Monday, December 29, 2008

2009: Marian Year for Calbayog Diocese

(This columnappears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s the first day of the last week of the last month of the year. Whew! That was a mouthful, simply put, we are days away to the New Year. And it’s that time of the year when I love those DOH commercial showing the evils of paputok, gross as it may be.

It’s a tradition during this time of the year to recall images or events that made it to the headlines (during the year); and there are a lot of them. For sure the image of a shoe-buckling Dubya would be in the shortlist. Talking about that shoe-throwing incident, what if the reporter (who reportedly is being hailed a hero in his native land) didn’t get too excited and threw the shoes lower, that would have been a different story; like say, at last Dubya has got his own great (un)Presidential moments.

News had it that the Chinese (their Navy, that is) are off to what is dubbed as a historic anti-piracy mission. Movie and music producers don’t rejoice just yet. They will be after the pirates in Somalia. I guess, they are still figuring out how to go after the pirates that gave us those pirated 9-in1 (or something) DVDs, CDs and what have you.

Now here’s something I got from Jay Leno. Hilary has been nominated as State Secretary. There is probability that Bill will be called to testify in Congress (during the confirmation hearing or something). If ever Bill declares (in one such hearing) that he did not have any sexual relationship with that woman, this time the statement is for real. (Smile! It’s days to the new year.)

* * *

In his Christmas message (or was it the homily), the Pope included the plight of the street children. Alas, this phenomenon is not solely that of the Philippines (yup, even Calbayog has her share of these children).

Suddenly it occurred to me, I mean the various TV special or news reports on poverty and / or how hard up some of our countrymen are. There is one thing striking about the images shown in these reports: kun sino pa an waray mga trabaho o dire maupay an trabaho, mao an damo an mga anak. I’m wondering if there is indeed a connection between one’s economic condition in life and one’s being able to practice responsible parenthood.

The way I see it, many of our countrymen are into responsive parenthood. (You take it from there and smile, that line is a joke)

* * *

Year 2009 is the Diocesan Marian Year for the Diocese of Calbayog.Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will make the official declaration during the forthcoming New Year’s Vigil Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The thrust for this celebration is “Towards 2010 and beyond: Mary and the Eucharist in the renewal of Family and Society”.

The Vigil Mass will be preceded by a Holy Hour at 8:30 pm. The activity which will be led by the Bishop himself will be followed by the procession and coronation of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

* * *

Congratulations to Yvone Noelle Sermense. She recently turned 18 years old. Her parents, Councilor and Mrs. Noel Sermense tendered a simple coming-out party for her over the weekend.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Edilberto “Junjun” Cailo, Jr. recently tied the knot with Grecel Baloca. Fr. Mar Tubac, ofm presided over the wedding mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Ciao!

Friday, December 26, 2008

That Season of the Year

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! Sad to miss you before Christmas. I got kinda busy that I forgot to enumerate my usual rant about that season of the year (notice that I didn’t refer to is as ‘that day of the year’. It’s reserved for Valentine’s Day).

So, we are 365 days away to the next Christmas, and that’s more than enough time to prepare for that time of the year when most of us spend like there is no tomorrow, the economic crunch notwithstanding.

What is it with Christmas that the news reports on the recession (and yes, even the ongoing Bolante investigation) get side swept by the buying frenzy, the shopping like crazy it seems like most people tend to forget that there is still another set of 12 months that follow Christmas. What is it with that season of the year that makes people think that they have to spend every penny there is?

Of course, it’s not all about buying. The season of Christmas also ushers in that big event for the Church in the Philippines which we call the Misa De Gallo. What is it with that 9-day novena mass which always gives us images of churches practically filled up (to the rim, if I may say) by both young and old people? Is it the prayer? The need to prepare for the birth of the Saviour? Perhaps out of tradition or obligation? Or maybe for the simple reason of being there to see and be seen? I remember a priest saying that the answer to these questions depend upon which generation or age bracket one is into.

Many have lamented about how Christmas have become too commercialized. That this is a far cry from the real reason why there is this season of the year. Of course we have been told (or is it taught?) many times that the Savior was horn in a manger. Sadly many nativity scenes or sets (and yes, Hollywood) have romanticized the image of the manger. Just the same, the manger is said to represent the world of the poor unto which the King was born, far from the opulence or the extravagance that characterize the Christmas of the capitalist world; or the Christmas of today.

Suddenly, a question hangs in the air. Is the Church losing her battle in instilling to her faithful the real meaning or essence or spirit of Christmas? Your answer is as good as mine. The church is under the care of the priests and pastors, and we have both good and bad pastors. You take from there. But on the other hand, I am inclined to believe that today’s generation seems to have preferred to have things easy. And many have preferred to take anything that wouldn’t require them to think and contemplate much, even in matters of faith. Along that line I remember one priest saying that this explains why there are so many (TV) evangelists who click simply because they take the matters of the faith lightly, and lightly this time spells: mababaw.

I am no authority on matters of the faith. My theology is limited to the four theo subjects I took in college. However, the history buff in me says that times have changed and new methods or skills or means are needed to survive in this world.

* * *

While we are into my rant about too much spending about Christmas (oops, it’s the stingy in me complaining), I might as well leave you with something I got via email: Advance Birthday Celebration.

Dear All,

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.

During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me.

As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago.

At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.

Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration.I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.

But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited.

I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.

The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face .. and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me.

Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.

They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time.

To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa Claus, Santa Claus" as if the party were in his honor!

At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me.

Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one?

I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and nobody remembers me.

I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life.

I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you.

Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.

I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still making the final arrangements.

Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.

Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party.

Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great party.

See you soon,

I Love you! Jesus Christ

* * *

Taragpo 2008. The Annual CKC-CSVP Grand Alumni Homecoming will be held this Sunday December 28 at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium at the CKC Campus. This year’s host is High School Batch 1988.

* * *

Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Exit with a Bang

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)


Hi there! The days are short, the nights are long, the air is cold and cheery. Well, that line is not a Ronald original. It’s from a song I learned in elementary; and I always remember that each time Christmas comes around.


Just when I thought ‘twas going to be a lackluster Christmas, you know, no investigations, Bolante home for Christmas and the euro generals off the front pages. Then comes one key Senate witness (whose name I forgot) in the Bolante issue. And whew, how the committee chairman received, err met and escorted her through the Senate, amid media frenzy, but of course. What’s an investigation for without it? Oops, I forgot, it’s in aid of legislation.


And in faraway New York. Caroline is reportedly interested in Hilary’s Senate seat. While it’s the New York Governor has the final say on the nomination, I’m kinda curious about how would her nomination to the seat sit with Hilary? After all, Caroline and her uncle Ted endorsed Obama during the primaries.


And Dubya! A lameduck President is just that – a lameduck. When Bill Clinton was already one such President, he did a video which kinda poked fun at himself, you know trying to be funny. That video drew both raves and flak. Alas, no other image can compare to the most memorable image of a lameduck, err outgoing President, it’s none other that the shoe-dodging George Bush! That’s what I call, exit with a bang! Or is it blag? (You know that sound of something hard hitting a surface, like say a shoe hitting a wall?)


And, sex vs. the internet. I dunnow if you caught this report on CNN. They polled something like 2,000 people to find out how many would let go of sex for the internet, you know, the I-can’t-do-it-now-got-to-surf-the-net-yet sort of thing, or something like that. And the result? 60% of women can forego sex for internet surfing; and the male? It’s a mere 36%. Oops, don’t take it seriously, just wanna give you something to smile about this weekend.


* * *


The week opened with sad news for Calbayogons. An early-morning fire razed a local hardware in Brgy. Obrero. The blaze claimed two lives, that of Joaquin Balanay who was found on the second floor of the building; and his son Vincent Balanay, a 4th year Computer Science student who was found inside the bathroom. The store owner, Jesus Gabriel survived by jumping out through a 2nd-floor- window. As per initial report by BFP Calbayog, the fire of still unknown origin started at the ground floor of the building which contained motorcycle and auto parts merchandise. Rough estimates placed the damage at 4 million pesos.


* * *


The first copies of the Calbayog Coffee Table Book are out. The book is about Calbayog history, presented in six chapters namely:

  1. Calbayog’s social and economic history;
  2. Calbayog as the Religious Center of the province;
  3. The culture of Calbayog showing its music, theater & dance, literature, and visual arts;
  4. Governance with its unique role as the only city in the entire island of Samar;
  5. Its people who have propelled Calbayog to national prominence and have accomplished outstanding achievements; and
  6. Calbayog’s Natural Heritage.

It is hard bound with protective jacket, contains about 200 full color pages and glossy photographs, 11×26 inches in full spread, and will be printed in limited (1,000) copies only. For details, inquiries and reservation of copies, you may contact: Engr. Arnol F. Trani at (+63 55) 209-29-13; or through email: arnoltrani@yahoo.com

* * *


Halad sa Pasko 2008. The KITA Choir was onstage at Nijaga Park last night. Their concert was part of the 12th Calbayog Christmas Festival. It was also the second launch of their Christmas CD entitled “Pasko Na! Kanta Kita!”


Onstage tonight at the Nijaga Park is Pasipara Band, Direk Chito Roños' new-found talents. The band is composed of local talents which includes Tonton Tallon and Dandee Grafil, among others.


* * *


Wedding Bells. Dennis Ortiz will get married to Myla Bañocia tomorrow. Archbishop Pedro Dean will preside over the Wedding Mass which will be held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Reception will be at the Centennial Pastoral Center.


* * *


Belated Birthday greetings to Fr. Cesar Aculan of the Diocesan Social Action Center. He turned a year older last Wednesday.


* * *


This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The 12 Days of Christmas

(This column appears in todays edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)


Hi there! It’s another weekend. First things first. The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra goes in Concert at 6:30 pm tonight. The event will be held at the Frs. Leopold and David Auditorium at the CKC Campus. Said performance will be preceded by a matinee at 3:00 pm.

Tickets are priced at 100 pesos. 500-peso sponsor tickets are also available. Proceeds of the concert will form part of the fund being raised for the renovation of the auditorium which will serve as the official home of the orchestra.

You may purchase your tickets at the CKC Bookstore; or at the gate during the concert.

* * *

It’s in the news, state employees will be ten thousand-peso richer this month. As to the LGU employees, we are still keeping our fingers crossed.

So, Manny is back. As expected, he was the news. And news had it that he will be conferred the title as Ambassador of Peace. It’s not that I don’t like the idea, it’s just that something in me asks the big why, considering that boxing is one hell of a bloody sport. Okey, maybe it’s the unifying factor in him. You know how our officials stop bickering each time he enters the ring (oops, the DENR Secretary got some Senators’ flak for being in Vegas); and yes, not to mention the absence of heavy traffic and the zero crime rate.

The Senate is setting Joc-joc free. Unless they have changed the rules, the investigations conducted by the Senate are in aid of legislation. I’m still waiting what legislation they have in mind after the Bolante issue.

And from Jay Leno. President Bush recently announced that he has purchased a property to serve as his retirement home when he finishes his term in January 2009. At last, for the first time in his presidency, Dubya has got an exit strategy. (Smile, it’s a weekend)

* * *

From the City Health Office. It’s not only the big-name pharmacies that are doing good in Calbayog City. We also have the Calbayog OFWs’ Botika ng Barangay which was among the programs cited / or presented to PGMA the last time she was in Calbayog.

Then there is the Health Plus Outlets (HPOs) in Calbayog. The Health Plus Botika “gaan sa bulsa, epektibo pa” is now on its sixth month of operation in seven locations in Calbayog namely, the Main Health Centers in Migara, Capoocan and Tinambacan; and the Barangay Health Stations in Nijaga, Carayman, Peña and Mag-ubay.

Health Plus is a social franchising in the Philippine Pharmaceutical Sector owned by the National Pharmaceutical Foundation. It aims to provide sustainable supply of good quality and affordable generic medicines especially for the poor.

The opening of the 7 HPOs in Calbayog was made possible through a May 15, 2008 MOA which the LGU through Mayor Mel Sarmiento signed with its local NGO operator, the Civic Action Group of Barangay Health Workers, Inc. (CAGBAHWI) headed by Flaviana Yu.

* * *

The Regional Development Council (RDC-8) will meet today in Calbayog City. I am not privy as to what’s in the agenda. The City Arts and Culture Office has prepared a program for the visitors for tonight’s dinner dubbed as Pagtigman which I am going host at the Nijaga Park.

* * *

Last Monday, I mentioned something about one of the most loved (or otherwise) songs of Christmas. Let me give you something which I got from http://www.littlechicagoreview.com/. It’s an article written by Diana Mackinen. Here’s part of that article:

“…some of us love it and some of us don’t. However there is a hidden meaning in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” and it is very interesting. In England from 1558 to 1829, Catholics were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. In fact it was illegal to be Catholic until 1829 when the English Parliament finally emancipated the religion. Those practicing the Catholic faith and caught would be imprisoned or executed. The song was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young children learn the basics of their faith. It was a coded-message, a memory aid. The song, itself, sounded like rhyming nonsense and the young children of the Catholic faith could sing the song. The powers that be did not know the real meaning of the song.

“The 12 Days of Christmas” is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the faith. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help children learn their faith and better understand the Bible. The song goes, “On the first day of Christmas my true love game to me…. “True love” is referring to God Himself and the “me” who receives the present refers to every baptized person, i.e. the Church.

Day 1 The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the cross.

Day 2 The “two turtle doves” refers to the Old and New Testaments.

Day 3 The “three French hens” stands for faith, hope and love – the three gifts of the Spirit that abided (1 Corinthians 13).

Day 4 The “four calling birds” refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Day 5 The “five golden rings” represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

Day 6 The “six geese a-laying” is the six days of creation.

Day 7 The “seven swans a-swimming” refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

Day 8 The “eight maids a milking” reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

Day 9 The "nine ladies dancing” were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Day 10 The “ten lords a-leaping” represents the Ten Commandments.

Day 11 The “eleven pipers piping” refers to the eleven faithful apostles.

Day 12 The “twelve drummers drumming’’ were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and rose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting.

The song is only sung at Christmas time now, but its hidden meaning saved the lives and religious faith of many during the 271 years the Catholic faith was outlawed in England. The next time you hear this song, consider how this otherwise non-religious and to some annoying, song had its origins in keeping alive the teaching of the Catholic faith. By-the-way, if you were to purchase all of the gifts in the song, it would cost you over $87,000.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The economy and The 12 days of Christmas

(This column appears in todays edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s a holiday of obligation.By this time, you must have had more than enough of your share of Christmas songs (or carols). One of these should be the one entitled “The 12 Days of Christmas”. I would not have taken notice of that song until I came across an article Dan Nephin wrote for the Associated Press. In a way the article “dissected” the gifts mentioned in the song and came up with the amount it will cost one to have all those gifts - you know the partridge, the turtle doves, etc. So how much will it cost you in today’s dollar (And with the price of U.S. suppliers)? The whole list will set you back by 86,000 dollars. $ 86,609.00 to be exact.

If I may quote the article: “...Given the economic downturn, even the most romantic might balk at the $86,609 price tag for the items in the carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." That's this year's cost, according to the annual "Christmas Price Index" compiled by PNC Wealth Management, which tallies the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as the song suggests. The price is up $8,508 or 10.9 percent, from $78,100 last year.” Well, that’s if one is to literally taking into consideration the gifts given out on the twelve days of Christmas. We all know that the song is not exactly a list of gifts per se, but a guide for the Christian believers at the time when practicing their belief meant death or persecution. I’ll give you more on this in my next column.

Let’s pan our sights to another part of the world – Paris. Some members of the PNP must be smiling. Harry Winston, yes, the jeweler whose insurance policy stipulates that he should not be photographed or that his photograph should never be published (hmm, must really be a big insurance risk) was in the news recently. It’s not exactly him, but one of his stores in posh Paris, yes, in France. So what about it? It was reported to have been robbed by cross-dressing criminals and the heist amounted to something like millions of dollars. Eh, ano ang konek ng PNP? Well, if I correctly remember what the reported said, the store where the robbery happened was located less than a hundred meters from a Paris Police station (no need to elaborate what the reporter was implying). And the memories came rushing in, I mean local reporters criticizing our police officers for not being on the rescue, etc, etc. I sympathize with the PNP as it has had more than enough of its share of flak for crimes happening under its nose. Well, in case you think PNP is not so good, think again, it happens or can happen in practically any part of the world. You may not agree with me, but our PNP officers deserve our respect (well, most of them do), be it this Christmas or any season for the matter.

* * *

The Diocese of Calbayog and Christ the King College will jointly sponsor the “Uphold the Human Rights and The Right to Life Symposium and Rally” on Wednesday, December 10, 2008. This will be held at the Christ the King College campus from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.To lead the participants are Bishop Isabelo Abarquez and CKC President Fr. Pricso Cajes, OFM. Expected to deliver talks are Dr. Ligaya Acosta (Director, Human Life International), Dr. Joseph Bullecer (Director, Human Life International) and Fr. Reu Jose Galoy, OFM (Dean, Franciscan School of Theology; and Director, Human Resource Development Office of San Pedro Bautista Province)The event will be capped by a covenant signing, rally and conclusion-dispersal at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral

* * *

The Calbayog City Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP) which is under the auspices of the City Health Office recently received the Department of Health’s 2008 Regional and National Best Implementer Award.The REDCOP objective focuses on the prevention. Its activities include, among others, free urine screening for elementary students, social awareness campaigns and skills trainings of filed health personnel.

* * *

KITA (Parish) Choir of Calbayog has come up with a Christmas CD entitled “Pasko Na! Kanta Kita!”. It is a collection of original Calbayog Christmas songs composed by Boi Nicolasora, Bong Obong, Ronnie Obong, Mawe Doroja, Nati Biliran - Mancol and Fr. Roland Cajegas. The CD was launched last Friday through via a KITA Choir concert at the La Milagrosa Academy Auditorium.For your copies you may get in touch with any member of KITA Choir or Mr. Bong Obong at (+63) 905-224-0933.

* * *

THE CKC JOSE GOMEZ ORCHESTRA IN CONCERT

The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra will have a Concert this Friday, December 12, 2008. The event will be held at the Frs. Leopold and David Auditorium at the CKC Campus. There will be two performances on that day, a matinee at 3:00 pm and gala at 6:30 pm.
Tickets are priced at 100 pesos. 500-peso sponsor tickets are also available. Proceeds of the concert will form part of the funds being raised for the renovation of the auditorium which will serve as the official home of the orchestra.
You may purchase your tickets at the CKC Bookstore; or at the gate during the concert.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, December 5, 2008

malamig ang simoy . . .

This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s 20 days to Christmas and they are singing or playing Christmas songs (I’m wondering what makes it different from Christmas carols?). Anyway, I had a good laugh when I heard someone sing a “reworded” line from an OPM Christmas song, “malamig ang simoy ng gastos” instead of singing “malamig ang simoy ng hangin”. It’s worth a smile but it also manifests the sad reality about how most of us look at Christmas as a time to spend every penny on practically anything there is, the economic crunch notwithstanding.

Talking about the economic crunch, some the country’s economic wiz were quick to reassure the public about the effects of the U.S. recession. That life goes on normally, albeit with a few modification here and there. As Solita Monsod had it, we need to save, and we also need to spend. Economists are one in saying that we too have to keep the economy going. Anyway, why should I be mentioning this? It’s just that times are really hard, literally if I may add. How is that? Days ago, news had this: “ang rebulto ni Bonifacio pinagnakawan.” You don’t steal from dead people, do you? Much less from the monuments of dead heroes. Oh well, it happens. That’s certainly a new twist to the usual raket that many not-so-resourceful (and not necessarily hardup) pinoys are into like holdup, snatching, kotong, bank robbery (do we include carnapping?) especially so during this season of peace and goodwill a.k.a. season of gastos.

* * *

The City Government of Calbayog is celebrating its annual Urban Poor Solidarity Week. The event commenced last Tuesday. Tomorrow’s activities will include a parade and fellowship to be participated in by the various homeowners associations in the city.

* * *

The Giant Christmas Tree at the Cardinal Rosales plaza had been lighted. The tree which has become one of the fixtures of Christmas in Calbayog has taken different styles and motifs through the past so many years. But its purpose has remained the same – as a fund-raising activity of the Rotary Club of Calbayog. The Light-A-Tree Project which the Rotary undertakes in cooperation with the City Government of Calbayog, SAMELCO and the Diocese of Calbayog is but one of the activities which has helped the club in raising funds for their various projects which include feeding programs and eye operations, among others.

* * *

THE CKC JOSE GOMEZ ORCHESTRA IN CONCERT

The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra will have a Concert on December 12, 2008. The event will be held at the Frs. Leopold and David Auditorium at the CKC Campus. There will be two performances on that day, a matinee at 3:00 pm and gala at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are priced at 100 pesos. 500-peso sponsor tickets are also available. Proceeds of the concert will form part of the funds being raised for the renovation of the auditorium which will serve as the official home of the orchestra.
You may purchase your tickets at the CKC Bookstore; or at the gate during the concert.

* * *

Let me leave you with the last part of that piece I left you with last Monday. These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place. (Please, don’t take it seriously. rrlr)

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?
__________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a Beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Guess.
__________
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
__________
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people. Would you like to rephrase that?___________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
___________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!
___________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Huh....are you qualified to ask that question?
___________
--- And the best for last: ---
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, December 1, 2008

paseo

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s the first day of the last month of the year. Yup, it’s a holiday; and as with the other holidays, I’m pretty sure that many are not aware as to why we refrain from work today. Anyway, nope there is nothing about dance or promenade in today’s column. It’s odd, but it has to do with the latest impeachment complaint vs. PGMA (Hmm, mukhang walang connect, you might want to say. Let me say, wala nga). I have nothing against it, much less am I for it, I mean the impeachment. Common guys, give the lady a break, it’s barely two years, that’s granting that they don’t seriously consider dancing the cha-cha (and that would be a different story).

Back to the paseo. It’s the word that came to mind when I saw on TV some congressmen making a walkout a few days ago during the Justice committee hearing; and many days before when the complainants strutted down the halls of congress to submit their complaint. No, ‘twas no paseo, ‘twas more of an offertory procession, my apologies to our priests and the mass goers. Well, what with TV cameras and all, you’ll relish every moment.

Let’s pan the cameras to the other issues. The pink community got some media attention again. One show on TV recently tackled the church’s ban, guidelines or whatever (you call that) on homosexuality (or the tendency to be into it) and the priestly vocation. I do not intend to contend that. It’s just that why single out the pink ones? (Or those they perceive to have inclinations to belong to the pink community or lifestyle). Gay or straight, homosexual or heterosexual, it’s the celibacy or the commitment to it that counts. It boils down to being sexually active or otherwise.

* * *


A squatter division office no more. That’s the line that came to mind when the Calbayog Division Superintendent Editha Paculan gave me updates on their latest project which is the new Calbayog City Division Office Building at Barangay Hamorawon. If the schedule and the budget will allow it, they expect to have the project finished at least by the last quarter of 2009. Work has already started at the DPWH compound in Hamorawon. The project will cost approximately 10 million pesos. As of the moment, DepEd Central Office has allocated 6 million pesos. Congressman Bem Noel has allotted 1 million pesos. The rest of the money has been pledged by Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Sarmiento and the City Council through Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino.

* * *

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Sir Pio and Ma’am Francie Santos. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary last Saturday. The Mass was held at the CKC Chapel with Fr. Prisco Cajes presiding with the other Franciscan friars as concelebrants. The CKC-Jose Gomez Orchestra provided the service songs during the mass. A dinner reception followed at the CKC Auditorium with SIANO Band providing music for the celebration.

* * *

THE CKC JOSE - GOMEZ ORCHESTRA IN CONCERT

The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra will have a Concert on December 12, 2008. The event will be held at the Frs. Leopold and David Auditorium at the CKC Campus. There will be two performances on that day, a matinee at 3:00 pm and gala performance at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are priced at 100 pesos. 500-peso sponsor tickets are also available. Proceeds of the concert will form part of the funds being raised for the renovation of the auditorium which will serve as the official home of the orchestra.

You may purchase your tickets at the CKC Bookstore; or at the gate during concert.

* * *

Let me leave you with something to smile about this week. It’s something I got via email (as usual): Email story: American Courts. These are supposedly from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place:

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
__________
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
__________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
__________
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
__________
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
ATTORNEY: Voodoo?
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
__________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the Next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
___________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-one-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.
___________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shi_t'in me?
___________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Uh.... I was gett'in laid!
___________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Are you kidding? Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney? (…to be continued)



* * *


This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

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