Friday, July 29, 2011

The way a mother cares for her only sick child

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And today’s title? That’s to underscore the 15th anniversary celebration of the St. Camillus Hospital in Calbayog City. It was the theme of the said celebration.

So, PNoy has delivered his second SONA. And my take on it? I’d rather that I let the experts, the feeling expert, the politicians, the grandstanders, the kibitzers and the like do the criticism. It’s their job, or should I say that’s what they are being paid to do, oops, me and my mouth. I’d rather focus on the red carpet moments. And surely they did not disappoint. Etta Rosales was correct in saying that it was a formal, big event. And that proper attire was the call of the day. But then, what do you say about those who looked like walking flower pots or vases with their colorful attire, accessories and what have you. And let’s not even start discussing about the jewelries and perfumes worn that day.

PNoy said a lot for a 53-minute speech. And certainly, PNoy was not campaigning when he said something like panahon na ngayon ng pagkakaisa, and the call to thank those who extend service in the government. What do you think? Or as one college professor (with a doctorate degree) in Calbayog had it, what is your think?

* * *

The Linis-Estero Program of Calbayog City will be launched today. It will be held at the Nijaga Park with the City Officials and various government and private offices and NGOs in attendance. This activity is an initial step aimed at cleaning and rehabilitating the Calbayog River.

* * *

Milestones. Congratulations to the Camillian community in Calbayog City. They celebrated the 15th anniversary of the St. Camillus Hospital last July 14, 2011. The day was highlighted by the Thanksgiving Mass presided over by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez.

A good number of Calbayognons are familiar with that story about how a bottle of wine resulted in having the hospital erected in Calbayog City.

In his speech (which I read for him), Mayor Ronaldo Aquino recalled that story and some of his recollection regarding the opening of the hospital. Here are some parts of his speech:

“... if my memory serves me right, I was the officer-in-charge when the hospital was inaugurated. Mrs. Imelda Marcos was among the VIPs present. Weeks after the inauguration, I welcomed the Ambassador and Fr. Galvani at the Mayor’s Office. Most of you must be very familiar with that wine story. Word has it that then Bishop Maximiano Cruz was trying to get some info on what wine to serve to the Papal Nuncio Gian Vincenzo Moreni who was slated to visit the Diocese of Calbayog. Enter Fr. Luigi Galvani, add in the late Msgr. Basilio Rosales and his sister Manuela, and we had the Camillians to Calbayog and then, this hospital. Certainly, that search for the correct wine has come a long way in serving the people of Calbayog and the people of Samar.”

“Tonight’s anniversary celebration is but proper. It’s time to pause and thank the Almighty. In our case, we thank Him for this ‘gift of the Camillian community in Calbayog’. It’s time for you to look at how much good you have offered to the people in the community you are in. And as you do that, do ponder upon the long road ahead, that road characterized by more service to the people. And yes, for you, the St. Camillus Hospital to have existed this long, you must be certainly doing something good.”

“But more than the stories and the socials and trivia attached with the history of the hospital, there is one important aspect that one has to look into – that through the years St. Camillus Hospital has cared for the poor-sick of Calbayog ‘the way a mother cares for her only sick child’. The Local Government Unit of Calbayog can attest to that. The hospital has become one of our partners in our effort to answer the health needs of the less-fortunate Calbayognons.”

“As we salute you on your anniversary, we look forward to more years of fruitful partnerships with St. Camillus Hospital and the Camillian community…”

* * *

Mang Inasal formally opened its branch in Calbayog. Congressman Mel Sarmiento and Mayor Ronald Aquino led the list of guests invited to event.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Oliver Abrigo of and Janice Obong of Sta. Margarita will get married tomorrow. Msgr. Francisco Cinco III will preside over their wedding mass at the St. James the Greater Parish Church in Sta. Margarita.

* * *

This is it for now. Let me give you something to think about this weekend. It’s from Erich Fromm: “Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air , is not worth all the sufferings and effort which life implies.”

* * *

Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coming out

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Nope, today’s column has nothing to do with coming out, like closet gays and what have you going out in the open. How I wish I could write something about it soon. Let me rephrase that, I will write about it soon. Anyway, today’s title is more like literally coming out like Lintang and Zaldy.

So Lintang Bedol is out. While I don’t like his getup (the bullet proof vest, plaid shirt and shades) I do like his opening statement when he greeted everyone, “Hi! Kumusta kayo?” And I was like, showbiz?

And Zaldy Ampatuan too. He’s out of his cell and enjoying the comfort of a hospital bed. My take? Ahh, some guys have all the luck. Put it there.

* * *

The City Government of Calbayog will be spearheading the inauguration of the Calbayog Sanitary Landfill Project. The event has been set at 9:00 a.m. today. Invited to the affair are DENR Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje, Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento and National Solid Waste Management Commission Executive Director Emelita Aguinaldo, among others.

The Calbayog Sanitary Landfill Project is located in Barangay Dinagan, Oquendo District. The project was made possible through a grant from the Japanese Government. It has an area of 4.7 ha. for the lot and 1.7 ha. for the Design Landfill area. This is equipped with aerobic Sanitary Landfill facilities with a volume of 130,000 cubic meters and 180,000 cubic meters for the Landfill and earth cover.

* * *

The Western Samar Development Foundation (WESADEF) and the Japanese Embassy hosted the inauguration of the WESADEF Women Resource Center (WRC) in Barangay Rawis, Calbayog City yesterday.

Present during the affair were Japanese Embassy officials namely Economic Affairs Minister Akio Isomata and Third Secretary Shigehiro Matsuda.

In his message, Mayor Ronald Aquino thanked the Japanese government for the help it has extended to both WESADEF and the City Government of Calbayog. He cited the various grants / assistance which the Japanese Government extended to Calbayog which included among others, the technical assistance for the Sanitary Landfill Project, the Materials Recovery Facility in Barangay Payahan, and various office facilities for the Solid Waste Management Office.

Mayor Aquino also acknowledged the WESADEF as one of the LGU’s active partners in governance. He cited the new WRC as a facility which will go a long way in helping WESADEF’s clients who are beneficiaries of their various programs like the ones aimed at curbing the abuse of women not only in Calbayog but also from San Jorge and Sta. Margarita, as well as clients from the island towns near Calbayog.

The City Mayor also said that while the city aims for projects and programs meant to attract investors and to put in place an urbanized city where there is vibrant business and job opportunities, the city also needs partners like the WESADEF in its effort to combat the perennial problems on child and women abuse, human trafficking, among others; as well as advocacies on the care for the environment, youth development and literacy program.

* * *

Milestones. Congratulations to Mr. Marvin De La Cruz, Calbayog’s new CPA. The JPIA-Calbayog and Christ the King College tendered a Testimonial Dinner for him on Thursday last week.

Happy Birthday to Mrs. Mary Basco – Fulgencio. She will turn a year older today.

* * *

Let me leave you with something to think about this weekend. From Tom Bodett: “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

* * *

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Bishop’s advice

Hi there! It’s a new week. So, it’s Migz and Koko again, thanks to Mr. Ampatuan (laglagan na!). Let me see, it’s 2011, and we have two more years before the next election, that’s two years remaining for the term that they are fighting over, they could have settled for a term-sharing early on (Smile! It’s a new week).

Still on Zaldy Amaptuan. The Former governor revealed that ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was involved in the election fraud in Maguindanao in 2007. Likewise, he revealed that Jose Rizal was killed by the Spanish; the Earth revolves around the sun, and John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman. Apparently, Zaldy Ampatuan wants to turn state witness. Against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Zaldy Ampatuan has initiated court proceedings to change his last name. He is seeking a little compassion and empathy from the public. Hopefully, the judge would grant his petition to use the surname Mangudadatu. (oops, this paragraph came from The Professional Heckler. Check his site).

* * *

As I have reported in this column, Fr. Marcelo Tubac was recently installed as the Third President of Christ the King College. Among the highlights of the fraternal agape was the speech of Bishop Isabelo Abarquez. I asked permission from the good bishop to feature parts of his speech in today’s column:

“ . . . I congratulate the men and women who make up the Christ the King College – keepers of the standard of excellence that this great institution has always symbolized.
At this juncture, may I invite you to reflect on Knowledge and Virtue, Faith and Reason. Education cannot be the mere accumulation of knowledge. Knowledge must the directed towards formation in virtues, just as virtue must dispose the seekers to the acquisition of more knowledge.

In this modern day and age, there has been an ever – widening dichotomy between knowledge and virtue. The age of information has led to progress in communications technology. Yet, while distance and time have become foreshortened to turn the world into global village, the village has fallen short of becoming a true Christian community. Instead of greater understanding between and among peoples, there is now an increased sense of insecurity and animosity.

Let us not allow ourselves to be deceived. Knowledge without virtue is mere technique and information. We do not need to attend college to learn technique and get information. We can learn technique from manuals. Television can give us the information we need. Unless an institution of learning, like Christ the King College, can show its ability to form its students in virtue, it is nothing but a diploma mill. If all a college does is cram its students full of knowledge- no matter how to up-to-date – without forming them in virtue, it is only producing mindless and artless citizens- persons capable of counting but not valuing, of comprehending but not understanding, of communicating but not engaging in dialogue.

This, then, is my challenge for you today as leading institution of learning in the Diocese of Calbayog. “Duc in Altum” meaning “Put out into the deep”. Turn this college into not just an institution of learning but also into venue of information.

I challenge you then, who are working in this venerable institution: be witness of the Christ the King. Let His kingship reign in your hearts and families, let His kingship reign in your classrooms and offices, les His kingship reign in this community and campus and let His kingship reign in our City, Province and Diocese.

As you begin again another school year, may I invite you to examine your Catholic faith. Do not rely more on reason, faith and reason are not contrary faculties. Faith and reason are the two wings that enable the mind to soar towards the truth. It is characteristic of young people to search for meaning. It is the duty of a Catholic College to provide such meaning without making it less of a discovery for the young. Religious is being taught in this catholic College as one of the courses a student is required to take. Faith however, cannot be given or taken as a course answering to a number of credits or units. It can only be transmitted. Take care therefore that religion is taught only by men and women of genuine faith. If you cannot find enough people to qualify, do it yourselves. And, if perchance you do not find enough faith in yourselves, let your students teach you, for I know that in the rough-and-trouble of the classrooms, there are young men and women whose faith needs only the proper and encouragement. Pay attention therefore - pay much attention - to your campus ministry, for what cannot be taught in the classroom may be experienced outside of it.

I therefore ask Fr. Mar and the other OFM Fathers to make the education given here a real synthesis between faith and reason, between knowledge and virtue, and between industry and service.

During our Ad Limina visit to Rome, I visited several decasteries and Pontifical Commissions. One of the decasteries that we, Bishops, had visited was the Congregation for Catholic Education. During our meeting with the Cardinal Prefect of this particular decastery, the Cardinal told us, “provide and maintain the Catholic identity of our Catholic Schools, Colleges and Universities”. Then nagpapadayon siya pagsering, “if in the name of academic freedom, some professors may teach teachings that are not in conformity with our Catholic faith then do something for it is also our right to maintain the catholic identity of our schools”.

Fr. Mar, bring out the Catholic character of this college, because I firmly believe that the Church has so much to offer society. While the Church has often been painted by its critics as the enemy of knowledge, a sober assessment of its legacy will bear out the inestimable contribution of the Church to the progress of civilization and culture.

Fr. Mar this is your task and this, too, is your challenge. And once you accept it with faith, you will be able to lift and even carry it. The yoke of Christ the King will not crush you. It will carry you. The light of Christ the King will not blind you. It will make your vision definitely clear.”

* * *

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

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

Hi there! This was supposed to be for last Monday, but I didn’t make it in time for the 4th of July edition when the people of the U.S. of A celebrated their Independence Day. Anyway, here I go this weekend. Yes, I’m still wondering where my invitation to the American Embassy reception is. (Smile! Just wanna make you smile today) It’s the history buff in me again. I understand we used to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, thanks to our – as old folks would have it - American brothers, you know that supposedly special relationship and the like between the U.S. and PH (I wonder, how the descendants of Uncle Sam would refer to us. Their brown little brother perhaps?). Anyway, that day used to be Philippine Independence Day until then President Macapagal (nope not PGMA, just in case you’d ask) decided that it had to be June 12, and the rest is well, independence day history. Anyway there was a time when the 4th of July was referred to as Philippine-American Friendship Day. I checked the calendars in the past few years, there was no more mention of the day as such. Thanks goodness. What friendship? If that friendship day is a holiday, well that would be a different story.

Does that friendship explain why the U.S. pledged to help PH in case of any attack? Thanks to China and the Spratlys. Oops, I think help is not the word, lease is more like it. And needless to say, war is business. Yup, it’s the one which means earning money.

So, PNoy recently marked his first year in office. As expected critics and defenders were abound. Well, what’s Philippine politics without it? And my take on PNoy and governance? You should watch Evita, either that Ron Howard film or the Broadway version. There is that (famous) line in the scene wherein Eva Peron waltzes with the character of Che and that line goes something like “... problems from war to pollution, no hope of solution even if I live for one hundred years.” I agree with that, whoever will make as the country’s top honcho that person will never be able to solve the ills of the country. The critics and the defenders and the surveys and kibitzers notwithstanding. Seriously, the bottomline is, whoever will be on top, it will still take the people to make things happen. And by that I mean, if you are not doing your part, like paying correct taxes, obeying even simple traffice rules, you have no reason to fret.

And yes, it’s still about PNoy. It’s been a year. Suddenly I missed some personalities.Where could the 2010 presidentiables be now? Let me call the roll: John Carlos de los Reyes, Joseph Estrada, Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Nicanor Perlas, Gilbert Teodoro, Eddie Villanueva and Manuel Villar. I understand two or three of these personalities still had to issue statements that they have conceded to Noynoy Aquino.

If you are an avid viewer of ANC, you should be familiar with their AD which says about how their news team stood to do just that, give the news. I heard a very interesting twist on that: “Issues change, personalities vary, but some headlines remain: Manila flooded during typhoon. Students rally against tuition fee increase. Government official accused of graft and corruption. Oil prices go up.” ((Smile! It’s a new week!)

* * *

In my column last Friday, I mentioned about the implementation of the Non-Smoking in Calbayog. A task force has been formed to put into effect info campaign and similar activities in a good number of barangays. As I have earlier mentioned, there will be no arrests or penalties for violators at least in the next few months. There will be lectures and reminders to those who opt to violate the ordinance.

Ordinance No. 2011-10-018 prohibits smoking in public places, public conveyances, hospitals, schools, government offices and assembly areas. It was signed by the late Mayor Reynaldo Uy last April 13, 2011. It was sponsored by Councilors Raymund Uy with all the SP members as co-sponsors.

* * *

Obit. Mrs. Isabel Gomez-Hernandez was laid to rest last Saturday. She retuned to her creator on June 26, 2011. She was 104 years old.

Another centenarian recently passed away. Leona Molato-Alevario she returned to her creator at the age of 100.

* * *

Quote of the week. A friend of a friend of mine applied for a job in one of the banks in Calbayog. Ang siste daw is that the officer received the papers, looked at the applicant and then he supposedly uttered, “Di ka bagay dito, may pimple ka”. I never knew pimple can have grave effect affect on the performance of a bank worker. Yun lang!

* * *

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

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random thoughts (na naman)

Hi there! It’s another weekend, and what’s with today’s title? Well, it’s like whatever comes to mind I write it, in other words, naghnubya na liwat ini nga writer. (Smile! It’s a Friday!)

This is the day! Yup, this is the day when the No-Smoking Ordinance of Calbayog will take effect. But smokers (read: would-be violators) don’t worry, violators will not be arrested or fined. They will be in for some lecturing and info drive about the ordinance, its penalties and yes, something about the ill of smoking.

Suddenly it occurred to me, (if my memory of my lessons serves me right) what if Christopher Columbus did not bother taking tobacco to Spain and present it in front of the King, will there be smokers? Oh well, I think globalization was already in the offing since the time of the great explorers. (Oops, don’t take that seriously, just wanna make you smile today)

* * *

Ahh Senator Miriam Santiago did it again! Nope, it’s not about her usual speeches in the senate or wherever, it’s her Ruby Wedding Anniversary. You must have noticed the interesting mix of controversial figures (how could you miss it with nosy reporters reporting it all over the place?). All colors - be it in politics or business - were there. And let’s not even start discussing the social and political butterflies hovering, err flying during the event. Hmm, for being able to put peace between warring factions for a few hours, maybe the good senator can be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (oops, that’s the idea I got from the Professional Heckler).

So PNoy did not bring goods for the Cotabato evacuees, or so said the politicians out there. Let me see. I understand the flooding was caused by the water hyacinth which grew at that Mindanao River ok, PNoy was three weeks late and (again) he did not bring goods. But I understand the water hyacinth did not just grow there, did they? I mean, what were they doing about those that it grew out of proportion and blocked the river? And then blame PNoy for bringing no relief goods. By the way, a good number of Filipinos are into some livelihood using water hyacinth. Maybe that news about it has not reached that area of the country.

And still about PNoy. News had it that some cabinet members are harbingers of bad news. It’s either they are really into things or news that are bad, or they are just being too honest with things when talking with the President. Peace!

* * *

Let me give you something to smile about this weekend. It’s something I got from The Professional Heckler. It’s his piece entitled “Makabagong Kasabihan” which he described as modern sayings & proverbs inspired by some famous people in politics and government:

Land Transportation Chief Virginia Torres: Magpakahaba-haba man ang suspension, sa LTO pa rin ang tuloy.

Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Ang taong nagigipit, nominado ang iniipit,

Former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste: Habang bayad ang mga pusa, naglalaro ang daga.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa obispo ang ngawa, mahihirap ang kawawa.

Incoming DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas: Naghangad ng kagitna, palasyo ang nawala.

Resigned DOTC Sec. Jose ‘Ping’ De Jesus: If you can’t stand the heat, quit the Cabinet.

Atty. Edwin Lacierda: Ang pumatol sa sira-ulo . . . (Basta)

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda: If you can’t beat them, boycott them!

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda: Matalino man ang matsing (basta matalino siya . . . )

* * *

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

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