Archive | March, 2008

Holy Week

19 Mar


It’s holy week or lenten season as other’s know it. In the Philippines, we have a 2-day holiday which are mostly used for vacation or family reunions. For some people it’s time to hit the beaches or visit relatives in their respective provinces. And for those who will stay at home, it means DVD-Marathon days. Thank God for DVDs or else it’s going to a boring week. hehe… Actually, it is better now because most television stations now show movies or some special programs other than Bible-related ones, which I also like (well just some of it since some are way too old, lol ) compared before when you will be bored to death because there were almost no programs being aired. For others this means reuniting with family members, oh did I already say family reunions? For some, it means out of town trip! I remember also going on a 3-day vacation with my sister and some of our church friends in some provinces in Luzon. I managed to join them in two of their trips which is in Isla Verde in Batangas and Baguio City. Oh well, for Catholic devotees (especially for the older people) this means praying or going to church or something similar to that. They have this procession to parade their statues of saints. Others even have themselves literally nailed on the cross as their expression of penance while others would walk miles going to Grottos or even hike a mountain as a form of sacrifice I guess (I don’t really know, I am not catholic so I don’t know what they do exactly.) Also, most of them forbid themselves from eating meat such as chicken, pork or beef but not fish (it is also meat) that is why the price of fish and veggies always increase at least by threefolds in this time of the year. Even bathing on a Thursday (or is it Friday) is prohibited. Talk about superstitions.

I grew up in a Christian family and ever since I was young we were thought about Jesus dying to save us, His birth and other teachings about God. But we never really celebrate holy week. I don’t know what others’ beliefs are about this week that whenever Lenten comes you are expected to behave well, meditate, keep quite or in short you aren’t allowed to party. LOL. Just kidding. But yeah you are not allowed to be so happy or goof around. Any kind of noise is discouraged. Well, at least that is not the case in our house, unless we are at some relatives’ house. I remember when I was young, that the elders from our neighborhood would shout on me and my playmates if we play outside and started laughing. They’ll say be quiet because Jesus is dead. I don’t know but I was taught that Jesus died only once and that He rose from the dead on the third day and ascended to heaven in the presence of His apostles. So how come every year in this season they say Jesus is dead? The cross is empty. The Savior is alive and is in heaven watching over us.

Yes we should remember greatest sacrifice – the death of Jesus because if not for Him, we wouldn’t have the gift of salvation. But we should remember it always, not only this time of the year but all the time. We also must remember that He died only but once, rose again and now in heaven with the Father.

~0 ~0 ~0

I just want to post this song revived by Jars of Clay:

traditional words traditional words by Frederick W. Faber (alt. by Eric Ashley)

music by Eric Ashley O come and mourn with me awhile
O come near to the Savior’s side
O come together, let us mourn
Jesus our Lord is crucified Seven times He spoke
Seven words of love
And all three hours His silence cried
For mercy on the souls of men
Jesus our Lord is crucified O love of God, O sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains with love
Jesus our Lord is crucified

O break, O break hard heart of mine
My weak self-love and guilty pride
His Pilate and His Judas were
Jesus our Lord is Crucified

O love of God, O sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains with Love
Jesus our Lord is crucified

O come and mourn with awhile

A broken heart, a fount of tears
Ask and they will not be denied
A broken heart love’s cradle is
Jesus our Lord is crucified
Jesus our Lord is crucified
Jesus our Lord is crucified
Our Lord is crucified And victory remains with love
Jesus our Lord is crucified

O love of God, O sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains with love
Jesus our Lord is crucified

Filipinos Today

2 Mar


I once listened to a speech by one local politician, not a traditional one though, talking about the current political situation in the Philippines. He enumerated what the current administration has done and is doing at the moment. He reminded us about the scams the present government has, like the “fertilizer scam, textbook scam, the 2004 electoral fraud popularly known as the Hello Garci Scam , the malacanang bribery and others I could not remember, including of course the famous ZTE-NBN Scandal that is currently being investigated by the Senate, Department of Justice and the Ombudsman. The scandal proved to be a really huge one after the star-witness Jun Lozada named some prominent and influential people that including the first couple as part of this multi-bilion ZTE- NBN Deal.

Anyway, that is not what I am writing about now. Well maybe I’ll write about it later on. I was particularly moved by what this local politician said about the Filipinos today. I don’t know where he got it but it’s something that bothers me. Well, from his speech he said that today there are 3 kinds of Filipinos and they are:

1. The News Junkies- which is about 15% of the population

2. The News Ignorant – which is again 15%

3. The News Junkies turned News Ignorant- which describes the 70% of the population.

I’d like to change number 3 though. A friend of mine indirectly suggested that it should be “News Junkies turned Apathetic.” Sad to say but it is true.  Most Filipinos seem to have become numb and unconcerned about the country now. It seems that they couldn’t care less now whether those  in position right now are robbing the people through anomalous government projects, constantly lying and fooling its citizens and abusing its power. It is alarming that most of the population fell on category 3 who seem to lost interest on what’s going on their homeland.

Somehow I’d like to think that it is because of what seems to be“failed” People Power Revolutions that happened twice (or thrice) in the past. Yes we (I was part of EDSA People Power 2) successfully ousted the immoral president in 2001, and evicted the most hated dictator in 1986 (ESDA People Power 1). Call me bias but I’d rather not mention the 3rd EDSA. I once read an article, I forgot where but it says that probably the reason why the people particularly the middle class or the working class seem to lose their interest now is because the Marcoses who were ousted from the position through People Power 1 are still free and were not really charged for their wrongdoings and that some of their family members are again in the position now. Then Joseph Estrada who was also ejected from presidency through People Power 2, and though was charged for plunder and other cases and was under “house arrest” for a few years and was charged guilty with his plunder case last year by the Sandigan Bayan and was sentenced for a Reclusión Perpetua, which could have been a proof that justice exists in the Philippines and it does not favor the rich and those in power, turned out to be completely the opposite when he was pardoned by no other than Gloria herself which makes him a free man now. Ironically too, he is one of those calling the one who pardoned him to resign now because of the controversies surrounding the GMA government. Isn’t that funny?

These probably are the reasons why people seems to have not grown interest in joining the street protests against GMA. Those who were ousted are still free now, enjoying their wealth. Some of their family members are again in power, they were not jailed in the truest sense of the word, yes because ERAP was just under “house arrest”. He still could eat all the food that he wanted, experience luxury except to go out of his house. But still he didn’t experience what the other prisoners have in National Bilibid Prison. People might have a thought that if GMA will be ejected from Malacanang, she and her “cohorts” will not be charged as well or that  justice will not be served.

Somehow I don’t want to blame them for thinking that way but I do hope that the patriotism and nationalism will spark once more in their hearts and minds and that they will open up their eyes with what is going on in our beloved country and start to stand up and fight for truth, righteousness and morality to reign in this country.

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