Category Archives: Opinion

Break the Norms, Go for Unusual Mixes

Inset: Photo of Salcedo Village taken from my workplace.

As you may have notice loyal readers, I have not updated this blog that much. Your blogger here now works in an advertising firm, writing industry news. That takes a lot of work, creativity and energy from your truly but its an emotionally-rewarding work. Work has its benefits of setting up a normal pattern daily but oftentimes, work routines can be draining too. When your daily routines are tiring you, try something new or in colloquial Tagalog, bagong diskarte, preferably something unusual and memorable for you too!

My friend shared to me this viral video of Real Leaf Frutcy’s online campaign and I was impressed. It seems, I thought it was going to be another video of some model drinking a bottle of sweetened tea but I was wrong. It showed that best things in life are those that randomly and unusually happen. Indeed, the streets of Manila would be less stressing if we have traffic enforcers who are fun to be with. Perhaps they too need a twist of something unusual. I had my share of unusual combinations this morning at breakfast.

Inset: Bagoong from Green Harvest and Balangon Banana from Alter Trade.

Working as a writer for a media magazine means I would have to attended some events that would end up with me going home late at night or past midnight. Oftentimes I cook for my breakfast but if I woke up late and about to go late at work, I grab whatever is inside the fridge and eat. Look at what I found in the fridge: a bottle of bagoong or shrimp paste from Green Harvest and a banana of Balangon variety from Alter Trade. What would a man in a hurry to do? Eat them together! Unusual combinations but I liked it!

Inset: Unusual combination – Piaya from Margie’s and Bagoong still from Green Harvest.

The other day, I had an even weirder combination of piaya from Margie’s Pasalubong and Bagoong still from Green Harvest. The taste of both did seem just okay for me so I ate both separately instead. What choice do I have since I was in a hurry? Life is full of unusual surprises so never be afraid to try new unusual combinations yourself. Unusual mixes takes away the blandness of routine and makes life exciting. Be inspired, get a hold of Real Leaf Frutcy and think of your unusual mixes to define your bagong diskarte.


A Protestant’s View of the Mitsubishops Issue

In tackling this issue, I am sure to be treading on dangerous and oftentimes misunderstood waters. As a Protestant, my views on the issues involving Catholic bishops can be easily taken in the wrong light by faithful Catholics. However, as a voting citizen of the Republic of the Philippines, this is an issue that affects almost everyone of us. Here we have an institution labeled to be the moral force of the country yet embroiled in issues that will put this moral angle in issue. In the first few days that this issue came out, a lot talk and speculations came into scene as the details were unfolding. A number of bishops were labeled as Pajero bishops for they were reported to have received funding to purchase car which was mistakenly labeled as Pajero. Pajero or not, the issue was about their use of public funds to but service-utility vehicles or SUV’s. Many were surprised that the clergy can actually make use of government money to buy things such as these.

This issue can easily be blown out of proportion and it indeed was. In the Roman Catholic side, there was a group of laymen that called for the resignation of PCSO Chief Juico over the mislabeling of these cars as Pajeros while on the other hand, the so-called freethinkers and the progressive parties preyed on the issue to point out that these bishops have lost their moral hand in other issues like the RH Bill. As my Pastor Yount said in an unrelated sermon before: “Keep the main thing, the main thing.” This indeed is how we must look into this case. On the side of the Roman Catholic laymen, even if the PCSO chair Juico mislabeled this cars as Pajeros instead of the real brand, there is still a probable cause for corruption. While the moral fiber of the bishops has been eroded a bit by these controversies, it is terribly unnecessary to co-relate this with the RH Bill issue and certainly this does not give them the license to disrespect the elderly bishops no matter how disrespectful their deeds are.

So, how does this affect me, a Protestant citizen of the Republic of the Philippines? Even as we have no priests of the same vow and vocation in my denomination, I do know a lot of things about the vows of the priests and their duties. One particular vow of priests is the vow of poverty. Though I do not see a biblical reference on why a clergyman must really be poor but I do know this alludes to the fact that the early apostles lived a simple life devoid of any earthly pleasures. This fact alone brings us to the notion that certainly this bishops in asking for a birthday gift did go contrary to the example that a clergy must follow. As far as my knowledge can bring me, it is all but prudent for a clergyman to receive gifts but never ask for one. Even so, there is still justification as to the fact that they may be poor being clergy or they need assistance in helping poor communities but as we open the books of several companies, we can see that dioceses do own cash-producing property and company stocks that amount to billions of pesos. Why ask government for funds if in your own pockets, you are overflowing with money? This certainly puts the purpose into doubt.

As have been mentioned before, there is also the contention of the separation of Church and State enshrined in our Constitution. While the bishops’ bickering on certain laws like the RH Bill can be justified by their so-called moral fiber in society as being unrelated to the separation clause, funding clergy is certainly another more valid concern. I remember in my Political Thought Class that this separation clause does not mean that clergy cannot run in political positions but just simply means that the State should not promote a specific religion or fund a religious organization for their promotion. This gives us already a grey area on the issue for there is an interpretation that clearly hinders the State from giving government funds to a Church. As much as some cars may have been used for charity work, this in itself is already can be a violation of the separation clause for an object funded by the government may have been used in promoting religious causes. I do not expect that these vehicles will just carry supplies but they carry the priests to locations to say Mass for example. That is one thing but it is aggravating if these cars were used for personal purposes of the bishops concerned. The issue opens up more questions and more doubts about the moral veracity of an age-old institution such as the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

I may be a Protestant, specifically a Baptist belonging to the Calvinist school of soteriological thought, but I do give an respect to the bishops and clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church. This issue may bring to question their moral veracity but I, as a Christian, am compeled to treat them with respect but this does not stop me to call on the authorities concerned to punish them and others involved for justice knows no boundaries, even if you are a high-ranking church official. This issue will shake the Roman Catholic institution but I believe they are there to last and so we must deal with them with respect. I just hope that this issue was not raised in order to be a smokescreen of other more pressing issues that need to be tackled. As responsible citizens, we must always be vigilant and actively pursuing what is good for the country.

Remembering “My” Statesman

Every person has encountered millions of people in his lifetime. Often they are strangers, a number are acquaintances, a few are friends but only a handful are people who make an impact in one’s life. These people may be close friends, family or role models that are well-off in life or academics yet set their feet on solid ground. As I reflect on this, I remember a great statesman who made an impact in my life the past year, former DND Secretary Gilbert “G1BO” Teodoro. I have seen him several times but nothing beats this experience with him in his office in Camp Aguinaldo. This picture is one of the few I have as a memorabilia with him…

Gibo is a no-nonsense professional who strives to work his best in the field. He came to the helm of DND when the AFP was swamped with controversies. It was sad that he only got to serve for a short span of time. We hoped for a better president and we saw it in Gibo Teodoro. The years 2009 and 2010 saw the best times of my life when I served him in my function in his campaign as his Regional Director in Western Visayas. I remember him listening intently very much when young people voice out their idea and sentiment. No wonder he got the hearts of the youth. His sense of authority yet humbling words saw crowds in every university presidential debate he goes in. Gibo never forgets to express his thankfulness to his volunteers when chance arise. I miss working with him and how he would encourage me in my careers randomly. I would never forget a person like Gibo Teodoro who has proven himself to be a statesman. He may have lost the Presidential Election but winning the Palace does not make one a statesman.

Today is his Forty-seventh birthday. He is still young indeed though now out of the political scene, hopefully for now. A true father he is to his only son and I would remember how recounts cooking for his family or buying vegetables in Market – Market when he is not busy. I wonder if I’ll ever see him again but I hope I would soon. Rumors have been going around that he might run for Senator but that remains a rumor still. Even now, I am still ready to be of service to him when he rekindles his passion for the people by running for any office. I say, this man deserves as second chance for the Palace. We need a man like him to run our country that is beleaguered with many turmoils and troubles in and outside our borders. It is my prayer that he will live this another year of his life well and thankfully. Sulong Gibo!