Hope is gone.

I couldn’t get over this desperate message of a teacher. He is bidding the world good-bye. As of this writing, he may be dead, his corpse among the pile celebrated upon by the murdering lust of terminators. A body count? Not needed.

Hope is gone.

That is a statement from a father who wracked his mind how to save his loved ones from the impending massacre for the longest time. Now, there is nowhere to go, no place to hide.

Hope is gone.

I call upon the Powers for help. God in His enormous mercy, spares those who ask for help. So dear God, I pray, and humbly I beg, have mercy. Send your Powers to help these people.

On Ninoy Aquino, a comment.

I was so impressed with the genius and the courage of this man. He also has the gift of gab that magnetized people to come and listen to him. I was so sad for his life cut short, and sort of grieved we would not have the pleasure of listening to his ideas. his thoughts, his musings. All of a sudden, though with much prodding, his wife took over,. and ran a nation with the way she knew best: attend to the family’s needs. Little did she know that she was preparing her own son to a job his father has inadvertently loaded on his shoulders. I was shocked. or rather surprised by the brilliance of the son, his father’s legacy personified in his statesmanship. and ran the nation with utmost moral ascendancy and genius absolutely befitting to be the hero’s son. Thank you, Ninoy. for the supreme sacrifice. You gave us not only your life, but your family as well. It has brought the country to greater heights. But to Noynoy, is it too much to ask that you assist Leni. We need a leader like your father and mother again. We need you.

My Daughter’s Take on Human Rights

We are in perilous times once again. The world is in the winter of discontent. Just when we’ve thought globalization and mobilization, almost all citizens of the world connected through a five inch cellular phone, then we realize we are caught off guard by the seeming rise to power of despicable forces that threaten whatever peace we have enjoyed so far.

Sadly, many a collateral damage couldn’t be undone. And the inevitable war against evil is upon us. That is reality. And all is written in our history books. My mistake, I did believe that somehow, after the little contribution I participated in for my country, I would be spared of the harshness of brutal deaths and inhuman disregard to life that sporadically terrorized the world.

Yesterday, I was surprised by an article written by my own daughter, about human rights. I hope the write-up reaches the United Nations, the New York Times, the European tabloids, the Middle East, our own Asia especially China and Indonesia. because this is a youth’s perception of why we are fighting. We have allowed the bullies to tramp on us. And we need sanity, understanding, information and logic. So please read and pass. For our children.


I am very proud of you, Jean.

Bourne Again

I was asking Jean and Tish what the title of the sequel to the Bourne series was, and they simply said Jason Bourne. Oh well, being a Ludlum fan, I was particular about those titles:The Bourne Identity, Bourne Ultimatum (film), The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Legacy. I was thinking about a word with a letter Y at the end that would be appropriate for the latest Bourne movie, one that came rather long from the last Matt Damon starrer. I was hoping, after Erin Cross with Jeremy Renner, the two assets would team up for a spectacular revenge against the covert CIA program that used and abused government special forces for their self-serving purposes. Thus, there was much excitement on my part to see Jason Bourne, even if I Knew Matt Damon would not be dashingly slim nor young anymore.

So it was a date, yours being truly thankful Tish got a Sunday to spare, and Jean willing to shoulder the tickets, the buko juice and the steaming dimsum and mami later,

Oh it was Jason Bourne all right, and after several years, he still has not remembered his own identity fully, has gone to physical brawls, as if it is the only solution by which he could deal with an elusive past, and it took an original character, Nicky Parsons, a CIA clerk, who hacked on the program files and saw the David Webb file, Bourne’s real identity, to prompt Jason to be who he really was.

Thus, the movie Jason Bourne,

It was all right, as I said. All the Bourne trademarks are there: the plot, the sound effects, the script, an all original Bourne, including the deception and the betrayal, the chase,the fast action, and all the super Bourne intelligences: driving cars and motorbikes, natural intuition on impending danger, map reading, direction, wire skills on creating sirens for diversion, etecera.

It was a good movie, our cup of tea. But over cups of tea at Hap Chan, for lack of more things to talk about, just sad on losing Nicky, and agreeing her character needs to go, the movie was simply all over, a Bourne again.

Spotlight on.

Tomorrow signals the beginning of Semana Santa, when we wave our palms to welcome the Lord as He enters Jerusalem.

Yet today, I feel it is already a Black Saturday.

My daughter Tish and I meant to be attuned with the Lenten Season, as we try to do so every year. Today, we were early for a recollection at our parish church, St. Paul of the Cross. One morning, we thought, to refresh in our hearts the Passion of our Jesus, a necessary restrengthening after a long year of busyness. I have no problem with the faith, fortitude is a blessing. My upbringing in the Catholic Church was a formidable one. Still, a renewal of sorts comes in useful, to wave off temptations. More importantly, Tish is hungry for a credible theological study, an infallible standpoint or viewpoint why the church we love, the Catholic Church, is the one true church. The public schools which Tish attended fell short of defining in an intellectual or academic presentation, our being and our relationship with God. In other words, even the teachers have not read the entirety of the Bible, otherwise, they could have inculcated in their students the faith in a very satisfactory level. Anyway, that was why we were punctual, because we want to know.

Fr. Alex Balatbat of the Archdiocese of Antipolo shocked the laity, most of whom were white-haired servers from different ministries, when he opened with a statement that we would be talking about the enemy, or the devil. It was a tactical strategy, he said, because in warfare, if you do not know the enemy, you will lose.

He proceeded narrating the battle of a second lieutenant Archangel Michael, the very one who defeated the five star general of a seraphim called Lucifer, the bearer of light, and cast this evil one not into hell, but right here on earth.

That is why, he proposed, to look beside you or right behind you, the devil might be there, in the form of a good person, waiting for an opportunity to tempt you. Beware, he said, because the devil can imitate even the voice of God.

Which brings me to why I am feeling a Black Saturday today. Do not get me wrong, because Fr. Alex wrapped up the Recollection with the hope in the Eucharist and an overwhelming Mercy that was instituted and bequeathed to us in the Last Supper, after one of the apostles betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver that first Maundy Thursday. Fr. Alex said he had succumbed to many temptations, too, as many priests,did. Like all of us. No such thing as a perfect human being.

And I had the sad luck of picking SPOTLIGHT, Oscar’s best picture, a film highly recommended by a friend, Denis Andrenson, that movie that revealed the atrocities of the clergy, towards poor, innocent, impressionable and lonely children. I did remember those who called themselves men of God, and they dressed in robes, and yet somehow, I know, they have abused their priesthood.

No, the molestation did not happen only in Boston, nor was it a single incident. At the tail end, I saw Manila. It was a global psychiatric phenomenon that affected the Vatican. The tally of priest molesters still has to be divulged. The more depressing thing, many of the molested did not survive. Those who did kept away from the faith.

You and I will have a long week, and perhaps you could include in your quiet moments watching Spotlight, and make an effort to pray for our erring priests. Lucifer was a seraph. Our church had been infiltrated. We are called to arms.

Spectre: the unraveling of a specter.

Spectre begins with a dire foreboding, the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, a culture seemingly grotesque. for the living enlivens the dead, in a peculiarly festive way.  Strange though it may be, it is a fitting opening, a foreshadowing of what is to come, for the world’s most famous secret service spy, his secret known to everyone, except perhaps, everyone who has lived with the MI6 for the past half century, has grappled as to why Bond was Bond,  a man alone unto himself.

The SPECTRE is a fictitious acronym which stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism Revenge and Extortion, for the demise of the MI6 or the British Secret Service. For all intents and purposes, fault was assigned to the distinguished characters: M, Q, Moneypenny, and 007

And while the eradication of the secret service seems inevitable, a specter arises. A phantom. A ghost from Bond’s archrivals arises, too. A juxtaposition of two impending deaths: the secret service and Bond’s own.

Thus the cardiac high-action, sniping, bombing, and inverted helicopter flying, or falling. in  Mexico City, where the dead comes to life.

But all at once, the movie transports to holy Rome, the city that encapsulates the glory of the past. Bond follows another lead, and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye. But of course, that is always what Bond story lines are about. But the motion is set. Bond gets an eye view of who his nemesis are, even if it was a little obscured, or darkened.

There was a reference to Tokyo, an allusion that most likely implies how Bond’s every move is seen. Thus it was imperative that Bond himself was injected with a GPS. And in all the succeeding scenes, a specter follows.

At the icy Alpine Austria, Bond finds the daughter of an enemy, the enemy who was set to make Bond’s life miserable. The daughter is  a therapeutic doctor. and she brought Bond to her father’s honeymoon nook, the very same place that archived Bond’s story, from being an orphan, to a skill filled days cruising the mountains with his adoptive father,  to the disgust of his step brother.

In sharp contrast to the snowy mountains, Bond and the lady doctor were ushered into the center of an arid  desert, where a meteorite once landed to earth. And here Bond meets his step brother, the very same one who was reported to have died with his father in a snow avalanche. And all the past two decades, his step brother was scheming on executing his revenge on the orphan boy who found favor in the eyes of his father.

The step brother was the brainchild of SPECTRE, designed not just to have a domination of the world, but more importantly, to ensure the wicked end meant only for the boy with the blue eyes. James Bond.

So the story unraveled.  And 007’s story is now complete.

Daniel Craig essayed the James Bond role magnificently.  Gosh, he is so fit and agile. The curtain calls for a final vow for this actor, and the jalopy is definitive enough.

But gosh again, I have enjoyed Bond movies all my life, but Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre gave the most profound and in-depth picture of the spy. He was a man, after all.

Licensed to kill? No, not at all. That was the spy bound by duty to pull the trigger. And that’s another point. Bond threw his pistol.  Definitive enough. He is licensed to kill no more.

Postscript on a Punching Stat of the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight

Time was, when boxing greats like Muhammad Ali show up for a match inside the boxing ring, one is guaranteed not just a sport but some kind of total entertainment. Boxing was called boxing because the boxers box.

Today, a new sport was started by Floyd Mayweather, and from the parlance of well respected boxing critics and analyzers, a new terminology has emerged. It is called defensing. It is a Mayweather invention, scientifically and statistically proven effective, wherein a fighter, when being punched, swaggers, hugs, scratches with unnecessary punches, and runs.

Thus the demise of a sport called boxing. Do you think that celebrities who flew in style. via private jets to Las Vegas, would ever purchase a boxing ticket again just to watch defensing. Nope. They won’t. These celebrities had been had by a scheming Mayweather Promotions who made sure that they collected their money. They played by hook and by crook, if the reports that even Manny Pacquiao‘s entourage was treated very ill, are true.

These very important people who watched the fight knew what they saw, even if the commentators were saying something much different from what was happening. It’s a brainwashing game.

And in the aftermath, the supposedly whiz of critics, like the father and son tandem, Recah and Chino Trinidad, exposed their envious vehemence of Manny Pacquiao by justifying with numbers. Or that what’s his name? Philip Guico?Tcheh. No different from those Las Vegas conspirators who attacked a seemingly lone Pacquiao from all angles: from a prejudiced referee, to biased judges, to unfair conditions. These sinister boxing aficionados could have given a spectacular bout, but they angered the viewers with boos. I am disgusted more with our own people vilifying our own People’s Champ. Talk about betrayal being a most grievous sin.

Las Vegas and Mayweather played with the minds of the children, by brainwashing them. making everyone believe Mayweather is a great defensive, scientific boxer. When Mayweather lies alone in bed at night, does he really believe he is great? Come on, stop deceiving yourself. No sinister scheme could make you a person great that you really want to be. And stay away from Bieber, he is so young and so repulsive.

At the end of the day, Manny Pacquiao, consoling words must be pouring in, and let me add some more to the litany: the greatness of a man comes from what he has done, not from what he ran away from.

Do not look at this tally. it is an added ploy to insult the already injured.

And a footnote to America: stop deceiving your people, especially your children. Doom looks like it is in the offing. Your people are going self-destruct. Because even with a simple game as boxing, you cannot come clean and true


President Aquino made his mark for greatness.

There’s a thought that must be taken. I have kept quiet for a while.

Mary Jane Veloso’s dire situation reminded of a time not long ago, in Singapore, about a housekeeper called Flor Contemplacion, left to hang in the gallows, when a tobacco sporting President by the name of Ramos. flew away, and did not help the lowly maid.

When Mary Jane’s fate was sealed, I took a deep breath, and knew that only prayers can make a miracle. But as I prayed, what unfolded before my very eyes was simply incredible. I saw the image of PNoy going through that one last ditch effort to save Mary Jane. To him, it was personal.

He attended to the matter hands on. President begging another to defer execution pending review? No, that does not happen. That is tantamount to doubting the better judgment of another. But he did. He spoke to the press as naturally, verbalizing an idea as his mind conceives it, till a phone call interrupts him, that one important call that spelled, right that very second, that an understanding has dawned. Mary Jane was more important alive than dead.

Presidents, like all others, come and go. Great leaders etch their marks in history. not because of how great a change they have contributed to the development and progress of their country, albeit that matters, but to what he has done to the least of his people.

President Benigno Aquino III, you have just done that. You have made your mark.

For greatness.


After Listening to President Aquino on EDSA Anniversary Mass

Thanks, President Aquino, for sharing to us your juvenile thoughts when your father was killed and tossed. I was watching the television that lunch time of August 21 when the tube went blank, but news of your father’s assassination has hit the airwaves, and I saw my own father’s face, his concern, his sadness. My father told me about your father’s genius and gift of gab, and together, my father and I listened to that one rare moment when from prison, he was allowed an interview, and gosh, he outsmarted his interviewers, including that Sri Lankan Ronnie Nathanielz.

Of course any one of us would very much like to avenge a senseless act of violence for a loved one, but as you reminded us, that is not forgiving, that is not the way to peace, not love at all.

I have done my best to listen to you, as you are my President, Now I will put my total trust in you on this Bangsamoro Law, because you are right, peace begins with us.

And as St. Francis would pray…..

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life

On Mission Exodus and the Magnificent Forty-four.

The dead tally stands at forty-four, reason for a nationwide highly emotional hoopla, President Aquino receiving the severest criticism: first, for a fault called failure of operation, because bashers contend that if it was a success, there would not be 44 lives taken from their loved ones, and second, for a no-show at the arrival rites of the lifeless and shattered bodies of the magnificent troopers in metal caskets, draped by Philippine flags, and to which I surmise that the President was still in a state of shock, even if he was putting up a brave front at a car show in Laguna, and please, presidential spokespersons,do not undermine the people’s intelligence by saying he was getting through scheduled events, how lame an excuse is that, because a president must be first in line when his troops come, dead or alive. The people would have understood it more if someone said he was sick, and we would have understood that he was shaken. Wrong advice, ES Paquito Ochoa, to shelter the President by sending him to the car show.

The President met with the families privately, and spoke on prime time television two times. Not once though did he defend himself, not even when the legislative houses turned into spectacles, especially the lower house called congress, where the representatives reduced their house to much of an agora, no offense to market vendors, please.

But today, the honorable senators are mum, after executive sessions that invoke secrecy. Chairperson Senator Grace Poe is explaining that no cover-ups will be made so the President might be saved. There is no such thing, Senator Grace, forty-four dead means the mission was lethal. That was why the best and the bravest were sent there, because it was impossible to get out alive, Those men knew the Mamasapano gauntlet meant their demise, and they faced it. Mission Exodus was more than saving face. Mission Exodus was saving our country from far more ghastly scenarios, saving our families from whining and wailing in lamentation.

The valiant forty-four will forever be heroes in our history books, and their beings forever etched in our hearts.

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