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5 simple ways to defeat the Roman Catholic Church in Filipinas

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The recent visit of Pope Francisco two weeks ago elicited not only spiritual joy among the local Catholic faithful. It also spawned the usual anti-Catholic rhetoric done by holier-than-thou keyboard warriors having a field day bashing the Pope in particular and the Roman Catholic Church in general. Of course it was not the first time the Church played punching bag to scumbags, but the social media bashing comparatively got higher during the Papal Visit.

It is said that people fear and hate what they don’t understand. But we here at FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES are not about to waste our time answering their vitriol point by point. And speaking of point, it really got to a point when it just got tiring to comment and counter-comment. Pointless. So we’ll just give them what they want. If we can’t beat ’em… well, you know the rest.

To these admirable Bible thumpers, we now present to them five simple steps to further win their righteous battle against the evil, the monstrous, the hideous, the despicable, the no good Roman Catholic Church which has, sadly, created and developed a united Filipinas out of several warring heathen islanders.

1) Stop going to universities.

Did you know that the university was a Catholic concept? In fact, the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest university, received authority to run its operations from a Catholic monarch in 1158. Since then, the Roman Catholic Church has become a focal point in the development of the university in the Old World, and it transcended overseas.

Università di Bologna.

Here in Filipinas, the oldest university can be found in —where else?— Spain, hehehe! Anyway, since the university is a Catholic abomination, it doesn’t matter if you enroll in a similar institution in, say, New Era in Quezon City or along Taft Avenue in Malate. So long as they are universities, the Catholic education imprint will forever remain: colleges, courses, commencement exercises, etc.

2) Refrain from using calendars.

While it is true that the Catholic Church did not invent the calendar, the one that we Filipinos are using right now is called the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used civil calendar in the world. And true to its Catholic origins, it was named after the pontiff who introduced it in 1582: Pope Gregory XIII,

2015.

Disgusting, isn’t it? Better if we all go back to using sundials.

3) Start using sign language.

To put it more bluntly, all the languages of Christianized ethnolinguistic groups in the country (Tagálog, Ilongo, Ilocano, Bicolano, Cebuano, etc.) have been augmented via Hispanization, all this courtesy of the evil Spanish friars who performed not only as custodians of the soul but conduits of culture. Because of new tools which the wicked friar had introduced to the country, new concepts emerged among the natives, concepts that didn’t have any equivalent in the native tongue (for example: the cuchara and the tenedor didn’t have local equivalents because they were novelty items). Thus the borrowing of words began. To wit: Tagálog alone has acquired more than 5,000 Spanish root words because of this unnecessary and foul Hispanization. Furthermore, the cruel friars studied and wrote grammar books about the various languages in Filipinas. If not for these friars’ “Dark Ages” zeal, our local languages would have remained stunted, backward, and awkward. Which was a good thing, anyway.

More fodder for conspiracy theorists.

Because the Catholic Church had a hand in developing native tongues (via those heartless friars), one way to fight their influence to is to remove all Filipino words rooted in Spanish such as mesa, silla, polo, para, lunes, enero, libro, calle, aparador, escuela, and thousands more. But since that move will definitely paralyze our native languages, it would be much better if we just use sign language. All the better to annoy Church authorities!

4) Shun civilization altogether.

Going back to those culture villains (i.e., the friars). Weren’t they the ones who gathered the peaceful forest dwellers into one compact community under the sound of the bell, thus disturbing their peace? Christianity aside, weren’t these wicked friars the ones who created towns for the indios to live in? Didn’t they teach them agriculture and food production? Didn’t these friars introduce new crops and fruits such as tomato, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, potato, corn, tobacco, chico, guava, and a host of others? Didn’t these friars teach us how to cook paella and adobo and afritada and mechado? Didn’t they teach us how to sing choir music and play the guitar and the piano and the violin? Didn’t they teach us how to dress to the nines by donning americanas and baro’t saya? Isn’t it true that it was they who taught us book and paper culture? And didn’t they bring with them the chisel and the canvas and the paintbrush which resulted in majestic works of art?

The answer to all the above questions: affirmative. Conclusion: the Roman Catholic Church destroyed our lives. Solution: throw away everything they taught and gave us. It’s much better to live inside a cave and worship a piece of coconut husk (with a beard to match).

5) Forget the Bible.

Who compiled it in the first place?

Too many “official” hashtags for the upcoming papal visit?

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In recent years, hashtags have become the lifeblood for social media’s dynamism, real-time qualities, and fast connectivity to other people sharing the same message or news online. Twitter set the wheels in motion, then other social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram followed suit upon noticing its popularity and usefulness. Hashtagging has now become a big deal in the Internet. Today, we have become a world fixated in hashtags. Even politicians, big business, and religious leaders find it riveting and, in the long run, useful especially in popularizing ideas and messages. And even one’s agenda.

In the past few months leading to Pope Francis’ visit to our country which will happen within this week, we have come across so many “official” hashtags for his historic and spiritual visit. Rappler has #PopeFrancisPH. ABS-CBN uses #PopeTYSM. And so on and so forth.

While these local media giants have all the right to popularize their own hashtag on the upcoming papal visit, let it be known that they are not official. There is only one official hashtag for Pope Francis’ visit. And that is…

#PapalVisitPH is the only official hashtag to Pope Francisco’s visit to Filipinas.

To declare that #PapalVisitPH is the only official hashtag is not being selfish. It’s just setting the record straight that an official hashtag referring to the papal visit should come, of course, from the Catholic Church and not from secular institutions, especially those who are forwarding their LGBT agenda while sucking up to the Pope for recognition.

There would be no INC without the Holy Mother Church

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The below information has been going the rounds on Facebook for days in light of the coming centennial of the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s registration (yes, you read that right: registration, not foundation). I deem it fitting to share because it’s not only informative but also filled with historical tidbits that enlighten.

 

There may be friends from the Iglesia Ni Cristo (originally Iglesia ni Kristo) who will be jovially celebrating their sect’s 100th Anniversary this weekend. This marks their church’s 100th year of thriving from July 27, 1914, the date their sect has been registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission during the American rule. Along with your chatter with your INC friends about their sect’s achievements and assets, let us also share to them some of the significant contributions that our Holy Mother Church had unselfishly endowed to them for their use.

1. The word CHAPEL (“Kapilya”) – Members of the INC use this term often, than the politically correct term “gusaling pangsamba”. But little do they know that the word CHAPEL itself is of purely Catholic origin. The term is first used to call the small housing structures or shrines where the relic cloak of St. Martin of Tours is kept, thus CAPELLA (little cape), from the Latin word CAPA or cloak. The cloak is used by the French knights in their war efforts, asking the intercession of St. Martin of Tours for them to win the battles. As customary, the cloak is transportable, so various housing structures were built in every place to house the cloak relic. The Catholic people use the structure for worship, thus the word CHAPEL became of regular use to mean local small church communities.

The word CHAPEL/KAPILYA is not found in the Bible.

2. The word SANTA CENA (Holy Supper) – Since the Philippines has been under Spanish rule, Spanish language is once part of the Filipino familiar tongue. The Holy Mass then is also widely known as the Holy Supper (even until now), or Santa Cena in Spanish. The founders of the Iglesia Ni Kristo adapted this term to mean their own worship service, particularly using some items somewhat identical to the Catholic Holy Mass (that is, bread and wine)

3. The term ECCLESIASTICAL DISTRICT – From the word ECCLESIA, Latin word for “Church”. Latin-speaking Catholics derived ECCLESIA from the Greek word EKKLESIA, which means “a group of those who were called out.”. An Ecclesiastical District in the INC is in the same principle and means used by the Catholic Church – a group of smaller locales or churches in a significant territory.

4. The term PASTORAL VISITATION – This term constitutes a bishop or an archbishop visiting a parish or a religious entity/territoty for a specific purpose (can also be applied to the Pope, though the term would be a PAPAL VISIT). In the INC, this means a visit of their Executive Minister to a locale.

5. The term IGLESIA – a term used originally by Spanish-speaking Catholics hailing from Hispania (Iberian Peninsula). In Spanish-speaking countries, when you ride a taxi and say to a driver to drive you to an IGLESIA, the cab driver will drive you to the nearest Catholic Church in the area.

Other also noteworthy contributions are the following.

1. The famous architect of their houses of worship is a devout Catholic named Carlos A. Santos-Viola. Gaining respect from the INC, he was repeatedly invited to join the sect, but he declined every time. Carlos served in the Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Quezon City and died on July 31, 1994.

2. Without the Gregorian Calendar promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII, there might be no observance of the July 27, 2014 anniversary, or the date would be different.

Now that was mind-blowing. And the abovementioned information reminds me of Nick Joaquín’s incisive observation about local Christianity. What was that again? Oh, yeah. Here it is…

The Faith has so formed us that even those of us who have left it still speak and write within its frame of reference, still think in terms of its culture, and still carry the consciousness of a will and a conscience at war that so agonizes the Christian. For good or evil, our conversion to Christianity is the event in our history.

¡Viva San Pedro Calungsod!

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VATICAN City, 21 October 2012 — The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI praised the “heroic courage” and “tenacious profession of faith” of Filipinos’ second saint, Pedro Calungsod, during the homily at today’s mass.

In his homily for the canonization ceremony, the Holy Father recalled the life of Saint Pedro in the Marianas mission.

“His desire to win souls for Christ… made him resolute in accepting martyrdom,” he said.

Key in Pope Benedict’s exhortation on the young martyr is the special circumstances of his death – that he could have decided to leave Fr. Diego de San Vitores, but decided to stay on.

Making a direct appeal to modern-day Filipinos, he said, “May the example and courageous witness of Pedro Calungsod inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and to win souls for God!”

The Holy Father also praised Pedro and the six other new saints, for their “…heroic courage, [spending] their lives in total consecration to the Lord and generous service of their brethren.”

Hopefully, the example of Saint Pedro, “will inspire the dear people of the Philippines to announce the Kingdom bravely and win souls for God,” added the Holy Father.

Besides being a day of celebration for the Church because of the canonization, October 21 is also celebrated this year as World Mission Sunday. (Aaron James R. Veloso, taken from CBCP Online Radio).

The battle lines will soon be drawn…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about launching a party list group to advocate for the full return of the Spanish language. Not just in schools, but in the national government. However, comrade Arnaldo Arnáiz‘s skepticism toward something political is beginning to discourage me as well. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it will not push through.

Admittedly, it’s going to be a tough ride to achieve such a feat. We’re virtual unknowns, we neither have the political machinery (i.e., funds) nor enough number of supporters, and we’re beholden to wage slavery which eats up our time. And worse, I even fear that there could only be three of us (with Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera) who share the same line of thinking; we’re not very much sure with José Miguel García yet because, although we’re readers of his PATRIA, we really haven’t talked to him nor seen him in person. We still have to consolidate our thoughts. And we think that Traveler On Foot (who recently pledged support to our advocacy via email) still needs to be “lectured” more on what Filipino identity is all about (this popular blogger’s got full potential).

This lonely war that we’re waging is not merely confined to the struggle for the Spanish language cause in the Philippines. That is just the tip of the iceberg. We consider ourselves as iconoclasts. We go against bigoted and twisted versions of Philippine History, originating particularly from hispanophobic UP professors and instructors (including US-centric walking tour guides who are trying to distort the way you look at Manila — one step at a time), from what Arnaldo calls the “Agoncillo standard” (taken from Teodoro Agoncillo’s myopic and infantile viewpoints on Philippine history). And I even go a step further to declare that –despite Fernando Ziálcita’s objection to it– Christianity and the study of Philippine History should go together, that they are inseparable, that the other one could not go against the other.

In the long run, we would end up going against those who attack our faith no matter how hard we try to distance ourselves from it. As written in my Spanish blog

…Filipinas es, en realidad, una creación española… una gran creación española. Y me atrevo a decir que la reunión entre España y Filipinas es una fuerza mayor increíble. Una obra milagrosa de Dios

He may be our national hero (and I have the highest respect for my tocayo), but his views weren't always rational. And he himself admitted to that.

The greatest paradox this side of the nationalist cosmos would be to defend our Spanish past while assaulting the Catholic Church (which I erroneously did from 2003 to 2004) at the same time. Now, what is hilariously upsetting is to find people on the internet parading the legacy of our national hero, José Rizal, to simply suit to their pseudo-intellectual braggadocio without even knowing who Rizal really was or what he was fighting for. These individuals proudly appear in dailies and radio shows harping about “rationality” here and “godlessness/agnosticism” there, implying that it is “cool to be a freethinker”, and alleging that the Catholic Church is a “destructive force” that needed to be brought down. They take pride being tagged as the “new Filibusters”, wittingly or unwittingly pretending to be the noble saviors of those who are still “wallowing in ignorance” wrought about by an alleged Catholic despotism. I may cry.

These irrational filibusteros keep on whining about Catholic faults and failures. But Arnaldo wisely observed that they are exactly the fruits of what they claim to be as Catholic errors.

Something’s gotta give. They’re looking for war. We’ll give ’em one.

This we swear: the battle lines will soon be drawn. Just wait and see…

The mist is rising.

A Rizalian Challenge

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“Kaniya-kaniyang Rizal…”

–Cris Villanueva in Bayaning Third World

Today, the Philippines, as always, celebrates its national hero’s 113th martyrdom. As always, renowned politicians, attention-hungry statesmen, and a wild caboodle of TV-familiar faces who are in control of government and business are all over public plazas frothing out “nationalistic” fervor in relation to Rizal’s life, works, and influence. This will continue on and on and on, a vicious and aching cycle for a nation attuned to the vices of modern technology.

Nowadays, who cares about Rizal? Who reads him? I mean, who really reads him? Would an avid Rizalian be able to share his heroism towards the masses who would rather pay more attention to bring food to their homes at least twice a day? Ambeth Ocampo does, but mostly towards students who are affluent enough to be able to enroll in posh schools like La Salle or the Ateneo.

But here lies the question: why is there a need to study Rizal? For the simple reason that he is the key towards identifying the Filipino national identity. Not that he was the first Filipino (in a way, he was, in the romantic context of León Mª Guerrero), but whenever there is a mention of Philippine history, this Calambeño will easily come into mind. Besides, Rizal did have something to do with national identity; he lived in that identity which was later lost when we were invaded in 1898 and which, up to now, our generation is still looking for (or is it?)

Rizal, as well as his contemporaries, but especially him, knew where he stood. National identity was never a dilemma nor a mystery for him. Nor was it a mystery for the rest of the Ilustrados and majority of Filipinos. Knowledge of national identity is power. And with this, Rizal and the rest of the Ilustrados had knowledge of this power; the only problem was some of them didn’t know how to use it.

The scenario today is twice as frightening: we don’t know our true national identity, thus we are powerless.

Since Rizal, among other venerated people of the past, is the most conspicuous and most widely known throughout the islands, it is but wise to use him as the key to opening that treasure chest of knowledge of our national identity that has been long searched for and debated.

But there is yet another problem: Which Rizal should we use?

This realization behind the mystery of Rizal was raised upon watching the last scenes of Mike de León’s film biopic Bayaning Third World (winner of the Gawad Urian Awards 2000).

At the end of the movie, Cris Villanueva’s character, which was dumbfounded behind the controversies surrounding Rizal’s retraction, couldn’t help but mention “Kaniya-kaniyang Rizal” (each has his own version of Rizal). This was a result of his and Ricky Daváo’s character’s frustration over their unresolved search for the truth behind Rizal’s retraction from Masonry.

Did he or did he not retract?

Standing on top of the heap of all this controversy was a Vincentian from the San Carlos Seminary, Jesús Mª Cavanna, C.M.

Several decades ago, he published a massive tome: Rizal’s Unfading Glory (a Documentary History of the Conversion of Dr. José Rizal, 1956). Cavanna’s brilliant defense that Rizal did return to the Catholic Church seemed up to now unbeatable. In the book, through the strengthening of the “Rizal did retract” postulation, Cavanna virtually stripped Rizal’s novels and vitriolic essays off every trace of heroism. Indeed, what is so heroic behind irresponsible calumnies against an institution which technically created a nation? But the gist of the book is that Rizal’s heroism may be found in the retraction itself — he fought for what he thought was evil, unjust. He aligned himself against forbidden secret societies, read books that were included in the Index of Forbidden Books. All this he did for love of country. The retraction he did for love of God.

In view of the foregoing, the truth behind Rizal’s retraction is terribly crucial: if he didn’t retract, that only goes to show that everything he wrote against the Catholic Church, no matter how baseless and Satiric, were true. That would have given Christianity in the country a gaping hole. That could only mean that Dan Brown is right about the Church after all. On the other hand, if Rizal did retract, what’s all this talk of Rizalian heroism during his birth and death anniversaries?

No matter how strong Fr. Cavanna’s evidence is, skeptics remain. Thus, it is up to the historian in general and to the Rizalian scholar in particular to finish this discussion once and for all. We may never know where Bonifacio was exactly buried. We may never know where the first cry of revolt was made. We may not even know the real reason behind Gomburza’s execution. But with Rizal, perhaps the most self-documented Filipino hero of all time, everything to know about him is all set on the table; all we need to do is to have a discerning eye, a conscious mind, a relaxed judgment of facts.

Not to mention a huge amount of patience and time.

In order to know Rizal, we should follow and faithfully observe his life. One step at a time. In order to know Rizal, we have to get into his mind.

To the historian and Rizalian scholar lies the brunt of responsibility. He must think and feel like Rizal. He must follow his every movement — from his childhood days in Calambâ to his misadventures in Biñán. From his poetic youth in Manila to his sojourn in Singapore and elsewhere. From his cold lonely nights in Europe to his peaceful days in Dapitan. From his final moments in Fort Santiago to Eternity.

He must think like Rizal. He should literally read all the books Rizal read, page by page, word for word. After reading, the Rizalian should learn how to daydream like Rizal, and how the latter felt after reading the triumphs of his literary heroes. Was it a feeling of triumph, of wild ambition, of a realization?

He should feel like Rizal: meditate on the heartaches and the pains of a broken heart, from Batangas all the way to Europe. He should discover how Rizal felt when he secretly left his parents on his way to the Old World.

He should be able to answer why Rizal hated the very institution which nurtured his hunger for knowledge, and quenched his thirst for the sciences. Why did he rebel against those who supported his desire to make love with the arts and letters?

The Rizalian should know the hidden fears, excitement, and awe that Rizal must have felt upon entering the Lodge door. If the need arises, the Rizalian, if religious, should make a pact with God before entering the Lodge just as to know more about the evolution of this Renaissance Man from Calambâ. Within the Lodge lies so many answers behind the evolution of Rizal’s rebellious character later on in his life.

The Rizalian must learn how to talk to God, for that was how Rizal was: deeply spiritual man despite his Masonic degrees. And in this spiritual puzzle, the Rizalian must be able to delve in order to solve it.

He must undergo a lot of challenges. He must undergo a transformation. He must become José Rizal. Because Rizal was never human. First and foremost, he was a man, sent by God to challenge our iniquities in these direst of times.

All this the Rizalian must face — if he wishes to finally decipher Rizal and his religious conversions. Only an end to this retraction hullaballoo will finally get rid of the rust that has encrusted our “key” which can open the age-old chest hiding our national identity…

For each Filipino cannot have his own version of Rizal, nor he be allowed to have his own fancy of the national hero…

We should only have one Pepe Rizal.

*******

This is a repost (with minor edits) from an article which I wrote for Skirmisher last 19 June 2008.

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