Thursday, January 28, 2010


Saw this at The Common Room:

"I'm happy to own up to the fact that it's all somebody else's fault..."

This just happened to catch my funny meter just right this morning. After sort of kind of almost appearing to acknowledge that Candidate Obama made transparency promises that President Obama didn't keep, the President hastens to add a version of 'let me be perfectly clear*':

“Let's just clarify. I didn't make a bunch of deals,” Obama told ABC. “There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked.”

* I hope we all now realize that any variation of 'let me be perfectly clear' is a verbal tic of the President's which means a lie will follow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marching to the (heart)beat of the unborn

As I watched parts of the March for Life on TV last week, I couldn't help telling myself that the situation in the Philippines regarding reproductive health should in no way reach the stage it's in in America. Imagine having to fight for the rights of the unborn, or trying to reverse a law that has already decriminalized a form of murder. But then I've read from several different sources that majority of Americans now believe abortion to be "morally wrong," based on a recent survey. No matter how bleak the situation seems to be, there indeed is always hope!

And this is what drives the organizers and participants of the March for Life to descend to Washington DC every year. Now on its 37th year, the event drew hundreds of thousands of people again (the official count is still not available, though initial estimates given were between 200,000 and 400,000) to stand up for the voiceless, to remember the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision and its horrific repercussions and to celebrate life. I scoured the Net for photos of the event:

The banner at the start of the march -- see the vibrant young folks all raring to get going! More photos at St. Blogustine

Policemen preceding the marchers to make sure everything runs smoothly. Photo from Deacon for Life

Young folks from St. Patrick's Church. "Every time a baby is aborted, love is denied" say their signs. More photos here

One of my favorite photos of the event. Photo by Cliff Owen/AP.

The huge crowd consisted of young and old, some in wheelchairs, some in strollers.

I believe this little guy's sign reads "Everyone deserves a birthday." Indeed!

Stand True has been at the March for Life the past several years, and I think these are among the folks, at prayer. More photos at the Charismatic Episcopal Church flickr

No change you can believe in.

The March always culminates at the Supreme Court. Here at the building's facade are some friends from Generations for Life, the youth arm of the Pro-Life Action League.

Now THAT is a free choice. More photos at the Pro-Life Action League's flickr

Abby Johnson is no newcomer in the quest for recognition of rights but this is her first time to take part in the March for Life. Abby is the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility who had a change of heart a few months ago after watching the procedure on ultrasound. Her liberation was a gradual one, being in the prayers of sidewalk counselors for years. Here she is with David Bereit of 40 Days for Life.

Abby being interviewed by an ABC news reporter.

Busloads of enthusiastic participants came from near and far. This photo was taken by one of the many who traveled 18 hours from Chicago. More photos -- and an interesting account of some pre- and post-March activities -- at

Hopefully signs like this help underscore the obvious (or what to many is obvious).

I wonder if this is his way of proposing to someone in particular (or paying tribute to his wife?).

Can't get any more dynamic than this!

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

More young folks defending life

Women of Silent No More Awareness Campaign hold up one of their signs in front of the White House, since those in power seem to forget -- or ignore -- what every pregnant woman really needs.


Some folks in the Philippines crafted a Statement of Solidarity with the participants of the Jan. 22 March for Life, and students of the University of Asia and the Pacific had a tarpaulin stating the Statement made to enable others to express their support as well by signing it.

Statement of Solidarity with the January 22 March for Life

We, concerned Filipinos from all walks of life, who uphold, respect and protect the dignity and quality of human life from natural conception (fertilization) to natural death, and the natural institutions of marriage and the family, hereby express our solidarity with the people participating in the January 22, 2010 March for Life in Washington, D.C., USA.

The photo shows some freshmen students who posed for a shot after putting their signatures on the tarp.

** Addendum: See more photos at Jill Stanek, Catholic Fire, 2SecondsFaster, and a great video at Family Research Council.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The ukulele boy

This is the kind of music I wouldn't mind listening to again and again; viewing the video, of course, is part of the experience.

For about a week, I made it a habit to watch this ukulele boy every night before going to sleep, then again in the morning before starting my work on the computer. Talk about relaxing *sigh* But then I had to stop because the "maina kumana" was practically embedded in my mind, and it became difficult not to hum it when I was supposed to be working.

But it's children like this who remind me why childhood ought to be cherished and protected.

Making sense of "auditory torture"

It's easy to forget that being a faithful and generous Christian in everyday life will always consist in more than fulfilling what's usually referred to as the "Sunday obligation," in praying for the good health of others, being truthful and sincere in whatever dealings one has, in helping the poor in practical ways, and other instances that are often emphasized whenever the faith is taught or discussed.

For the umpteenth time, I was reminded just a few minutes ago that opportunities to practice virtues to a heroic degree can crop up even in the most mundane situations. It can be funny, but it really takes patience to put up with loud off-key singing, especially when it happens regularly, such as every Saturday.

As I wrote that first paragraph, some guy in the videoke place near our home was singing (and it's not even Saturday today) "I don't want to miss a thing" -- and he was even trying, unsuccessfully though, to sound like Steven Tyler judging from his attempts at wailing and vocal improvisations the Aerosmith frontman is known for. But the guy was painfully off-key. So when he got to "...don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep 'cause I miss you, babe..." I tried hard not to cringe, keeping in mind that this, too, shall pass.

Without considering the ascetical struggle, very uncomfortable situations like the off-key auditory assault would be complete and utter nonsense. But thankfully, there's such a thing as "redemptive suffering." What would otherwise be purely torture at least can take on some meaning and garner some merit, for those who know and believe in the eternal value that can be had even from the most seemingly insignificant things.

Hence, even minutes of being subjected to the videoke wonder boys -- who sometimes belt out a string of Tagalog rap songs -- or to the canned laughter of less-than-cool radio stations, or even the annoying showbizy manner of talking that plagues FM radio jocks who are more suited to doing AM stints, can be transformed into supernaturally productive moments. Who knew?

So, the next time I find myself being assaulted by the sound of loud jukebox hits or the less-than-elegant radio banter in broken-English-with-attempted-American-twang, I'll do away with the grimace and do my best to break into a smile, while probably singing along to a few lines myself -- all the while remembering those who can benefit from such a small sacrifice on my part. After all, in the economy of salvation, nothing goes to waste.

* Photo from

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