Thursday, May 31, 2007
The priest wears a light, white chasuble, which is strangely dubbed as "tunic", and over which is an "outer stole". He wears no alb. His white t-shirt underneath is visible and so is his black pants. He begins in the usual manner and then "good afternoon". He reads from a flimsy pamphlet and acts in the most casual manner.
This isn't fiction. This, unfortunately, is the state of the liturgy in most parishes in the Philippine islands. In fairness, most priests don't act this way because of any malicious intent on their part but because of the overwhelming and widespread culture of mediocrity and laxity in local parish liturgies.
What irks me is that this mediocrity is often prejudicial against most Filipinos who invested so much time, money and energy to create their special day together truly special. I mean, why can't priests appreciate the couples' efforts and then complement their efforts by dressing up for the occasion with their full priestly regalia, worn properly and smartly and celebrating the liturgy with reverence? Instead, often, they reward the couples with ugly vestments, butchered liturgies, and insipid homilies.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
In this case, they seem to be channelling the spirits of boy bands and low-budget yawn feasts:
hat tip: Little Green Footballs
Sunday, May 20, 2007
A similar amount of cringing takes place when I hear of a politician or his spokesman claim to have "paninindigan" but trying to be so vague about his principles as to render me saying in my typically laconic way "oooookkkaayyyy..." whilst scratching my head.
But what can you expect from politics? Are principles lacking or are they simply shrouded for the purpose of keeping the political career of Mr. Politician feasible? I lean more on the latter. Everyone, I believe, has principles, it's just nobody agrees on principles and conflicts ensue on the basis of principles. And in order to minimize conflicts and for political expediency, principles or the articulation of the same is minimized.
And so it is with this in mind do I enjoy the comical affair of local politics in which groups calling for the ouster of a particular government official accuse him/her of a dreadful lack of principles when it is clear that the said politician's principles discourages him/her from doing such abandonment of responsibilities.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Filipinos shouldn't be getting this crap from people in whose countries people can't live peacefully as Christians or democracies are shams. At least we're passionate enough to kill in the name of Democracy and public service! Hahahaha! Idiots.
[M]asonry played an important role in the design of the Philippine flag and that some of its symbols were meant to memorialize the Craft. These assertions are essentially plausible, for the man principally responsible for its design — President Emilio Aguinaldo — was a zealous masonic partisan.
Now I have misgivings about saluting the flag.
The elections remind me of the time I ran for a seat in the Student Council back in High School. Originally, I had no plans of running but after the popular guys established their party and announced their candidacy, the assistant principal called me and another batchmate to a "secret" meeting and castigated us for being indifferent to school politics and urged us "good guys" to establish a party and campaign for seats in the student council. At that time, we knew that we had little chance of prevailing against the candidates of the popular party. They were the cool guys, the guys everybody knew by name, the guys expected by everybody to stick it up to the strict and tight-assed administration and win for us liberties and concessions, like more parties with girls! For students in an exclusive Catholic boys' school, that was a big deal. On the other hand, we were viewed as the nerds' party, conservative lackeys for the school administration, obviously not hip like the other guys. As expected, the popular party dominated the polls and if I recall correctly, we managed to get only one or two seats of the ten. Sounds familiar? Anyway, I wasn't very aware of the achievements of the student council at that time, apart from the interactions we had with the Paulinians of Quezon City, as I was too busy doing stuff in the part of the school. Yeah, I didn't get the student council secretary post. Anyway, the student council president at that time, distinguished, himself, along with the Corps Commander, for beating up a lower batch guy.
Anyway, the whole thing, end to end, gave me a perspective on politics and Filipino [and perhaps generic human] pyschology, which gives me little confidence in the electorate during elections and "popular" candidates. I expect to scratch my head on a regular basis in the next few years...
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
But I wouldn't expect any Filipino teacher calling the Katipunan just that.
I dunno how accurate this wiki entry is, but this should definitely prompt one to revisit and review history apart from the crafted propaganda of those days. Conspiracies against the Church is evidently real if you use the Katipunan as basis. It should be apparent that Masonic machinations against the Church isn't just the fantasy of old clerics.
Anyway, I subscribe to the idea that much of the "history" about the Philippines in the late 19th and early 20th century were fabrications, distortions and propaganda. Much of the conventional history taught in Filipino schools, including Catholic ones I think, treats the Spanish occupation of the Philippines as one of the darkest period of the country. Various evils and atrocities like slavery, widespread discrimination, corruption, clerical abuse, land-grabbing, etc are painted as the norm of those days. The common "history" would lead us to think that the lasting legacy of Spain in the Philippines is limited alone to the Catholic Religion and various bad habits we've acquired from our white colonial masters. And then came our saviors in the likes of Jose Rizal, the Propagandists and the Katipuneros who freed the Filipinos from the clutches of the evil white men in frocks [frailocracy].
Or was it? Knowing some of the goings-on in the world of PR, I've come to realize that this conventional history has the odor of propaganda all over, like the ones that take place in the media on a daily basis. Free media? Yeah right.
Like many of my peers, I was fed the conventional history during my primary and secondary education. Only in college, did I develop a skepticism of history as preached commonly in classrooms these days.
Three things nurtured this skepticism: my college history professor who debunked many myths about Spanish colonial times; Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal without the Overcoat; and a book, whose title I cannot recall at the moment, which recounts the work of Jesuit Fr. Matteo Ricci in China and the controversies surrounding it and the subsequent tensions between the Jesuits and Dominicans which was caused by his work.
Currently, without going into detail, I believe that the 1896 Revolution of the Katipunan was a manifestation of a larger, international movement that inspired the various uprisings in the many Spanish colonies in the late 19th century until the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's, and that it was further inflamed by the religious tensions, including that between the liberal Jesuits and the conservatively corrupt Dominicans and of course the Freemasons, and brewed further by economic and political changes in the world in those days.
Finally got that off my chest.
in clerical circles, expecially among clerics with clout, there is a mental divorce between what is "dogmatic" and what is "pastoral", as if those two essential dimensions of ministry are in conflict. There is a divorce between being "intelligent" and, again, "pastoral", a divorce between "authority" and "pastoral".
Pastoral comes from Pastor, meaning Shepherd. A Shepherd carries a crook which he uses to discipline and guide his flock, beating wayward sheep and pulling them with it by the neck. Being pastoral should never be synonymous to leniency. If ever, the word should mean discipline and getting beaten whenever one goes astray.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Normally, I use deosticks for preventing any trace of putok on my body, but after having tried and liked Nivea's Deodarant Spray which was freely available at the changing room of Hyatt Hotel's gym a couple of times recently, I decided to conduct trials of its efficacy and cost-effectiveness, i.e, if it'll last more than a month, to determine if I'll replace deosticks with the spray. Come on, where's your Franciscan spirit? Anyway, a day after purchasing the product for the first time, I found myself reading casually the ingredients of said deo-spray. The first three caught my attention: Butane, Isobutane, Propane. Vaguely I recalled them to be the primary components of LPG! But in fairness, the canister does have a "extremely flammable" label. Putok indeed. Boom!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Adonis: I believe it has to do with the concept of "oneness", which is reflected - in practical or political terms - in the concept of the hero, the savior, or the leader. This concept offers an inner sense of security to people who are afraid of freedom. Some human beings are afraid of freedom.
Interviewer: Because it is synonymous with anarchy?
Adonis: No, because being free is a great burden. It is by no means easy.
Interviewer: You've got to have a boss ...
Adonis: When you are free, you have to face reality, the world in its entirety. You have to deal with the world's problems, with everything ...
Interviewer: With all the issues ...
Adonis: On the other hand, if we are slaves, we can be content and not have to deal with anything. Just as Allah solves all our problems, the dictator will solve all our problems.
Hmmm... I just can't put my finger on it, but for some reason, I see in Adonis' analysis of Arab culture and psyche a faint semblance of the fatalistic passiveness ["bahala na"] of Filipinos. Perhaps this is a remnant of Muslim influence in the Filipino's psyche.
Hat tip: Jihad Watch and Relapsed Catholic
Monday, May 07, 2007
In the usual case, the city government or any company for that matter, may withhold a portion of its employees' salaries with the intent of remitting the same amount to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The same organization, city government or private corporation, reports the amount payable to the BIR when it files its taxes and it is expected that the organization remits the payment to the BIR via a simple bank transaction. Sounds simple.
Now let's take a look at the Makati case. The BIR is trying to collect from the city government the taxes of its employees it withheld. Take note, the taxes due are that of its employees' and not the city government's. The amount is not computed by the BIR, but is determined and computed by the city government and is reported by the city government via the tax returns.
However, the city government apparently failed to remit the taxes it reported to the BIR. Under the law, an organization that fails to remit payments, despite the filing of tax returns, commits tax evasion. The city government of Makati failed to remits its employees' taxes for several years, accumulating to more than a billion pesos. And for this reason, Mayor Binay admitted that he met with Finance Secretary Gary Teves to find compromise with regard to this issue. He claims that the city will pay P200 million of the P1.1 billion taxes payable.
Well, that last part is the strangest of all and has gotten me to smelling a rat in Makati. Why should the city government negotiate something that doesn't belong to it. The BIR is merely trying to collect the taxes of Makati city government employees' taxes. Not the city government's, not Mayor Binay's, not any other official in Makati. So what gives them the right to negotiate for something that is not directly theirs? They're merely supposed to hold the money in behalf of their employees in order to expedite the collection of taxes.
If the issue is one of computation and determination of the correct amount, shouldn't that have been fixed through amendments of the tax returns with the subsequent and prompt remittance of the amount payable?
The mere fact that Binay admitted to negotiating on something for which he had no right to negotiate raises suspicion. The issue is that the tax is of the employees, and Binay failed to remit the tax which did not belong to him or the city government in the first place. Also note that it is this same city government that reported the amount in its tax returns which is now contesting the amount it reported. Strange that.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
- To be a saint, a Filipino has to go abroad and he has to be martyred. Such was the case for Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod.
- And in four hundred years of Christian culture, we've produced those two so far. Yes, there are others undergoing the process, but their number is small as well.
- Japan and Korea, in a shorter period, have produced more saints than heavily Catholic Philippines.
- Hopefully, massive migration of Filipinos abroad will help fill this shortage. I'd place my bet on Filipinos reviving the faith in Europe and getting martyred by jihadists.
- If a Filipino who doesn't leave Philippine shores manages to get beatified, then he must be a super-saint.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Deforestation and logging do not increase the risk of major floods, according to a new report. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Center for International Forestry Research (Cifor) say the evidence shows no link. Loss of forest cover does play a role in smaller floods and in the loss of fertile topsoil, it says. It accuses Asian governments of blaming floods on small-scale loggers and farmers to deflect criticism.
The perpetrator is one Deo Macalma of DZRH. He is in my opinion, to put it bluntly, one of the most destructive idiots running around the Philippines. And given the fact that he has a radio program in one of the popular local radio stations, he should be considered dangerously moronic. How do these people even get to be on air?
Anyway, in his segment "Espesyal na Balita", he maligned Bishop Emilio Marquez of Lucena for being possibly the most wicked cleric in the country, as most clerics are, for acting in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Apparently, Bishop Marquez refused to give a supposed "lay-leader" a Catholic burial for being a freemason.
Imagine that! The Bishop acted inhumanely by refusing to bless the burial of a freemason! Damn that Bishop for following and enforcing the laws of the Church! Damn that Bishop for being uncoerced by that "lay-leader's" family. Damn that Bishop for later he will surely refuse letting a Muslim have Catholic burial rites!
I am sure Mr. Macalma, being our intrepid and fearless and highly intellectual journalist who on a daily basis imparts his wise insights to the common masses, would be aware that:
Under canon 1374 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Catholics are forbidden to join societies which plot against the Church. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith applied this to Masons, indicating that Catholics who join Masonic organizations are engaged in serious sin and are to be barred from the Eucharist.
Right? And that the Filipino Bishops made the following statement:
To sum up, Catholics are forbidden to join the Masonic Fraternity. Catholics who knowingly and willingly become Masons are automatically excommunicated, they may not receive any of the Sacraments of the Church; they may not act as sponsors in Baptism and confirmation; they may be excluded from acting as witnesses in Catholic marriages where such action would cause scandal, and finally Masons may not be buried in Catholic cemeteries.
Given this 14th day of January, 1954.
For the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines:
(Sgd.)+JULIO ROSALES, D.D.
Archbishop of Cebu
(Sgd.)+JAMES T. G. HAYES, SJ
Archbishop of Cagayan
(Sgd.)+JOSE MA. CUENCO
Archbishop of faro
(Sgd.)+CESAR MA. GUERRERO
Bishop of San Fernando
(Sgd.)+MANUEL M. MASCARINAS
Bishop of Tagbilaran
(Sgd.)+MARIANO A. MADRIAGA
Bishop of Lingayen
(Sgd.)+JUAN C. SL50N
Auxiliary Bishop of Nueva Segovia
Bishop of Tuguegarao
Appointed Bishop of Lipa
Bishop of Bacolod
(Sgd.)+PEREGRIN DE LA FUENTE. OP
Prelature of Batanes‑Babuyanes
Bishop of Palo
Bishop of Legaspi
(Sgd.)+PATRICK SHANLEY, ODC
Prelature of Infanta
(Sgd.) NISGR PATRICK CRONIN
Apostolic Administrator of Ozamiz
(Sgd.) REV. CHARLES VAN DEN OUWELANT, MSC
Apostolic Administrator of Surigao
(Sgd.)+SANTIAGO C. SANCHO
Archbishop of Nueva Segovia
(Sgd.)+PEDRO P. SANTOS
Archbishop of Nueva Caceres
(Sgd.)+RUFINO T. SANTOS
Archbishop of Manila
(Sgd.)+LUIS DEL ROSARIO, SJ
Bishop of Zamboanga
Bishop of Calbayog
Apostolic Administrator of Lucena
(Sgd.)+WILLIAM BRASSEUR, CICM
Vicar Apostolic of Montaïtosa
(Sgd.)+VICENTE P. REYES
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
(Sgd.)+GERARD MONGEAU, OMI
Prelate of Cotabato
Apostolic Administrator of Sulu
(Sgd.)+WILLIAM DUSCHAK, SVD
Vicar Apostolic of Calapan
Bishop of Sorsogon
(Sgd.) MSGR CLOVIS THIBAULT, PME
Apostolic Administrator of Davao
(Sgd.) GREGORIO ESPIGA, ORSA
Apostolic Prefect of Palawan
But why should Mr. Macalma listen to the old guys listed above. He is after the smartest and most authoritative person on the face of the earth and whatever he says on air is the infallible truth that should be obeyed and believed by all faithful Catholics. Bishop Marquez was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! And Macalma right because he's on radio!
And by the way, should anyone ask, I have a digital recording of that segment aired today.
The rankest atheist in the West owes almost all his basic thought categories--from the notion that being a self is good to the notion that freedom is real and good to the notion that desire and property and attachments to real Good is good--to the Christian tradition. The Christian philosophical and theological tradition affords him all the arms he uses in his revolt. And so, we find shallow Baby Boomers adopting Buddhism because it suits their individual preferences, oblivious to the fact that the whole point of Buddhism is the extinction of desire and of the self. These people aren't Buddhists. They're just apostates who have chosen a particularly stupid way to try to hide from God.
Exactly! I'll have to rephrase his words for the local context but his analysis is spot-on.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Second, having casually observed the current administration, I would say that this has to be one of the luckiest, if not the most fortunate, of all Philippine administrations. Despite all the doubts, allegations, coup attempts, scandals and whatever surrounding it, it's still in power despite the fact that it could easily have crumbled from within. This is in no way implying that the operators behind the presidency are skilled manipulators who could conjure up a unifed and specific action against every destabilizing attempt of the opposition, for we've seen, at least through the lens of the media, that that assertion is surely the least accurate. The president's men could hardly be called a monolith. Many times, they won't agree with each other on a petty issue, much less on addressing a major survival issue. Funny how the seemingly immense and numerous forces forming the opposition can't topple an internally-disorganized administration. Often, at the onset the opposition has the upper hand then somewhere along the way, it's steam and unity simply whimpers and peters out. I pray that the same takes place once more.
I know there are security reasons behind these and that there hundreds, perhaps thousands of other millionaires out there who are not inclined to media exposure. But given the circumstance behind a lottery-winner, wouldn't the media be all over him? Hmmm...