Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Richness of Embarrassments, Part 3

What? After all those shenanigans, you mean there's more? Well, yes. Yesterday morning, I made an encore from Monday evening's performance. What happened? Read on.

Our dogs had been having another bout with the fleas for the past week or so. Back when my sister still ran a pet store, we could easily get vials of the Frontline anti-flea medication from her (note: she just reopened recently). This time around, though, we had to get it straight from the supplier.

Unfortunately, my sister had no idea where the supplier's offices were. It wasn't that easy to find, either, tucked away as it was somewhere in the Buhangin area. My sister gave me their phone number so I could order ahead and ask for directions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Richness of Embarrassments, Part 2

Continued from part 1. Be warned: it gets much worse.

Emily and I approached my car in the parking lot. Absent-mindedly, I whipped out my key fob remote and pressed the button. The lights blinked and the car beeped twice. I've done this so many times I do it without thinking. Emily walked on ahead to the passenger side.

From the rear, I sidled into the gap between my car and the one beside it. I saw a girl -- young and attractive -- entering the gap from the front. I backed away to let her pass, but she had done the same. She walked round the other side of the car.

I shrugged, opened the driver door, and got in.

A Richness of Embarrassments, Part 1

Two events of unbelievable embarrassment happened to me yesterday. They deserve to be preserved for posterity. Here is the first part.

Yesterday I fetched Emily from her meeting at Victoria Plaza. On the way out, Emily asked if we could drop by the third floor as she needed to buy some Styrofoam balls.

"You can wait in the toy section," she said.

"Sure thing!" I said. One thing my fiancée and I have in common is our fascination with toys. We somehow always manage to wander into the toy department of whichever store we're in.

Monday, October 18, 2010

St. Candida Maria de Jesus

Mother Candida Maria de Jesus, foundress of the Daughters of Jesus, will be canonized by Pope Benedict today.

The event is significant to me because I grew up in Stella Maris Academy of Davao, a school entrusted to the care of the congregation. The Hijas de Jesus are practically family to us, and we maintain contact with the sisters who ran the school during my time.

Brief bio of St. Candida:

Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola was born in Spain in 1845. She was always sensitive to the needy and abandoned and felt at an early age that she was "for God alone."

In 1868, at age 23, she met Jesuit Father Miguel José Herranz, who helped her respond to her call to found a congregation. Thus it was that in 1871, the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus was born.

The congregation is devoted to education in all its forms, and inspired in the spirituality of St. Ignatius. The Daughters of Jesus offer Ignatian spiritual exercises.

The founder always endeavored to pay great attention to her religious, to the beneficiaries of her works, to priests, to students and to the neediest.

More here.

On this joyous occasion, I pray for more vocations for the Hijas de Jesus.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vaudeville Act

The tour guide may have wanted to dress like Jose Rizal, but he only ended by looking like Oliver Hardy.

All things considered, perhaps the photo below is more appropriate:

Friday, October 08, 2010

Modern Christian Martyrs

Even as people here at home rail against the Catholic Church, our bagong bayani modern heroes are showing themselves to be modern martyrs as well. Twelve Filipinos, along with 150 others, have been arrested for attending Mass in Saudi Arabia.

From the report:

Saudi authorities have conditionally released the Catholic Filipino migrant worker arrested on 1 October in Riyadh along with 11 other compatriots - released Oct. 3 -, while attending a Mass along with 150 foreigners celebrated by a French priest. At present, the 12 Filipinos have been entrusted to their employers and representatives of the embassy in Manila in Saudi Arabia are negotiating with the authorities for their repatriation. The fate of the others present at the Catholic mass remains unknown.

According Exxedin H. Tago, charge d'affaires of the Philippines Embassy the 12 are not yet completely out of danger. "It is still unclear - he says - if their case was closed. They were accused of proselytizing and if the authorities deem them guilty they could return to jail”.

Does anyone else notice this discrepancy of behavior? Here at home, we praise a flamboyant tour guide for disrupting Mass in a cathedral; abroad, our OFWs are willing to face arrest to attend Mass.

What? No front page coverage? I wonder if the press will attend to this issue with as much passion as they attended to the controversy on the hostage-taking fiasco, or to the RH bill? Or is the wave of recent anti-Catholic sentiment in mass media so strong they are going to sweep this story under the rug?

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Like everyone else, I make resolutions every new year. What kinds of resolutions? Oh, the usual: to lose weight, to be a better person, to read more, to write more, etc.

Like everyone else, I set those resolutions aside well before the middle of the year comes around. Par for the course, right?

Well, not quite this year. This year -- this year! -- I finally managed to make some of those oft-repeated oft-forgotten resolutions stick. A big nyaah-nyaah to all you naysayers out there!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Deliver us from evil

I don't know what disgusts me more: that flamboyant tour guide Carlos Celdran should disrupt Mass at the Manila Cathedral with his antics, or that many Filipinos on the Internet should approve.

I don't even know if "disgust" is the appropriate word, though it's the first one that comes to mind. I feel many things: anger, certainly, and shame, too. But more than that, I feel sadness and I feel fear.

Oh, I'm not afraid of Celdran nor of the vociferous voices that applaud his action. Celdran is just a clown, and all those voices are only about as brave as the Facebook "Like" button will let them.

But I am afraid of what I see behind all this.