Saturday, August 19, 2006


It has been raining for the past three days. Continuous rains. Day and night.

So we have occasional flash floods. Especially in the places where the drainage systems seem NOT to catch any water. Clogged waterways they are rather than flowing drainage systems.

Thus, for an hour of rain, the Church patio is flooded! Notwithstanding the fact that a new drainage system that flows from the Church patio to the water canal going to the Cayanga River has been built by the Parish.

A clogged canal? A silted river system? A garbage-cum-canal water system? Whatever it is, waters seem to want to stay longer in the church patio inconveniencing the parishioners. Like the funeral procession this morning. The tears flowed out of grief and out of despair?

Monsoon rains have come. And so do the floods.

No Sin

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My sins are..."

The voices on the other side of the confessional kept on. Parishioners going to confessions. Accusing themselves of such and such sins. Making firm purpose of amendment. Asking God to forgive them.

"Father, I am sorry I did this. I thought it was alright to do it because nobody saw me did it anyway."

One of the more common justifications made why one who knows that a particular act is already wrong and who would nevertheless commit the evil anyway is "I am alone. Nobody can see me. I will not be caught. And if I am not caught, there is no sin."


What is wrong can not become right even if one is not caught doing it. When one is caught one is punished. Punishment is a consequence of the wrong and the evil that was done. It is a reparation for the damage done.

"Father, I thought there is nothing wrong about it because I promised myself I will do it only once".

Soon, the one time sin becomes a series of sins. In fact, the one time, personal sin, certainly and surely will bring about more sins. Affects more lives, other than one's own. Brings about sadness to others lives. Sins multliply. Their effects too multiply.

"Everybody is doing it, Father."

Even if all the people are doing something which is wrong and evil from the very beginning does not mean that that evil becomes ultimately good. Morality is not something that changes in time. What is wrong today cannot become good tomorrow. Nor a lie becomes a truth because so many have started to believe it to be "true".

Nobody sees me. Only once. Everybody is doing it.

They lead us to believe it is alright to think, see, hear and act evil.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Walang Tataya!" BE ANGRY!

Jueteng is once again back! It has been operating ILLEGALY for about three months now. It has made its return with a "vengeance". Seemingly, it is invincible! Seemingly, it is indestructible! Its operators are seemingly untouchbles! They are seemingly beyond the reach of the law!

And why so?

Everybody knows who the operators of Jueteng are.

Except the police.

The cobradores are seen collecting bets in the open. Everybody sees them. And knows them.

Except the police.

As long as the police can not see.

Can not hear.

Can not talk.

Jueteng is seemingly here to stay.

Our response: "Walang Tataya!" Nobody bets!

This appeal does not only mean that nobody bets on jueteng.

"WALANG TATAYA!" also means that it is about time we become ANGRY at the Jueteng Lords who shamelessly suck the hard earned money of the poor. Who become rich and powerful at the expense of the poor! "Robin Hood" they surely are not!

It is about time we get ANGRY at the inutile police force. They who have the law and the authority on their side but who refuse to enforce the law.

BE ANGRY at the corruption of morals of public officials. BE ANGRY at the corruptors of these officials who live by the principle that there is nothing and nobody that money cannot buy! BE ANGRY at these officials who allow themselves to be bought, corrupted and laughed at by the corruptors themselves!

And so evil thrives in our refusal to be ANGRY.

We have not been ANGRY enough!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Let the Truth Speak

Truth does need any sugar-coating to make it more delectable. Truth tells it is as it is. Everybody wants to know it; and everybody wants to hide it. Especially the powerful cheats and corrupt liars.

But, even if the powerful would want to destroy it by muzzling it with their seeming superiority; even if the cheat would want to cover it by telling lies and more lies against it, truth outlives the liars and their lies, the powerful manipulators and their machinations.

Truth can be hidden, but for a while. It has a life of its own. It has a power that even the most powerful cannot match.

Truth outlives all of us.

Truth is feared by those who profit from their lies. Truth is detested by those who cheat.

Especially those who are entrusted with “public trust” and who work for “public service”. It is they who must respect it, live it, protect it, defend it. But woe to them who shamelessly manipulate the meaning of “trust” and disregard the magnificence of “service” while declaring their loyalty only to themselves and call it “public good”. They lie!

Only history can judge the period we are in. But today, it may suffice to say: we have become a nation of cheats, when it seems the only way to pass an exam is to leak the questions, and provide the answers to the examiners! Where cheats are rewarded, not punished. Where superiority in numbers has become the standard for “truth” and “morality” (and we call it the “democratic way”).

Let the truth speak what it knows!

But, why be afraid of what it knows?

Unless one is a cheat. A liar.

(Breaking News Headline: House panel junks impeach rap vs. Arroyo)

Saturday, August 05, 2006


The wake was at the Mt. Carmel Chapel near the parish church. Her relatives and friends went to pay their last respects to her, even if for one night only. There were many who attended the funeral mass, and interment. Two others who died were prayed for during the mass.

Her body was found days after she died.

She died.

In her house.


Friday, August 04, 2006

The Priest (Michel Quoist)

On this feast of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, a prayer of Michel Quoist from his book "Prayers" is most appropriate.
. . . . . . . . .

"People ask a great deal of their priest, and they should. But they should also understand that it is not easy to be a priest. He has given himself in all the ardor or youth, yet he still remains a man, and every day the man in him tries to take back what he has surrendered. It is a continual struggle to remain completely at the service of Christ and of others.

A priest needs no praise or embarassing gifts; what he needs is that those committed to his charge should, by loving their fellows more and more, prove to him that he has not given his life in vain. And as he remains a man, he may need, once in a while, a delicate gesture of disinterested friendship... some Sunday night when he is alone.

"Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1,17).

"You did not choose me: I chose you. I appointed you to go on and bear fruit that shall last..." (John 15, 16)

"Forgetting what is behind me, and reaching out for that which lies ahead, I press towards the goal to win the prize which is God's call to the life above, in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3, 13-14).

Tonight, Lord, I am alone.
Little by little the sounds died down in the church.
The people went away,
And I came home,

I passed people who were returning from a walk.
I went by the movie house that was disgorging its crowd.
I skirted cafe terraces where tired strollers were trying to prolong the pleasure
of a Sunday holiday.
I bumped into youngsters playing on the sidewalk,
Youngsters, Lord,
Other people's youngsters, who will never be my own.

Here I am, Lord,
The silence troubles me,
The solitude oppresses me.

. . . . . . . . . .

Lord, I'm thirty-five years old,
A body made like others,
Arms ready for work,
A heart meant for love,
But I've given you all.
It's true, of course, that you needed it.
I've given you all, but it's hard, Lord.
It's hard to give one's body; it would like to give itself to others.
It's hard to love everyone and to claim no one.
It's hard to shake a hand and not want to retain it.
It's hard to inspire affection, only to give it to you.
It's hard to be nothing to oneself in order to be everything to others.
It's hard to be like others, among others, and to be other.
It's hard always to give without trying to receive.
It's hard to seek out others and to be, oneself, unsought.
It's hard to suffer from the sins of others, and yet be obliged to hear and bear them.
It's hard to be told secrets, and be unable to share them.
It's hard to carry others and never, even for a moment, be carried.
It's hard to sustain the feeble and never be able to lean on one who is strong.
It's hard to be alone,
Alone before everyone,
Alone before the world,
Alone before suffering,

Son, you are not alone,
I am with you;
I am you.
For I needed another human instrument to continue my Incarnation and my Redemption.
Out of all eternity, I chose you,
I need you.

I need your hands to continue to bless,
I need your lips to continue to speak,
I need your body to continue to suffer,
I need your hearts to continue to love,
I need you to continue to save.
Stay with me, son.

Here I am, Lord;
Here is my body,
Here is my heart,
Here is my soul.
Grant that I may be big enough to reach the world,
Strong enugh to carry it,
Pure enough to embrace it without wanting to keep it.
Grant that I may be a meeting-place, but a temporary one,
A road that does not end in itself, because everything to be gathered there, everyting human, leads toward you.

Lord, tonight, while all is still and I feel sharply the sting of solitude,
While men devour my soul and I feel incapable of satisfying their hunger,
While the whole world presses on my shoulders with all its weight of misery and sin,
I repeat to you my "yes" -- not in a burst of laughter, but slowly, clearly, humbly,
Alone, Lord, before you,
In the peace of the evening.

- Michel Quoist, 1954, France.