Friday, February 26, 2010


US returns historical artifacts to Iraq

What about the bells of Balanginga?

Cabral to give away contraceptive pills this time

The Secretary really rocks the boat.

Teodoro: A college graduate for each family

I like how Mr. Teodoro runs his campaign, and he doesn’t throw mud left and right.

Quote of the Day:

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.”

-Josh Billings

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On flimsy raincoats and storms

Churchmen denounce free condom distribution

Bishops want Cabral’s head over condoms

Teodoro backs DoH chief in condom row vs Catholic Church

DoH intensifies condom program to stop HIV-AIDS
Time and again, whenever the issue of contraceptives hits the public sphere with an uproar, we can be sure that familiar tunes ring out. Separation of Church and State. Relative morality. Common "good".

Thus, recently appointed DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral states:

“We are not a religious state, such as Iran. We are a secular state where there is separation of church from state,” she pointed out.

You see, whenever the church speaks out on governance issues with a moral dimension, there comes the howls of separation of church and state. Nothwithstanding that the principle of separation is basically a prohibition to the state and not a prohibition for the church to speak out on moral issues in which it has a pastoral duty to do so.

Cabral emphasized that “while it is very important for us to find out what they think, to cooperate with them in areas where we can be cooperating with, the government is the government and must do what it thinks is right for everybody.”

Same thing. The church is the church and it must do its pastoral duty, which is also a right. Freedom of expression by the way.

"Not everybody in the Philippines belongs to one church,” she also stressed.

And for good measure, not everybody understands what it means to belong to the Church. I am not sure if Secretary Cabral is Catholic, much less knows how to act like one in public. She talks about "cooperating (with the church) in areas", but for one thing, the moral theology with respect to formal cooperation with evil seems to have been lost on her.

At the same time, Cabral said they would always be "willing to discuss and negotiate (with Catholic Church officials).”

I wonder what she means, negotiate. Probably negotiate with the Church officials that a few key doctrines might be swept under the rug?

During the past two months, HIV-AIDS cases have “gone up to four persons diagnosed (with the disease) every day.”...

"We really need to do something about it,” Cabral said.

Of course. Still, the sure-fire method of staying safe and dry is to get out of the rain, rather than putting on a flimsy raincoat and braving the storms.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On prophesying the candidate's name above every name

Politicians show up at ‘feast’ of Davao pastor’s ministry

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It was a night of forgiveness, sweet talk, a confession of jealousy and, of course, politics.

For the politicians who were present during the 25th Feast of the "Tabernacles of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name," on Sunday night here, the event was an opportunity to die for. At least 30,000 followers of the charismatic and influential Pastor Apollo Quiboloy were in attendance...

On stage, Teodoro was seated to Quiboloy’s right while Estrada was to his left...

Other politicians who arrived were vice presidential bet Bayani Fernando, senators Tito Sotto, Juan Ponce Enrile, Lito Lapid, Jinggoy Estrada, Representative Teofisto Guingona III, Representative Ompong Plaza. Also present were senatorial candidates Gwen Pimentel, JP Bautista, Raul Lambino and Sylvestre Bello...

Pastor Quiboloy heads the Davao-based sect called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name. Now, he is bound to announce his presidential candidate's name above every other name. Actually, Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas already paid their respects to Pastor Quiliboy way ahead of this motley group of politicians.

It is certainly fair, legit, and moral to seek the support of any licit leader, as long as you don't sell your soul. Hmm.

It is not very hard to understand why these people are seeking the good graces of Pastor Quiboloy, who sees himself as the "Appointed Son of God". Reportedly, his group claims a following of six million souls. That's six million people who would most probably vote according to conscience - Quiboloy's conscience, that is. After all, Quiboloy thinks God will reveal to him the best person to lead this country as he claims prophetic powers. I hope he could also foresee how this country's myriad problems could be solved. His "revelation" is keenly awaited with bated breath, and it must be coming forthrightly as God will surely not withhold crucial information to his own "appointed Son", would he. The thing is, once Quiboloy chooses a candidate that is supposedly revealed to him, and that candidate loses eventually, then it's going to be a horrendous disaster to his prophet image. Would he soon announce a candidate's name above every other name and risk the fall-out? In the event of a costly mistake, he can always claim afterwards that it was an "erroneous conscience", or that the prophecy was actually for 2016. I hope that counts. Meanwhile, Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, commenting about this latest development, appeared to be tickled pink.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Abaruray. The dance is believed to have been derived from "Aba! Ruray?!", probably an exclamation to a dancer who was very skillful with balancing the glass on her head despite very difficult dance steps. Though obvious that the name was derived from a sort of a 'spectacular' or daring dance piece, there are however, equally beautiful versions of the Abaruray less the wine-glass balancing act. The most popular among which is the Abaruray de Catanauan from Catanauan, Quezon Province. The version is popular among Southern Tagalog festivities like baptisms, town or barrio fiestas and similar festive occasions. (source)

Couples For Christ NB5C presented the Abaruray dance in yesterday's program for the Fiesta 2010 Holy Family Parish Organizations Night.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad - by Google

Sure looks like one. Courtship, marriage in church, birth of child, family. Great advertising reflects what is good and natural. Kudos, Google.

H/T The Catholic Key Blog

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heeding a call

Sunday Morning, February 7

I was relaxing by the garden late this Sunday morning when I noticed some birds chirping by the trees quite very near. I was fascinated by their soothing, musical sounds, so I whipped up my mobile camera-phone, sauntered towards the trees slowly, and tried to capture a video record of the birds as they were happily chirping along. I was very careful not to alarm the birds as I focused my camera-phone, when my eldest son suddenly appeared, calling me from behind. I was startled (so were the birds), and that abruptly ended my fanciful moment. Sigh.

In this Sunday's Gospel (Lk 5:1-11), we see Simon Peter's normal life being interrupted. "When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him". Simon Peter and the rest of the disciples heeded the call to leave everything and follow Him. It must be a reminder that in every time and place, God calls us to heed certain calls in accordance with His plan, and we must act not for our personal interests alone.

Back to my little episode. It appeared that my son called me because he was just so eager to share a recent sports story that captured his interest. As I had scant time to update myself with sports developments, his story quickly captured my rapt attention. It turned out that listening to him talk was more fascinating and much more worthwhile than watching and listening to the birds.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

killed bill

Reproductive health bill dead in Congress

MANILA, Philippines - With only one session left today, the House of Representatives has shelved the Church-opposed reproductive health bill. The bill was supposed to be debated in the plenary, the closest it has ever gotten to being passed in its 23-year existence.

"We cannot accommodate that (House Bill 5043) in the last two session days. There are 20 congressmen who have lined up to interpellate (on the measure)," Speaker Prospero Nograles said in a press briefing yesterday...

Well, there goes the RH bill down under.

It is pitiful that a lot of time, energy, money and acrimonious debates were spent on a proposal that produces nothing in the end. This kind of thing translates to wasted, precious legislative resources (read: gazillions of taxpayers' money) getting burned to death. What we really need are concrete legislative actions that push productivity: not grand privilege speeches, endless legislative inquiries, internal wranglings, and bills that are bound to die. Or bills that are bound to kill, rather.