Thursday, April 28, 2011

on the good effects and bad effects of contraceptive pills

"all medical products have good and side (bad) effects" - ex-DOH chief Cabral

(update: here's some more from the wacky guys at FilipinosForLife)

After you, Japan

China census shows population aging rapidly
( Updated April 28, 2011 10:38 AM

BEIJING (AP) - China's latest census shows that the world's most populous country is aging rapidly, and half the people now live in cities.

Results of the census released Thursday showed that the number of people under the age of 14 accounted for 16.6 percent of the country's 1.34 billion people, down 6.3 percentage points from 10 years ago. The number of people over the age of 60 was now 13.3 percent, up nearly 3 percentage points.

The rapid aging has fueled worries that China will soon not be able to sustain its fast economic growth of the past three decades.

The census carried out late last year also showed that nearly 49.68 percent of the population lived in cities, up from about 36 percent in 2000.


Me: No further comment, your honor.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The five-point position on responsible parenthood of PNoy

The five-point position on responsible parenthood of President Benigno S. Aquino III:
[and my comments]

1. I am against abortion.
[This is a thoroughly misused and abused statement. If he is against abortion, then all his statements must be unequivocally consistent with this position. One cannot say he is against abortion yet be in favor of promoting abortifacient contraceptives, under the guise of "choice". Mr President, state your CLEAR position against abortifacients, otherwise your claim does not have any credibility]

2. I am in favor of giving couples the right to choose how best to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.
[Nobody is in a position to 'give' rights that we are entitled to in the first place, certainly not the president. Universal, unalienable rights are implicitly conferred upon mankind by its Creator, and that includes the right to manage our families. When the president says he is in favor of "giving the right to choose", he is in no position to give it, nor is he in a position to take it away. He does not have any right to give rights, for as president - he is just supposed to recognize them.]

3. The State must respect each individual’s right to follow his or her conscience and religious convictions on matters and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.
[God is the giver of the fundamental human right to religious liberty. God is the giver of life. When people say they are for abortion or contraception and at the same time recognize the sacredness of human life in ALL its stages, they must understand what it means and how to act accordingly.]

4. In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged ones, are in no position to make an informed judgment, the State has the responsibility to so provide.
[The responsibility to provide and informed judgment must come with a realization that the truth in its bare glory must be made known. To peddle unthruths - such as contraceptives recognize the sacredness of human life in all its stages - is a total mockery of cultivating informed judgment.]

5. In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available.
[What modern methods? Under the premise that "those modern methods" contain abortifacients, then his last point completely negates all the four points above, and likewise goes against the fundamental law of the land. All these statements are not only unconsitutional, worse, they are unCatholic as well.]

Let us pray for our president.

Sunday, April 24, 2011



Here's a story originating from the former Soviet Union. It was Easter, but since religious persecution was at its height, the churches were closed and anti-religious propaganda was in full swing. A Soviet officer came to a village and the entire population to the go to the village center, where he harangued them about the "scientific" proofs that there is no God.

Finally, an old man spoke out. He was the village priest, who for a long time had been prevented from exercising his ministry among the people. (In some versions of the story he's Catholic, in other versions he's Orthodox.) He asked to be allowed to say a few words. The smug Soviet official, confident that the old man can do no harm to the atheist cause, let him go to the front of the people so he can speak.

Upon arriving at the front, the old priest simply said, "My people, Christ is Risen!"

First, there was an uneasy silence. Then, an old woman croaked back: "Indeed, He is Risen!" A few voices followed, "Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!" Before long the entire crowd was singing the great Paschal song of the Eastern Churches: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"

The Soviets, alarmed, arrested the old man, and he was never seen again. But he had struck a blow against atheism that won't be forgotten for a long, long time...

- Carlos Antonio Palad

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 pieces of silver, then and now

The Gospel today narrates the story about the 30 pieces of silver, as they were about to be handed on to Judas Escariot. (Mat 26:14-25)

Many people speculate just how much 30 pieces of silver would cost nowadays. One estimate puts it at about US Dollars ($) 15,000. That would be around Pesos (P) 645,000 in our currency. Seems reasonable, and just about squares with the same amount mentioned likewise to buy the "potter's field" in Matthew 27:6-10. One can already buy a nice chunk of agricultural land with that much money hereabouts.

The thing in Matthew's narratives that strikes most is that there was no indication that Judas really needed the money. There was no compelling reason at all which says he had to have 30 pieces of silver at whatever cost. The fact that later accounts narrate that he only threw away the money in regret, is enough proof that in the first place, he never needed the money at all.

How often have we longed for material things yet in the final analysis - we don't really need them. Worse, we even barter our souls in return.

This reminds me of the 35M Euros being dangled by the European Union towards propagating contraceptives here in the Philippines. That is about 2 billion pesos in local currency. Quite a hefty sum but the catch is - the donation is supposed to be used exclusively for contraceptives.

I now recall the phrase commonly attributed to Marie-Antoinette the Queen. When told that the French populace had no bread to eat, she reportedly said: "Let them eat cake!". I am aware we have many hungry countrymen around us, yet the obvious fact is we can't feed them condoms, nor pills, nor IUDs. What our poor countrymen really need is decent jobs to enable them to feed themselves properly and live with dignity. And they need it now.

There must be some other trumps-everything need for pushing contraceptives, for our president just offered himself up for "excommunication" in return.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On Faith and Palm Sunday

Last Friday I attended a recollection which was delivered by a priest. In the course of his talk about the essence of Faith, he related this story - in my own words as I recall it.
Once there was a fire at this village. One house was engulfed in flames and an 8 year-old boy was trapped inside. The boy climbed up to the roof to escape the flames. Once up on the roof, he could hear the voice of his father shouting: JUMP! Jump son and I am here down below to catch you! The boy circled the edges of the roof trying to find out the exact spot where his father was, but all he could see was smoke and flames all around him. The boy ran and ran all around the roof but couldn't see his father, who all the while was shouting: Jump! Jump! Meanwhile the flames are about to topple the entire house at any time, with the boy on the roof with it. The boy hesitated. Little did the boy know that even though he can not see what was down below, he can jump at any time. The father - who can see his son on the roof anywhere from the street - was following his movements and was there to catch him anytime he jumped. The boy doesn't have to see his father. The important thing to do was to jump.
In his recent book Jesus of Nazareth II, Pope Benedict XVI begins by reflecting on Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Here are some excerpts that provide points for pondering on the occasion of the blessed commemoration of Palm Sunday.

...So Jesus rides on a borrowed donkey into the city. [...] Jesus claims the right of kings, known throughout antiquity, to requisition modes of transport. The use of an animal on which no one has yet sat is a further pointer to the right of kings. Most strikingly though, are the Old Testament allusions that give a deeper meaning to the whole episode. [...] He is a king who destroys all the weapons of war, a king of peace and a king of simplicity, a king of the poor. [...] None of these can be seen at the time, but in retrospect those things that could be indicated only from afar, hidden in the prophetic vision, are revealed.[...] His claim is based on obedience to the mission received from his Father.His path is a path into the heart of God's word.[...] His power is of another kind: it is in God's poverty, God's peace, that he identifies the only power that can redeem.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts of a troubled mother, and the reply of the unborn

Thoughts of a troubled mother, and the reply of the unborn
a poem in video by John B. Juat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Arrogantly wrong

The reasoning of the pro-RH crowd, many of them learned people, never fails to astound me.
Why do some people turn against the Truth and yet are so arrogant about it?
In his essay "Heretics", the prince of paradox has this to say:

Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was the kingdoms of the world and the police and the judges who were heretics. He was orthodox. He had no pride in having rebelled against them; they had rebelled against him. The armies with their cruel security, the kings with their cold faces, the decorous processes of State, the reasonable processes of law—all these like sheep had gone astray. The man was proud of being orthodox, was proud of being right. If he stood alone in a howling wilderness he was more than a man; he was a church. He was the centre of the universe; it was round him that the stars swung. All the tortures torn out of forgotten hells could not make him admit that he was heretical. But a few modern phrases have made him boast of it. He says, with a conscious laugh, "I suppose I am very heretical," and looks round for applause. The word "heresy" not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word "orthodoxy" not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong. All this can mean one thing, and one thing only. It means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right. For obviously a man ought to confess himself crazy before he confesses himself heretical. The Bohemian, with a red tie, ought to pique himself on his orthodoxy. The dynamiter, laying a bomb, ought to feel that, whatever else he is, at least he is orthodox.
Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--- ". At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let them eat condoms, (3)

HEADLINE: Aquino warned of rice crisis

The impending rice crisis is a monumental tribute to our country's misdirected economic policy over the years. But what are we doing now?

Why oh why have we come to a point where we cannot even produce our own rice when we undoubtedly have untapped resources in labor, land, and expertise. The report says NFA recently ordered from Vietnam 200,000 MT at a cost of 4 BILLION, even as plans are in the offing to buy and additional 800,000 MT to compensate for the local production shortfall. Why are we allowing a shortfall to happen? We even taught Vietnam how to plant rice and yet we now find ourselves importing from them. In an agricultural country like ours, rice production can the largest employer of unskilled labor in the rural economy. This can lead to countryside development. We can also save our money by not importing rice. It can also be an engine of economic growth. It is a no-brainer. Instead we allow our agricultural lands to be converted with impunity. We allow our fertilizer funds to vanish into thin air. We allocate billions to dole-outs. All these and more, even as we do not invest enough effort and funds in the rice self-sufficiency program.

The rice self-sufficiency program suffers pitifully from attention and lack of funds, but guess where our legislators and top officials want to spend billions of our taxpayer's money instead. Hint: You can't eat rubber.

Friday, April 8, 2011

On the redundancy of the RH Bill

A quick run thru of the DOH budget under GAA 2011 shows that there are already budgeted items that are supposed to cater to Maternal and Child Health as well as population development. These programs are already a mandate of the DOH under its Population Commission and Family Health Offices.

Some items as follows:

New Appropriations: Health Care Assistance: 3,539,809,000
Implementation of the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program: 123,284,000
Commission on Population Programs: 290,660,000
Public Health Development Program: 117,797,000
Health Facilities Enhancement Program: 7,116,387,000
Service Delivery Programs: Family Health and Responsible Parenting: 731,349,000
Health Promotion: 153,978,000

TOTAL: (PESOS) 12,073,264,000

In addition, under Special Provisions, it is specified among other things:

- Allocation for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs of Hospitals. Five percent (5%) of the total amount appropriated for MOOE of all hospitals shall be allocated and used for specific programs/projects/activities for disease prevention and health promotion, including programs for itinerant family planning teams.

- Health Facilities Enhancement Program. The amount appropriated herein for Health Facilities Enhancement Program under A.III.b.6.c shall be used to enhance the capacity of primary health care facilities (Barangay Health Stations, Rural Health Centers) in the delivery of health services, upgrading of government hospital facilities from Level 1 to Level 2 and from Level 2 to Level 3, and augment the existing budgetary requirements of nationally funded hospitals in accordance with existing laws.

Thus we conclude that the DOH is at least funded by 12.07 Billion pesos which is already at its disposal to attend to family planning programs, child health, maternal health to include prenatal care, delivery attendance, and postnatal care. EVERYONE is concerned with improvements in those areas, and it is preposterous to claim that only the pro-RH bill advocates are concerned about them. The fact is that the DOH is already in a position do so much without requiring the introduction of new legislation. The mandate and structures are there, and as in any government agency - the challenge would be in the areas of efficiency, focus, administrative integrity, and of course: funding. If funding is the only problem, then the executive and legislative bodies are likewise already in a position to address those funding issues in a prudent and judicious manner. This goes without saying that any new legislative acts are not guaranteed of funding either - as our experience shows where many Republic Acts are passed but their implementation remain suspended due to budgetary constraints. Our experience also shows that a major factor that holds down our progress as a nation - over many, many years - is the dearth of administrative integrity on so many levels.


Thursday, April 7, 2011


While I was scouring the net for data on teenage pregnancies, I stumbled across this article in the Likhaan website,
which references a three-year old article by one Marlon Ramos of the Phil Inquirer.
The title of the piece is "Alarming rise in teenage pregnancies noted".

Here is a partial quote:

'[Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc. (FFPDI)] [president Benjamin]
de Leon said the latest data from the National Statistics Office showed that of 1.7 million babies born in 2004, almost 8 percent were born to mothers aged 15-19. Almost 30 percent of Filipino women become mothers before reaching their 21st birthday, he said.
In 2000 alone, young mothers gave birth to 818,000 babies, he said.
“This means that almost one of every 10 babies is born to a teenage mothers,” he said.'

Apparently, the above data was derived from a special report by NSO on "Live Birth Statistics" for 2004.
While the NSO report says "The number of births born to teenage mothers was at 7.9...", the above article rephrased it at "almost 8 percent..born to mothers aged 15-19". Well, I am not about to quibble with a difference of 0.1 percent. So be it. So 7.9% of 1.7 million babies in 2004 would amount to 135,429 - as NSO stated. However the Inquirer article says that in 2000, young mothers gave birth to a whopping 818,000 babies! Much as I tried to, I couldn't find the source of that figure anywhere on earth. If 135,429 babies were born to young mothers in 2004, how could it be possible that 818,000 babies were likewise born to young mothers in 2000? That is a huge difference of 682,571 babies! While I understand the meaning of statistical significance, over half a million babies couldn't be statistically insignificant. The figure is a statistical outrage. Where on earth did he get that data. The actual and official NSO report for 2000 says 7.1% or 126,025.

And here's the clincher: "one of every 10 babies is born to a teenage mothers".
Hmm, while I could statistically tolerate 7.9% being rounded to 8%, 7.1% rounded at 10% is just too much "tongpats". For if that were true, the figure as (stated above) of 818,000 being 10% of births only means that 8,180,000 (!) births occurred in the year 2000.
I might as well claim that pigs just flew out of my ears.
Again, again. Who's spreading malicious disinformation? Booo!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A short note on today's Gospel (John 5:1-16)

Jesus has just cured a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years by simply saying:
“Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”;
whereupon the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Later on, Jesus says to the man:
“Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”

Now what worse can happen to man who has been ill for thirty-eight years?

Well, to be ill for another thirty-nine years or more is much worse, but before that happens, death may likely come first.
Jesus was obviously referring to a much worse fate than being ill for another thirty-nine years.
However fate of the man depends on his will, and that is what conversion and repentance is all about.

Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news:

The Herald Sun (of Australia) has prominently featured a report that a priest (Father Bob McGuire) was setting up a drive-in confessional that would allow penitents to confess by selecting sins from an electronic menu.
“A flashing green light will signal when a driver's sins have been forgiven,” the story said.
Father Bob later admitted it was an April fool's prank.
“Like all parables the drive-through was designed to raise awareness of sin and forgiveness especially during Lent,” he said.
Some Christians however, were not amused at the idea of apparently poking fun at the Catholic sacrament. Fr Bob was quite unrepentant: “I don’t think I’ll be getting a medal from the Church,” he admitted.

Fr Bob, I pray that someday you may truly make many people rise up and walk. Hopefully you will not be too ill to make that happen.