We would had been married on a Sunday instead of a Saturday if not for Constantine’s edict (siguradong mababatukan mo naman ako for citing this). Unfortunately, September 4, 1994 fell on a Sunday, and Sta. Ana church – being a busy church – simply refused to tie us together on that day so we settled on the 3rd instead.

We figured then that it would be commonsensical to get hitched on your birthday since it would be much easier to remember – and economical. But now I know it is more than that. You were born to be my bitter better half. Something that is fated. Something that is written in the stars.



mother teresa

The person in the picture needs no introduction. And the reason why it it looks old and rugged is that, I have kept it in my wallet even before her beatification in 2003.

I revered her so much so that I even christened my daughter after her. For me, she’s the epitome of how true faith should be manifested: by practical compassion.

I was dumbstruck – to say the least – that even the “gutter saint” had not been spared from faith crisis. But I’m still a big fan of her…just the same.

Burning incense and effigies reminded me that hungry ghost festival is just around the corner.

With all due respect to all the Chinese, not that I don’t really dig that the door to hell opens up allowing our dear and not so-dear departed to freely mingle with the living during this time, I’m just pretty pissed off with indiscriminate burnings in corridors, near lift (that’s elevator for you, americans!) landings. The soot and the smoke really get in my nerves.

It’s a source of celebration, nevertheless!

“Getai” and street opera bloom overnight in the island of Singapore to entertain the living and the dead together with sumptuous feasts organized by business associates and auspicious items such as bicycle, rice, pineapple, charcoal known as ‘black gold’ which are associated with wealth in Chinese are stacked on gold-tinted plates and elaborately wrapped in red ribbons are auctioned off with the highest bid to bring better luck.

In order to please the dead, the living make offering of food and burning paper effigies of homes, maids, and other daily items for the spirits to use in the afterlife or even a cruise to nowhere.

The Hungry Ghost Festival is still one the most unique and colourful festival in the cosmopolitan city.

*from singaporesights

Before you curse and cringe, first things first: I don’t subscribe to this infamous saying 114 found in the non-canonical coptic gospel of thomas. It might not be surprising that this misogynist and androcentric notion was not exclusive to this most famous tractate of the nag hammadi library. It was in fact shared by ancient philosophers, scholars of religion, natural scientists and even medical doctors.

For them living creatures is on a kind of continuum and would have it that woman is in fact an imperfect man! Hence, even now, there are those who deemed they are the weaker sex. But then again, with the progress made but women (they now dominate the blogosphere, in case you failed to discern) in most facets of life, there remain maybe only a trickle.

And lest you forget Mary Magdalene (not really the prostitute as some traditions suggest) played a pivotal role in western civilization by arguably being the “first christian” (she’s the first to know and proclaimed the resurrection and not those macho disciples who scurried after smelling trouble) .

If they are part the “imperfect world” then I don’t want it to be perfect. It’s outrightly inconceivable living a life without them.

“…i don’t come in peace, but sword”–Matthew 10:34

I’m hoping that the recent assault, beheadings and mutilations of our soldiers should be a wake a call and jolt us from our bottomless forbearance that peacetalk is not just the way to deal with the “renegade brothers” in the south. There is no way you can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken land unless you get rid of these armed groups.

playing God

The “charismatic” new Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio has asked the provincial board to grant him blanket authority to enter into formal agreements and sign contracts and other transactions for the benefit of the province. Like a crusader in some forgotten era, he is trying to bulldoze his way in. I hope that this is just a “teething problem” and he would realize the soonest that having worn the abito doesn’t really make him infallible.

loose lips sink ships

I do believe that the basic proviso of freedom is responsibility that’s why the news of lawmaker pushing for decriminalization of libel makes me want to throw up in disgust. We should be very careful of what we wish for.

No doubt that Commission on Election Chairman Benjamin Abalos, who screwed up big time election after election, should step down. He made matters worst by claiming that it was the “moral degeneration” of Filipinos that was to blame for the tainted electoral system. Washing his hands clean like some Pontius Pilate. He is one of the guys (another one that I can think of–off the cuff–is “loose-lips” justice secretary Raul Gonzalez) that la presidentia should get rid off if she really wants to make true to her promise.

I’m all for it!

Nevertheless, CBCP (Catholic Bishop Council of the Philippines) doesn’t need to echo the call. The ramification leaves a bad aftertaste even for catholics when the church meddles even on secular matters. There is a good reason why the state was separated from the church.

what’s love got to do with it

Today, believe to be an auspicious day in many cultures, many will be digging their graves exchanging bows. Even desperate housewife Eva Longoria and fiance Tony Parker, credited for being instrumental in San Antonio Spurs’ NBA championship crown will take the plunge. Here in Singapore 772 couples–5 couples shy to complete the magic number–are tying the knots on their necks …and probably take the plunge.

Seven is a number revered in most dominant religions. In Judaism, God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it, which is the sabbath day. It was however conveniently switched to a Sunday during Constantine’s time to “appease” sol invinctus . The same context while probably most of us is celebrating Christ’s birth on the December 25 instead of the earlier tradition of January 6. Buddha had his famous 7 steps during his birth. While in Islam and Kabbalah, God and the most exalted angels dwell in the 7th heaven. In modern times, 7th heaven means a state of happiness–a bliss.

Oh well, as they say, marriage is for better or for worst–but not for good. Best wishes and goodluck…you will probably need it…:p

save the cheerleader watch live earth, save the world

One good reason to stay at home and just chill out on your couch is watch Live Earth concert and make the “pito-pito” pledge below…

-to demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

-to take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become “carbon neutral;”

-to fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

-to work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

-to fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

-to plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

-to buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

separating the historical kernel from the legendary husk

I thought I’ll be able to get my hands on Karen Armstrong‘s latest book, The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Tradition. Someone beat me into it, obviously, and made me settle with Peter, Paul, & Mary Magdalene by Bart Ehrman.

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