Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Politician Beats Up Defenseless Man and Son Over Golf

Laman ng mga pahayagan ngayon ang pagbubugbug diumano ng Lanao Del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman Jr. habang ang amang DAR chief ay nanonood lamang sa negosyanteng Delfin Dela Paz at sa anak nitong 14 na taong gulang sa isang golf course. Mahirap mang isipin pero parang nagiging pangkaraniwan na ang pangaabuso ng kapangyarihan ng ating mga opisyal ng gobyerno. Importante ang magandang asal o good moral character sa isang opisyal dahil naniniwala tayo na ang kanilang posisyon ay pinanhintulot ng Diyos. Mataas ang inaasahan natin sa mga opisyal dahil pinahiram sila ng kapangyahiran upang magserbisyo sa publiko. Bilang ordinaryong mamamayan, layunin nating pagmasdan ang mga kilos at desisyon ng ating mga opisyal kung ito ay tugma sa kanilang kinauupuan posisyon. Kabilang dito ang ipaalam sa kanila kung sila ay lumalabag sa kanilang tungkulin. Pero mas mahalaga bilang mamamayan na tayo mismo ay mamuhay ng maayos at hindi tularin ang di magagandang asal ng ilan nating opisyal. Dahil ano mang kapangyarihan o kayamanang hawak natin, maliit man o malaki ay mula sa Diyos at di pangsarili lamang.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Philippines Teenage Smoking at Alarming Levels

Health experts have expressed alarm over the increasing number of Filipino women smokers as a result of the tobacco firms' strategy to make smoking look "glamorous and fashionable." According to a recent report, most affected are young girls between 13-15 years in which 30% or 3 out of 10 already have a smoking habit. This is alarming considering that tobacco consumption in developed countries like the United states has dropped due to successful campaigns on the dangers of smoking.

The Philippines need to have more anti-tobacco campaigns specially to directed to young Filipinos. But to be effective, campaigns should teach within a larger perspective or the right worldview that the human body is a gift and made from the image of God. Because when Filipinos understand this they will make good choices for their bodies and do more than just say no to tobacco and other bad habits but yes to honoring God.

(image @ google images)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Love Life & Twilight

(Filipino Christian Blogger) I came across an online community of Filipino enthusiast of Stephenie Meyer's book Twilight. The site shows that many Filipino girls (and boys) are captivated by the book. In fact there were rumors that a local adaptation will be produced by ABS-CBN. Avid Pinoy fans of the book negatively responded to project and ABS-CBN later denied such version.

Filipinos are culturally romantics and are quick adaptors of American popular entertainment that's why the growing Filipino followers of the human-vampire love story is not surprising. The book has a pro-abstinence storyline which is a positive message to Filipino teens. However, through a Christian perspective, the book and now a movie has a deeper message the Filipino audience should also ponder if they think Twilight is the ideal image of romance or what Pinoys refer to as "love life."

Here's an interesting commentary on Twilight which is worth thinking and are good talking points when discussing the film to friends and families:

If we had found a book or a movie that really offered a healthy, chaste, chivalrous vision of romance that was attracting teenagers by the millions, well, that would indeed be cause for rejoicing. And I’d be as eager as anyone to climb on the bandwagon and help promote them. But unfortunately, I can’t do that this time. Because underneath the surface, there are some truly disturbing themes and ideas in Twilight. Chief among these is that old, dangerous idea that a “bad boy” can easily be won and tamed by a “good girl”—an idea that has brought heartache to untold millions of good girls. As a Christian, I obviously believe that redemption and change is possible for sinners. But I also know that human beings alone cannot change each other. So when you’re talking to your daughter about Twilight, here are a few points you might touch on. It is not romantic, or safe, when a boy spies on you, follows you, and sneaks into your room without your knowledge (and especially without your parents’ knowledge). It is not romantic, or safe, when someone tells you he’s dangerous and he’s killed people, to give answers like, “It doesn’t matter,” and, “I’m not afraid..." It is not romantic, or safe, to try to see how close you and your boyfriend can get to the edge of danger without going over. And it is not romantic, or safe, to offer yourself up for a boy to do whatever he wants to you—symbolized in the movie by the young heroine asking the vampire to bite her so she can become like him. (Colson,, 11/26/08)
(image @

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thoughts on Filipino Humor

Inaabangan ko ngayon ang mga Juana Change videos (clips not appropriate for children- watch at your own risk). Sabi ko nga sa blog ni Tonyo Cruz, naaalala ko lagi yung "Sic 'O Clock News" nung '80s. High quality at intelligent talaga ang show na yun. Dito ko naappreciate ang role ng media at maging interesado sa current events. Dito ko rin nakilala sila Jaime Fabregas (ang pinakamagaling na Padre Damaso), Ces Quesada (nanghinayang ako ng mawala sya sa Eat Bulaga), Manny Castaneda (straight ba yung role nya sa Oro Plata Mata?), etc. Yung nasa UP din ako, madami din akong napanood na magagaling the comedy stage shows, mga political satires na pinagiisip din ng malalim ang audience habang nagbibigay ng saya.

Gifted ang mga Pinoy sa humor. Masayahin tayong lahat. Kahit mabigat ang problema, nakukuha pa ring nating tumawa. Naalala ko tuloy yung mga news footage sa TV ng mga Pilipinong nasasalanta ng bagyo, paminsan minsan may makikita kang kumakaway at ngumungiti sa camera. Eto nga yung namimiss ko pag kasama ko yung mga foreigner friends ko, yung abilidad ng Pilipino na magpagaan ng mga mabibigay na sitwasyon. Yung bungisngisan at hiyawan sa pagpapatawa.

May nabasa akong commentary na ang sabi si Jesus may comedic timing din. He used wit and humor to make his point as he did when he mentioned the camel going through the eye of a needle. Siguro very charismatic, ma-PR at may sense of humor din si Jesus kaya drawn ang maraming tao sa kanya. Malamang very animated din sya sa mga sermons kasi wala pang audio visual equipments nung unang panahon. Mahirap din ang buhay ni Jesus nung naging tao siya lalo na siguro't alam niya na itatakwil at papatayin sya. Pero sa lahat ng ito, nakuha pa niyang tumawa at magpatawa. Bakit? Dahil alam niya na pansamantala lang ang kanyang paghihirap - because He knew His suffering on earth will not last and eternal joy awaits for Him. Ganito din tayong lahat na tunay na Kristiano, pareho din ang hahantungan o kasasapitan, yun lang rason nang magsaya - we have the same fate at Jesus Christ and that's something to smile about.

Happy talaga ang New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary's First Lesson in Discipleship

How do you respond when God calls you to submit?
Here's a good example (1 minute audio) from Mary courtesy of The Point.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cory is Sorry - What's up with that?

Dear Mrs. Aquino, I cant get over your apology. What's up with that? - Jason
I really like Cory Aquino and I consider Ninoy Aquino a personal hero but I can't contain my confusion on her public apology to former President Joseph Estrada for her involvement in the 2001 EDSA II rally that ousted Estrada from the presidency. Was she suggesting an Estrada administration is better than Arroyo? Why did Cory called for Estrada's resignation 7 years ago in the first place? Is the apology a stamp of approval on Estrada's past actions? I know she means well for publicly admiting her mistakes but I do hope its not a call to let Estrada get off the hook easily IF there are still some unresolved corruption charges on him. One thing that did come out from this is the positive show of humility and walang personalan attitude from Cory. Filipinos need to see such display of Christian values from influencial figures like her.
(image @

Monday, December 22, 2008

7 of 10 Pinoys haven’t given up on RP

According to this article from Malaya, majority of Filipinos has not given up on the Philippines and will still choose to stay in the country than migrate somewhere else. This is good news despite of the ongoing problems in the country such as high food and gas prices, government corruption, unemployment, Cha cha, etc. Filipinos are generally optimistist about life in my opinion that's why I'm not surprised with the positive results of the survey. The common expression of hope that most Filipinos share is encouraging but I think what's more significant to recognize is that the feeling of hope is not as important as the object of hope. If it's Christ that majority of Filipinos get their hopes from then that for me is better news and worth celebrating.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Merry Christmas" not "Happy Holidays"

I recently receive a text message from my friend (itago na lang natin sya sa pangalang Kristan Cleto) who's from Los Angeles. The message says... I'm annoyed when people say "Happy Holidays." So what if there are Jews out there. Christ IS the reason for the season. I still say Merry Christmas to everyone. I somehow share his frustration. The political correctness of Christmas in the US is a major contrast from the Filipino Christmas celebration. In the name of not offending people of other faiths, "Christ" is being removed from Christmas. Happy Holidays" replaces "Merry Christmas" and the Nativity Scene (Belen) and Christmas carols with the birth of Jesus in its message are now banned in some public places. The Philippines is predominantly Catholics which makes political correctness of the season a non big issue. This is one thing I am thankful for. Children carollers, whether at you're house or at your car during rush hour traffic (mahirap iwasan at parang wala kang choice kasi nakatitig talaga sa yong mga mata) can openly sing "Joy to the World" and "O Holy Night" without fears of offending others. I give two thumbs up to the Philipppines' rich Catholic/Christian population and traditions for helping keep "Christ" intact and always part of the Christmas season.

(image @

Friday, December 19, 2008

Throwing Shoes at the President

One major news this week was the Iraqi journalist who threw shoes to outgoing US President George W. Bush. According to Iraqi culture throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. The Philippines relation to the US is also interesting but I don't think its comparable to what is going on in Iraq. The US colonized the Philippines in the early 1900s, fought alongside Filipinos during World War II, backed the Philippines against the Marcos regime and held their military and intelligence base in the country for many years until its ban in 1992. Today, about 30,000-50,000 US troops are stationed in the Philippines under the Balikatan joint war exercises. My personal reaction to the shoe throwing incident is posted on the blog of Filipino journalist Tony O. Cruz who also posted the story and video:

Ang bilis naman nilang makalimot. Sign of contempt? The journalist should also look at things from a different perspective. The shoe throwing incident is a clear sign that freedom of expression and freedom of the press is back in Iraq. I would think these journalists will not dare do such a stunt under Saddam’s regime. Hope they wont forget that George Bush and the US military helped get their freedom back after years of dictatorship from Saddam.

If you think about it, the incident can also reflect our relationship to Christ or how we treat Him. Christ liberated us from the eternal bondage of sin, and what do we do in return? We choose to give our lives back to Him. However, you and I are guilty of throwing a metaphoric "shoe" at Him once in a while. When we rely more on our self will than His, fail to acknowledge His greatness and we deny His full authority and sovereignty over every aspect of our lives.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Give Us this Day Our Daily Rice

As I posted last month on The Point blog the Voice of the People World Hunger Survey 2008 revealed that the Philippines ranked 5th where the population (survey respondents) reported that their families have not enough food to eat in the last 12 months. How did this happen? It's easy to point fingers to the government's corruption such as the recent Bolante Fertilizer scam. But that's a bigger problem that needs solution, to unsure budget allocated for agriculture will indeed go to projects designed to bring more food on the Filipino dinner table. As an immediate response, people of faith should look beyond themselves and intentionally look for those who are hungry and in need. I am sure it will not be hard to find some in our community. It's Christianly to help the weak and feed the hungry. We are commanded to do it. The next time you and I pray for our "daily bread," lets ask God to use us to give "daily bread" or " daily rice" to others who dont have enough.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Introducing "Living Rice" - A Blog About the Philippines & Christian Worldview

This is my humble attempt to emulate The Point blog (where I am also a regular contributor) in bringing Christian worldview discussions on various topics of the day.

"Rice" is the staple food of Filipinos and it represents the daily conversations over the dinner table on issue such as relationship, politics, faith, showbiz, etc. “Living Rice” is the everyday discussion on the different aspects of Filipino life from a Christian worldview perspective or the viewpoint of the living word of Christ.

Welcome to "Living Rice", where Christ's life meets Pinoy's life.


Jason Bruce