Visita Iglesia 2013

We went to visit seven churches, Jean, Tish, and I, on Good Friday. As always, we started at the UP Church of the Holy Sacrifice, where we made our Stations of the Cross. In this barriotic national shrine, enclosed by huge acacia trees, people from all walks of life come and pray, particularly interesting are the youth in droves, genuflecting, praying, and we even caught, when we arrived, clean clad young men, on the fourth station, and we overtook them, so we listened to find out why, and they were muttering the universal prayers so slowly, enunciating the words as if they were romancing the passion. I did confirm my previous opinion, while the gaudy juvenile boast the beaches on this Holy Day, the wise ones, and oh, so dashing and beautiful they are, in utmost simplicity, hold Good Friday a special day of sacrifice by keeping our Lord company.

We checked Sto. Domingo next, the television crew were setting up the church for the yearly Siete Palabras, but me. I was there again, as it happens annually, not just to pray, but stare in awe at the majestic stained glasses that depict the mysteries of the Rosary.

Third stop was Christ the King, the pilgrimage Shrine of the Divine Word @ E. Rod, where I now attend my daily Masses, before I bring Tish to St. Luke’s each morning. A television crew from another network was also setting up for the airing of the Seven Last Words. It was hot, but the old people are deep in meditation. The altar was decorated like a stage and at the left side was a staircase filled with lighted candles. It was, for lack of word, warming. 🙂

Then we proceeded to Sacred Heart @ Timog, Jean was fascinated by the belfry with the shape of a heart. This was supposed to be fasting day, but we helped ourselves to a little bibingka, our stomachs were already making strange sounds, grumbling.

We skipped the old churches in Manila (UST, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin), because the roads to Basilica de Quiapo were already closed, for the the devotees of the Black Nazarene.

Instead, we opted to visit some pretty new churches: Christ the King @ Green Meadows, though grand, that was where we ate street food (kikiam, fish balls and squid balls)l sigh, what fasting are we talking about?; passed through Padre Pio because there was no parking space anymore, and lucky for us there was one slot available inside the Monasterio de Sta. Clara, where a huge crowd had filled the grounds and many were offering dozens of eggs for their petitions.

Last stop was at the relatively new Shrine of St. Therese, fronting SM Masinag, but concealed by some business establishments. As if I was the tourist who wanted to take snaps here and there, and there was an image of St. Therese at the church balcony I prodded Jean to take a picture of, she warded me off telling to let her finish her prayers first. Of the three of us, it was Jean who was deep in her prayers.

Sigh, the Visita Iglesia had been our devotion, since Jean and Tish were born. Brought them in fourteen churches then, even when they were in diapers. I used to lead the prayers, but now, I even had time to think, in between stations, that probably soon, I would be towing my own grandchildren, and that would be a delight, telling them the story of the passion of Jesus, the Christ, our Savior, our Lord. if only suitors are knocking at my door, that would be true. In God’s time…. 🙂

Relating to the news today.

Whatsoever you do to the least of My brothers…  email this discussion to a friend?

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The laborers did not return the water container I lent them the previous day, so when they asked for more water, I was peeved, and almost denied them the thirst quencher. I saw how belabored each one of them was, lifting those stones and shoveling the earth, and I reminded myself the Lord’s welcoming words “When I was thirsty, you gave me to drink, now enter into the home of My Father.” The workers consumed all of my purified water, that I have to go out and buy a gallon, but that’s all right, for “whatsoever you do to the least of My brothers, that, you do unto Me.

“Here’s a timely story of one who did not hesitate:…

Thirty Pieces of Silver – the Price of a Slave.  email this discussion to a friend?

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We all know the selfish Judas Iscariot betrayed our Lord Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and that is the price of a slave that time, two thousand years ago.

It’s all about money, and this present age, never before had people been so engrossed about money, our lives are ran by money, and everyone in the rat race desire money, and we are all ears when the news about who’s who in the Forbes’ list of richest men. For money, one would sell his soul to Mephistopheles!

Fortunately, for us mortals, there are souls who are not tempted by money, and these souls could very well be the reason why our God has not punished us entirely for our avarice.

If so many are wanting money to pop right at his face, here’s a story of one who literally found CASH in front of her but did not claim it for it was not hers. Finder’s keepers? Nope, not ours to own.…

My Maundy Thursday

It is Maundy Thursday today, we will spend the day in solitude, reading, of course, stories from the Holy Book.

I hope the waterworks will not resume work today, not that the laborers are noisy, for my backdoor neighbors are outrageously horrible, their magic sync is a-blast, in full volume, and not one of the shameless singers can carry a tune. I am mortified, but did let it be, and watched instead the labor-hardened youth workers lift cement stones, one after the other, and toss the heavy load in the trucks. They asked for two liters of water every hour, for it is so hot, and the labor is burdensome, and I thought how ironic, for the waterworks cannot even provide water for their contract workers.

Sigh, I just don’t want any loud activity today.

It would be pacifying really if my neighbors refrain from karaoke singing. I am tempted to toss them a copy of the PABASA actually. That way, I wouldn’t have to read, ha ha. Sigh, like I always say, the second commandment is difficult to obey!

Hot Holy Wednesday

It’s a hot Holy Wednesday. Swept the yard and watered the plants. Triduum of Easter begins tomorrow, so might as well clean my front porch, too. The “kalakal” has accumulated: brown paper bags and boxes, newspaper and plastic water bottles, a few tin cans, sigh, I sometimes wonder why we never got rid of all these, when we had been trying our best to be eco-friendly! When that is done, I’d open the Good Book and read the Gospel according to Luke, then continue with the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke also. If you want a detailed narrative of our Lord’s life story, I recommend Luke because he wrote the Good News telenovela style. 🙂

Hmmm, but if it is so hot to read, I’d put Ten Commandments and Ben Hur on viewing, ha ha, love Charlton Heston, really.

Wish to see you guys at the Vigil and the Visita iglesia (can’t believe that Good Friday has become a tourist attraction, and not only in places like Pampanga where devotees flagellate and nail themselves on the cross, but look here now, at Padre Pio Shrine and some other pilgrimage churches, they have real wooden crosses for visitors to bear).

Would you believe that the young boys and girls I meet during this Holy Week exercise are the bright and the good ones. Which makes me conclude that the shallow ones are probably on the beach of Boracay, or the like, frolicking. Just saying.

Musings on Palm Sunday

The Longest Gospel on Palm Sunday.  email this discussion to a friend?

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Today is Palm Sunday, or Domingo de Ramos, and we troop to Church carrying, waving our fascinating, ribbon-adorned branches.Years ago, a young barrio lass made the most intricate weave of coconut palms for me and my sister. We were proudest waving our most enviable palms, and sigh, really wish I still could have the best branches to wave to our Lord.My daughter bought bamboo art branches for today, and am excited to wave my cutest, littlest branches. I will boast my palms, ha ha.

Not to forget the most important part, today commences the week-long passion we have to observe for the impending suffering of our Lord. The Gospel narrates the sacrifice our Lord gave for us. Let us try to heal ourselves, meditate, join recollection and retreats, confess our sins, and carry our cross. Let’s go and live the Gospel.

Summer Rain on a Palm Sunday  email this discussion to a friend?

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Every time, Palm Sunday is a joyous occasion, not only are the children wide-eyed, delighted over the colorful ribbons and intricate weave of coconut palms, but the adults as well, mindful of what is the best looking palms they could get at a reasonable price.The side pavements, and to some extent, the roads, too, leading to the church grounds, are adorned with happy palms vendors, the kind ones offer smiles, too, that Palm Sunday is always festive, belying the sadness that Catholics would have to go through the week ahead.My daughters and I were grateful for the little summer rain that refreshed the air. After Mass, some old schoolmates called my girls and they had a half an hour chat, updating on what’s up with whom and so on… The girls have come a long way from their formal school years, and they realized that on a Palm Sunday morning, after we were surprised by the summer rain.happy


Kris Crying on a real HOT day.

It is hot outside, with occasional breeze of cold air, the last brush of the North Wind. My well springs little water, I do hope it does not run dry. With all the diggings Manila Water is doing around my own neighborhood, I am almost tempted to subscribe, but no,,thanks, I hold those water companies dishonest, just like Meralco, they yielded tremendous disservice to the people.

Kris Aquino was crying again, on Channel 2, and she brought her sisters Ballsy, Pinky, and Viel, for moral support. James Yap allegedly tried to kiss her, and hurt her, and witness to the sad episode was their little boy, Bimby. Kris, ultimately, because of this current skirmish, announced she is leaving her tv shows, as it finally dawned on her that this is what her mother Cory had always been telling her: sacrifice and stay simple.

My Jean saw Kris Aquino @ d FAME, and while my Jean describes Kris as amazingly beautiful and elegant, her skinny Bimby looks ordinary, something like skimpy, that one would surmise Kris simply attempted to make him presentable. But of course, as Pinky would put it, Kris is the loving mother that their mother Cory was. And when the Aquino siblings open their mouths, I believe it, hook, line and sinker. Honesty, that is their family trait. Sorry James, I would have believed your crying earlier on, but I think you became a bit too harsh for comfort.

Pope Francis’ sense of humor is hilarious..

Pope Francis has just been elected and installed, all in less than a fortnight, and in an event of global proportion, considering Vatican City is a tiny state inside Rome.

But of course, now we know that the Catholic Church is 1.2 billion strong, and counting, considering the new successor of fisher Peter is a humble one, simple in his ways, compassionate to the poor, decisive, strong, unyielding to the powerful. Now he has rabbis for allies.

Much tales that come out about this one-lunged Pope are pretty amusing. He doesn’t mean to make these stories funny, but indeed that is just what comes, ha ha.

Read the Vatican receptionist’s story:…

What I like best is, in his modesty, after being elected Pope, he had to tell the cardinals “May God forgive you” for choosing me. lol

Conduct Unbecoming of a Senator

I really do not understand why Senator Chiz tops surveys, I never liked him, probably, for one, because of the manner he speaks, lead-on sentences in Tagalog monotone, which, in my view, conceals every time the truth I’d like to hear. It is as if I am always deciphering what he wants to convey. For another, I did find it cowardly of him when he withdrew from the presidential race and disheartened his supporters who believed in him. For me, Chiz is just a tactical move, or a political move, never grew up, just like those frat boys who lust for powerplay by shaking hands, insincere, mindless.

Chiz was married, with kids, and he was a fail in that. Chiz-Heart was, they tried to pass the relationship as cheeky, but to me, stomach revolting, for it looked to me like another strategy, like that of Migs Zubiri using Vina Morales, to gain the affection of the masa.

Look now who is airing their heartache – Heart’s parents. Here’s the news:…

Heart @28. for sure, is in the crossroads, but Chiz @44, using Heart’s condo and Mercedes Benz….well, the parents have every right to feel bad when their daughter is being used, or taken advantage upon. You really believe he loves her? I don’t.


One Fine Saturday.

Got trapped in a two and a half hour traffic along EDSA and Buendia, on my way to SMX Convention Center, for DESIGN PHILIPPINES. It was a Saturday, events were happening simultaneously, and if I was excited about our cultural heritage exhibit, President Noy was pressing Solaire Casino Grand Opening button at the MOA area (Phil Star frontpage) with ultra rich business tycoons (and of course I wondered how unfeeling was the sight of the president’s photo, when just right below was the face of UP stude Kristel with a scene of her wake in the background), and there was a concert of an 80’s singer, and delightful fireworks.

So, my feet were numb, by the time I got to MOA parking queue, and I thought it couldn’t be worse anymore, but sigh, after I received my parking ticket and I was already on my way up the inner spiral, the SUV in front of me stopped! I blew my horn, of course, and wondered why i was the only one yanking, when all of us were hanging, ascending. An alert security guard ran up, and in a few seconds, he was coming down, and I opened my window and shouted What happened? and he responded with Balik na lang po! WHAT? REVERSE ON A SPIRAL? On an inner lane spiral? Nuts! I was going nuts, but of course, instead of doing so, I had to tackle first the matter at hand: Dim lights, narrow lane, descending backwards. Side mirrors, my guide, my only vision! Halfway now, and almost down, another security appeared and signaled me to climb up! What pixie play is this, I thought, but was just relieved I wouldn’t have to go through the long queue outside again,

My back was a running faucet by the time I got to the registration booth, some 500 meters, I calculated, from the Level 4 parking slot I got. I sipped extra expensive coffee from Deco Elle, and then walked through the booths that showcased our arts and handicrafts, our exciting furniture, and am sure there must be a story behind, for the designs seem to be evolving, and, I was surprised with the crowd of aliens: bald, belly popped Caucasians and chinky-eyed, noisy Asians, ha ha, these traders/buyers adore our products. MANILA FAME is a PRIDE, and am glad I came.

Save Manila from two grumbling old men, please!

It’s ex-con Erap versus Dirty Harry, in a mayoralty debate @ UP Manila yesterday.sad

A pathetic show of old men grumbling, a sorry example to youthful students, brainy and excited, and both old men lashing tirades at each other, mudslinging, that the students were reduced to determining who’s lying more, instead of knowing what could still be possibly done for old Manila, and the people, such as themselves.

The ugly exchange of words between these two men must be censored. Can the COMELEC do something and eliminate these two. Both are bygones clinging to a last hurrah. Both want to end their books of life with a scripted closing chapter, that of serving Manila, how nice!, but of course everybody knows they are in for show.

Save Manila, please, if at all it still can be saved.


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