just like many desperate petty celebs do to make it big, to get noticed, to skyrocket to celebrity status, to be the cream of the public eye.

If I were sincere with what I am fighting for? I will fight for it tooth and nail, but fair and square, with a sincerity that will be (and should be) respected not just by onlookers but even by my most bitter and scornful of enemies.

Sadly, it seems that respect for one’s self —especially for others— was far from the holier-than-thou mind of Celdrán when he pulled a rather wacky publicity stunt yesterday at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros. Dressed like Rizal, Celdrán interrupted an ecumenical service being administered by both Catholic and Protestant leaders. Moving up to the altar, he drew up a placard which bore the name “Damaso” in reference to the unlikeable friar in Rizal’s first novel, obviously mocking the Catholic hierarchy present at that time.

With that large frame of his, it would have been better for Celdrán if he had dressed up as Padre Dámaso himself instead of Rizal. Más bagay.

It was a stunt that would have made Celdrán’s idol, himself a Catholic convert, turn over in his grave in the Luneta.

In what he thought was a heroic act, Celdrán belted out against the Catholic presbytery in frustration: “Stop getting involved in politics!” He was promptly arrested by the police who were present.

To Celdrán’s “heroic” mind, his arrest must have been his shining moment. Overnight, he became a hero to many a sex-starved individual belonging to an asinine generation who, having just read a couple of lines or pages from, say, Sartre or Marx or Hume, picture themselves as all-knowing intellectuals. These WASP-educated youngsters —misled by a secular adventurism foolishly supported by an equally WASP-controlled State— still cling to, and celebrate, the riveting pleasures guaranteed by the Sexual Revolution brought upon by an erroneous Occidental shift in our country’s extrapolitical affairs (way back in 1898), a shift that was to become a sad turning point for our country’s mangled history.

The bone of contention: contraception

If we may use a bit of Joaquinesquerie here, Celdrán had “gone for lost” because of his zeal for the passing into law of the highly polemical House Bill 5043, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Bill, that is still hanging on for dear life (no pun intended).

In response to an unbridled poverty, hunger, and depleting natural resources, RH Bill advocates claim that curbing the population is the answer. The proposed law claims to uphold and promote a “responsible parenthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards”. Furthermore, aside from claims (if not pretense) of a concern for “sustainable human development”, the bill mandates the State to guarantee the Filipino people a “universal access to medically-safe (sic), legal, affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors”.

For just a brief moment, let us ignore the humorous saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In fairness to the RH Bill, its ultimate end —or what is not “skin-deep” to most of us— is to at least alleviate (if not get rid of) poverty, to promote sustainable development, and generally a better life for all, especially the children. For RH Bill and pro-choice champions, it’s simple mathematics: in order to eliminate all human plight, it is necessary to curb the population to maintain some sort of balance, to sustain a natural equilibrium, of a planet (or, in our case, a country) whose natural resources are hardly replenished. A “manageable” population will bring about prosperity, education (and perhaps land) for all, healthy individuals in a world free from food shortage, etc. These advocates who subscribe to the Malthusian theory of population have been led to believe that “the power of population” is far more superior to “the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man”.

But the bottomline is this: RH Bill is all for population control.

Population + Economy = ?

Now, the million-dollar question: will population control do us any good more than the harm raised by those who fear it? Let us then observe two superpowers, China and the US, where the issue of reproductive health is not even an issue.

When we speak of population control, we should look no further but to our “heavily populated” neighbor, China, whose notorious one-child policy has raised more concerned eyebrows than inspired admiration. Although China is now considered as a superpower, its questionable population-control practices hardly had anything to do with its rise to economic stardom, if at all.

In today’s globalized community, to say that a country has risen from the ashes of poverty is to embrace free trade, a liberal democracy that goes by the name of capitalism. That is the norm, the standard. In recent years, China’s gradual shift from a government harboring a state-controlled means of production to one that now endears itself to a McDonald’s-and-Starbucks culture made capitalist-minded scholars to declare that China, at long last, is at par with the US (officially, we now have two modern empires in our midst that will soon be textbook material for future generations).

With regards to China’s case, we should not even talk about the US anymore, arguably the source of all this modern-day reproductive health hullaballoo, and whose many states have even legalized abortion. Just take a look at what happened to their economy during the last three years. Up to now, it is still trying to wheel itself out of economic danger. Obviously, a controlled population was not able to save them from the brunt of a self-defeating economic system which itself had imposed in many a military-weak country (the Philippines included) all the world over.

Warring against the Church

Since time immemorial, the Catholic Church has been up in arms whenever the issue of birth control is raised. But this is not just about pills and condoms and IUDs and anal sex. The issue is more about life. And the sanctity of it.

On 25 July 1968, Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) was promulgated, reaffirming the Catholic Church’s stand against artificial methods of family planning as well as abortion. Since this encyclical was against all types of artificial family planning, it became controversial especially to Catholics who were already compromising in their morals and who were already practicing a contraceptive lifestyle (the Sexual Revolution vis-à-vis Rock “music”, drugs, and Pop Culture as a whole). And not only the Catholic flock but the Catholic hierarchy were divided: almost 50% of American and European bishops were against the ideals of Humanae Vitae.

Years later, on 25 March 1995, Pope John Paul II issued perhaps the longest encyclical letter ever written in history: the Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). It, too, was met by the same hatred and scorn.

Ridiculously, those who point out that the Catholic Church is blind to the poverty surrounding her, as caused by a ballooning population, are shooting themselves on the foot. For if they accuse Church leaders of being inconsiderate towards the RH Bill (which actually has visible loopholes and vagaries to an impartial, considerate, and discerning eye), have they, even for a few seconds, flipped open some pages of the abovementioned encyclicals?

Going back to today’s asinine youth, who seem to claim to have a monopoly of good results (if not the truth), whose laughable ad hominems against the Church make them just that: laughable — in chorus they now sing Celdrán’s infamous words to the priests and the bishops: “Stop getting involved in politics!”

But are they?

If they have been thinking more instead of letting their emotions carry them to comedic heights, have they ever stopped to think that it is the government who is getting involved in Church, nay, metaphysical matters? The Church is entrusted to protect the sanctity of life; the government has breached it. By proposing the RH Bill, the government has tread upon holy grounds, a terra incognita not understood by secularized minds in the government. In effect, the government has declared war against the Church. It was they, not the Church, who made the first volley of shots. CBCP or no CBCP, the Church was merely on the defensive end.

The life covenant

But what really, then, is this life, or “pre-life”, that the Church has sworn to protect?

Anti-Catholics say that there are two main reasons why the Church opposes contraception: because the priests are not married, thus they do not have to live with the economic consequences of a family man, and; the Church want all the Catholics they can have in the world.

Seriously, this is but childish riff-raff.

There is a deeper cause, something sanctifying, amorously metaphysical, logically loveable, even Biblical, philosophically addicting to the extreme.

The reason? Covenant.

This is something I learned during the course of my early married life. It is no secret to close friends and loved ones that my marriage to my wife Yeyette did not start out well. We were young, very young. The marriage was unplanned because the pregnancy was unplanned. Indeed, we committed the usual mistakes of a promiscuous youth (as promiscuous as today’s RH Bill adherents).

When I eloped with my wife, I was a rabid and proud atheist. As the years progressed, my marriage to my wife changed it all. Little by little, during my reconversion to the Catholic Church (aided by books written by yesterday and today’s top theological minds such as Scott Hahn and Patrick Madrid), I realized that our marriage —or marriage as a whole— is actually not a mere social contract (involving the exchange of goods and services) but a covenant, an exchange of persons.

This “marriage covenant” is consummated through a sacred act, a marriage union which nowadays is being belittled, commercialized, trivialized, and treated as mere pleasure stuff. It is called SEX.

Ironically, the anti-Catholic novel, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, knows more about the sacredness of sex than do these anti-Catholic kids drooling behind Celdrán’s nondescriptive swagger.

Now, whenever this sacred act called sex is enacted and renewed, God uses it to give new life. This marital act shows us the mystical life-giving love of this marriage covenant in a very different way. In various covenants found throughout Holy Scripture wherein God’s love is transmitted and shown, it is only through the covenant of marriage where that love becomes more powerful, more feasible, more real. So visible is this power of love from God that it communicates life: a baby inside the mother’s womb!

“Go forth and multiply,” was God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve. This commandment was actually to image God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the Santíssima Trinidad, the “Divine Family”). In the sacred act of sex, the couple becomes one in the covenant of marriage. This “oneness” to which they transform into becomes so manifest, so real that, nine months later, they will have to give it a name.

Therefore, this sacred act, this natural union created by God for man and woman, is thwarted every time contraceptives are used. And that is where the Catholic Church’s ire and indignation comes from. Long before Brown and those people behind him conceptualized “sacred sex”, the Church has already been its most fiercest defender because it already deciphered sex’s “mystical properties” a long, long time ago.

Therefore, contraceptives are, no matter how one puts it, anti-life.

The child miracle

Whenever news of a saintly apparition or perhaps a divine healing is reported on TV, one thing comes to mind: miracles. But miracles happen every day whenever a child is born. Why is this fact so trivialized and given taken for granted?

This I realized when me and Yeyette almost had our first son Momay aborted in late 2003. Thankfully, it never happened. But since then, the way we looked at babies has never been the same.

Having children is the ultimate goal in enacting the marriage covenant. Through marital sex (which is sacred), we fashion a new life, thus we “image” God in the process. The use of contraceptives and other abortifacients inhibits this both sacred and natural act.

And since we arrived at the word natural, why, pray, tell, do we have to put a stop to something natural, i.e., pregnancy?

Before we go off on a tangent, let us go back to the miracle of a newly created life. RH Bill implies that it protects life as well. But it is virtually impossible not to view this implication in a twisted way since it is self-contradicting. All elements within the context of the RH Bill advocate the use of contraceptives. The existence of “it’s all up to the married couple” clauses have already been presupposed simply by the existence and dominance of all these anti-life chemicals, methods, and devices in the said bill.

Whereas Holy Scripture speaks highly of life, RH Bill treats it matter-of-factly.

Nowhere in Scripture will one find an admonition for too much children. On the contrary, virtually every verse in the Holy Bible which has a mention of children spoke of them as only and always a blessing! There is no verse at all which cautioned married couples about the expenses of children outweighing their worth. In the Bible, no blessing was pronounced over those who had perfect spacing between their children, or those who had planned each conception, etc. Even fertility was something to be prized and proud of. It was never considered a curse, a stigma, something that is aberrantly thought of today. It was God who opened and closed the womb. Only He, through marital sex, has the full rights over it, for it is where life is created. And with each new life, a blessing…

A miracle.

To all Christians/Catholics (and those of other denominations, cults, and theists): have you ever asked yourselves if the RH Bill reflect how God saw children?

The logic of this all

In view of the foregoing, one can safely say that all unnatural methods of birth control during sex abort the creation of life. Thus, it is a violation of the natural law. Although one can say that condoms are far more different from clinical abortions —since the former prevents the formation of life, while the latter terminates an already existing life inside the womb—, it is all the same: they both prevent life.

Even if pro-choice proponents point out that human life commences somewhat later than at the moment of conception, one must at the same time recognize that the human fetus is ordered by nature to become an intelligent, free being, an individual fashioned in the image of God. If we deprive even the creation of a human person through marital sex, then we are depriving him or her the right to exist.

I think of my four kids: Krystal, Momay, Jefe, and Juanito. These lovely children of mine would not have existed if I had used artificial methods of family planning. And I will not dare, nor do I have the stomach, to look back to such a possibility of them having not existed at all, a “what if” in my personal history.

What is to be done?

The enemy to poverty is not the Church. Also, the topic of “overpopulation” should be looked into with a more prying mind because, truth to tell, it is virtually a myth. Do not allow congested and overpopulated cities to deceive you. All the problems we have right now which we thought is the result of an overpopulated world is but an imbalance in life brought about by the greed and lust for power by a select few.

And this is true. Otherwise, there would not be militants outside the city streets protesting against the wily powers-that-be, stinking drunk with power and oil and land contracts. All this “politicking” is a subtle war against the Church which has become a poster boy for scapegoating and romanticized attacks by an equally drunk-with-knowledge youth.

Sex is not the culprit here. Uninhibited sex is. And that is exactly what RH Bill is after. Wittingly or unwittingly, it tends to belittle sex as something that is almost routine, like brushing one’s teeth.

If you do not want to have children because you cannot afford to have another mouth to feed, there is a solution for it without having to go through those artificial methods: do not engage in sexual activities. If you claim that it cannot be as simple as that because of the overpowering considerations surrounding your lifestyle, then you have already determined the problem.

We fought for too much freedom, a freedom that we claim can never exist under the Church. So now we got what we want. And this freedom spawned a freak called Pop Culture. And through mass media, Pop Culture has been toying around with man’s baser instincts. Too much freedom has debased human sexuality to a mere plaything. A few years back, you would see semi-naked and naked women only in illicit beer houses and night joints. Now you see semi-naked women gyrating on noontime TV programs in both ABS-CBN and GMA. I won’t be surprised anymore if, say, ten years from now or so, TV dancers will be without clothing anymore. And Celdrán with them, doing the most obscene (perhaps with a placard this time of DOÑA CONSOLACIÓN).

What RH Bill does not tell us

Digging “skin-deep” into the issue now, one should realize sooner or later that the youth are actually being exploited, the same way me and Yeyette were exploited years ago. We all grow up, bound to be curious about sex, about our bodies.

Nothing wrong with that.

But with this youthful curiousness, this innocence, comes a vulnerability with which these conspirators against life are after. And they use the mass media to glamorize sex, to captivate these young people into doing the things that only a couple bound by God’s covenant are ought to be doing.

And to be safe, these conspirators against life subtly create a “sex industry”, for like military matters, sex is BIG BUSINESS. Imagine the millions and perhaps billions of money it would generate for these conspirators.

Also, RH Bill does not, and will never, inform you that many contraceptives are actually abortifacients. They cause early abortion.

Finally, RH Bill, even if enacted into law, will sooner or later show its hollow face. For in reality, contraception is already a failure. Why? Because many Filipinos, like other nationalities, have been using contraceptives long before RH Bill was even framed. The rate of unplanned pregnancy, especially among teenagers, has been rising steadily over the last 30 to 40 years. Many such cases end either in abortion or single parenthood.

Finally, RH Bill, again wittingly or unwittingly, will only promote promiscuity, something that is against the natural order of things. Besides, all promises of contraception, since it was invented during the latter half of the last century, never came through. Instead, we have more promiscuity, therefore more unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, more broken families and single parents, an alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases, sexual crimes against women and children, pornography (that is being, bit by bit, accepted into the mainstream!), abortion trauma, etc.

So this is the kind of society you want? =(

As for Celdrán’s supporters, look at your “hero” now. He still dons his Pepe Rizal suit, smiling whenever there is a photo op for him. What has he done for you? He only created more fame for himself. And he has paved the way for a much sicker society, a society of sex-starved individuals who will one day rape their own children, notwithstanding pet dogs and goldfishes.

If only Rizal were alive —he who died a Catholic, he who died having repented from his immature ways— he would have slapped Celdrán for having maligned his memory.

Yet you call Celdrán your “new José Rizal” just because you claim that he had the balls to defend the freedom of the human genitals from what is supposed to be sacred?

Before I end this rage, let us, again, for argument’s sake, imagine that the Muslims are also against the RH Bill, and that they are the most vocal, more vocal than the Catholic Church…

Will Carlos Celdrán have the same “balls” to invade a Muslim mosque?

I will bet my life that he wouldn’t dare do so. Whatever “balls” he may have will instantly turn into wrinkled grapefruits if he dares to step inside a mosque.

Cowards like him will only attack a weary institution, such as the Church, which has been in constant attack and bullying ever since Jesus Christ was executed.

In closing, Carlos Celdrán’s stunt proved nothing for pro-RH bill advocates. Why? Because his crazy heckling last Thursday inside the Manila Cathedral failed to sway the beliefs of those who are against the RH bill. He only angered them even more. Thus, his childish prank only made the already divided parties more antagonistic against each other. What kind of heroism is that? He not only maligned the Church; he also placed our national hero in a very bad light.

Rizal would have killed himself if he were to see this travesty inside this cell who is desperate to be tagged as a hero. We need more comedy, Caloy. Please.

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