Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Smart Moves

I just read that Senator Escudero is backing out of the presidential and vice presidential race and will be supporting the candidacy of Senator Aquino. If this is true, then I say, smart move. He should seriously consider joining the Liberal Party.

Governor Santos-Recto and husband Ralph Recto recently joined the LP, smart move. What would really be a smart move would be if former Senator Recto admits to the public that the additional 2% VAT he pushed through Congress has accomplished nothing but add to the people's burden, as former Senator Osmena had contested. What would be a smart move on Senator Aquino's part, then, would be to get Osmena back in his senatorial slate by all means possible.

Bad move on the part of Senator Villar. Senator Legarda is history. I don't believe she can accomplish anything anymore. She has lost credibility in the eyes of our youth. She should consider going back to broadcast journalism, as well. Still another bad move on Senator Villar's part is getting Governor Marcos on his senatorial ticket. Old politics. Trapo politics. Being wise and being street wise are two different things. Senator Villar will be fortunate if he gets 30% of the vote.

There are a number of old horses in Congress. They should retire. That would be an accomplishment for them.

Senator Aquino will be the next president of the Philippines. Senator Roxas will be vice-president. Come 2016, we will see a new kind of politics in Philippines history. We will have an electorate that is wired differently. By then, the 18-40 voters will have a much different life and world view than the dominant one today. "Mar" Roxas, "Chiz" Escudero, "Ate V" Santos-Recto and "Kiko" Pangilinan are the personalities to watch. These smart people will be our performance-driven leaders in politics.

Escaping the Mindanao Massacre

Its sad to hear the massacre that occured in Maguindanao province recently that killed about 46 people including journalists, children and pregnant women. Though its bad news, I am gratetful for the people who reported it via traditional and non-traditional media to make it known around the world the human rights violations that takes place in the Philippines every election season - ensuring the 12 journalists murdered in the massacre not die in vain.

Most Filipinos around the world may be busy working and taking care of their families. A tragedy like this can easily escape our attention. But Filipinos should be made aware of the evils of human rights violations and the need to do something more than watching the news. Surely knowing about the massacre does not solve the human rights crisis in the Philippines, but it is certainly a first step.

Remember to pray for all who are affected by this tragedy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Fireproof Part 2?

Christian News reports a followup to the movie Fireproof will explore the topic of fatherhood. Fireproof starred Kirk Cameron as a firefighter. The 2008 independent movie was produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georiga which plans to start filming Courageous this spring. It should hit theaters a year later, telling the story of four fathers in law enforcement who go through a tragedy together. Fireproof made more than $33 million on a budget of about half-a-million. The movie had limited screening in the Philippines but was a big hit to those who saw it specially in the evangelical christian community. As I said in my previous post about the movie, I think its one of the best dramas I've seen recently and meets the common "melo-dramatic-tear-jerking" formula Filipinos never tires to see on TV and movies everyday. Will Courageous meet the same expectation? Abangan na lang ang susunod na kabanata.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon: Now Showing in the Philippines

Do you plan to watch New Moon, second of the Twilight films scheduled to open this week in the Philippines and worldwide? If so, I highly recommend you read BreakPoint's insightful guide on the movie that will be helpful to you, kids and parents alike.

As Christians, we shouldn't shut away or lose ourselves in the art of cinema. Instead of criticizing Hollywood or all non-Christian themed films as evil or simply thinking "its just a movie" or "just for entertainment only" I believe we should be master and train our eyes to see movies in different perspective - as a new way of delivering beauty and truth found in scriptures to our world hungry for meaning and purpose.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Hugs Manila

My friend Jim alerted me of this video shot in Manila in 2007. Thought the video is interesting because Filipinos are not a hugging culture (my personal opinion) specially sa mga machong pinoy. Maybe times are starting to change now. Share the love, share a hug...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Doomsday Philippines

Salamat sa Hollywood blockbuster movie na "2012" naging malaking hype na naman ang usapan tungkol sa apocalypse o end-of-the-world. Ayon sa movie, base sa ancient Mayan calendar December 21, 2012 daw ang katapusan ng mundo. Last year naging usapan din ang "Doomsday email" na nag-predict na July 18, 2008 diumano ang katapusan ng Pilipinas. Obviously walang katotohanan ito. Ang totoo, ang apocalyptic thinking ay manifestation ng lack of faith at anxieties ng tao sa mga uncertainties ng buhay. Ang mga kalamidad tulad ng Ondoy, tsunami, lindol at hysteria sa man-made global warming ay nagpapaalala kung gaano ka-vulnerable tayong lahat. Ang pananaw sa mundo bilang random at walang sovereign creator ay nagdadagdag din sa anxiety kaya't marami ang madaling maniwala at nakakahanap ng kasagutan sa mga ancient text at manghuhula sa katapusan ng mundo.

Mabuti na lang at ang dapat malaman ng madami... only God offers the real solution. Christians know that true faith in Him cast out all anxieties dahil may kapayapaan at pananalig tayo na sya lang ang may hawak at may alam sa future natin at ng ating mundo. Sa halip na mag-focus sa end-of-times, mag-focus na lang sana tayo sa nag-iisang Creator of time.

Click here for further reading.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Romeo Jalosjos' Fantasyland

I thought it was a joke but the Inquirer reported that convicted child rapist and unrepentant former congressman Romeo Jalosjos is set to finance the development of a billion pesos world-class theme park in Dapitan City, Mindanao - sounds very “Michael Jacksonish." I don’t know what to think of this news but it may have the potential to make it in the “only-in-the-Philippines” record list. To put some light humor on the Romeo Jalosjos theme park seriously named “Gloria’s Fantasyland” (yes, you heard that right) the catch... is only 11 year old girls and below are allowed to enter the park. Funny?

I recommend Carlo Ople's blog post on Jalosjos to learn more about him and what the Arroyo administration did to his case.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Whats Wrong With Kindness?

I was not surprised to see many Filipinos around the world working together to help other Filipinos affected by the recent typhoons. It proves that human beings are generally kind and generous specially in time of great need. This reminds me of how human goodness or kindness counters the basic worldview of evolutionist that says survival of the fittest is the ultimate good for the species or eliminate the weak members of the species for the common good. Fans of Charles Darwin have a problem because they don't have a strong argument of the altruistic nature of human except they say that people do "good" to others so that others will do the same good to them which will increase their chances for survival.

Fortunately Christianity offer a better and stronger explanation. While all humans are born with the capacity to sin, we are also capable of caring for others because God created us in His image. Not only we compete with our neighbors for survival but we can care for them and even willing to sacrifice our lives for them.

(Click here for further reading)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why is the Philippines Poor?

Why is the Philippines poor is in the minds of many Filipinos around the world. Im posting a column written by Nestor Mata verbatim that provides good answers to this intriging question. My hope is that the Philippines becomes a praying nation and every Filipinos to think biblically and have the integrity to live out what the bible teaches.

In these times of economic instability and other multitudinous national problems, not a few Filipinos are wondering why the Philippines is poor. But someone else says that we can still reverse the path of economic decline and moral decadence through prayer.

I got two messages sent through the Internet, one from a Dr. Arsenio Martin of Fort Arthur, Texas, USA, who posed the intriguing question "Why is the Philippines Poor?", and the other from Jesuit Father James Reuter who offered prayer as "our only hope" for national salvation.

Here are excerpts from Dr. Martin's message: "The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country. This can be shown by countries like India and Egypt that are more than 2000 years old, but are still poor. On the other hand, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, only 150 years old, are rich and highly developed countries.

"The difference between poor and rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources. Japan has a limited territory, mountainous, inadequate for agriculture and cattle raising, but it is the world's second economic power. It is like a floating factory, importing raw materials from all over the world and exporting manufactured products.

"Another example is Switzerland. It does not plant cocoa, and yet is has the best chocolates in the world. In its little territory, the people raise animals and plant the soil only during four months of a year. Not enough, and yet they produce dairy products of the best quality. It is a small country that transmits an image of security and order, and the world's strongest and safest place in the world.

"Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference among them. Race or skin color is also not important. Immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the most productive in rich European counties.

"What is the difference then? The difference is in the attitude of the people, framed along the years by education and culture and flawed tradition.

"On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich and developed countries, we find that the great majority following these principles in their lives: Ethics, Integrity, Responsibility, Respect for laws and rules, Respect of the rights of other citizens, Work loving, Strive for savings and investment, Will of action, Punctuality and Discipline.

"In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life. The Philippines is not poor because we lack natural resources or because Nature has been cruel to us. In fact, we are rich in natural resources. But we are poor because we lack the correct attitudes. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich and developed societies.

"If you love your country, let this message circulate so that many Filipinos could reflect about this and change their attitudes and ACT!"

Here are excerpts from Father Reuter's message of what he calls "the only hope" for the Philippines: "The signs are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence.

"It is not the lack of effort. We have seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups and people's organizations devote themselves to the task of nation-building, oftentimes against insurmountable odds.

"But not even two People Revolutions have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.

"We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster. It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm.

"It is time to claim God's promise of healing the land for His people. It is time to gather God's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.

"Is prayer really the answer?

"Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.

"England's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fuelled by intense prayers.

"The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today - a strong faith in God and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.

"In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today.. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around are faltering.

"Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling and seeking of God through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity.

"Yes, we believe prayer can make a difference.

"It is our only hope!"

(Malaya.com.ph, June 7, 2008)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Purple Spots and Resilience

About three weeks ago our 5-year-old daughter started to complain about a red “bug bite” on the bottom of her foot. We didn’t give it too much attention because we thought it was just a simple mosquito bite that usually goes away. Until a few hours later she was in excruciating pain and her leg was swollen and almost covered with purple spots.

A rush to the ER revealed that Isabelle has Henoch-Schonlein purpura, or HSP. It’s a rare condition where the blood vessels get inflamed, usually after a viral infection, causing bruise-like spots to appear on the body and joints to swell. HSP could last for a few weeks or a few months, it usually attacks children, and there’s no known cause or cure for it. It’s not seriously life-threatening but it’s painful and could affect the internal organs -- children who had it showed signs of kidney problems later in life. So far, lab and blood results of my daughter showed everything is still within normal range. No medication was prescribed except lots of liquid, rest, and Ibuprofen for the daily pain.

This is what my family has been learning these past few weeks: As we care for Isabelle and watch her condition, we are also learning an important lesson on resilience. It’s true what many say, that children are resilient: They easily bounce back from pain. My daughter would cry every night because of the throbbing pain in her legs, but once the pain was gone, she was back to her fun, spirited self as if nothing had happened -- no “woe is me” nor dwelling on the past. There are many children who are in a worse or more painful condition than my daughter. My heart goes out to them and their families, but it’s comforting to know that these children possess the same resilience I saw in my daughter. I think God created all children this way . . . which means that all of us adults are capable of being resilient as well. For me or anyone else who tends to forget this innate human quality, Christ offers a word of advice: “. . . be like children” (Matthew 18:3)

(Originally posted on The Point blog)