Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zero sum

Aquino on sex ed: ‘Zero education might lead to wrong decisions’

MANILA, Philippines—While he withheld his position on sex education, President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III believes that "zero education” “might lead to wrong decisions."

Aquino made the statement on Tuesday amid strong opposition against the inclusion of sex education in public schools.

"I will have to talk to Bro. Armin (Luistro) to discuss with him my views on this," he told a press conference, referring to newly-appointed education secretary.

"Pero bottomline po n’yan, hindi ko maadopt ‘yong policy noong pinaka conservative elements na noong kampanya po iminumungkuhi sa atin ay huwag pag usapan, parang zero education," Aquino said.

"So zero education means ignorance and ignorance might lead to wrong decisions," he said.
President Aquino is right. Zero sex education is wrong.

I wonder who are those "pinaka conservative elements" who propose zero education on sex. Certainly it could not be the official Catholic position that he refers to, as it has been ascertained that the church is not against sex education per se. I noted here that Catholic schools have actually been teaching sex education for a long time. In a recent column, Antonio Montalvan cites a Vatican Council declaration, Gravissimum Educationis, that recommended that “young people should begin as they grow older to receive a positive and prudent education in matters relating to sex.”.

The issue is all about the moral content in sex education.

Thus, incoming DepEd chief Luistro was on the right track when he said :“The first question here is not whether I favor or not (sex education). I think what we should be talking about here is what kind of education will we be giving. There should really be dialogue,”.

What kind of sex education should we be giving?

For example, should Catholic schools keep their students ignorant about contraceptives? I hold the position that they should not, in the course of teaching sex education. The scientific aspects pertaining to contraceptives should be taught likewise, at the proper age, with respect to its scientific facts, effectiveness, medical issues, together with its established and potentially dangerous effects. Even as NFP should be taught with all its facts and potential drawbacks, students should also be intellectually informed on the factual purpose and effects of various contraceptives. For instance, students must understand why most contraceptives have been justifiably categorized as abortifacients. Along the way, Catholic schools should have the full freedom to teach that sex is meant for the unitive and procreative aspects in a solemnized marriage, and that contraceptives are intrinsically evil. Why? Simply because that is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Magisterium, whether dissenters like it or not. No other ways about it.

Should non-Catholic schools teach otherwise? In like manner, I am of the position that other educational institutions, NGOs or other private entities should have the freedom under the law to conduct courses in sex education even if it does not square with the Catholic standpoint. While we are free to advocate our respective positions, we should respect the legitimate exercise of beliefs either way, and this seems to be lost on the proponents of liberal sex education. We are in a democratic country, with reasonable guarantees of freedom of expression. Therein lies a caveat, as our Constitution guarantees the "natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character". Secular sex education courses that are at variance with one's beliefs should be offered and taken on a strictly voluntary basis. There must be an opt-out provision wherein parents can decide. No coercions, either way.

That said, I wonder what the authors of the RH-bill were thinking when they insisted on its provision of mandatory sex education advocating the use of contraceptives in ALL schools - Catholic or otherwise. It also remains a puzzle why former DepEd chief Mona Valisno implemented sex education without first revealing its modules for proper consultation, even as the move brazenly bypassed a point of legal infirmity. She was apparently of the position that she can implement portions of the RH-bill disregarding the fact that it has not yet been enacted into law. The way these people look at it, it is not about zero education alright, but it is all about a zero sum game.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aquino names Cabinet members

The members of Aquino’s Cabinet are:

1. Paquito Ochoa Jr., Executive Secretary

2. Alberto Romulo, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs

3. Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Department of Finance

4. Leila de Lima, Secretary of Department of Justice

5. Voltaire Gazmin, Secretary of Department of National Defense

6. Bro. Armin Luistro, Secretary of Department of Education

7. Florencio Abad, Secretary of Department of Budget and Management

8. Cayetano Paderanga Jr., Secretary of National Economic Development Authority

9. Proceso Alcala, Secretary of Department of Agriculture

10. Ramon Paje, Secretary of Department Environment and Natural Resources

11. Jose "Ping" de Jesus, Secretary of Department of Transportations and Communications.

12. Rosalinda Baldoz, Secretary of Department of Labor and Employment

13. Enrique Ona, Secretary of Department of Health

14. Alberto Lim, Secretary of Department of Tourism

15. Gregory Domingo, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry

16. Corazon Soliman, Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development

17. Mario Montejo, Secretary of Department of Science and Technology

18. Jose Rene Almendras, Secretary of Department of Energy

19. Rogelio Singson, Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways

20. Virgilio de los Reyes, Secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform

21. Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on peace process

22. Julia Abad, presidential management staff chief

23. Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesman

24. Eduardo de Mesa, presidential legal counsel

25. Patricia Liguanan, Chairman of Commission on Higher Education

26. Kim Jacinto-Henares, Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue

27. Benigno Aquino III, Secretary of Department of Interior and Local Government


Presidential quote: “You will see old and new faces, the young and also young, but the bottomline is these are the people, who I believe have committed (to solve the problems of the country),”
I have no reason not to believe so. May the Lord guide and strengthen you all.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


Gays ask Aquino to back anti-discrimination, RH bills

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Members of gays and lesbians groups here danced to disco music along downtown Baguio on Sunday, celebrating the 4th Baguio Pride Week by preaching gay rights in their colorful costumes and wigs.

But behind the make-up and Michael Jackson afro wigs was a serious campaign to draw the attention of incoming President Benigno Aquino III -- scheduled to be sworn into office on June 30 -- to issues of gay rights and reproductive health issues, said Bemz Benedito, the first nominee and national secretary of the party-list group Ang Ladlad.

Benedito said the national organization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) was persuaded by incoming Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman to join the Aquino volunteer network and campaign for Aquino in exchange for support for measures institutionalizing reproductive health (RH) and anti-discrimination laws.

“Maniningil na kami (It’s time for payback),” he said...

On April 9, the Supreme Court reversed Comelec’s decision, arguing that to reject a gay party-list group “on purely moral grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals rather than a tool to further any substantial public interest.”

Benedito said the high court’s ruling came too late for their campaign. “So we campaigned for Noynoy and we now have started lobbying aggressively with the [representatives who won the elections] to try to get the anti-discrimination and RH bills reinstated for the incoming Congress,” he said.

“We have just sat with Quezon City Rep. Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. [who is being groomed by the Liberal Party as Speaker] and he said he would support the bills in principle, provided we can get him the numbers,” he said.

What ? WHAT ?!?!?
Dinky Soliman and Sonny Belmonte engaged in wheeling-dealing with Ang Ladlad ???
Public officials worth their salt wouldn't admit to promising or influencing public policy based on favor/s granted.

Incredible. I almost spewed my coffee into the monitor.

Ok, let's repeat Ang Ladlad's Benedito's statements;

... (LGBT) was persuaded by incoming Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman to join the Aquino volunteer network and campaign for Aquino in exchange for support for measures institutionalizing reproductive health (RH) and anti-discrimination laws.
“We have just sat with Quezon City Rep. Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. [who is being groomed by the Liberal Party as Speaker] and he said he would support the bills in principle, provided we can get him the numbers,” he said.

I take note of the words " exchange for support..." (reportedly by Soliman) and "...provided we can get him the numbers" (reportedly by Belmonte).

Ang Ladlad's Bendito should realize he (she?) is attributing statements that put the integrity of the two prominent figures in question. Legislative policies and positions of public interest are decided on its objective merits ALONE, and not in exchange for private favors granted.
I dare ANYONE to contest that.

Dinky Soliman and Sonny Belmonte should clarify this issue ASAP.

President Aquino, these things should not be allowed to pass.

"Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap".

Power made perfect

Sunday - June 27, 2010.

...On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,but they would not welcome him,
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village...
(Lk 9:51-62)

This passage relating to the disciples James and John struck me with some amusement. They must have been reading too much of Elijah. At the time, it was evident that the disciples were still on the journey to spiritual maturity, at which they were still overcome by their human feelings of bravado and revenge. Although they realized they had some amount of power connected with their intimate association with Jesus, they did not yet realize the ultimate meaning of that real power. This reminds me of that memorable line in the spiderman movies: "With great power comes great responsibility".

The Samaritan village did not welcome them, and I imagine the two offended disciples could have been pelted by overripe tomatoes. It is easy to see why they thought of invoking fire from heaven to get back at their offenders. This kind of reaction is a worldly reaction to trials, and that is why "Jesus turned around and rebuked them". Didn't Jesus say we should love our enemies? Did He not tell us to do unto others what we want others to do unto us? Divine power is for a higher purpose - He desires the salvation of all.

It is not so easy not to succumb to our emotional reactions to those which offend us. All of us are subjected to these kinds of trials, and in my case this typically happens while I am driving on the road. A usual instance is when a reckless driver would suddenly swerve into my lane causing me to hit the brakes abruptly. This so infuriates me for a moment, enough to wish that all four tires of that reckless vehicle go flat all at the same time. Certainly, the traffic cops should accost this person. In a while I would will myself to calm down, as I realize I had to pray for the conversion of that driver, for his sake and for the sake of the other drivers on the road. Wishing that driver to suffer four flat tires was not very Christianlike, I thought. Well... maybe one flat tire was enough.

The disciples soon realize that the greatest power and strength emanates from the love of our Risen Savior. It comes with immense responsibilities for whomever is gifted with it. It also turns our worldly concepts of power and strength upside down, but it is the only kind of power and strength that matters. In 2 Cor 12:9, St Paul typified the disciples' ultimate strength when he acknowledged Jesus' power inside him. Jesus said to Paul:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.".

Friday, June 25, 2010

Odds and Ends 6/25/10

Solon to Luistro: View sex education with an open mind

MANILA, Philippines--A staunch advocate of reproductive health in the House of Representatives urged newly-appointed Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro to view with open mind the need to pursue sexuality education for children.

“Sex or reproductive health education is one aspect our society direly needs . . .This, I believe is something that Secretary Luistro will consider,” Iloilo Representative Janette Garin said in a text message.

Garin says view sex education with an open mind - as opposed to viewing sex education with a closed mind? Of course what the "open-minded" solon means is that all those who oppose sex education are closed-minded people. If we go by the declaration of this solon (a rabid advocate of contraceptives) who feels she and her RH-bill cohorts are the only thinking persons around, the only thing to do for the incoming DepEd Secretary is to approve of the UN-prescribed brand of sex education, otherwise he must be automatically branded as closed-minded. Again, again, again: The church is not against sex education per se. Catholic schools have been teaching sex education for a long time. What the church is against is the faith-incompatible instruction (read:immoral teaching) that goes along with their version of secular sex education. Show us the modules if it ain't so.

"...direly needs....", my foot.
Tennis: Longest-ever match finishes after 11 hours 5 minutes

LONDON—(UPDATE) The longest tennis match in history finally finished on Thursday after an epic 11 hours and five minutes at Wimbledon, with John Isner beating Nicolas Mahut by an incredible 70-68 in the final set.

American Isner dropped his racquet and fell to the ground in delight before embracing his opponent at the net when the marathon match ended at last – two days after it had begun.

A host of tennis records were shattered in an extraordinary contest which finally ended at 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/3), 70-68, a record unlikely ever to be beaten.

Had this been a basketball game, it would be a lot like going through 20 overtimes. These two guys hit more than 200 aces between themselves, and it appears neither of them lost their serves that much. This thing can only happen in the fast surfaces of Wimbledon. At least it was also an historic treat for the spectators, whose tickets were good for 3 days. Bravo!
Lasers Reveal First Icons of Sts. Peter and Paul
Vatican Unveils 4th Century Paintings found in Chamber Beneath Office Building in Downtown Rome

(AP) Twenty-first century laser technology has opened a window into the early days of the Catholic Church, guiding researchers through the dank catacombs beneath Rome to a startling find: the first known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Vatican officials on Tuesday unveiled the paintings, located in an underground burial chamber under an eight-story modern office building on a busy street in a working-class neighborhood of Rome.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the brilliant dark colors of the original paintings underneath...

Monsignor Giovanni Carru, the No. 2 in the Vatican's Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, which maintains the catacombs, said:

"The Christian catacombs, while giving us value with a religious and cultural patrimony, represent an eloquent and significant testimony of Christianity at its origin,".


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DepEd's SexEd fumbles...

DepEd stops sex education program

MANILA, June 22, 2010—The government on Tuesday put on hold the teaching of sex education in public schools amid strong opposition from the country’s influential Catholic Church.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said the implementation of the controversial program is postponed until after consultations with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“We decided to hold sex education module in abeyance until a final decision is made on the consulting process,” Valisno said...
Mighty strange the way DepEd blew hot and cold on this issue. They couldn't have been intimidated by the class suit filed by CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong in behalf of parents. The DepEd chief herself claimed the decision to suspend the implementation had nothing to do with the case filed against them.In fact, she already went ahead with the sex ed program without waiting for the consultations to transpire and then suddenly stopped it. So, what gives? Most likely, they ran into problems that they were not prepared to handle. To illustrate, a typical field account goes as follows:

(In a grade 6 classroom)

Teacher Pedro: Ok class, the lesson for today is about pregnancy.
Does anyone know what pregnancy means?...Juanita! stop talking there!
Now stand up and answer my question!

Juanita (stands up): er, what question sir?

Teacher Pedro: Hmmp. I asked what does pregnancy mean.

Juanita: Pregnancy means...when my mother expects a baby and her tummy grows bigger?

Teacher Pedro: Well, yes...but pregnancy can also happen to to any female, not just to married mothers. In fact it can also happen to you! When a male and a female engages in irresponsible sex, the female can get pregnant.

Juanita: But teacher, what does irresponsible sex mean?

Teacher Pedro: It means when you are too young and not yet ready to get pregnant, having sex is irresponsible.

Juanita: But teacher, does it mean absolutely not having sex until you are older and ready to be pregnant?

Teacher Pedro: much as possible. Now when you really, really, really cannot help it...there are ways where you can actually enjoy sex without getting pregnant. Yes, for example there is a preventive device called 'condom'. In fact I have an actual specimen of a condom here... (holds it up and shows it to the class) -- this is supposed to be worn by the males during sex to prevent the female partner from getting pregnant. It is 85% effective...

Juanita: My, what an interesting device! It looks like a party balloon! How is it used to prevent pregnancy? Teacher, please give us an actual demonstration.

Class: Yes! Yes!! Show and tell ! Demonstrate to us by wearing it please, sir Pedro. Sige na sir !!!

Teacher Pedro: Class...DISMISSED !!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Toy Story 3

Watched it today with the wife and three kids and we all enjoyed it.

It's good.

No... it's a very good film.

If your heart is not touched by this film, then it is made of stone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A father's legacy

In 1957 he married the woman of his dreams. He was 33 and she was 21.They had two sons and two daughters.

He married at an age quite late than was customary at the time. It came to light that he postponed marriage as he prioritized being a major moral and financial supporter of his younger siblings, all six of them - as their own father died soon after the war. He supported himself through college as a working student, even as he supported his siblings' education. At the time of his marriage he was already able to see their youngest and only sister through medical school.

He worked as an accounting manager for a private home appliance firm, while his wife devoted full time to being a housewife. He was dedicated to his job, and often regaled the family at dinnertime with challenging yet amusing incidents at his work. He would also share his experiences at the local parish where he is active as a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was by nature a jolly person and would punctuate his conversation with a lot of jokes, at which the family all laughed heartily. His wife was his number one fan and joke appreciator, and it also shows when she laughs the most - even at most of his corny ones.

In the mid-seventies, at about 50 years of age, he lost his job. The private company he loyally worked at for many years folded up due to the folly of its owners, as is bound to happen with private, family-controlled businesses. It was not a good time to lose a job. The children were all privately schooled in the primary and secondary grades, jobs were scarce due to the 70's oil crisis, and 50 years of age was far from being an ideal employable age. He took on all sorts of odd jobs to tide the family over, even selling used clothes and shoes. His wife resorted to doing part time sewing job at a measly rate for a local factory. With the help of one young son, the mother also bought and sold pineapples to neighbors and acquaintances at a meager profit - 20 centavos per piece. Earning enough just to feed the family became extremely tough. Eventually, they loaned a small amount to open a small eatery business in the Blumentritt area, a modest affair catering to mostly low-income jeepney drivers and pedestrians. The couple would rise up every day at 4am to prepare for the day's business, and close store late in the evenings. It was tough and the small business was hard-pressed to support a family of 7 (his old mother was also living with them), but somehow as if miraculously... the family was able to scrape by and make both ends meet. No child was forced to stop their education, and they all went on to finish their college studies one by one.

In all this time, he remained active serving at the local parish. He became a 4th degree KofC, and was eventually elected Grand Knight. When things like this happen, usually the entire family follows suit. His wife became active in the Catholic Women's League, and their children became active as altar servers and parish choir members. He would goad the entire family to mass every Sunday, lead the rosary every night, and adorn the house with religious images so much so that the house already resembled a chapel of sorts. He was an industrious, all-around, do-it-yourself repairman around the house, and sometimes he inadvertently broke things even worse while he attempted to fix them. He never had a vice. It is an example of spiritual headship that brought the family together, in spite of the hard financial problems and the usual family difficulties which they were not spared of. It helped that he never lost his sense of humor. It also helped most of all that he never lost his faith. He was not perfect, but the entire family and his colleagues witnessed that he strove to be. His two sons also learned the hard way of his capability to be a tough disciplinarian, and it is something that they now concede much gratitude for. The children now look back at their juvenile years and its dangers which they were able to surmount - thanks in large part to heavy doses of fatherly tough love. Thanks also in large part to their mother, who proved to be a steadfast support and a joyful ray of light for the family.

Today, the clan has now expanded with 4 married children and a total of 13 grandchildren - the eldest of whom is now 22, about to finish college and become a father in his own right. They are all doing well, and owe their legacy to a (grand) father who kept the faith and strove to be a perfect one, even in an imperfect way. That is all it takes, and that is all that counts.

This piece is a tribute to my father, who joined his creator in August of 2002.

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Odds and Ends 6/15/10

Signs that the world is getting stranger by the minute...

New Passport Rules Ease Switch for Transgenders

The State Department is marking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month — a designation instituted by President Obama last year — with something much more lasting than a parade. On June 9, it published new guidelines for citizens wishing to change the gender listed on their passports, embracing policy that will make the switch much easier.

For decades, the State Department had required that transgender individuals, who identify with a gender other than their physical sex, have "sexual reassignment surgery" — a term that doesn't have a clear definition in the medical community — before they were permitted to change their passport listing. Now a note from their physician stating that they have undergone clinical treatment for a "gender transition" will net them a new passport valid for two years..transgender travelers have reported being harassed and embarrassed as they slog through airport security..

[I wonder which toilet is appropriate for transgenders, even with the note affirming their "gender transition". Could pose a dilemma for airport security. I also wonder whether the pilot would be required to change the script of his opening line to: "Ladies and gentlemen, lady transgenders, gentleman transgenders, bisexuals, trisexuals, and so on...this is your captain speaking...". Honestly, I don't have a clue if that would be politically correct.]
Skimpy clothing leaves barmaid exposed

A 29-year-old skimpy barmaid who is accused of showing too much flesh believes police could be doing "more important things out there" than catching underdressed skimpy barmaids.

Megan Brooks appeared in Fremantle Magistrates Court today to face a charge of being immodestly dressed on licensed premises at the Market City Tavern in Canning Vale in November last year, but today, the magistrate gave a strong indication that the case could be dropped.

Her lawyer Terry Dobson said he could not ascertain what the criminal conduct was, and needed more information on the statement of facts before Ms Brooks' next court appearance.

The court was told that the accused was wearing black lace French knickers with a buttock exposed, but Mr Dobson wanted to know which buttock was exposed as well as the extent of the exposure. It was also stated that Ms Brooks' nipples were erect, although Mr Dobson questioned whether that too was criminal conduct.

[Hmm, too bad the story didn't carry an incriminating photo so I could judge for myself. Her lawyer was quoted to have said: "I'd have to think that having two police officers sitting in a tavern checking out my client seems to be a complete waste of police resources.". Methinks the two police officers should be reassigned to the airport.]
The Strange Legal Trip of Polygamist Warren Jeffs

Five years ago, Warren Jeffs was charged with sex crimes resulting from the polygamous marriages he arranged for his followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Jeffs then began a circular journey through the jailhouses and courtrooms of the west. This week, the self-styled prophet awoke to the promise of a change of scenery — but not a change of fortune. An Arizona judge dismissed the original charges against Jeffs, the very charges that had catapulted him into national headlines. But the dismissal has only cleared the way for Texas authorities to get their hands on him to face even more serious charges...

[Strange indeed.]


Sunday, June 13, 2010

On forgiveness

Sunday -June 13, 2010

This was at one of those times that our PPC organized some pastoral talks in our parish. I was in the audience listening seated beside our parish priest who was next in line to deliver a talk. While we were listening to the current speaker, the sound system suddenly malfunctioned. Our sound technicians were having a difficult time fixing the problem, which led our parish priest to quip: "Father forgive them for it seems they do not know what they are doing".
This Sunday's Gospel (Lk 7:36-50) is about forgiveness. In the narrative, the Pharisee named Simon was obviously skeptical of Jesus' divinity, as he thought to himself : “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”. As Jesus responded with the parable of the forgiven debts, the Pharisee must have immediately realized that Jesus can read thoughts, and He knows when we are truly repentant. Jesus forgave the woman sinner in spite of her many sins, because of her sincerity and "because of her great love". She wept kneeling at Jesus' feet.

In the book "The only Necessary Thing", Henri Nouwen says "Forgiveness has two qualities: one is to allow yourself to be forgiven, and the other is to forgive others. The first quality is harder than the second.". Obviously, the Pharisee has a big problem with the first quality. Actually, he has at least three problems. One is that he refused to acknowledge Jesus as a prophet. Second is that he refused to acknowledge his own sins.The third is refusing to acknowledge Jesus' power to forgive. There is also a fourth: he apparently thought Jesus can not read his thoughts. Among these, his third problem may be the greatest. I have read C.S. Lewis in his book "Mere Christianity" (pp 54-55), address this problem:

"...among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God...One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men's toes and stealing other men's money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did."

"He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin."
"Lord forgive the wrong that I have done."

(and make me realize there are many)

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

PopEd Study Pack: Preparing for the coming storms!


Subject: PopEd Study Pack: Preparing for the coming storms!

Hello all, and happy new schoolyear! This time of year also signals the beginning of the rainy season, but now it is punctuated by La Niña, and it is likely to be marked by floods and landslides!

As you probably know, this year has also been declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of Youth. Like all UN conferences since 1972, we can expect a year of intense propaganda for liberal adolescent sexuality, which will ultimately translate into revenues for the contraceptive and abortion industries, and the misdirection of the world's future citizens. The call of the moment is for Christian parents and educators to be vigilant over their niños and niñas.

1. As early as now, local RH advocates are busy aligning Noynoy's proposed sex education program with the forthcoming UN "World Conference on Youth" to take place in Tunisia next year. C-FAM reports that the UN will be holding a planning meeting in Mexico for this purpose and that it will be sponsored by the pro-abortion group " Catholics for (Free) Choice".

Noynoy has already expressed his RH focus, using the apparently inocuous term "responsible parenthood", and his intent to zero in on sex education for young people. These are valid storm signals, considering that his consultants and closest collaborators are affiliated with the international interest groups. Whether we like it or not, he is "apparently" our president-elect, and it is his administration that we will have to deal with in the next six years.

2. We suggest that we pro-family advocates all stay on the same page with regard to the unfolding sex education "dialogues" with the incoming administration. We can do this by reading the same encyclopedia articles on school-based sex education. So far, the best integrated reference is the "Pro-life Activist's Encyclopedia" (

We can assume a functional synonymity between "sex education", "population education", and "adolescent health" the latter two being the integration of the first into a country's educational and health programs.

So, here are the recommended fundamental references for the issue in question:



The Grotesque World of Today's Sex Education
3. You can also familiarize yourself with the philosophy and modus operandi of the leading players in global secular sex-ed dissemination. You will notice that secular sex education is now promoted as a component of FP/RH (read: global population control), which includes not just contraception, but abortion as well.
IPPF on young people, their sexuality and their rights
From 1983 onward, PopEd has been integrated -- through the UNESCO, under the pretext of helping and AIDS/teen pregnancy prevention -- into the educational curricula of UN member states. This is now embedded into the Millennium Development Goals of the UN.
With US, EU, and UN assistance, private NGOs have helped develop PopEd into a global institution with impressive packaging. Eg,

4. After these background readings, we shall also have to update ourselves with the ACTUAL pop-ed situationer on the national and local government levels. Note that what while DepEd calls sex ed "Population Education", the DOH calls it "Adolescent Health Dissemination". We should be able to answer the following questions:
  • How is PopEd integrated into the DepEd?
  • What are the current curricula and modules in force?
  • How are these integrated into the various subject areas?
  • How does the DepEd train schoolteachers to deliver the core concepts of RH?
  • What specific citations and excerpts prove the implementation of PopEd program?
  • What NGOs are actively promoting contraceptive use among young people?
These weblinks might be of help:
PEP ca.1982


Invoking your right of access to public documents, you should be able to obtain copies of PopEd curricula and modules from the DepEd office nearest you. Keep in mind that our Constitution's Bill of Rights reads:
Section 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen ...
5. The above readings and references give pro-lifers an overview of "what we are AGAINST". It is important to study these in order for us to be able to discuss issues intelligently. ( FYI, anti-life threats are discussed in general in Evangelium Vitae, 12-17. )

BUT we also need to learn "what we are FOR". The safest references would be Scripture and Church teachings.

At the height of the debacles on the Cairo & Beijing conferences, Pope John Paul II articulated the pro-life/family mission not just for Catholics, but for all people of good will: Build a civilization of life based on truth and love. He envisioned "that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love."

We must foster a culture of life. John Paul II articulated the pro-life mission in the closing prayer* of Evangelium Vitae.

By the way, if you will be using Church documents and/or Scripture as references for advocacy in public fora, please make sure to translate the religious terms into scientific and/or layman's language. It would be best to use language that even elementary students and media persons can understand.
( Click here for a Study Guide on EV; after this, there are other documents on the subject.)
6. It would be advantageous to assemble teams of parents and educators/schoolteachers who adhere to Christian principles and are capable of presenting the moral case with technical/professional competence. It would be best for such committees to be operate on national and local levels, even down to the barangays (or BECs).

Article 15 of the Constitution also acknowledges "the right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them."

PTAs and other citizens groups can organize their own such teams and can register their stand on the RH/sex ed debate. The more associations weigh in, the better.

7. Attached herewith are an operational overview of Philippine depopulation (Flavier) and excerpts from the Philippine Constitution that are relevant to pro-life advocacy. You might find these helpful as outlines for group discussions.

8. This is only the beginning. Sayang naman kung ma-knockout tayo sa first days of school. Suggestions lang naman ito. If you know of other references pertaining to sex-ed/pop-ed, please do not hesitate to share these with others.

Status of PopEd(Sep2003).ppt

Flavier in Cairo 19942.pdf

Constitution Discussion Guide (excerpts).pdf

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

100% of failure is caused by simply not showing up

House kills Freedom of Information bill

House fails to ratify Freedom of Information bill

List of congressmen absent during FOI approval session

No special session for Freedom of Information bill - Palace

Bishops urge next Congress to pass ‘freedom of info’ bill

"The nine-year-old bill was set for ratification during the House’s last session on Friday. However, Speaker Prospero Nograles adjourned the session after Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo questioned the quorum and a roll call showed that only 128 out of the 268 lawmakers were on the floor. At least 135 solons are needed to constitute a quorum and enable the chamber to tackle official business."

Right, Woody. And the remaining 20%, is perhaps coming on time.

In every company, there is always a severe penalty for being inexplicably AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) most especially when there are important and urgent things to do. It beats me why congressmen are exempt from this common business rule, and why we even allow it to happen. The FOI bill has been in the making for nine years, and taxpayers have spent gazillions to pay for legislative time, resources and salaries of congressmen to make it happen. Now they tell us there is no result because of lack of quorum. Surely, all 140 of the honorable, absent Congressmen cannot be suffering from LBM all at the same time. Beats me why are they not being confronted for this shameless behavior, and why on earth are we taking this sitting down.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On stalled vehicles and miracles

Sunday: June 6, 2010

It was 6AM yesterday morning and I had to drive my teen-aged son to a CFC-Youth For Christ event where he assists in organizing. We have not gone even 1 kilometer on the road when the engine sputtered and conked out. My son just took a cab from there as the vehicle refused to start again. Luckily it was not so far away from our house as I had the vehicle towed back for the short distance, where the mechanic can attend to it later.

Today's Gospel narrates the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Lk 9:11-17). I have come across some speculative rationalizations of this story which insinuates that the five loaves and two fishes were not actually multiplied to feed five thousand, but instead the multitude were moved to the effect that they unselfishly shared together the food that each had kept so that everyone could eat. However, such speculation has no basis in the sacred texts, even as we reference the narratives in all the four gospels. While it is a laudable thing to teach that one must share one's goods charitably with neighbors, it is ungainly to suggest that an actual miracle did not take place in this instance just to emphasize the value of human generosity. After all, Jesus already taught liberally about sharing one's blessings may times elsewhere (e.g. if you have two coats, give one to your neighbor who does not have one), and to dismiss the miracle of multiplication in favor of emphasizing man's capability for generosity misplaces the point of the story: the Love and Majestic Power of Jesus.

We do have unquestionable faith in Jesus' power to change water into wine, heal the crippled, raise the dead, calm the storms, and most certainly we should reserve the same unquestionable faith in Jesus' power to multiply bread and fish. All of these miracles happened exactly as they were told. In this Sunday's holy observation of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we likewise profess our unquestionable faith in the greatest expression of love and miracle for all time: Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Yesterday's incident with my stalled vehicle upset me for a while. Then I recalled that I drove the same vehicle over the recent weekend to an overnight beach outing with the entire clan where we traveled a total of more than 350kms without a hitch. The family vehicle worked like a charm then, and I realized that it was a good thing that it broke down only yesterday under harmless circumstances. Had it happened when our entire family were on that long trip, it would have ruined our weekend holiday. Now that I think about it, the chances were about 350 to 1 in favor of the vehicle breaking down on that holiday trip. So I guess we just happened to be spared from the normal laws of that dreadful probability, but then I remembered we all prayed just before the trip.

God is good.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Maria Magdalena van Beethoven would have approved...

Paying pregnant women not to have abortions

The governor of the Lombardy province of northern Italy introduced a policy that would offer pregnant women $5,500 (€4,500) not to end their pregnancies, the BBC reports. Under the policy, established by governor Roberto Formigoni, only pregnant women facing severe economic hardship would be eligible for the payment.

Formigoni has allotted $6.1 million (€5 million) to the program, which would distribute cash to eligible women in monthly payments of about $300 (€250) for 18 months.
Yet critics have condemned the plan as "propaganda" — pointing out that there is only sufficient funding for fewer 1,200 women. They also point out that while it may offer immediate help to pregnant women facing financial struggles, it ultimately offers a short-term solution to what is a long-term, life-altering decision.

So what if there is only funding for 1,200 women? The assistance would have been well worth it even if it is funding only ONE woman. If everyone adopted the kind of principle in extending assistance that these critics are alluding to, then all assistance to the needy would have to be considered "propaganda".

According to this source, there is an approximate 120,000 officially-induced abortions in Italy per year. Now had a policy earmarked sufficient funds for all those destitute mothers, I doubt if the critics would still have the gall to cry out "propaganda", yet most certainly they would have torn out their hair and jumped through the roof. On the other hand they would have danced the night away if a policy were established to fund massive abortions.

It seems that these people are not only critics but fortune-tellers as well. It is doubly disingenuous for them to label the assistance "a short-term solution to what is a long-term, life-altering decision", clearly premised on the notion that they can predict with uncanny accuracy the miserable future of poor mothers and their doomed-to-fail babies more than anyone else. Good thing these pro-aborts were not around when Beethoven was about to be born.

At any rate, any decision no matter how big or small, carries with it some "life-altering" consequences, but only if one is allowed to retain life in the first place. No doubt in this case it is a better decision to be a "propagandist", rather than be a pessimistic crystal-ball gazer who would automatically deny hope to the likes of Beethoven and his mother.

Un saluto al Formigoni, Dio la benedice!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Last shot at summer vacation

with family and sis-in-law's family

kainan na!

group pic

my two bosses

my two sons and nieces

my eldest amused to discover beach named after him

fake tattoo

dusk 1

dusk 2

Thank you Lord for a happy occasion and the safe trip.