Our main speaker was Brother Pablo who is a Spanish missionary and who could speak our vernacular, Bisaya, all too fluently from the years of his stay with us. He also told us his crazy life before entering the seminary.
We ate mostly fish since it was a Friday, a sacrifice Christians offer to Jesus during the Lenten Season. But food was bountiful despite the amount we paid.
We had confession with a priest, gatherings all over the picturesque venue, letter-writing to God and someone we consider the “wind beneath our wings”, video presentations of Nick Vujicic, a man without arms or legs and dad and Cerebral Palsy son who entered the IronMan which made me drop my defenses and cried, a switchman who sacrificed his son so sinful train passengers may live and so much more.
We also went on a Via Cruxis or station of the cross that night in the very beautiful Celestial Gardens just beside our retreat house and we had a very nice candle offering to people we want to say something including our teachers and admin.
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask.
your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good", but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot anti-abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today;
cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
photo by by Oscar Mota
With the Ondoy and Pepeng typhoons, El Nino, Maguindanao Massacre, Haiti and Chile earth tremors breaking loose, the thoughts of the world coming to an end is no longer a joke. So in light with all the tragedy that happened, I offer this simple post about life.
Life could be as reckless and random as falling water.
There are only two types of people: those who lead and those who follow.
Life is a fish port. It’s a matter of getting filled and paying for it.
Life could be a pleasant surprise.
Life is beautiful.
Life is hard but worth it.
She has done a heck of a job planting her children here on Earth. Just look at the fruits it bore: I am one of them. Hehehe.
But either way, being crunched for a long time when your knees are not on their prime, you could say that what she does could be hard for some to do; and that is life, it is hard but its something you’d give up everything for because human life with all its complexities and joys is one worth living.
Put on a smile because God loves you.
Meet Taghoy.In our vernacular, it means “whistle” which is pretty much the opposite of what he does. He barks like he could chomp you whole that is why it is no secret that our place is the safest in his prime days.
But then things turned around weeks before when we suddenly noticed the abrupt change in behavior. He grew weaker with each day and with it the weird enlargement of his tummy. We had a vet do a house visit and he recommended an anti-biotic but Taghoy was already too far off for the treatment to be effective. ‘Twas then we knew he was suffering from Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or commonly known as a bloat.
How or Why Does This Occur?
“We really do not know the answer to either of those questions.
Original theories suggested that it occurred:
- when a dog ate a large meal of dry food and then drank a lot of water. The water caused the dry food to swell.
- At the same time, the dog was supposed to be engaged in strenuous exercise that included running and jumping.
That resulted in the dog's stomach twisting on itself as the heavy organ was jostled about in the abdomen.
The most current theory is that the stomach's contractions lose their regular rhythm and trap air in the stomach; this can cause the twisting event.” 
What we could’ve done to save him?
- “Pressure must be removed from within the stomach. This may be done with a tube that is passed from the mouth to the stomach.
- Another method is to insert a large bore needle through the skin into the stomach.
- A third method is to make an incision through the skin into the stomach and to temporarily suture the opened stomach to the skin. The last method is usually done when the dog's condition is so grave that anesthesia and abdominal surgery is not possible.” 
LessonsYou never know a good thing ‘til its gone.
We felt like we just lost a family member or at least I did.
Surgeries are really risky that is why it is better to enjoy the last moments instead.
Life is short and unpredictable, praise God for every day as that is the reason why we call 'today' as 'present'.
A man gets a second shot at life as he was rescued just when everyone thought he would have died amidst all the rubble. He was hiding in the desk from the grocery store he was working in for 10 days and grabbed everything he can from sodas to crackers and pretty much everything he can reach just to keep himself alive. Well to think of it, it is just a small price to pay for the miracle of life.
Reports have surfaced that he could be the “last victim to be pulled to safety.” And the miracle happened in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where all you could see are the remnants from the moving tectonic plates that took the lives and the livelihoods of millions. When a man heard a knocking sound amid the rubbles, he immediately alerted Greek, French and US teams and they responded to pull out a hotel cashier. You can just imagine the agony he has to go through of being under such tremendous stress and thoughts that help might not actually come. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, it was actually the day when the Haitian government said “there is no more chance of survivors.” After hours of work, he emerged to a stunned silence from the crowd for he had been trapped for 223 hours and everyone eventually broke to an applause.
Watch the video of the report here http://www.scoop.co.nz/multimedia/tv/world/31682.html
So in the great words of a great actress, Gloria Swanson:
“Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.”
But we all have God to thank that Cebu has been spared from a lot of disaster that has ravaged our neighbors: no typhoons and floods, no earthquakes and not much fires and most definitely not that affected by the financial crisis that has kept the world barely breathing. Economy here is pretty much alive and everyone can attest to that. So I think this celebration of ours makes sense as we have a lot to gratify and most of which are not merely protections but as well as blessings we have received all year round.
Sinulog happens every year and this is the third time I actually get to be a part of it because our school has made the initiative to gather resources for us to be part of the Grand Parade as contingents for the Street Dancing and Festival Dances. This years theme was Sinulog-based and surrounded on a short narrative that we are dancing to thank him for healing the religious lame. We dressed as Spanish-era people which is pretty much in contrast with what we do in the past. Boys wore these salakot hats which pretty much spared us from the moody weather conditions. Our first year, we were robots then a year after that, we became these tribal nomads.
This year was different.
We didn’t practice for long hours as we normally do and to note we finished our entire act within the span of two weeks. Even our dog is amazed by that. But anyway, it wasn’t easy. We had squabbles and fights while practicing as boiling points of people shoot up and different personalities clash to some extent and that’s the last thing we wanna entertain. We didn’t have much props and we couldn’t even make it to the required number of dancers. We came to challenge the idea of joining but when the school decides, we follow.
Then we ask ourselves why do we do this?
Watch the Mabolo Elementary School’s performance:
Abellana National High School’s almost perfect dance routines may have won the judges over that is why they took home the Grand Prize for High School Division. They should have worked with a strong charismatic storyline to incorporate with their dance.
Watch Abellana National High School’s performance:
Sinulog sa Kabataan is a yearly event which gathers up all contingents from different Elementary and High Schools in Cebu to dance in honor of Sto. Nino, a miraculous image of Child Jesus. Originally only top 5 of each category can only make it through the Sinulog Grand Parade, this year was an exception: all of the 17 contingents can participate to compete for a million pesos come January 17.
“We can’t keep Christians from turning against God but we can distract them from God. Let them go to church, but let us steal their time so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ…
…This is what I want you to do,” said the devil: “Distract them from maintaining that vital connection with Jesus throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” his demons asked.
“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.
- Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear the still, small voice of God.
- Entice them to play the radio or iPod whenever they drive, to keep the TV, DVD, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.
- Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.
- Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotion offering free products, services and false hopes.
- Let them stand in lines for hours for the latest cell phone or Harry Potter book forgetting about God.
- Let them be seduced by glitzy advertising that will lure them away from God.
- Fill their world and their minds with trash so that they will not have room for God.
- Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.
- Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.
- Keep wives and husbands too tired to love each other after their work. Give them headaches too! If they don’t give each other the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly!
- Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!
- Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so they will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and forget that loving God and neighbor is what is really beautiful.
- Give them Santa Clause to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death.
- Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Let them think that attending a sports event is more important than keeping holy the Lord’s Day and treating the sport stars as if they were bishops.
- Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation.
"Keep them busy, busy, busy! It will work! It will work!"It was quite a plan! The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families.
Does “BUSY” mean: Being Under Satan’s Yoke?
[The story is originally written by Geraldine Harris and Kristen Maddox]
First off, what really is Christmas? It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. In fact, the literal meaning of Christes maesse is Mass of Christ. It is in this season where we go to a lot of parties, decorate, give gifts but most of all see Santa’s figures most often than Christ. This should not be the case.
I know malls are doing that to keep people on the spirit of gift-giving or as I call it an encouragement to spend guilt-free on gifts or impulsive buying. On the other hand, Christ was born on a manger and His message is to be humble. What could more humble than coming here in human form?
Last night, we had just witnessed an Indignation Rally in Fuente Osmena while waiting for the San Carlos University Christmas Show. We gripped on our seats as groups of Mass Communication and Journalism students clad in black suddenly barged in the stage and asked if they could have a little of our time to say a few words and pray.
We were then paying respect to the victims of the morbidly unfortunate Maguindanao Massacre that shook the world of how innocent children and servicemen pay the ultimate price of greed and lust for power.
Anyway it should have gone well for me up until Cebuano Journalist Rico Lucena expressed that he was not in favor of the Martial Law in Maguindanao.
But there they were, all screaming to the top of their lungs and shouting for justice reverberating from this historic park to the rest of the country, declaring that democracy should not be shot with a bullet and that nothing would scare them in their field and that we don’t have to impose Martial Law out of revenge. And I truly understand that.
It is the most intricate and the largest in scale in destroying Earth. In addition, accurate, terrifyingly precise and the most convincing one at best.
The destruction of LA gave me goose bumps and the eruption of Yellowstone was totally awesome.
But the horrific parts were those that involved the crumbling of iconic landmarks across the globe: Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, St. Peter’s Basilica, Washington Monument, and the Genesis Ocean Liner toppled in one swift wave.
I also have to give props to John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor for their acting achievement.
- The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. Pray.
- If He asks you to put something down, He wants you to pick up something better.
- He has greater faith in us than we have in ourselves.
- If you never felt pain, how would you know He is a healer?
- Trials are like grapes, they are crushed to produce the best wine.
- You can’t leave footprints if you walk on tip toe.
- Others may always be unsure, but you can always go on.
- The fire that melts the butter,
Is the same fire that hardens steel.
Feel free to spread them or modify as you deem necessary. I hope I made my point against abortion, animal abuse, and ignoring non-sense evil politics.
I was sitting patiently along with strangers on a multicab on what seemed like a normal trip home from school last June 26, Friday. When I reached Jollibee Consolacion are there was already a heavy traffic build-up and trust me it is nothing but normal. But what happened next was bizarre.
Just as our cab passed through Fashion Conspiracy’s building, a dead man in his mid 20’s lie face down in the freshly rain wet road with blood splashed from his head to one direction. His motorcycle was placed on the side of the ride adjacent to where the white trailer truck was parked. The truck that most probably ran him over.
It wasn’t my first of seeing a dead man but it was my first of seeing death so grotesque and personal. I always thought my mind was already numb to scenes like these since newscasts in our country love to report this sort of thing but this was different.
For that moment I literally stopped thinking and what’s more odd was that I didn’t even paid attention to what people around me has to say. What’s more agonizing is that the rate of which we are going is slow and my seat was directly facing the scene from the other side of the road. Great! Front row seat of the action and I have to struggle an extra minute staring at it.
After we passed it, I snapped back. I began thinking and eavesdropping. A woman says that when you’re in a motorcycle, you should stay away from tailing trucks since they actually suck you toward them by force. And a man claims that you don’t recognize a loved one when he or she is in an accident and especially with blood splattered all over the face. It happened to him twice. With that in mind, the woman replies that maybe because we all have the tendency to deny.
This makes me think:
- Life is short so live life as it is your last.
- Don’t blame God.
- Things happen for a reason and some times it’s just random.
- Life is unfair. Bad things may happen to good people.
And I have a new greatest fear: to be out of the house and never come back and to never have the chance to say goodbye to all the people who mattered to me. In other words, I don’t want to be that man on the road.
Do me a favor. Love your life and if you pass this place say a simple prayer.
What do you think of death?
What is the last thing you want to do on earth?
Philippines telecom company Globe Telecom is making landlines obsolete in a new television commercial for its Globe Duo service. But does using suicidal theme exemplify their message or is just outright offensive?
The answer? Suicide is real; a grim reality that haunts our society today. But to use it as element to sell an idea is just outright offensive. Sure, a lot of people the commercial was genius and I myself think of it as something of high production value, but bottom-line is that it questions ethics in incorporating it to CG to make phones rise to life only to end up killing themselves because of jealousy.
If you read today’s papers, Mariannet Amper, a 12 year old girl from Davao died of suicide out of despair for her family’s impoverished life.
Yesterday, Nel, a 14 year old boy climbed a flyover in Iloilo in a suicide attempt apparently fuelled by rugby. A few weeks back, Julie wrote about Kristen Ariane Cuenca, a third grader who jumped off from the fourth level of a building of Malate Catholic School because of depression. She was only 9 years old. 
Cordillera kung sa dami ng mga kaso ng pagpapakamatay sa buong bansa… karamihan sa mga biktima ay mga kabataang may edad na labing isa hanggang labing anim na taong gulang.
Isa sa mga dahilan ng pagpapakamatay, ayun sa NGO, ay ang depression na dulot ng pagkabigo, lalo na sa mga materyal na bagay.
If you wish to see it again.
Now tell me, who on earth would want to associate their brand with suicide?
Like something out of a modern-day telenovela, a dashing Cuban-American priest gets caught smooching his girlfriend on a Florida beach. After a circus media-frenzy, he decides to leave the Catholic Church to be with his lover.
Meet Rev. Alberto Cutie, a celebrity among Hispanic Catholics for his good looks, media savvy and advices about relationships. He dominated headlines for the scandal he got himself into after a Spanish-language magazine published photos of the celebrity priest and his girlfriend.
I couldn’t find a photo of him on Creative Commons to embed here but I could show his pictures through this search.
Cutie pronounced as COO-tee-AYE has been dubbed as the “Father Oprah” of the Spanish-speaking community for his “frank messages on faith and relationships”. Sure, he is good-looking and human who is straight and who fell with a woman way above the legal age, a beautiful 35-year-old. But as they say, it is not an excuse to break religious laws.
The scandal peaked when he announced, with his girl by his side, that he would leave Roman Catholic Church to become an Episcopalian (TEC).
From what I know, TEC allows married priest, even lady priests and birth control. Robin Williams says compared to Catholics, that they have the “same rituals with half the guilt.”
I was digging through Yahoo answers and this question popped my eye out:
“Is he merely being opportunistic, trying to have his cake and eat it too? And how will this affect his popularity?”
Answerer 5: "Father Oprah" accepted the conditions of being a priest, although the Bible does not support priestly celibacy. Still, he sneaked around and had a sexual relationship with a woman he was not married to. It didn't matter to him that God saw what he was doing.
Answerer 3: It seems to me that the Catholic church made a bigger deal of a grown man having an affair with a grown woman than it did when those perverted priests were messing with children.
But then this all comes down to the issue of celibacy.
I’ve always been a devout Catholic but I think this is an issue that the Church has to reconsider at some point. As I’ve said they’re humans too and are capable of love but then again this issue might be connected to same-sex marriages because they are capable of love too. Whew! No issue as big as this could ever be discussed in a single post. But what do you think about a man changing religion for the one he loves?