Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grassroots: Ang Simula

Okay. Eto na.

Sa totoo lang, hindi ako sanay magsulat sa Filipino, lalo na sa mga blogs ko. Kaso, Agosto ngayon, at ipinagdiriwang ngayon ang Buwan ng Wika. Well, kailangan kong aminin na maganda ang wikang ito hindi lang dahil sa ito ang aking mater lingua, kundi ito rin ang nakagisnan ko sa araw-araw kong pamumuhay. Siguro naman kahit isang buwan man lang ay magbigay pugay ako sa nakasanayan ko, diba?

Ito ang simple kong dahilan kung bakit ko naisipang gawin ang Grassroots Project. Ito ay isang pagbibigay-pugay sa wikang Filipino habang tinatalakay pa rin ang mga napapanahong isyu sa Simbahan, sa ating bansa, at sa gampanin ng kommunikasyon sa ating lipunan. Ipapakita rin dito ang aking mga saloobin sa mga bagay ukol sa apolohetika, liturhiya, pagpapahalaga sa buhay, at iba pa. Sana rin ay makabuo ako ng mga tula. Isa pa, nais ko ring iwasan ang pagbibitaw ng masasamang salita, lalo na sa Alter Ego, dahil nababatid ko na mas naiintindihan ng mas nakakarami ang mga foul words sa Filipino.

So, sa ngayon, nangangapa pa ako kung ano ang susunod kong editorial dito, dahil talagang gusto ko talaga na magkaroon ng original na post; dahil kung susuriin nyo ang buong blog ko, halos lahat mga reposts mula sa ibang blogs at websites. Kahit na kine-credit ko sila sa abot ng aking makakaya, mas mainam na meron talaga akong sariling gawa.

Yun lang muna sa ngayon....


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Filipinos and Counter-Cultures (A Commentary for "Filipino Hippies")

Here's a blog post of my colleague in Communication Arts, Ms. Paula Solmerano, about counter-cultures. I don't have that much idea about it, but I guess in the prevailing social issues and attitudes can be inserted here as additions to what she posted, of course, with her permission. You can see the original post HERE


Filipino Hippies
The world must need more love, because the last hippie has yet to die.
-Jesse Walker

            Counter-culture as defined in most references is a culture or way of life of particular people living in a society whom oppose or reject the dominant culture, norms, or behavior existing in that society. Some sociologists believe that culture in a society is never without a counter-culture. [And that is correct. Yet social issues today are so confusing that no one can distinguish what is the culture and what is the counter-culture.] To date, the most popular counter-culture was the ‘hippies’ which began their cultural revolution in the West during the 1960’s.  [which also brought about the Sexual Revolution that started the opening of the Pandora's box of contraceptive mentality and also the liturgical abuses that were practiced as a misinterpretation of the documents made at the Second Vatican Council.] However, locally speaking, some counter-cultures also existed and continues to exist in the Philippine society.

            One manifestation of cultural opposition is evident in the Philippines’ religion history during the pre-colonial period. Even before Catholicism becomes the dominant religion in the country, in the past, it can be considered as an opposition to the then prevailing religious system—Animism.  Animism can be used to describe the indigenous spiritual traditions practiced by people in the Philippines during pre-colonial times. It is a collection of beliefs and cultural mores anchored in the idea that the world is inhabited by spirits and supernatural entities, both good and bad, and that respect be accorded to them through nature worship. These spirits are known as ‘diwatas’. In this belief, some worship anitos and others even practice magic. This religion, in the past, holds the record of dominance for the whole archipelago but when Catholicism started to spread in the northern part of the country, the shift of the once principal to a minor religion ensues.

             In short, today’s leading religion, Catholicism, was then part of minor subculture in Philippine society which in the course of history, developed to be the main religion in its opposition and desire for propagation. Nowadays, only a handful of indigenous tribes continue to practice Animism. [and a number of people also practice its Western counterpart, Wicca, which is considered a cult by the Catholic Church.]

            As an example now of the present existence of cultural opposition in the country, youth again can be fairly counted. It seems that Philippines has its own “hippies”—only more socialites in sense--with the like of Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Kadre (KKK), an underground socialist youth in Mindanao. These young people, described as dynamic, bold and daring, is a sector, composed of various sub-sectors, which transcends to different sectors and classes of the society (Antoine, 2010).
            On the anniversary of Bonifacio Day, year 2009, the socialist oriented youth from the Bangsa Moro people, Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao and from the majority nationality, proclaimed the creation of a new underground, revolutionary socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist youth society called the Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Kadre (KKK) or the Society of Young Cadres. This society is mainly based in Mindanao with elements in various parts of the country. It reflects the desire of the young revolutionaries to slowly unlearn and out-grow the Stalinists and Maoist orientations that they inherited. This is also to help create a counter –culture against the rising culture of careerism, opportunism, commercialization, and reformism that they view as the main culprit of havoc and confusion in various social sectors. (  Furthermore, according to the socialist youth there is a need to organize and mobilize all the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist youth under the banner of revolutionary socialism towards the realization in Mindanao, Philippines, and the world. [Looks like the idea is a fusion of Islamo-indegeous and communist thought, I presume.]

            Clearly, this example somehow violates one of the main considerations in defining what a counter-culture is: being not necessarily a social movement and members are often unorganized. However, the mere existence of the citizens having the same outlook against the existing social concerns of Philippine society presently already proves a fact that such culture exists in the country prior to the formation of their movement. This youth socialites stand for what they believe as the more proper way of living life and how social system in the country should change and not be tolerated anymore by its people. Indeed, an opposition of what is constantly happening in Philippine society. [Uh-huh]

            Lastly, the counter-culture that has been existing in the past, present, and in high chances, still continues to exist in the future shows the manifestation of Filipino colonial mentality. [Take, for example, the Sexual Revolution, which ushered in the ST films here in the Philippines, which in turn paved the way to pornography and voyeurism, and now, the RH Bill.]  At first thought colonial mentality may seem to be irrelevant in discussing Philippine society, but as Manuel L. Quezon said, “It is not, at least not entirely.” [Though some of Quezon's critics argue that he was a Janus-faced politician--facing the Filipinos, he speaks of his ardent desire for independence, on the other hand (or should I say face), he speaks with the Americans about other plans. Thus, Quezon is a counter-culture himself, much like Jekyll and Hyde]
            In an article of Manuel Quezon entitled Philippine Racism, he discussed the significance to highlight colonial mentality as part of Filipino culture. For some reasons, it already has became a characteristic of Filipino culture which therefore promotes a different  yet common subculture in the country—people who account a big part of their life by patronizing everything colonial and  deride anything that gives pride to what truly is “Filipino”. This culture is simply evident through the lifestyle some Filipino follow and their standpoint of beauty, in both aspects—physical and material. Sadly, even in media, this kind of lifestyle is portrayed. [and, sadly, even mimicked for the sake of ratings.]
             Furthermore, Quezon said, “The colonial mentality constitutes a weakness in the structure of our national society which we can ill afford.”. If one were to argue that this is a mere mentality or behavior, not a counter-culture of Filipino nationalism why therefore it affects society so much that it cannot afford to completely manifest in the culture of the country? The answer is because; it is indeed already a sub-culture continuously opposing the dominant nationalistic culture which ought to really rule. However, it may not be imperative that this kind of culture in Philippine society be eliminated, only minimized. As a result of the mentality, a sub-culture materializes and its defect in Philippine society can cause it to crumble.
            Aside from these three cases presented, the existence of counter-culture in Philippine society can also be pointed through a number more examples. These examples only prove that Philippines, just like any other country, has experienced, and still experiencing, counter-cultures.

Antoine. (n.d.). Philippines. Retrieved July 23, 2011, from
Quezon, M. L. (n.d.). Philippine Racism. Retrieved July 23, 2011, from
Religion in the Philippines. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2011, from 

Blogger's Note: Paula Solmerano is currently a Communication Arts Junior at the University of Santo Tomas. At the time of this post, she works as a trainee and an undercover reporter for ABS-CBN Sports. Ms. Solmerano also blogs at Beneath a Dreamer's Apophthegm

Taking from here, Ms. Solmerano was right. There are existing counter-cultures which do not only shape society, but divides it into two or more schools of thought. 

The greatest example we can tackle here is the issue of contraception and the other issues related to it. Advocates of contraception are further divided into splinters of thought: on one hand, those who favor contraception as essential medicines and nothing more; on the other, those who favor contraception who also are advocates for abortion, divorce, same-sex marriages, euthanasia, secularism, neo-atheism, and even religious bigotry. In the three latter advocacies, there are still more collateral damage which they are pursuing--the discrediting and taxing of religious organizations, specifically the Catholic Church; the "education" of young minds to adhere neo-atheism; and much more. 

There is a loophole in these, however. It seems they only target Catholics--prelates, clergy, religious, and laity--just because, for them, they have the guts of opposing all of these, and they are the most rational among the religious institutions in the country, and basically, across the globe. Besides, what can they get from the other religious groups aside from their support? 

Aside from this prevailing word war on venues and in the Internet, there are many more counter-cultures that continues to make this country a house divided. 

Anyway, Thank you, Paula, for letting me do a commentary about this. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Way to define Today

Good News: We have no classes, and I'm going to go lazaaay!

Bad News: Uhhhhh...... Just check out this pic by Bro. Paolo Cobangbang, O.P.

Have to admit: It's going to be a day of ranting. Check this one! hahahaha

Ay! Oo nga pala, malapit na pala ang Agosto, at dahil dyan, ilo-launch ko dito at sa Alter Ego ang "Grassroots Project", kung saan madali akong maiintindihan sa blog na 'to kahit isang buwan lang. Ito na rin yata ang ika-94 kong post, at sana tatama sa Agosto ang aking ikaisandaang post dito sa MSAG!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pro-lifers at the Tigers' and Falcons' Camps

Last July 19, the CBCP has launched two pro-life forums held at two separate locations: the Adamson University for the laity, and the University of Santo Tomas for the students. Both were successful, and both were graced by pro-life Representatives--Rep. Roilo Golez for AdU and Rep. Mitos Magsaysay for UST. Let me focus on the latter since it was where I was....

The program was held at the UST Chapel. Aside from the host school, which is UST, there were also delegations from St. Paul University Manila and Quezon City, Lourdes School Quezon City, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, St. Jude Academy, Cainta Catholic School, La Consolacion College Pasig and Valenzuela, San Beda College, St. Mary's College of Quezon City, Philippine Normal University, Assumption College Makati, Technological University of the Philippines, Santa Catalina College-Legarda, and though uncharacteristic, small delegations from Ateneo and La Salle.

Aside from Rep. Magsaysay, the other speakers were Ate Renelyn Tan of World Youth Alliance and Prof. Richard Pazcougin of the UST Center for Campus Ministry.

Sir Raymond Bandril gives you the rest of the report, while Ma'am Diana Uichanco reports the Adamson forum.
The Varsitarian also has an article about this.

These are some of the pictures of the events that happened at UST. The rest can be shown HERE.

Take note of the vestments: a stole and a cope. That means, it's a paraliturgical celebration, not a Mass since the priest must wear a chasuble in order to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. 

The guy in green with a scarf near the center is my Pro-life friend.... :) 

Thomasian reinforcements.... Sweet.... 

Thomasians avoid passing through the Arch of the Centuries because of a prevailing urban legend. But students of other schools don't care about it just to get to España. 

The Legion of Life in formation. Find me in the crowd! hahahahaha 

Good thing these guys never hesitated to smile at the camera.... ^_^

And after that, a number of Thomasians have started flooding the CBCP for Life Page with their statements. (and I guess, these are the new set of students handled by Prof. Agui Jalin, mostly from the Faculty of Arts and Letters) This is what I posted: 

"WOW! Another batch of Thomasians standing for life! The Artlets (colloquial term for AB students in UST) have represented, We want to hear from other Colleges as well! GO USTE!" 

Congratulations to everyone!

And, yeah. The people on the other side are not happy about this.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exploiting the Moment

Radyo Veritas went off air for five days last week due to technical upgrading...

...and in its absence, all hell broke loose.

It seems that the dissident anti-Catholics took it as an opportunity to discredit the Church all the more. But five days were not enough to create a significant change in the rationality of Filipinos; and in those five days, a miracle even happened--the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is now on the defensive mood after the seven bishops were resolved to return to PCSO the SUV's which they allegedly purchased in the course of the Senate hearing. Besides, it was not their loss since they promised a vow of poverty in their ordination to the priesthood.

Furthermore, the revelation of this issue made Carlos Celdran, Elizabeth Angsioco, and their allies and minions furiously rage together and imagine vain things such as "SaPARI at MitsuBISHOP", and other insulting statements. But the sweet revenge (backfire could be a better term) of this issue is that by this radio silence, all the more DZRV's fellow media professionals--whether in TV, Radio, Print, or in Multimedia--have shown their true colors: On one side, the personal bias of some of them prevailed; on the other, the objectivity of balancing views--and sometimes favoring the underdog of this issue, which is the Catholic Church and its ardent adherers.

In this end, Radyo Veritas is back on air--stronger and more widespread. But there is always an effect in communication, even in radio silence; since radio can be an effective catalyst for change and can sway listeners to take action.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Minding one's own business

Just so you know, I'm not siding anyone here. This is just a self-analysis that ran for the past few days: 

Of course people extend help to anyone in need. On one hand is the claimant of being "the largest charitable institution in the world"--the Catholic Church; on the other, one of the few legit number games being subscribed by millions and millions of Filipinos--which is the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Now, everyone is aware that there is a conflict between these two charitable institutions just because a bishop of the said Church allegedly purchased an SUV, presumably for good intentions and unselfish purposes. 

Now here comes the people who sensationalized this actually small issue in the hopes of discrediting religious organizations; besides, they have hatred for the Church--the Catholic Church, that is--just because it is the trend or they really have reasons of their own. In effect, people are glued to the media and started thinking like: "What the hell is going on?" or "Why in the world do these guys make a headline out of this? Isn't there something else?" and so on. 

But before a further mudslinging, let me ask: Do we have faults of our own that makes us unworthy of accusing someone for a misconduct he or she intentionally or unintentionally made? This is actually the reflectionary worth of a story in the Gospels where the Jews made Christ decide if the woman they caught of adultery be stoned to death or not; of course, with the corresponding consequences in His part. And what did He said? "Whoever is without sin, cast the first stone." (John 8:7) 

And you know what happened next. 

It is not the bishops or the PCSO who share the burden of the problem: It is the people who just made this issue worse in the hopes of promoting a different kind of atheism and agnosticism--even a different kind of Christianity deviant to what is true. These people cannot mind their own businesses so they mind others'. 

And anyway, which is more speculative: A bishop having an SUV (not necessarily received from PCSO) for practical purposes or someone in the government who had a Porsche for luxury but sold it away due to criticism?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Axios!: Archbishop Palma elected as next CBCP President

The Pinoy Catholic and One With You posted greetings...and so do I....

MSAG congratulates His Excellency Most Rev. Jose Palma, D.D., Archbishop of Cebu, for his election as the next President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop, Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D., is elected Vice-President.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Participation at Mass

This is a good read by Taylor Marshall.... 

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a participation in the eternal liturgy of Heaven at which Christ is the celebrant [True... Very true.]. Prior to Christ's death on the life-giving cross, Heaven was closed to humans. The Old Testament saints remained in the Limbo of the Fathers ("Abraham's bosom") until the death of Christ opened the gates of Heaven [No idea about that, but hey, now I know. :D]. This is why the Old Testament Temple had statues and images of angels within it, but no images of human beings. Now that Christ has bodily entered Heaven and escorted humans into Heaven [being BOTH human and divine], our temples or churches now contain statues and images of angels and human saints [Now beat that, Manalo!].

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass allows us to participate in the mystical worship of the Holy Trinity [The Mass lifts us up to the greatness of Heaven.]. Any so-called theologian or liturgist who does not consider the Holy Mass as a sacrifice and a mystical participation in Heaven is not thinking with the mind or heart of the Holy Church [TPC, can you repost this? This message must go somewhere only you know. hahahahaha!]. Saint Paul [Uhhh, isn't the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, although Paulinely influenced, another person?] explains what Christ taught concerning this:

[22] But you are come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, [23] And to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, [24] And to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel. [25] See that you refuse him not that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke upon the earth, much more shall not we, that turn away from him that speaketh to us from heaven. (Heb 12:22-28) [Never mind the typo.]
The Holy Mass is the enfolding of the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and union with Him now in Heaven. Thus, we who are embodied here on earth must adapt to this mystical reality. The rubrics, music, architecture, and words of Holy Mother Church ensure that this reality (which is impossible to see without the eyes of faith) is illustrated through dignified signs [and must not be bastardized.].

The priest, we know, signifies Christ and acts in the person of Christ [An Alter Christus acting in Persona Christi at Mass]. What do the laity signify? The Eastern Cherubikon, or Cherubic Hymn, describes the Catholic faithful as "mystically representing the Cherubim": [Now that's a dignified representation by our Eastern brothers!]

Οἱ τὰ Χερουβεὶμ μυστικῶς εἰκονίζοντες, 
καὶ τῇ ζωοποιῷ Τριάδι τὸν Τρισάγιον ὕμνον προσάδοντες, 
πᾶσαν νῦν βιοτικὴν ἀποθώμεθα μέριμναν, 
ὡς τὸν Βασιλέα τῶν ὅλων ὑποδεξόμενοι, 
ταῖς ἀγγελικαῖς ἀοράτως δορυφορούμενον τάξεσιν. Ἀλληλούϊα.

We who mystically represent the Cherubim,
and who sing to the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn,
let us now lay aside all earthly cares
that we may receive the King of all,
escorted invisibly by the angelic orders. Alleluia

If we truly believe the words of this hymn (and the testimony of Saint Paul), then our participation in the Holy Mass will become profoundly angelic. Active participation does not mean moving around physically or carrying things around the sanctuary. Rather, active participation means being aflame with love in the presence of God. [Emphasis mine.] Cherubs, in the Old Testament, are not fat babies [thanks to the Renaissance painters.], but fierce beast-like protectors of God's glory and sanctity [and how privileged are we to become lesser than angels, for we take part in the defense of God's glory]. Mary was and is the greatest active participant of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because she co-offered it with her Son nearly 2,000 years ago at Golgotha. She did not speak or move. She united herself. In union with Jesus, she was perfectly actualized with love, reverence, and worship. I wish that I could see what she must have looked like on that dreadful day. Mary is higher than the cherubim and seraphim because she is also the sincere and wounded lover of the Holy Sacrifice [Proof: Read the lyrics of Agni Parthene.].

If we really want to get serious about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the liturgy, then we need to scrap all the "liturgy workshops" of the last forty years and engage ourselves in Mariology. How can we be more like Mary at the Cross? How can we be more like Mary when we bear Christ in our bellies? How do the holy priests of the Catholic Church best enter into this mystery? To be Marian is to be liturgically sound [and to be Marian is the greatest gauge of one's faith, since Mary is the nearest being associated to God Himself.].

I learned from a holy priest that it was the practice of Bl. Contardo Ferrini, a holy layman, to humbly pray Mary's Magnificat as soon as he received Holy Communion at the altar rail [well, that's a good practice...why not try it the next time we receive Christ in Holy Communion?]. In this way, he made himself "active" in the mystery of the liturgy. The words of Our Lady's canticle are in fact a perfect post-Communion thanksgiving and instill the humility that we need. Mary was, the saints confirm, the most humble creature that ever lived [and that debunks the anti-Catholic argument that the Mary of Catholicism is not the Mary of the Bible; because they are one and the same. And for everyone's information, if the Gospels were synchronized, the last recorded statement that the Blessed Mother uttered was: "Do whatever He tells you." (Jn.2:5), which is actually an affirmation that everything, specifically prayers, is leading to God, and the holy men and women we HONOR are but mere(?) intercessors.]. 


Now THAT is Catholic enough. 

Anyway, I'll be at the CBCP Compound later for a conference composed of Catholic bloggers. Pray for me, everyone!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

May Tama na ang Gumawa ng "May Tamang Balita".

Let's see.... 

GMA News TV has launched its light-side news program called "May Tamang Balita" in the channel's advent last March, and they got the humor of the viewers; somehow a relief from the stale, bad-tasting news programs and stuff. 

There's no problem with that, since they got the concept of this foreign news satire program which I already am ignorant of.... 

...until "May Tamang Balita" moved on its second season where they reformatted, changed airtime, and got so deviant to its previous treatment. 

There's nothing wrong with making fun with what's happening and what's on the news, BUT NOT TO THE POINT OF HITTING BELOW SOMEONE'S BELT, OR IN THIS CASE, AN INSTITUTION'S, ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. 

And if you're following that show, you know what segment I'm talking about. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ang Tunay na Iskolar ng Bayan: a Poem by John Juat

Don't get me wrong. I'm a Thomasian. 

But some of our brothers who are Iskos [colloquial term for UP students; derived from "Iskolar ng Bayan"] are against the RH Bill for secular, and maybe practical reasons. Nevertheless, the main idea is there even if UP is a house divided in this issue, just as other Universities are. We're still a month away before I shift to Filipino in blogging, but let me give you a teaser for that, courtesy of Before the Eastern Sunset

Original post may be seen HERE

Ang tunay na iskolar ng bayan
Na may pakialam sa kapwa nating mamamayan
Alam na hindi RH Bill ang tunay na kasagutan
Sa problemang hinaharap ng ating lipunan

Napakaraming problema ang dapat nating tugunan
Pagpapatatag ng edukasyon ang ating pondohan
Kung kulang pa tayo ng guro, libro at paaralan
Paano natin sila bibigyan ng wastong karunungan?

Pill at condom lang ba ang halaga ng ating katawan?
Kung hindi kaya mahalin, edi huwag na pakasalan
Tayo rin ang todong maaapektuhan, tayong mga kabataan
Kaya naman natin magtimpi, disiplina lang ang kailangan

Bakit ba ang pagbubuntis ay pilit iniiwasan?
Isa ba itong sakit na nararapat mabilisang gamutan?
Ang totoo, isa itong napakalaking karangalan
Na ang babae’y makapagdalang tao sa kanyang sinapupunan

Mga taga-UP, gamitin natin ang ating taglay na katalinuhan
Huwag tayo maging parang asong sunod sunuran
Hindi purkit uso at sinabing maganda ng mga taga-kanluran
Ay totoong makabubuti sa ating minamahal na bayan

Iskolar ng bayan, buksan natin ang ating isipan
Tingnan natin mabuti ang isyu sa kabuuan
Ibasura na natin ang RH Bill bago tayo magsisi ng tuluyan
At tinataguyod ng panukalang ito ay kultura ng kamatayan

Ang tunay na iskolar ng bayan
Na may pakialam sa kapwa nating mamamayan
Alam na hindi RH Bill ang tunay na kasagutan
Sa problemang hinaharap ng ating lipunan


This poem is penned by John Juat in relation to the Pro-Life Rally mounted by Pro-life UP Students last July 1. 


That also means I'm not the only poet around.... hahahaha 

Ma'am Aliza Racelis also shared about that UP Pro-Life Rally.


Heads' Up!