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ON CHURCHES AND EARTHQUAKES

So I really just have to write about this because I find it extremely repulsive and unnecessary that anyone who believes in a god, whoever his or her god is, associates religion to the recent earthquake that hit this side of the country an reduced well-loved churches to smithereens. The association is not even slightly tangential if you are truly a believer.

For one, I believe that my God is not a hateful God and would not allow His people to suffer an earthquake just to prove a point. In fact, I believe mine is a merciful God. If indeed He would punish sinners, there are probably too many more sinners in a city than a small town where people have more time to repent for their sins or to commune with nature, themselves, and probably with their God. Then we’d ask why not an all mighty god just strike a megalopolis and make a grand statement and spare sparsely populated towns? But really? Do you really think your God will do that? Doesn’t that idea churn your stomach if you’re living in a city?

I have heard and read from others that of all, why churches came tumbling down. First, it weren’t just churches. There were roads turned into jigsaw puzzles, bridges that fell, buildings and houses flattened to the ground, trees uprooted and multiple government projects bared for their lousy sub-standard construction. Second, the churches were a gem to Bohol - they were popular attractions that could easily get the attention of the media who by the way feed our interest. Third and most importantly, they were churches built 200-300 years ago. Certainly the men and women who laid their hands on building the church from bricks of corals and shells and egg whites to stick them together did not envision a church that could last forever. They probably didnt even consider earthquakes when they built their places of worship. Even the Titanic that was thought to be unsinkable sank. These churches withstood the worst of weather conditions and probably countless earthquakes for centuries. These churches served their parishioners well. If they succumbed to the earthquake, can we be just a little bit thankful that they lasted long enough for this generation to see. But we don’t and won’t. We put extra meanings, conspiracy theories and made-up tales because humans as we are we feed on stories - the likes of Super Balita headlines. We refuse to accept that a 200-year old edifice was too old to withstand a 7.2 quake that has been likened to 32 Hiroshima bombs. We like to bet on chances, coincidences and throw out of the window the facts. Tectonic movements are just too… technical that putting religious undertones make it sound easier to explain an earthquake.

And then I read a tweet that implied that hey, maybe we have placed so much emphasis on the tourism value of the churches than our faith. Though I’m personally of the opinion that many cling to their faith only during tragedies( and I am no exception), I do not believe that my God would destroy a house built in His honor to put these churches back to strictly religious use. I believe my God is way too intelligent to be predictable. We can interpret an earthquake a million other ways, philosophize about it in Socratic fashion but let’s keep religion away from it. Have we not any respect for those lives that were taken who were probably more than a believer than we are?

Earthquakes happen. It’s been here before us. The plates of the earth will continue to move. The rivers will flow to the sea while some othera run dry. Typhoons will continue to hit this side of the world. Volcanoes will go in a deep sleep and wake up again. Vehicle accidents will happen in the streets. Your favorite politicians will continue to steal from you. Your mother won’t stop being a mother to you. You will fall off the stairs and bruise yourself. But they have nothing to do with religion. No matter your belief, you will continue to breathe and have the right to live just like anyone else.

So keep religion away from the conversation because it is not helping. It is not only immature, it is offensive.

Filed under earthquake philippines cebu cebu city manila pray for cebu pray for visayas pilipinas

4 notes &

For a moment, i wished that facebook feeds are free of anything that has to do about any candidate running for the elections come May. Some of the posts are disgusting, utterly shameless and belittle the public’s intelligence. I hoped facebook could be anything but free from politicians, not necessarily free from exchanges of
political views and opinions of the public.

But then again, i was reminded that it’s a free country, though ‘freedom’ in this country is in a limited form in one and so many peculiarly Filipino ways.
Politicians have a right to deceive us, I guess. It is up to us if we allow them.

Vote Wisely.

Filed under election philippines cebu cebu city pilipinas manila facebook

2 notes &

Dear Pacman

I am a fan. Im one of your millions of fans around the world. A true fan who feels pride even at your loss. But if I were to ask you one question, I would ask you - when does one know when to stop?

Everyone is talking about you retiring. That you have lost the spark, the drive, the heart. People whisper in their thoughts that your star is fading but couldnt find the courage to say it lest they might be mistaken for being unpatriotic or worse experience the pain of being bullied online like that amalayer girl. Some cry religion which I find so offensive it is revolting to even think about. But the talk is out and this largely Catholic country tiptoes on the topic.

I am not the most religious person and I am not proud of it, but I had always admired your faith especially when I saw from your previous fights how you always wore the rosary and kiss them from one victory to the next. It was your charm. Everyone was so certain it protected you and made you win each time. So it came to my surprise when I didnt see one hanging on your neck in one of your previous fights. In no time, you came flagging the word of God in primetime TV which really is fine with me except that I am one of those who didnt feel comfortable about it. It wasnt even about changing religions, it was the manner it was done on TV. I always believe that one’s faith is personal and the idea of preaching in a game show where the poor pin their hopes on was just inappropriate. It felt to me like imposing one’s religion on the watchers of the game show but I knew that I always have the choice turn the power off button, so I did. But what the heck, i didnt really care about the religion stuff and I still don’t because religion is a choice in this country. And you are The Pacman! You can do anything you please. You can record a song and it becomes a hit, make a movie with bad acting and everyone is amused, you can fill your boxing trunks with popular brands and make millions, you can dance on TV and everyone adores it, or speak in wrong grammar and everyone forgives, or run for congress and win! You even came swinging with Jimmy Kimmel on US National TV to the joy of the Americans and of course, us. We don’t care what your religion is because we cared more about you winning each time until yesterday when we had to know the feeling of losing the time you were thrown on the floor cold and seemingly lifess. Our hearts cried . And so we learned what it meant to still wear the Filipino pride on our sleeve even at your loss.

It came as a shock to us that you lost. You have always said that you were in the best condition. We believe you, of course. You have never failed us for God knows how long. You always conquer that ring and give us a show. The way you dance and gracefully throw those punches with such rhythm and precision made the world love you. And you being such a good sport who keeps the dignity of whoever you knocked on the ring made the world love you even more. You are the sport’s gentleman but one who delivers.

But really, when is the right time to stop?

I am pretty sure you have contemplated that question a few times. The hunger of just being inside the ring must be too hard to resist. That sense of bringing pride to Pinoys around the world must be fulfilling your thirst that its enough to keep on fighting. I would like to believe you are fighting for honor, pride and glory. I am one of those who shun the thought that you keep fighting for a guaranteed $25 million dollars per fight whether you win or lose. The Manny we know isnt like that, so it must not be all about the money.

If you feel however, that we are pressing too hard on you to keep fighting, you should at least know what we feel. Well, at least what I feel, though what I feel shouldnt really matter to you.

Know that you are a legend. What you’ve done has been extraordinary. You made boxing popular such that it is more watched now in the country than basketball. Stopping doesnt make you less of a legend. It probably means lesser endorsements but I am sure you can still afford a hundred Birkin bags for Jinkee or send your little boys to the best boarding schools in Europe. If you feel like you owe something to the Pinoys, well you dont. You have done enough for us. If you think you havent achieved enough glory, you’ve done so much each time you took each hard punch on your body in that ring which by the way, we think must have hurt a lot. We are not asking for more from you. We didnt even ask you to help us more by running for congress because we thought you were too pure to become a politician and we didnt want you tainted with that reputation. But you saw it as a an opportunity to help, so we let you be without much protestations, though at the back of our minds we think one who runs for congress should have a background in making laws and not one who throws punches in the ring. We also thought being a lawmaker requires 100% of one’s time considering that you train and prepare for months everytime you have a fight. But we conceded with the thought that politicians who have a good background in law is an not assurance they wont be a prick.

I am not in the position to give an advice to a person whom Paris Hilton considers a good friend.
I am a nobody. My words are too weak to probably awaken the senses of someone who seems to be so secure and sure of his faith in God and someone who is on the top top of the world. Again I am not even religious and am still working my butt off to fulfill my dreams, so really this letter shouldnt be considered seriously. But i am hoping for a eureka moment, much like in the movies where a lowly beggar says something that the hero seemed to forget. I am wishful thinking I am that lucky beggar who for a moment the hero considers the wisest man alive.

And one more thing Manny, moms are full of wisdom no matter how much they seem to embarrass us, in your case, on national TV. When you get back, you might wanna talk to your mom and consider her thoughts in keeping yourself in the ring. Just hear her out, she might make you see things in a different light. Or, you can let her talk to Bob Arum. We’d like to see that live on TV.

But seriously, if you do decide to keep on fighting, know that all Pinoys, including the snatchers in Colon, can reserve their Sunday for that fight. Well, except my law professor.

I remain forever, a fan.

With much respect,

Michael

Filed under pacman pacmarquez manny pacquiao philippines pilipinas boxing manny cebu cebu city manila more fun in the philippines

3 notes &

Dear Amalayer Girl

I just saw the video that caused so much news here on facebook and twitter you have just made yourself an instant celebrity. You have given so much hope to everyone that acting skills need not be on bland artista reality shows. One can in fact just fake it and post a video on facebook and youtube and be an instant celebrity. However, you have raised a very high standard because you were not acting. It was an outburst of emotions only the likes of Vilma and Nora ( hmmm .. and Claudine) can muster. If you were faking it, as some believe, you definitely should join PBB Teens and feign ur age. You were too good it would be a challenge to beat that perfrmance. That major major comment has now been toppled with the new favorite Amalayer expression. Venus Raj must be so relieved for finally being off the hook.

So you were not amalayer, u said, and the ladyguarf was in fact the amalayer. It is hard to imagine how one who claims to be educated could be creating such a scandal in the most public of places -the LRT station! You knew for sure there will be people watching. I thought it was smart to make the LRT station a stage of your outburst. Otherwise, you would not have had a day in twitter. It was a riveting few minutes one would wonder how it all ended. Just as we thought the tears, the crying, the apologising and the making up would start, the person who took the video stopped filming. We snapped our fingers when it ended in a way that could only express our dismay. Sayang! And so we made speculations. You know, speculations that your neighbors make when a thud is heard from your house because you fell off your chair and you hear stories about you the next day that you were violated by your husband? Those kind of spicy stories. And so as the day ended you were crowned with all the crowns bullies have prepared for you. Some sympathized and ended up being bullied for taking your side. Before you knew it, amalayer expression had shoot to high heavens to conquer the news and placed politics in the backseat. Thanks to you Noynoy had a good rest today.

On a serious note, one could reflect from what you did. It was a reflection of how some people think of others. You set apart from those ‘others’ because you went way overboard by shouting and screaming in public. Most Pinoys would have simply felt embarassed, let it pass and seize the rest of the day. One would curse that ladyguard in thoughts but it be too much waste of energy to blurt it all out and start a carnage of verbal abuse. You however took your time to banter. I have seen those stares inside jeepneys when an untidy passenger joins the ride and everyone covers their noses as if saying their noses have been seriously violated by the smell. I see that in the way we look at strangers when we think we are better than them or are in a much better position in the hierarchy of the social ladder. Yes, you are not alone. But it was just too bad you crossed the line. Worse because someone took a video of it.

So some people scream ‘Stop Bullying.’ Yes, there are those who are very forgiving of you. But you were being the bully miss. Even if the guard might have been gravely wrong, it wasnt how an educated lady is expected to react.I couldnt keep up how many times you said amalayer. You could purge your sins altogether but it was your act that’s being judged, not you. One has to be responsible of what you scream in public. Even the boy who cried wolf got his share of eternal damnation in children’s books.

I hope you learned your lesson well. We did learn from you. When screaming and shouting and carrying out an Urian act in public, enunciate your words well as there might be aspiring filmmakers around. Otherwise, let the lady guard just do her job and shut up.

I am such an amalayer no one should take this note seriously.

So who’s happy now?

Chitru

Filed under amalayer cebu cebu city manila lrt bullying anti-bullying philippines pilipinas amadovegirl liar