Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mr. Schulz

Proverbs and sayings about hope, overcoming disappointments, or perseverance can be quite inspiring when one comes across them under ordinary circumstances. In other words, when things are going fine. But for some reason, sayings such as "Every cloud has a silver lining" or "Triumph is just 'try' with a little 'umph" (at least it goes something like that) don't seem to have that much of an impact during moments when the best way to describe your situation is "pasan ko ang daigdig."

The cloud, the lining, the rainbow, the storm -- even the most beautifully phrased quotes from prominent figures in history can ring hollow for some folks even when the message these convey is needed the most. Ironic, huh?

But when you hear of a successful person who experienced setback after setback and then ended up excelling in his field despite the odds, it can make quite an impact on even the most broken spirit. Probably many know of Thomas Edison's thousand or so failures before he perfected the light bulb. Abraham Lincoln is also known for one disappointment after another (death of a fiancee, failing at business twice, eight-time defeat at elections). Talk about perseverance.

I learned just recently that the drawings of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz were rejected by his high school yearbook. But then he went on and continued to draw, eventually coming up with his famous cartoon strip featuring Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Today, a 5-foot statue of Snoopy stands in the main office of the school that rejected his art work decades ago.

(I also learned that the Little Red-Haired Girl in the strip was based on a woman named Donna Mae Johnson, an accountant with whom Mr. Schulz fell in love and who turned him down after he proposed (Donna Mae decided to marry another man.)

Recently, I watched the movie Snoopy, Come Home again partly because our puppies have a habit of running out of the gate whenever they see a chance to do so. It's like they hunger for "the great outdoors" -- meaning the street. And once I wondered what would happen if they actually stayed out and roamed the streets wherever their noses led them, never to come back. Chuck was certainly at his wits' end when he couldn't find an explanation for Snoopy's rushed departure in the movie.

This is one entertaining flick. Thanks, Mr. Schulz :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bad move by a young public servant

A public servant is seeking to impose a ban on the Creator of all human life.

That's what it all boils down to, but many -- particularly the lawmaker who proposed to legislate a path toward Godlessness -- fail to see it that way. Why? Perhaps for the same reason that it's easy to fall into professing one's faith then forget to live one's day-to-day life according to the teachings of that faith: the connection between faith/religious belief and daily life is overlooked.

When Congressman Raymond Palatino -- who represents Kabataan Party List -- filed a bill prohibiting the conduct of religious ceremonies and the display of religious symbols "within the premises and perimeter of offices, departments and bureaus, including publicly owned spaces and corridors within such offices, departments and bureaus," he obviously failed to consider that he was, in effect, imposing a ban on God. Ceremonies such as the Mass, and religious symbols such as crucifixes, pictures of the Blessed Mother, statues of canonized saints, for instance, are expressions of faith in God. Sure, a small statue of Our Lady of Fatima or a portrait of St. Pio may indicate a special devotion to Mother Mary or the Franciscan stigmatist, but if the person's faith and understanding run deep, the devotion is rooted in a love for the Source of all that's good -- God.

So really, though the solon claims legitimate reasons for the "need" for the bill, what he's doing is violating people's personal freedom. And as mentioned above, banning the Source of all life, the Maker of heaven and earth.

One of the things that occurred to me after considering this piece of legislation was that should it be enacted into law, then it wouldn't be surprising if corruption in government and the incidence of crimes being committed by workers in government offices see an upsurge. Why? Many times it's only simple reminders of right and wrong that keep a person on the right path. In government, which is not spared from situations that pose temptations to the people around, how much more will such temptations be difficult to resist if you take away the bible, the portrait of Mama Mary, the sight of the Savior showing his unconditional love via the cross, and images of heroic people down the centuries who persevered to stay faithful?

Good thing we have some legislators who don't let such things pass. Congressman Roilo Golez of Paranaque spoke up and inadvertently made it clear that the younger solon didn't spend a lot of time thinking things through before filing the bill.

Read all about it here

Church officials also made brilliant points about the matter here and here

* * * * * * * * * *

ABS-CBN came out with a report titled Solon withdraws 'Ban God' bill, says sorry days ago, yet nowhere in the article does it say that Palatino has already withdrawn his bill. The closest to this is:

In a statement, Palatino said he is withdrawing House Bill 6330 “in response to the appeal and clamor of some of our members, constituents and supporters, various groups, institutions and the general public to reconsider the filing of such measure.”

As a friend pointed out, is this merely your usual "press release" meant to appease protesters and vigilant citizens? Is there truly an intention of withdrawing the "Ban God" bill? Wish someone would ask the congressman point blank and get a straight answer.

Addendum: I came across this statement on the Kabataan Party List website just now. Same thing -- no mention of the solon already having officially withdrawn the bill. But there are contact numbers through which the lawmaker's Chief of Staff may be reached. Express your sentiments; clarify whether or not her boss has already done what he said he plans to do about the measure. Get in touch with:

Vanessa Faye Bolibol (Chief-of-Staff Kabataan PL Rep. Palatino)
0926-1703655/ 0933-5660635

Moving on

“When one door closes another door opens,

but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

- Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), Inventor

In pictures

Owing to the increasing weight being given to personal views over absolute standards, I shall leave this post with hardly any indication as to what I had in mind for it in the first place (save for the labels, which I wrote right after hitting "new post"). Relativism is the order of the day (as far as this post is concerned anyway); as long as quite a few people nowadays get much satisfaction from a relativistic manner of evaluating the world, then indulge while you scroll down.

Below are carefully selected covers of two magazines that, to a certain extent, reflect and/or influence the culture and the way women have been regarded in some parts of the world. I placed years or decades to provide a time element.

Draw what you will from what you see here.



















Sunday, June 17, 2012

A post about.... wala lang

Does it ever occur to you that a lot of the youth today have little idea as to why they do the things they do? Come to think of it, it's not only adolescents or twentysomethings who seem not to know what they want -- right now, I'm not really sure where I want to go with this post. I've had something in particular in mind that I had been raring to blog about, but I just couldn't seem to sit down and ruminate on it. Ranting to a friend was easier and that's just what I did several days ago. So, if you ask me what I really want to say with this post, off the top of my head I'd probably say, "Wala lang." Talk about indecision.

Here's how it all started: a couple of months ago, when some raging issue was all over Facebook and the newspapers, a friend pointed out how an apology these days didn't sound like a genuine expression of regret any longer. "I am sorry that people have been offended..." or "I am sorry that people did not find it agreeable that..." was the statement in question. He asserted that people nowadays had a tendency to apologize not for the act committed but for the undesired effects of the act. That got me thinking. And I shall blog about it another day.

Thing is, that brief commentary on the matter of offering apologies led me to consider expressions of other sentiments that make it to Facebook walls. Like "Just sayin'." What does a dude really want to convey when he ends a comment with that? I probably wouldn't have paid any attention to the phrase had it not been used like it's an appendage of every expressed opinion that's a criticism or has a potential-ruffler-of-feathers quality. Is it a disclaimer of sorts? Like, "The recent trial shows undeniably that Philippine politics is bulok to the bone. Just sayin'." Or, "This lady whom people refer to as an artist -- dinadaan lang sa props at mega-production numbers at mockery of religion, then she's an artist na kahit wala namang talent. Just sayin'." Or, "These self-professed 'progressive thinkers' who call themselves Catholic then don't even study what 2,000 years of history and teachings mean and then call on their Church to be open-minded and change with the times -- they're so open-minded their brains fell out. Just sayin'."

Well, that last one...ahehe. If you do say something like that, it'll probably help to hide behind a phrase like "Just sayin'" because it sounds as if you're expressing an idea out of spite. But really, wouldn't it be a practice in honesty, sincerity and courage to simply state what one means and leave it at that? No hiding behind phrases that just show that the person hesitates to stand his ground? I mean, when you say something, dapat panindigan mo, hindi ba? If someone disagrees with what was said, then a discussion could ensue. If you're ridiculed for your ideas, take it like a man (or a woman). If you realize that you made a mistake somewhere, rectify as needed.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don't know where this is going. I did want to make a point, though. And that is, it seems that a person who habitually ends his comments/commentaries with a phrase like "Just sayin'" or its equivalent is well on his way toward mastering cowardice rather than courage.

Well, I made a point, after all. Looks like this post isn't merely wala lang.

* Illustration from

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Pilipin showbiz... and "mental colony"

I was all set to echo the sentiments expressed in this hilarious video by Mikey Bustos, but then there's no need to (I'll just end up ruining the whole post).

Addendum: After publishing this, I realized that the "frozen image" from the video that appears may give the impression that the content is inappropriate. It isn't :-)

Bye-bye, buko pie!

"Baby capsules," normalizing aberrant behavior, and a great movie

A look back at the goings-on in May as far as the culture of life is concerned.

A new Hollywood movie that breaks the rules

After peaceful protests failed, Mexico's "Cristeros" formed an army to fight the government in the name of defending their religious freedom. The three-year war cost 56,000 lives, but in the end, the Cristeros mostly prevailed.

Hollywood wouldn't be expected to touch a topic that put Christians in a heroic role.

But that isn't where the film's uniqueness starts: "Many Mexicans have never heard of the Cristiada," Garcia told IBD. The film was made not by Hollywood producers, he said, but by a Mexican producer who wanted to inform his countrymen about their own invisible past.

"It's a fairly taboo topic in Mexico, where the history has been swept under the rug," Garcia said. "They did it because they believed in it."

* * * * *

A gay pride parade in Moscow

Pro-family activist Dmitry Tsarionov told reporters: “I will not allow perverts to bring the wrath of God onto our city,” and added: “I want our children to live in a country where a sin that so awfully distorts human nature is not preached in schools,” according to the Associated Press.

* * * * *

Christians, Muslims, Buddhists uniting to fight abortion in Mauritius

Catholics and Anglicans in the island nation of Mauritius have organized a common front against legislation under debate to legalize abortion, while United Nations bureaucrats and the “human rights” group Amnesty International are urging the government to approve the bill.

The two religious groups have also joined with representatives of other religions, including Muslims and Buddhists, to create the “Platform for Life,” an umbrella group that affirms the fundamental value of human life. A rally held by the Platform on May 20th, the day the bill was debated in Parliament, reportedly drew 400 people, including religious leaders, doctors, politicians, and pro-life activists.

* * * * *

Former boy band member who turns pro-life advocate

Just because abortion is legal does not make it right. There was a time in this country when denying a woman the right to vote was legal. Was it right? No. There was a time in this country when slavery was legal. Was it right? No way.

* * * * *

This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs.

* * * * *

Doctors in India who feed aborted girls to dogs

“A person even saw a foetus being fed to the animals. This is known to everyone in Beed, but the police are not taking action as Munde is influential,” Deshpande said.

She added that some other doctors in Beed kept dogs for the same purpose – to avoid the hassle of disposing of the bodies.

* * * * *

A president who opposes right to life admits and who admits opposing marriage, too

The main stream media is abuzz over the acknowledgement by President Barack Obama in an interview with ABC News that he no longer supports marriage as between one man and one woman. The politically correct way of writing about his announcement would be to follow the verbal engineers in the Human Rights Campaign, the Nation's largest Public Interest Law Firm promoting what they call the "LGBT Agenda", and say the President supports "marriage equality". I will not do so. The President opposes marriage.

* * * * *

Pulverized babies made into "health-enhancing" capsules

These pills, sold as a “stamina enhancer” and to “cure certain diseases,” are being smuggled across China’s border and into South Korea. Some fear that the pills may begin to appear on the internet for sale worldwide. A South Korean documentary team first brought this horrific trade to light in the summer of 2011. The San Francisco Times reported on the team’s findings:

The Korean team acquired the dead baby capsules and ran DNA tests on it. The test results reportedly indicated the pills were 99.7 percent human. The test also found hair and nail remnants, and even the gender of the baby could be identified.

Nobody relishes sharing weird news, especially that which makes it undeniable that there is a diminishing regard for the lives of persons. So let me end this post with the trailer of the movie mentioned above, a movie that at least shows that "Hollywood," "substance" and "integrity" can be compatible. I hope this'll will be shown in my country, too!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The green way

It's not easy being green... I'm taking Kermit the Frog's word for it. If you're going to get a kick out of watching the muppet sing that song familiar to anyone who grew up watching Sesame Street, here it is:

Well, "green" as I'm blogging about it doesn't really refer to the color but that which characterizes lifestyles (or facets of these). "Earth-friendly" is how some call it. I simply see it as a way to prolong the "life" of what otherwise would have been thrown straight in the trash. "Reuse, reduce, recycle" is also something I hear a lot of these days; even kids are being ingrained with this habit to maximize stuff like paper and plastic containers. And now, you have really nice products made of such materials -- and the ones I'd like to tell you about are far from the ones with sky-high prices that you've probably seen in hotel souvenir shops or at shopping malls. My friend Petrufied has access to "green" bags that not only look great -- you end up helping women from poor communities when you make a purchase! Here's a sample -- the X-pattern banig weave bag with bronze trimmings:

You can see some more at Petrufied's blog.
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