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Monday, August 24, 2009

Talastasang Kordi sa UPB

talastasan 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Baguio We Know Book Launching @ SM Baguio

Today, with the emergence of new, and concededly more titillating, tourist destinations, many will admit that Baguio has "fallen from grace" from its once lofty position as "Summer Capital of the Philippines." However, perhaps more than anything, this collection of works reveals the Baguio that is so much more than the handmaiden to tourism that some may falsely believe is the answer to this city's ultimate salvation.  This collection of works provides a glimpse into that "view from within" of a place forged in consciousness that transcends boundaries of time and space.

♥ from the Introduction

the baguio we know

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Santino Slippers

Lalo ka raw mapapalapit kay Bro 'pag isinuot mo ang mga tsinelas na ito (It is said that these slippers can get you closer to Jesus). Sige 'tol, try mo lang. Malay mo, you may yet be able to see the imp in you transformed into a cherub nyehehe.

santino slippers

Monday, August 17, 2009

Insights from a Cabbie

Taxi drivers have a lot of life lessons to share. Take this chatty 70–year old cabbie I was privileged to learn from, for instance.  He drives a brand–new Toyota Vios "sired" by his old Toyota Corolla taxi.  "Three years," he replied when I asked how long he expects to recover his half–million peso investment on his fresh car. His daily net income from his taxi ranges from PhP 500 to PhP 1,500, he explained. And that's just from a 9am to 6pm driving.  His  income from an 8–hour work each day also afforded him to buy his son a van which they often use to fetch from the airport his other children who now live abroad. No wonder the first thing you notice about this old man is his fulfilled look as he smoothly drives up and down the city's hills.

A word of advise, he ventured: "Don't just work hard, work smart."  And before I got off his cab, he reminded me:
Like me, you will have to go through four stages:

First, you have no energy and no money;

Second, you have energy and still no money;

Third, you use your energy to earn money;

Fourth, you have money and no more energy.

And don't you forget that when we were kids we believed in Santa Claus, but when we grew older we didn't believe in him anymore.  Then, in mid–life you learn that you are Santa Claus.  Later in life, you will find out you are beginning to look like Santa Claus himself.

Hmm... He seemed to know exactly what's eating a young passenger struggling to make both ends meet hehe...

Baguio News & Notes (1)

[NOTE: All infobits taken from the 16Aug09 issue of the BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER.]

DECONGESTING UP DRIVE. Leia Castro reports that University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) Chancellor Priscilla Supnet-Macansantos wrote our city dads asking them “not to adopt the temporary one-way traffic scheme along the UP Drive and connected roads into a permanent one.”

I hope the city council favorably acts on this plea.  The noise and air pollution caused by hundreds of cars daily traversing the said road has become unbearable to the UPB community.  Now it seems to me that the greater issue here is not the choice of the best rerouting scheme for the city but the effectiveness of our local government in dealing with the thousands of “colorum” taxis plying the city streets day and night, as well as with the ceaseless issuances of franchises to PUJs and cabs despite the already excessive number of public transportations in the city.

FOR A MILLION DOLLARS MORE.  Atty. Pablito Sanidad, in his “Overview” column, notes on the much ballyhooed GMA dinner in the U.S.A:

MALACANANG: Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez (Leyte) paid for the P1 million dinner.

MANAGER OF BOBBY VAN’S RESTAURANT: A woman with a handbag full of cash paid the $15,000 bill.

Rep. DANILO SUAREZ (Quezon): I paid for the $15,000 dinner.

Rep. BIENVENIDO ABANTE (Manila): I do not know who paid.

Rep. JOSE SOLIS (Sorsogon): They should increase our P70 M pork barrel. It is kulang!

Fiery Baptist preacher Benny Abante should deliver a sermon on "Stewardship" for his fellow legislators.   The generous duo, Congressmen Romualdez and Suarez, must see an opthalmologist –– they seem blind to the greater need of many of their constituents along pavements and seashores who daily stare at empty, cracked plates on their outspread hands. Congressman Solis? Uswag Sorgogon!?

ECUMENICAL MEETNonette Bennett reports that about 200 spiritual leaders in the city representing Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Taoist and other religious groups will gather on 21 August 2009 at the Baguio Convention Center in a bid to help nurture a "Culture of Caring" in Baguio especially that our city's centennial is around the bend.

No doubt, some exclusivist groups of Christians who fear being stained with the "sins" of the ecumenicists will snub this landmark event.  Never mind missing a rare chance to help foster cooperation among the pious on social programs –– they must keep themselves and their flocks within their tiny Shekinah–shrouded corrals safe from ravening wolves.

KUDOS to the would–be participants to this historic meet! KATOS to the other saintly herd! :)

In his "City on a Hill" column, Fr. Andres Cosalan stressed the importance of dialogue in relation to the upcoming ecumenical gathering.  Says he:

Dialogue means that one is able to accept the other person as a fellow human being, a brother or a sister, though one may differ from the other’s beliefs and convictions.  Dialogue also means striving to understand the other’s religious, cultural, and social situation.  There is certainly something positive to discover in the other’s situation…

…dialogue does not mean that I compromise the truth that I uphold… [It] is a matter of balancing the search for truth and the practice of tolerance…

Dialogue is a sign of sincere searching for truth… It demands humility and charity on our part.  Anyone, who has a “holier-than-thou-art” attitude and who paints other people as devils, obviously cannot dialogue.

AMEN, apo Padi!

GOOD NEWS FROM KALINGA: SORRY, NO RETALIATION BY THE TULGAO.  Tribal "war" in Kalinga has often been sensationalized in the media. Some feared (hoped?) that the recent killing of a Tulgao tribesman by an ySabangan (Mt. Province) would result in an armed conflict.  It is exhilarating to note, however, that lex talionis (the law of exact retaliation) has not prevailed this time: the Tulgao people have chosen to settle the case amicably. Local newsman Francis B. Degay shares the following detail:

Anglican priest Pablo Buyagan, a member of the Tulgao tribe, shared his observations while he attended the wake of Eusebio Dalicnog from July 31 to Aug. 3 at Tulgao village, Tinglayan.  Fr. Buyagan said that there seemed to be a significant evolution of the Tulgao culture because the brutal killing of Dalicnog did not immediately call for revenge by the Tulgao tribesmen.  According to him, the Tulgao elders have an option for a peaceful settlement.

In years past, several Tulgao had been feared by many in Kalinga, especially among the migrants from the Mt. Province and Ilocandia.  Some  members of this ethnic sub–group had figured in land–grabbing cases and had been dreaded for their pugnaciousness.  To be fair, though, I know of many Tulgao who have consciously striven  to be at peace with everyone and cannot be stereotyped as kawitan (lit., rooster; connotatively, "war–freak").  Nonetheless, this recent case is great news!  It makes us more hopeful that Kalingas, long unjustly generalized by outsiders as war–like, will one day completely tear itself away from that unsavory image.

A CONTINUING LOVE AFFAIR WITH MARYJANE. “Government forces discover, burn marijuana plants in Kalinga,” jubilantly proclaims a news report by Gigi Dumallig which tells of 450 marijuana plants uprooted in Pinukpuk by a composite police and military raiding team.

I hope this accomplishment will not be dampened by a repeat of the Tinglayan "Maryjane affair" in which poppy plantations persist after repeated reports of uprooting and burning of these proud plants by government authorities.  The problem seems to lie in the fact that after each raid, seeds remain in the plantations ready to sprout in a jiffy.  There also seems to be a lack of alternative livelihood programs for the locals which make some of them unable to break up with their attractive lover. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

TIME's Tribute to Cory

coryTime has once again paid tribute to Cory and the Filipino people with their 17 August 2009 special issue.   I doubt if there is any Filipino who would still be dry–eyed after reading through the three articles in this "Special Report," who would not feel blessed by the character and acts of this "Saint of Democracy," who would not acknowledge the positive influence religion can effect on our society even with all the sectarianism and hypocrisy we see in both Catholicism and Protestantism (including those who claim to be "non/undenominational"), who would not hope for better things to come for our country despite all the signs of desperation around us, and who would not make a recommitment to the fine qualities of a Filipino.


In 1986, a housewife from the Philippines whose given name meant "heart" have lifeblood to her wounded nation.  The only weapon she possessed was moral courage.  But with it she discovered a groundbreaking truth: that a populace holding nothing more than candles and rosary beads could face a cavalcade of tanks, topple a dictator, and most improbable of all, usher in democracy....

Within a few years of People Power in the Philippines, it was hard to keep up with all the peaceful uprisings that were sweeping aside authoritarian regimes  across the globe: Solidarity in Poland, the Velvet REvolution in Czechoslovakia, the anti–apartheid movement in South AFrica, the end of dictatorships in South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.  Even the extinguished idealism or student protesteres in Tianenmen or the monks in Burma drew succor from the example of a certain Filipino homemakers's bravery –– a woman who herself almost inadvertently assumed the mantle of Mohandas Gandhi after the assassination of her political–dissident husband in 198. "Cory Aquino's struggle for and success at fortifying constitutional democracy in the Philippines," says Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader, "was one of the signal battles in the last quarer of the 20th century."

Today, the surge of political change during that momentous era, from Eastern Europe to Eastern Asia, seems like an inevitability.  Back then, it felt like an impossiblity.  No one was more surprised than the bespectacled widon who admitted that she didn't even like politics and might just as easily have ended up spending her days pruning her beloved bonsai.  Nevertheless, in 1986 Aquino made People Power –– and People Power made the world we now inhabit a freer place... to a planet conditioned by colonialism or Confucianism or tyranny to think that the people's obligation is to followk not lead, Aquino's inspiration was truly transformative.

Hannah Beech, "The Saint of Democracy," Time 174 (August 2009) 6: 14.

The arc of Corazon Aquino's life lent itself to maxims, but two hard–nosed ones seem particularly worth pionting out. First, political sainthood is a gift from heaven with a Cinderella deadline –– once past midnight, you are a pumpkin.  Second, personal virtues are never a guarantee of effective or successful governance.  What was truly shocking about Aquino's tumultuous six–year term as President of the PHilippines was that shoe maxims proved untrue.  Midnight always threatened Aquino was never struck; and she was a good woman whose goodness alone, at the very end, was what proved enough, if only by an iota, to save her country.

Howard Chua–Eoan, "A Miracle Worker in a Plain Yellow Dress," TIME 174 (August 2009) 6: 16.

The improbable became the impossible. Marcos' tanks rolled toward the crowds, only to be stopped by nuns kneeling in their path, saying the rosary.  Old women went up to gun–toting marines and disarmed them with motherly hugs.  Little girls offered their flowers to hardened combat veterans.  In the face of such quiet heroism, thousands of Marcos loyalists defected; many simply broke down in tears.

TIME, 05Jan1987, quoted in Eoan, 19.

On Feb. 22, 1986, Enrile resigned from the government and announced that he was joining the opposition forces.  Early in the morning of Feb. 24, a crowd of Marcos supporters armed with batons and tear gas moved toward Camp Crame, where the reformers were gathered.  Over transistor radios, Marcos was heard vowing "We'll wipe them out.  It is obvious they are committing a rebellion." And over Radio Veritas came Enrile's reply: "I am not going to surrender."

Sandra Burton, Johanna McGreary and William Stewart, "'I Am Not Going to Surrender,'" TIME 174 (August 2009) 6: 20–21.

The Booksale Addict: Catchy Book Titles (3)

the princessa rubinTailwinds: The Lore and Language of Fizzles, Farts and Toots by Peter Furze

The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin

A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber

Sheep in Wolves' Clothing: When the Actions of a Christian Turn Criminal by Joseph Williams

Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science by John L. Casti

Some Like It Haute by Julie K. L. Dam

Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley

Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining: America's Toughest Family Court Judge Speaks Out by Judy Sheindlin with Josh Getlin

Married but not Engaged by Paul & Sandy Coughlin

Love in the Time of the Camera by Simeon Dumdum Jr.

RELATED POSTS: "The Booksale Addict: Catchy Book Titles (2)," "The Booksale Addict: Catchy Book Titles (1)"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yellow is for Courage: A Salute to Cory


(1st VOLLEY)

Yellow is for courage,

White is for sacrifice.

Red is for betrayal,

Blue is for tyranny.

(2nd VOLLEY)

What outshines a couple's glitter

but a widow's gilded face?

What outlasts a conjugal crime's colorants

but a corpse's vibrant glow?

(3rd VOLLEY)

Volleys of fire,

Half–mast flags,

ten–day mourning,

torrential confetti,

flower carpets,

liturgical candles,

rivers of mourners

–– none can a heroic mother fully honor

nor well capture a people's grief.

(4th VOLLEY)

Which was the greater ill ––

the nation's cancer

or a colon's runaway cells?

Which was the greater threat ––

a toy soldier's coup

or the doll's nebulous plot?

(5th VOLLEY)

Let one widow's dress be plain

and another's glitzy:

It is plain lightning's far more


than a plain firecracker's


(6th VOLLEY)

Can mere condolences


for remorse,

or pay for

sins unconfessed?

(7th VOLLEY)

Presidents are never good


Gestures must be texts

for dissertations,

Speeches must be lather

for soap operas,

Milestones must be walls

for vitriolic graffiti.

(8th VOLLEY)

Death resurrects

a nation's shining moment

when walls without

stone or steel halted

the crank of tanks

and sacred beads stilled

the crack of  rifles.

Death reunites lovers



where in yellow ribbons


that old, hallowed Tree

and  where the street is yellow

and yellow is golden.


Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo


Cory Speaks at the US Congress (Part 1)

Cory's Last SONA (Part 1)

Ninoy's Interview with Pat Robertson (1)

Ninoy's Interview with Pat Robertson (2)

Ninoy's Last phone call to Psinakis

"I Am Ninoy"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Must-Read for CoC Folks

"Using instruments of music in worship is a SIN" and "The Church of Christ is THE Lord's Church" are two of the teachings which I used to sell as a preacher for the (Stone-Campbell) Church of Christ.  It took me over a decade to realize the absurdity of these doctrines.  To date, most CoCs in the Philippines still cling on to these  and other sectarian positions imported from America.  It is heartening to note though that more and more members of the CoC in the U.S. itself are veering away from such a parochial view of "sound" doctrine and are critiquing some of the problematic assumptions of a patternistic hermeneutic among the heirs of the so-called "American Restoration Movement" (ARM).

Among the American Bible scholars in the CoC who have embraced a more cross-centered, grace-filled (and I venture to add, post-colonial) ministry are Edward Fudge and Al Maxey.  Although the fast-shrinking ultraconservative wing of the ARM continue to brand them as of the Devil for their "liberal" or "false" teachings,  their writings have found avid fans among the CoCs and other Christian groups worldwide who have seen wisdom in what they have to say.

For members of the CoC who are still hung up on the "One, True Church" mentality, let me recommend Edward's running series on "Death of a Distinctive?" and Al's most recent Reflections, "The Universal One Body."  Also, there's this new enlightening book recommended by Edward, Missing More Than Music: When Disputable Matters Eclipse Worship and Unity by Danny Corbitt which will surely bless especially those in the CoC who have begun to question their "a capella only" tradition.