Showing posts from February, 2011


8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
February 27, 2011

Just two days ago, the Philippines celebrated the 25th anniversary of the so-called peaceful PEOPLE POWER revolution that toppled a dictator's government, infusing fresh hope to a people subjected to suffering for so long. As history proves, the event was a trendsetter. Whether or not people everywhere acknowledge it, the fact is that the event set a precedent followed in so many other places soon after, not excluding the recent spate of "revolutions" that have hogged the headlines over the recent weeks all around the globe.

It was truly a gift of the Filipino people to the world - a peaceful way to effect change.

However, 25 years after, it is up to us now to grapple with the nagging question whether change really had taken place ... or whether what we call a peaceful revolution had really caused a massive change in our people's values and political systems that supported or bred, or nurtured the very reasons that bro…


7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A February 20, 2011

I have done the famous “shooting the rapids” at Pagsanjan, in Laguna, Philippines, only once in my life. For those who may not be familiar with the experience, it is, simply put, white water rafting in reverse. One goes upstream instead of downstream. One is nothing more than a passive rider. Everything is done for you by the fleet-footed boatmen, who use, not oars, but their bare feet and bare hands.
As far as I can tell, only salmons intent on going back to their spawning grounds to die, or spawn some more, do that trick with natural ease. The rest of us lesser mortals simply would rather go along for the ride, and allow oneself to be carried away by the current.
I must confess being carried away by the current is not such a loathsome idea. You lose all sense of self-responsibility. Somebody else does the worrying. Somebody else thinks about the consequences. Someone else does all the planning and the scheming, and the executing.


6th Sunday of Ordinary Time (A) February 13, 2011

Recent events all over the world just cannot but get us thinking. They confront us with the power of choice, and the consequences of the choices that we make. Even as I write, the whole world waits with bated breath at what choices the President of Egypt would do. But more than that, the whole world, too, cannot wait till it sees what further far-ranging consequences would ensue once he takes that expected, but at the same time, dreaded, step down from power.
We have seen similar scenarios before. We still see scenarios where the choice boils down to deciding for good or for evil; for life or for death. No less than Sirach confronts us with the inevitability of choice, and the ineluctable consequences that spring from our choices. “Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.”
I have seen first hand the power of personal choices. I have had a number of very intelligent peers, classmates, and neighb…


5th Sunday of Ordinary Time (A) February 6, 2011
Readings: Is 58:7-10 / 1 Cor 2:1-5 / Mt 5:13-16

I dabble at cooking. Our kitchen is well stocked with all sorts of spices I am familiar with and know how to use. Sometimes I plan to cook something exotic, something spicy, and something that will give me the excuse to finally use that unopened bottle of whatever that has been sitting in the cupboard for months. But most often, for lack of time, I end up skipping all the fancy spices. But at all times, I reach out for the salt shaker. I can do without most of the multi-colored spices that fill our kitchen cupboard when I cook. But I cannot do without salt. Without it, the flavor does not matter. Without salt, the daintiest of flavors simply don't stand out. And food, no matter how much it has been slathered or sprinkled with herbs and spices, simply remains insipid and unappetizing.
My eyesight is not as good as it was before. There are certain things I simply cannot do anymore: reading w…