Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Opinions and Perspectives

Running Out of Options

Who are you voting for next year as president?

Honestly, a couple of days ago I was thinking of voting for Miriam.

When Miriam Defensor Santiago decided to run for president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had announced he was not going to run for the highest position in the land. Since then, almost everybody who was supporting the iron handed leader from Mindanao, shifted towards the good senator, whose credentials and merits are beyond any shadow of doubt.

I was really waiting on Duterte to declare, but when the final second of the deadline for filing lapsed, it was the end of the waiting for me. And like most others, I looked on MDS as an option.

But then Senator Santiago made some ill-sounding comments about the family of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, whose son Bongbong is her running mate. Her statements left a bad taste in a lot of her supporters’ mouths, which prompted them to withdraw support from her, and worse, totally boycott voting for president.

I would have actually let her comments about the Marcoses pass, and still give her my support. After all, supporting her isn’t an automatic count for Bongbong.

But this interview really killed all my admiration for her:

Before I make any comments that may spark a battle of words here, let me state a couple of things: I understand the context where she drew those statements. The death of a son is beyond compare to any pain a living soul will endure on this earth. Not even the most agonizing of physical infirmities can match the hurt that a mother or father would feel if it was given to her or him the task of burying their own child. And we are not taking away from the senator to hurt or continue hurting even after years since her son died. She can continue on refusing to come to terms for all we care.

But to call God an underachiever?

To claim that if she was God she could do a better job?

To conclude that God does not exist?

That’s too much, lady.

I’m still hoping there was something fishy with how Korina Sanchez’s team of editors did the splicing of the full interview, which came out the way we are watching it. Otherwise, then it is nothing else but the good senator accusing God of unrighteousness and injustice.

But like in the movie “God is not Dead,” how can you be indignant against someone you believe does not exist?

Madam Senator, I may not have the brilliance and intelligence that your mind has. I may not be as decorated with credentials as you are. I may not have reached the pinnacles of successes you have reached.

But I don’t think even a million versions of you combined can do a better job than my God.

So, like the rest of you out there, I’ve ran out of options on who to vote for president next year.


Napag-uusapan Lang Naman 31

Sta Ana is officially declared a cultural heritage town of Manila. A cockfighting pit set to be built in the area might mar that image.

Sta Ana is officially declared a cultural heritage town of Manila. A cockfighting pit set to be built in the area might mar that image.

Manila Mayor Erap Estrada is set to construct a cockfighting arena in the town of Sta. Ana in the 6th District of Manila.

Not good, if you were to ask me.

Consider the following: the arena is set to be built along the main thoroughfare of New Panaderos, which connects Pedro Gil Ave. and Kalentong. Heavy traffic usually converges along this road during rush hour. Putting a gaming stadium for cockfight enthusiasts will make the place more of a nightmare for motorists.

Another thing to consider: the arena will be located within one kilometer of 11 churches, 9 public and private schools, two hospitals, and several mini oil-depots. In an already congested area that has a very small geographical leverage, adding an “amusement center” such as that will not do good at all. Even if the revenues being considered here would be double than the one currently being generated in the district, think of the demographical horrors the cockfighting arena would make–issues on solid waste and traffic management, which are major issues already being tackled–and remains largely unsolved–in the metropolis.

Then there’s the moral consideration: a place where you pit roosters against each other and gamble on them doesn’t speak well of a town that is cradle to most of the revered faiths in the country. Sta. Ana is home to the oldest Catholic church in the Manila outside of Intramuros, the first locale of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Punta, the 113-year old Wesley United Methodist Church, and the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Ekklesia, one of the biggest Baptist churches in the country.

To think that these houses of worship will have a competition that has a “cristo” in it? I don’t think so.

Let’s be clear on one thing–the local government of Manila can find more ways of generating income for the city, and building a pit where game fowls claw each other to death isn’t one of them. The intention might be good, but that does not justify the idea of luring people to gambling. And we are not just talking about the patrons who only care for their kickbacks after cockfights: we are talking about the young minds of the students and residents of the area in danger of being corrupted to engage in gambling. I hope none among the proponents of the idea are so naive not to think that kids can be kept off the betting stations. At some point in the life of these students, curiosity will win over them and they will find themselves baited by these “forms of entertainment.”

In conclusion, the point is simply this: can’t we think of a better thing to do in the 6th district of Manila, other than building a sabungan in Sta. Ana? Instead of throwing away taxpayer’s money to building the cockfighting stadium, why not give the money to improving the Sta. Ana hospital? Or perhaps improving the Sta. Ana public market instead of privatizing it? Or a refurbishing of the Sta. Ana Rotonda? Maybe it would be more beneficial if the funds intended for building the cockpit were to be used for the preserving of the cultural heritage of Sta. Ana.

If indeed Mayor Erap is concerned about leaving a good legacy of leadership in the closing years of his life, then he should focus his attention on more important things that will enrich Manila as the premiere city of the country.

And building a fighting pit for chickens isn’t one of them.


XXX

IMG_1275Three decades. Wow.

Yesterday a churchmate-friend gave me a DVD copy of all the pictures that I had with my former congregation in Cavite. It was a 16-minute presentation of all the snapshots the members over there had of me. As I was watching I saw several pictures that I myself was surprised to see. It kind of reminded me that time passes by so fast you forget how much wonderful memories you have made along the way.

Memories that, for the most part, remind you of God’s goodness on your life.

And indeed, God has been very, very good to me. All that I have in this life are undeserved, and it is only by His mercy and grace that I was made a recipient of it all. From having a wonderful family, a fulfilling ministry as a full-time staff, the fellowship of fellow believers, the sweet company of my friends from everywhere, to the material blessings I have, which I’d have to say is the least of God’s blessings, I should say I can never ask for anything more.

But actually, I do.

On this third decade of my life, I pray that God would use me to be a bigger, better channel of blessing to other people. I pray that as He continues to mold and make me after His will, that I will always be a yielding clay, acknowledging that He alone knows what is best for me. That, I believe, would be a good wish today.

So, once again to everyone who may have found it blessed to have me around as a part of their life, thank you. And may God continue to allow me to be a blessing to you… today and for the rest of my lifetime.

 


XXIX

Try looking for a full bundle of yellow pad. Divide it length-wise into two. On the left, try writing down all of what you need or want in life. On the right, try writing down all of the things you can be thankful of.

Now, before you do this, start on the rightside first.

You’ll find out that not only will the list of thanksgivings outnumber the list of wants and needs, but you’ll also learn that the more things you are thankful to God for, the less you think of the things you would want to ask of Him.

And at some point of your growth in life, you might see yourself just writing on the right-side of the paper.

I know this to be true.

For indeed God has been so good to me and my family. He has blessed me despite my unworthiness. He has blessed me more than I can even imagine. And he has blessed me, to teach me that nothing can replace the success that comes by way of humility and submission, especially to His will for our lives.

I thank the Lord for all of the things that He has given me. Looking back at the last 29 years, I know for a fact that He has not, does not, and will not ever fail, just as I know for a fact that many times I have done so to Him. And yet He’s been and will always be faithful to me.

This day marks the 29th time the Lord has seen fit to lend me this gift of life, and all the blessings and challenges that come with it. By His grace, I’ll try and do my best to make each day lent to me to count for Him.

And to all the people God used to be a channel of blessing to me–my wife, daughter, my parents, my Senior Pastor and father in the faith, my fellow-laborers in the full-time staff, church family, closest friends, acquaintances, students, and every one else I had the chance of meeting–thank you all for being a part of my life, some in small ways, and some in very big ways. Surely, I will not be who I am because of God and all of you.

My prayer is that God would continue to give me a teachable and pliant heart and spirit, that I may continue to grow more and become a better person. Like every one else, I am still a project of God under construction. And I am enjoying every moment of Him teaching me His Word, will and way in my life.

I always say this, “If ever you still wake up today, that only means God isn’t finished with you yet, and the best has yet to come for you!”

God bless you guys!


Fading Stars Too Soon? On Lin’s Waning Glow and Rubio’s Injury

Was it just coincidence that two of the brightest and rising stars that we particularly featured in this blog… are fading?

I’m talking about the sudden drop that the New York Knicks have experienced since Linsanity happened, and the season-ending injury incurred by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio. As of this writing, the Knicks are playing away from home against current MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, hoping snap a five-game slide since All-Star break. The Wolves, on the other hand, will be hoping for a savior in some other form than the young Spanish phenom, whose ACL was torn during a game against the Lakers.

But let’s be clear on one thing though–we’re not consigning the bright futures of these two stars to the flames already. All we’re saying is that just when things were hyping up for them, all of a sudden, something devastating, or at the very least frustrating, comes along their way to dampen the prospects of a good career ahead of them. With the effect of the lockout already limiting these two guys some playing time to shine brightest, they still have to tackle the pressure put on them, whether consciously or subconsciously, by their fans and franchises, as well as the growing stiff competition as the season nears playoff mode.

Perhaps what we, and all of these two players’ fans, are concerned about is that the timing can’t be worse, and that peaking for them might have come way too early. If only they did not flash the brilliant performances that they did early into the season, there wouldn’t be much regret or frustration in the part of their followers and respective teams. But with all of these happening, all of us wishing for a happy ending for Lin and Rubio are suddenly snapped back to reality–a reality that reminds us how fairly unfair basketball life can be.

But hoping is still and will always be allowed for us. And so we hope. Hope that just as things turned from good to bad, it will take a reversal of fortunes. Otherwise, we’ll need to look up to the skies once more for new stars to discover.


Three-mendous! Our Blogsite Turns 3 Years Old

(Preface: It was a fully loaded day yesterday, and so we actually missed one day blogging, and right on the very day that this blog turns 4. I apologize for that, folks. Nonetheless, here we are, with a few minutes of this day to slip a moment of blogging. And so we fire away.)

rcandcess.wordpress.com turned 3 yesterday! It was in 2008 when I started blogging from a gasoline station somewhere along Aguinaldo Highway in Imus, Cavite. And since then, we have served out 538 posts under 16 categories and 222 tags, received 425 comments, and spammed by 9,024 unknown identities (I wanted to include this figure for fun’s sake). Amazing!

Here now is a rundown of all the top posts and other figures for the past year:

The most viewed file for this year is:

Earthquake Safety Precautionary Measures » earthquake-next-one-photo-rtre2o5-sw

This is actually a link connected to a photo from the National Geographic on a devastated highway during an earthquake. It got 5,792 views the past year.

The most viewed blog post is:

UAAP Season 74 Finals Preview: Ateneo vs. FEU

One of our most followed blog items are those for the UAAP. In fact the second most viewed blog post to this one is a UAAP post from season 72!

The word EARTHQUAKE brought in 4,885 views to our site for the past year. Funny, the second most searched word that brought viewers to our blog was the word PANGET.

Now with a way find out where in the world are our viewers coming from, our blog has been viewed in 45 countries in the world. Aside from the Philippines and US, our other viewers were from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Brunei Darussalam.

Still, our top commenter of all time is our fellow blogger and fellow rusher Specialist Joe. Please check out his blog as well!

I don’t know how it happened, but even with only four blog posts for the month, the month of September 2011 was the busiest month in the past year. One reason could be the championship game between Ateneo and FEU for UAAP S74.

As of today, rcandcess.wordpress.com has been viewed 57,066 times since it was born!

Once again, thank you everyone for patronizing this humble blog.It is always a joy to see our stat charts telling us that we are bringing people insightful and inspiring bits that have been helpful for them. We look forward to more years of joy and happiness through our blog!


Project Kony 2012

I learned of this video from Chico Garcia. I first got intrigued with the title. It was only when the movie began to unravel tha I found myself already a believer of the movie makers’ advocacy to sto the number one criminal of the world today.

And so, here’s my share of getting the word out to help find the most wanted man on earth. Watch this gripping video about how a league of peace-loving people are willing to make sacrifices for a chance of new life for Ugandan youths.

(If the video does not appear, please go this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc and watch. Or you can just go to YouTube and look for “Kony 2012” in the search bar.)


Napag-uusapan Lang Naman 30: Special Feature on RA 9994

I was standing in line next to a senior citizen in a drug store. He was counting his coins, as if trying to check if they’d be enough to buy the medicines on the doctor’s prescription he was holding. I tried to help him by asking the other people in the line if we could get him to go first. The people gave in heartily.

When we got to the counter, the cashier asked for the old man’s senior citizen’s ID, but the old man said he left his ID but brought with him his SSS ID. The cashier rejected the offer and said that only senior citizens’ ID are the only ones accepted in their store.

Good thing I was reading the newspaper the other day.

I came to the rescue of the old man and explained to the cashier the provisions of RA 9994 or the Senior Citizens’ Act of 2010, which was authored by former Manila 6th District Congressman Bienvenido “Benny” Abante. According to the provision, a senior citizen does not necessarily have to present his or her senior citizens’ ID to avail of the services and privileges entitled to them. They would only need to present any valid ID that would certify that they are age-qualified as senior citizens (that is, 60 and/or above).

The cashier, who was trying to outsmart me, pointed into their store’s signboard where it says “senior citizens’ cards accepted here,” which, for her, meant that only such ID’s were accepted and not any other if senior citizens were to avail of the benefits. The lady was fast testing me to my limits of tolerance for intolerant people like here.

Thanks to technology, I was able to go online through my mobile, and showed her the special report written by Malaya columnist Ducky Paredes where he was discussing with Congressman Abante the salient features of the Senior Citizen’s Act. Knowing that she was fast running into an inescapable corner of losing to my line of thought, she called her manager to her side to rescue her.

The drug store manager came to check what was wrong, and her employee started doing the talking, thinking that she could still maneuver her way out of the mess and make a fool out of me. But, alas, I was heavily prepared for that fray, and I engaged in a slugfest of factual debate. For each explanation that the manager said, I had the appropriate answer for a rebuttal.

At the end, the informed consumer prevailed.

As I was walking out of that drug store, I felt both happy and sad–happy because I was able to help the old man buy his medicines, but sad because that encounter made me realize how many more establishments and old folks in our country are unfortunately unaware of the provisions of the Senior Citizens’ Act. It was a good thing that I was reading the newspaper, and by chance I was the guy standing next to a man who would have missed the benefits afforded to him by law if he was standing beside someone else who did not know any better.

I thus decided to write this as my own simple way of disseminating this very important law in our country that provides the best kind of benefits and services to our old folks. If you come to think of it, all of us either have old folks to care for, or we’re all waiting for that day when we become one. I kind of felt lucky that day, because of all the days that I would pick up a newspaper, I picked up Malaya, and of all the sections I chose to read, I read the one by Ducky Paredes, and of all the people he had a good talk with, it was the very principal author of the Senior Citizens Act, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr.

And of all the people that I came to stand next in line with, it was an old man that would later come to need everything that I had the good chance of reading and knowing of.

This is just wishful thinking, but I hope that old folk could get to meet Congressman Abante, and thank him personally for the bill. After all, it wasn’t really me who did the real help, but the author of the law that provided help for him.