Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's up to us parents & church leaders to teach kids about politics in the Philippines

PNoy’s alleged reputation for malevolence is undeserved. I do not regard him as a corrupt or an evil person who is bent on destroying our governmental institutions. On the contrary, I find him sincere and determined in his intention to get rid of people who are using our very institutions for their own hidden agenda. I think the President is on the right track to protect all branches of the government whether it is the executive, legislative, or judiciary from the existing and potential abuses of those who populate them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dad to Be Mo Twister's Sad Video to Unborn Child & on Girlfriend's Abortion

Wow! This is so hard to watch. Filipino TV and radio shock jock personality Mo Twister or Mohan Gumatay in real life records a video message to his unborn child as girlfriend, model-actress Rhian Ramos gets an abortion. The video was shot in 2010 and was recently leaked via social media. Read the transcript below the video on YouTube to understand its content. Twister is already facing legal action and has apparently left the Philippines. Rhian Ramos is mum about the video as of press time.

Valid or not, or the intention behind the video is unknown, the grief of this man proves that people inherently know that abortion takes a human life. We are made in the image of God and destroying life has a profound effect on our minds, emotions, and souls. One can’t just “get over” an abortion and move on. We must recognize that there are likely many women (and men) among us who are silently suffering from past abortions and will carry that grief for a very long time. These people need our compassion and prayers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Abortion and RH Bill Debate

Abortion is the hot topic in the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill debate and many pro-life advocates and religious groups in the Philippines argue that the Bill will permit abortion. Senator Tito Sotto even went over-the-top to compare the Bill with eugenics and claimed that groups pushing for the Bill has "sinister" motives like Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America.

On the otherhand, folks who support the RH Bill should also refrain fear mongering and demonizing the Catholic church and those who are against the Bill.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow and CURE International to Build Hospital in the Philippines

The Tim Tebow Foundation and CURE International have announced plans to build a children's hospital in the Philippines- where Tebow, the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, was born. See embedded video below.

The Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City will be a 30-bed surgical facility focusing primarily on orthopedics. The groundbreaking will be held in January 2012 and the hospital is expected to open in mid-2013.

Philippines: Arrest Warrant Issued for Former President Arroyo

If and when Arroyo is finally arrested, it would be the first real step for Filipinos in our quest for justice after nine years of her tumultuous reign. She faces several complaints pending before the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, ranging from electoral fraud, corruption and violations of human rights violations... Filipinos are happy that she would finally be compelled to explain for her many illegal acts when she was president.

Read more: Tonyo Cruz, Asian Correspondent

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plastic Bottle Solar Bulbs Light Up Laguna Community in the Philippines

In GMA 7's "Serbisyo on the Go," correspondent Kara David visits a community in Laguna, Philippines where residents are having a hard time paying their electricity bills. To keep power costs down, social entrepreneur Illac Diaz and the local Rotary Club taught residents how to make "solar light bulbs" using plastic soda bottles, water, and bleach.

This is Filipino creativity and innovation at its best. Diaz and the local Rotary Club reflects it very well: ideas can be brought into reality with hard work. It reminds me of the creative and innovative attributes of our creator. He imagined a creative world and all came to light with His spoken words. No plastic bottles required.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WHAT?... Anne Curtis Still OPM Chart Topper?

Filipino Dad blog: What... non-singer Anne Curtis still OPM (Original Pilipino Music) chart topper? Doesn't she sing like Christine Jacob during her Eat Bulaga days? She herself admitted that "my music is not soulful, it's painful." I don’t know which one I’m surprised more; that she has a music album or that more than 100,000 Filipinos bought her CD, earning her a Gold Platinum record award and her record label lots of profit! I know it’s all in the name of fun, entertainment and following a dream but does it reflect that popular art in the Philippines is not set to a higher standard? Does it trivialize the Filipino excellence in music? Come to think of it, if Kris Aquino and Ruffa Gutierrez can win top dramatic acting awards, why should I be surprised with Anne Curtis too? Maybe I’m just a prude and over reacting... please pardon me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pablo Picasso's Work, Now Viewing in Manila

Filipino art aficionados should rush to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila as it opened recently to the public works of world renowned artist Pablo Picasso. The collection, known in art history as Suite Vollard, features 100 prints of copper etchings created by Picasso from 1930 to 1937.

Picasso is best known as the founder of Cubism. His painting is considered the beginning of modern art. He became rich, world-renowned and heralded to be the top artist of his time. However, as authors Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington pointed out, Picasso has a shattered view of his life and career. In his seventies, Picasso shared with the world one humble confession:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The 40 percent: Does sex tourism exist in the Philippines?

"No matter how we try to ignore the problem of sex tourism, we cannot close our eyes to what is going on. How can we be so blind not to see the reasons that drive many of our women as well as men to sell their bodies for sex? Isn’t it easy to see?"

Read more: Efren N. Padilla, GMA News Blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Filipino Christian Blog: "Face to Face" With Pinoy Reality TV

I don't need to watch TV5's Face to Face everyday to find out what it's all about. It is obviously the Filipino version of The Jerry Springer Show. Amy Perez is the host or referee of the popular daily talk show also referred to as the only "talakserye" on Philippine television. As expected, everything that made The Jerry Springer Show a US hit is also on its Pinoy counterpart: guests vents their ire on each other, punching, hair-pulling and throwing bleeped invectives, slippers and sometime chairs at each other- a "palengkerafest" (minus Annabelle Rama) or a Barangay hall on TV (see embedded video below- WARNING: there is foul language in the video).

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Magic of Family Dinners

Filipino Dad Blog: Statistics are clear, children who dine with their parents are healthier and happier students, which is why the activity should remain a daily tradition in the Philippines.

The Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day was formed in 2008 to encouraged Filipino parents to eat dinner with their children regularly and be involved in their live. The annual event is celebrated every 4th Monday of September.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deut. 6:7 ESV). Create a heritage for your family by eating together every day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Filipino Christian Blog: Imelda Marcos and the Ampatuans

The most read article I had on this blog site was the article I posted on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre and the disappearance of Conjugal Dictatorship author and former Ferdinand Marcos right-hand Primitivo Mijares. The Al Jazeera documentary Imelda and Me by Filipino international journalists Veronica Pedrosa also linked and compared the Marcos's to the Ampatuans of Maguindanao province.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is Typhoon Pedring God's Message to the Philippines?

Two years after the deadly typhoon Ondoy, typhoon Pedring arrived in the Philippines. A few folks have connected the dots and assumed that God is sending a message. But what's the message and to whom? Did you get the message? Was there signal during the storm? Some even went beyond and claimed that the typhoon was God's judgement to pro-RH bill politicians and President Aquino's UN vote for Palestine's statehood. Referring to Matthew 5:44-45, blogger Kevin S. said it best,

We can’t judge the favor of God based on the weather! Our gracious heavenly father chooses to bless both the “just” and the “unjust” with sun and rain. Is the Philippines under God’s curse? Yes—in the sense that the whole world is cursed, waiting for God to restore all things (Romans 8:18-25).  The Scriptures have already explained the death and destruction we see in this world.  More importantly, they point us to a greater hope beyond this world.  Until then, we are called to look to the cross, not the clouds.

That's the Godly message all Filipinos should hear.

Glee Star, Kristin Chenoweth on Being a Christian

This video of actress and comedienne Kristin Chenoweth caught my attention. In the Philippines, Filipinos may best know Chenoweth as a recurring guest cast member of TV’s Glee where Charice also guest starred last year. She’s a good actress and one of the few Hollywood celebrities who’s open about her Christianity. Unfortunately, many will not consider her a good spokesperson of the faith because of her relativist and "therapeutic" views of scriptures over absolute truths of the Word. See video below and tell me what you think.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Filipino Christian Blog: It's About Time! Campaign Hopes to Redefine "Filipino Time"

According to this article, for years, the Pinoys' penchant for arriving late at an appointment has been described as "Filipino Time." Most Pinoys, apparently, are habitual late-comers that it has earned for them a virtually new timezone.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is launching "Juan Time," a campaign that aims to promote time-consciousness among Filipinos. The agency said that the Filipino Time has become a "notorious habit" that, unknown to most, "pulls back the country in terms of lost productivity."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pat Robertson and Alzheimers

My dad suffered from Alzheimer's and I will always remember my mom's unconditional care for him until he passed away in 2004. She cared for my dad because its the right thing to do.

Last week on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said a man could divorce his wife if she had Alzheimer’s since it was “a kind of death.” He then added, “but get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.” Yes, please get another answer because his answer couldn’t be more wrong. Our vow for better or for worse must include worse.

Robertson’s words deeply contradict a Biblical worldview of what it means to be human. Alzheimer’s can be considered “A kind of death,” but so could depression, brain damage, Parkinson’s and all sorts of conditions. But even so, a “kind of death” isn’t death, and it doesn’t make anyone less human or less worthy of dignity and love. No one loses the image of God, even if they no longer know it.

(Adapted from The Point, by John Stonestreet)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Congratulations, Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup! Ms. Universe 3rd Runner Up

My wife and I together with Filipinos around the world, watched Miss Philippines and fellow UP graduate Shamcey Supsup win 3rd runner up in the Miss Universe beauty pageant last Tuesday evening. We're very impressed with her looks and her answer during the Q/A portion of the competition. She didn't disappoint Filipinos who were cheering for her with her smart and well-spoken answer.

Congratulations, Shamcey!

I really enjoy Filipino fondness and enthusiasm on beauty pageants. I also get a kick out of hearing post-pageant reactions and gossip from Filipinos that sort of sweet-lemons Shamcey's 3rd place win. Click here, here, and here.

Everyone's thoughts, including mine, on pageants and beauty in general reflect how our society prides too much on physical attractiveness. The hard truth is no amount of makeup or fancy clothes will hide the fact that beauty is temporary. Sooner or later age will rob us of our beauty. The good news is inner beauty is the true measure of ones good looks and it will last not just our lifetime but forever. My hope is that more Filipino women (and men) will focus in the inner beauty of their character by working to be more like Christ.

(adapted from 3/12/09)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paris Hilton: An Inspiration to Filipino Girls

Filipino Dad Blog: Paris Hilton was in Manila to endorse her handbag brand and promote a hotel-resort. During a live press conference, Paris met her number one BFF and “loyal fan” in the Philippines, Isha Dinio. Shaken and in tears, Dinio said to the has-been Hollywood starlet (thank you Lolit Solis),  “you’re an inspiration.”

The well-publicized and obviously rehearsed moment reminded me that Paris Hilton once described herself “an inspiration for a lot of girls” and a story I read from a BreakPoint blogger a few years back. During his young rebellious years, Franklin Graham (son of evangelical leader Billy Graham) one day came home discouraged and told his mother, Ruth Graham, that he was worthless. Ruth replied saying he’s not worthless and God could always use him as a bad example.

So in a way, Paris was right.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It’s not just porn that can be dangerous on the internet...

A new South Korea law forbids teenagers from playing online games after midnight. Why? Because too many South Korean youths are addicted to these games, and are neglecting themselves, and becoming angry and anti-social.

These restrictions are helpful, as any type of Internet addiction can be self-destructive. But many experts recognize that games themselves are not the real problem. The real problem in Korea is often performance-driven systems of family and education, and a culture that sacrifices relationships to a particular type of success. That pressure drives students to seek escape – for many in a virtual world they become addicted to.

Teens reflect the image of God, who is relational and designed them to love and be loved in a community, first and foremost with their families. Without that, they’ll turn to all sorts of things for satisfaction, worshiping those things instead of their Maker. And virtual reality is no substitute for the real thing.

(Originally posted on The Point Radio by John Stonestreet)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Students Brave Obstacles in Philippines

A report by the World Economic Forum has ranked the Philippines as "poor" when it comes to primary education. Across the country, there are schools that lack even the most basic facilities, including running water and electricity, while others have an average of 70 students per classroom.

In southern Philippines (Layag-Layag, Zamboanga) , some children swim through two kilometers of swamp to get to class, braving harsh conditions as they strive for a better future. (Source: Al Jazeera)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Marriage Annulment Cases in the Philippines Rising

According to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) annulment cases in the Philippines almost doubled in 10 years- more than 8,000 couples filed for annulment in 2010 about 22 cases filed per day.

The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is alarmed, and they should be. Numbers don’t lie and these figures ought to tell us that our culture is headed in the wrong direction.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Will the Royal Marriage Survive?

Could there have been a better way to showcase marriage than today’s Royal Wedding?

(Three major Filipino networks covered the Royal Wedding in the Philippines).

A colleague wrote an excellent piece on the Royal wedding for National Review Online and today’s BreakPoint commentary from Chuck Colson is based on the article.

“Can this marriage be saved?” writer Anne Morse asked. For the answer, she asked several marriage experts about William and Kate’s chances, based on such factors as their family background, age, faith commitment, life choices, and royal expectations.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Whistleblowers in the Philippines

One of my popular blog post was the article on Primitivo Mijares- the former Marcos right hand turned whistleblower against the dictatorship. I received numerous emails mostly inquiring how to get a copy of his book "Conjugal Dictatorship" (try Amazon.com) or how to connect with Mijares' living relatives which I don't have any personal connections to except for featuring their famous last name on my blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exorcism in the Philippines: From Yahoo News, "Philippine Priest in Ancient Battle with Demons"

"There is a great dramatic increase of possessions right now," said Father Jose Francisco Syquia, Head of Manila Archdiocese's Office of Exorcism. "More and more the demons are gaining a foothold into this society" he added.

Father Syquia's statement reminded me of the 2010 movie "The Last Exorcism". The film's tagline says "If you believe in God, you must believe in the Devil".

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Call This Entertainment and Hope? Humiliation of 6 Year-Old Boy on Willie Revillame's Willing Willie

My jaws dropped on the floor when I saw this video and article about the child abuse that took place on Willie Revillame's "Willing Willie". I was appalled not only because of the boy's humiliation but from the cheers and applause of Willie and his audience. It just show how desensitize many are on poor taste, sexuality and the false hope of prosperity on TV. If this is what many Filipinos find entertaining, then many should take a deep breath and a good look at the mirror.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Not Gaga Over "Born This Way"

According to Vogue magazine, Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” is more than “an unbelievably great dance song”; it is “destined to be the anthem of every gay-pride event for the next 100 years.” It only took the well-known pop star 10 minutes to write the song and its explanation of same-sex attraction. At least that’s what Lady Gaga told Vogue.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can True Democracy Emerge in Egypt Now that President Mubarak is Gone?

The events in Egypt reminded me the Philippine's peaceful People Power revolution in 1986. Filipinos should be reminded that we must keep the spirit of people power alive.

But who will replace Mubarak? Can democracy emerge in Egypt now that President Mubarak is gone? Filipinos were blessed to have former President Cory Aquino as a new leader after Marcos. She was for and aimed to restore democracy back into the hands of the Filipino people. Unfortunately, Egypt may be a different story because the regime that will take over is still uncertain.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Willie Revillame Hope for Poor Filipinos?

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19

The image that TV shows like Willie Revilliame’s Willing Willie (ABC TV5) and formerly Wowowee (ABS-CBN) like to portray is that they rescue people from poverty. An industry that is bent on making money through TV ratings tries to add a facade of respectability by saying it stands for helping the poor. However, the reality about these shows is that it indirectly creates a culture of dependency in the Philippines.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

When Do You Know That Enough is Enough?

Thought I'll post this letter from an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). The writer shares her thoughts as she discovers what's more important in her life and for the family she left behind in the Philippines. God meant families to stay together. But in the Philippines where majority of citizens consider themselves as God-fearing, separated families due to overseas employment are very common. It makes you wonder if the sacrifices of these parents to give up their influence to their children in exchange for affluence are all worth it.  God bless the OFWs and their families. You can read the complete version of the letter here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Philippines Adobo is Featured in NY Times Magazine

There are as many recipes for adobo as there are Philippine islands, thats how NY Times food columnist Sam Sifton describe our favorite dish in his article The Adobo Experiment. He also writes,