January 4, 2015


Just over the holidays, when millions were reeling under the fury of typhoon Seniang in the south, a star-studded, politician-filled, and a royal-styled “royal wedding” was held in Manila. No, don’t get me wrong … I am not going to rail against any royal wedding, whether real or pretended. Neither am I going to rant against the bigwigs who graced the occasion. Weddings, after all, in Jewish culture, treated the couple as royalty for the day.

But I do want to say a thing or two about stars … stars who attended … wannabe stars who could only follow the media hype all delivered in a blow-by-blow account, figuratively while Rome was burning (or Mindanao and the Visayas drowning in floods) … starry-eyed vicarious stars for the day who wouldn’t want to miss any minute of the gorgeous pageantry called show business at its best and at its worst in the Philippines, (even if the pile of plates and pots and pans, and tubs of laundry were waiting to be dispatched soonest! – and yes, while the traffic was snarled like the power lines of Meralco just about everywhere they served – or made money off the unsuspecting public).

The stars ruled that day! And once more, for the nth time, it was proven that in the Philippines, there is no business like show business, and there is no stopping even the top leader from attending to affairs of state like – well, a royal wedding!

Today, I talk of another star. That star was nameless, one anonymous glinting star, but one who moved some of the most star-crossed royalty of the day. The three Magi were led by that star. Of the millions of stars that populated the universe, most of whom weren’t even known, nor visible to the naked eye, that one star, unknown, unnamed, uncelebrated, unheralded, did the most important task it was ordained to do – lead the people that mattered to the one single person that mattered for the whole world, and yes … for the whole star-filled and star-studded universe!

Today is Epiphany Sunday – the day of manifestation, a day of glorification, a time of revelation – the shining forth of the truth about the child just born. It all happened because of one star, and a bunch of star-struck believers who came to render him homage.

For all the lights and the noise and the revelry that Manila (and the whole country) did last New Year’s eve, (something that the world officially notices now), there is still a lot of darkness in the country we love, among the people we care for. We need more light, and here I don’t mean lights. We need more stars, and here I don’t refer to show biz personalities. We need luminaries. We need guides. We need people who will lead, not deceive. We need the shining star of truth to unite us; the enlightening star of justice and charity to make us a great nation, and we need the cleansing light of honesty and sincerity to lead our country away from the glaring lights of corruption, to the gentle reassuring light of love for all, especially those most in need.

What kind of star are you?