Friday, November 03, 2017


Without the least intention of fomenting deep discontent, instilling downright anger and pursuant rebellious disposition among a truly big majority of the people in this “Pearl of the Orient Seas”, there is an urgent need to call and wake up the supposedly brilliant, credible and dependable public officials concretely assigned to look after and promote the honest-to-goodness national socio-economic development of the Country – with its People as the first and foremost beneficiary.

Hunger and destitution, hopelessness and despair – these are the combined root cause of anger, discontent and riot even, with the thought that “An empty stomach has no ears”.  Without enough food, decent shelter and wearable clothing – it would be rather incongruous and even dumb to expect that the thus wanting and suffering people would keep quiet and stay still at all times, in all occasions.  When so many families live by the canals and under the bridges, when gathering garbage remains a practice and when scavengers are still a common site – it is inanity if not downright insanity to even but think that “Everything is OK”

Governments come and go one after the other.  Different political colors appear and disappear now and then.  All possible grandiose propaganda machines notwithstanding, despite many unending heavenly survey results and consonant political pronouncements to the contrary, the truth remains that a markedly big number of people are destitute, hungry, sick – all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.

Below are certain questions basically addressed to those relatively few wealthy, healthy and happy individuals and families, the truthful and sincere answers thereto could make those concerned to question themselves how come they live so comfortably  while so many others are miserable, why it is that they do not worry at all about the foods they eat, the shelters they live in, the clothes they wear as a matter of course while others are starving, living by the sidewalks, wearing dirty and tattered clothes?

*  Do you really sweat and toil for what you have?
*  Do you have much while many others have practically nothing at all?
*  Do you simply waste what others are in dire need of?

*  Do you love your possessions more than you love the needy?
*  Do the destitute have no right at all to what is yours?
*  Do you help the hungry and miserable only during Christmas?

 How do you help yourself help those in need?
*  How do you help the needy eventually help themselves?
*  How do you help without you being neither loud nor proud for it?

Poverty is not a blessing until one makes the vow to be poor.  Misery is not humane. Catastrophe is not an option.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Born on 6 February 1931, ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 17 March 1956, elevated to the holy Episcopacy on 30 November 1971 and eventually ranked with the eminent status of a Cardinal - these are the key chapters in the life of His Eminence, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, D.D. who recently died but in fact becomes more alive in memory, appreciation and admiration of those who knew him, those who related with him, those who worked with him.  Now it can be said with all sincerity and candor:  He was one of a kind – a singular example hard to emulate.

His humility was deep and endearing.  His kindness was exemplary and impressive.  It can be said that he was a good example to all, a well-loved figure to those who worked with him.  Anger and pride appeared foreign to his action and reaction patterns.  Humility was his trademark.  Silently he worked and silently he did much for the welfare of the people, for the good of the Church.  So it is that his life and examples are not easy to follow even but considering their saintly nature and spirit.

More.  Tirelessly he worked; assiduously he made researches.  He asked people here and there, gathered necessary evidences from these and those places.  Eventually he made representations to Rome whereto he went back and forth to follow-up his concerns, to accomplish what was required of him in view of his concern and finality.  There were many standard and particular demands asked of him to fulfill and/or to verify.  All these he did and no one in the Philippines has done the same - neither before nor nowadays.  it is in no way easy to follow his good and holy examples.

So it is that the highly singular and blessed fruits of his labors can be rightfully considered as practically inimitable: the Canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod - the two and only two Filipinos elevated to the status of Sainthood!  No one, and this means no one in this Country as a whole has ever done such a singular feat.  And if this distinct achievement were not enough, the good, kind and holy Cardinal had already extended his hands and spirit to the admirable effort to have another Filipino elevated to Sainthood:  Teofilo B. Camomot - a man of the cloth who died in a vehicular accident on 27 September 1988.

So it was that when it became known that Cardinal Vidal died, there were people who prayed for him, viz., for the eternal repose of his soul.  But there were also people who prayed to him, i.e., for his intervention on behalf of others for God's mercy and forgiveness, for His help for their various needs as well as for His assistance in their different trials and difficulties.  So it is that the good, kind and holy Cardinal is not merely prayed for on the occasion of "All Souls' Day" but also prayed to during "All Saints' Day".

Cardinal Vidal:  Please pray for us - please!      

Monday, October 30, 2017


 On the occasion of the Feast of “All Saints’ Day” and “All Souls’ Day”, the question that is usually asked whether Cremation is acceptable to the Universal Catholic Church.  The answer thereto has been given again and again – and again!  But up to these times, for one reason or another, the question is still heard here and there, in this or that occasion.  It is wherefore neither really futile nor irrelevant to give the official answer to the query - taking good note of the following ethical and moral realities:

First, the Good Book itself as above quoted already forwarded the undeniable truth that the human body – a composite of dust itself – when left behind by the human spirit that gives thereto, has but one standard eventual way  to go, viz., back to dust.  So it is usually considered an enigma if not a downright miracle when a dead human body does not undergo decomposition, does not go back to dust without any artificial means adopted precisely to preserve it.

Second, on proviso that cremation is not resorted to for questionable intentions such as anger, hatred or anything the like, then it is considered ethically sound and morally right to do so – such as for any of the following reasons:  It has become more and more costly to embalm a dead body, to place it in a decent coffin, to hold a vigil for it and to finally bring it to a cemetery wherein even burial has become costly.

Third, after the cremation, there are two main options for those remaining behind in conjunction with the ashes left behind by their dearly beloved.  One, these are likewise buried in a cemetery.  Two, these are buried in a so-called “Columbarium”  built by and affiliated with this or that Parish Church.  The following however are forbidden:  One, keeping the ashes at home.  Two, throwing the ashes to the wind and/or the sea.

There is something else that is worth remembering:  As “All Saints’ Day” is time set aside to recall, celebrate, and pray to the spirit of the departed already in the heavenly Kingdom, so it is that “All Souls’ Day” is time set aside and meant for praying for the souls of the departed so that the same will eventually go to the heavenly Kingdom.  The former is “Praying to”.  The latter is “Prayer for”.  So it is that both Days are meant for praying – although making it also a Family Day is not exactly wrong.

It is worth noting that a great number of people go to the cemeteries on “All Saints’ Day” while relatively few of them go thereto on “All Souls’ Day”.  Why?  This is customary.  But why has such become customary?  It is because most people want to think, suppose and feel that their dear departed are worth praying to whereas they are already saints (small “s”).  The rest of them want to think, suppose and feel that their dear departed are still but souls in need or prayers in order to become saints (small “s”) themselves in due time.

Be what it may, “All Saints’ Day” and “All Saints’ Day” are meant for those departed – not for those still around.   

Friday, October 27, 2017


With the advent of hatred and disgust among individuals, among groupings thereof and among nations even, with the reality of terrorism and criminality, with the phenomenon of killings and murders as a matter of course, it might not be altogether strange and futile to think and ponder about love – more specifically about Progressive Love between a man and a woman during these days of rancor and hatred.  Much less is it vain to think and talk about love that can progressively bring two individuals at least, to become a community and to be thus ultimately in loving communion one with the other.

So it is that after a man and a woman met by chance or on purpose, after some time of knowing one another, after enjoying the presence of each other and in effect feeling at ease and savouring joy in the company of one another  such is the usual preamble that usually brings about the following Progressive Love between them in terms of the following standard chapters:

1st. Friendly love:  There is the feeling of comfort and joy, the experience of ease and delight plus the anticipation of more relational  interactions precisely for the experience of even more ease, more leisure and pleasure to the delight of the parties concerned.

2ndConsuming love:  Then comes to fore a more insistent and consistent search for and joy in one another’s companionship such that bilateral loving attention  and concentration cancel arguments and contradictions, overlook persistent admonitions to the contrary.

3rdSpousal love:  So it is that time seems to pass in a hurry such that yesterday is irrelevant, the present is what counts, considering that the future is infallibly bright, all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.  In a word, optimism is rule of the time.

4thConjugal love.  This is the eventual conclusion of the above-cited love in its progressive mode.  It is not really one plus one equals two.  Rather, it is one man plus one woman equals one integral human reality that makes the joys and pains, the laughter and tears of one as those also of the other.

5thParental love.  The progressive love as above expressed finds ultimate conclusions in its generative phenomenon when one is more than just one plus one but also plus others precisely coming from the said oneness.  So it is that the man and the woman become  a bigger one.

It is in distinct love songs that the delightful nature, noble finality and startling attributions of love are expressed and affirmed in the most revealing language and in the most fervent way – just as proclaimed   by the well-known song “I’ll Be Loving You Eternally” which in down-to-earth reality means the continuous and consistent singer’s love for the other – as they become two-in-one and one in  more that is equals unity, union, communion.

Such is love – not hatred, neither criminality or downright killing as anytime, anyhow, anywhere taking place during these times and age.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Given the disturbing signs of the times such as in terms of downright bloodshed all over the land, these and those criminal acts day in and day out, considering certain faulty understanding of the Catholic Faith in particular – with all the local Sects apparently being held  exempted from the attacks and castigations of all those involved in the fray and contentions – it might be good and proper to proffer the following more basic and elementary truths based on reason and truth.  The recall of and attention to the following short and simple realities are but meant to put things in right order, to think objectively and thus speak correctly.

In secular parlance, it can be rightly said that there is a whale of a difference between the Church and Churchmen – some of the more glaring examples of which are the following:  The Church is a foundation while Churchmen are but members or constituents thereof.  The Church has Christ as her Founder while Churchmen are but followers of Christ.  The Church is universal in reach and constituency while Churchmen are but here or there.  The Church is more than 2000 years old and counting while Churchmen come and go but for some decades as a matter of fact.

The Church is holy in Her teachings, holy in her traditions, holy in her observances – such that She is called and referred to as “Holy Mother the Church” for being holy in her being, holy in her teachings, holy in her observances.  But there are certain Churchmen who either do nothing or do exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do.  So it is that while as a rule most of them observe the Commandments and keep their sworn to promises and commitments, it is not a secret that some of them do exactly the opposite.  In other words, quasi innumerable are the good, exemplary and holy Churchmen.  Truth to say however, there are those who act and live otherwise.  So it is that as there was a Judas among the Twelve Apostles of Christ, such a figure of disgust and distrust still exists in the Church somehow, somewhere.

Certain key conclusions come to order:

First, those who are angry at certain Churchmen for speaking the truth, for pointing out what is wrong, for teaching what is hard to do, let them castigate the former but not the Church.

Second, those who are scandalized by what this or that Churchman does or not do contrary to the dictate of faith and morals, against what is right and proper, let them talk and act against him but not  against the Church.

Third, those who insist and perhaps even persist in attacking the Church per se, they better remember that in due time, for sure they be six feet below the ground while the Church is still around.

The above few and elementary statements, observations and conclusions are worth knowing and keeping lest we demonstrate our ignorance by “barking at the wrong tree” –  the maxim goes.