Saturday, February 15, 2014

It Is WE not ME

They are still trying to figure out how to do it consistently together. They are at that age when someone says  "be aggressive!" they hear  that "go for my shot!". The maturity of basketball comes when you understand  the we of the game over the me of the game. It does not mean you are always looking to score but you are trying for our score instead of my score. Not my shot but our shot. The teams that get that are the ones that cut down banners.

Jay Bilas on ESPN SVP and Russillo radio show Feb 14 2014

I feel  totally great that I wrote this.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

For What It's Worth

I have been playing Call of Duty Black Ops II for three weeks now. The one player campaign and the online Multiplayer. The other night I played against and with three players with the same clantag [pnoy]. That would be the coolest thing if those three players were Noynoy, Josh and Bimby.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sharper Than A sWORD



 I noticed today that there is nothing in Google Images for Father James (McTavish)  book Sharper than a sWord. So let us rectify that. I included a third party write up of the book below. For more information on the work of Father James and Verbum Dei you may go to their blogspot which I conveniently co edit. 


Easter and the phoenix

I was wondering what to write about in this Easter Sunday column when a package arrived from my friend from high school, Marissa Ampil. I remember she had told me she would send over a copy of the book “Sharper than the Sword,” a compilation of Sunday homilies by Fr. James McTavish of the Verbum Dei Missionaries. Thank you, Marissa, for the timely gift and for saving my hide!
The Verbum Dei Missionaries was founded in 1963 by Fr. Jaime Bonet in Spain and was granted pontifical approval in 2000. Now present in over 30 countries around the world, the community is also present in Manila, Quezon City, Tagaytay and Cebu, with a lay community in Cagayan de Oro. The order’s charism is centered on evangelization and formation of lay people.
One of them was Father McTavish, who hails from Scotland (though we haven’t met, I can just imagine his accent), and who was a practicing pediatric plastic surgeon (he is a graduate of Cambridge University) until he heard his “call.”
Describing this call, Father McTavish says: “I realized that the Word of God is so sharp, sharper than any sword or scalpel. I just wanted to announce it and set the world on fire with love for Jesus. As a plastic surgeon I had enjoyed my career so much, trying to reconstruct various wounds, but Jesus, the ‘Good Doctor’, asked me to reconstruct his people.”
Below are excerpts from Father McTavish’s homily for Easter Sunday. For the full text and for the rest of his homilies for the year, you may buy your own copies of “Sharper than the Sword” at the Verbum Dei House in Varsity Hills Subdivision, Loyola Heights in Quezon City.
* * *
When I first met the Verbum Dei community in Sydney, Australia, after a few months I got the chance to go to the Philippines to spend time with the Verbum Dei community there. While I was away I lent the Sisters my little car, it was a Daihatsu Charade. A severe hailstorm struck Sydney and damaged property and cars. When I returned to Sydney after the enjoyable Philippines trip I phoned up the Sisters to inquire about my beloved little car. I was worried about it and asked them if the front windscreen had been smashed. I was relieved upon hearing that it was not. As I walked to their house to pick up my car I was thanking God that my car had been saved. That was until I saw my car. True enough the front windscreen was intact but the rest of the car was smashed to smithereens! The other windows were broken and it had hundreds of deep dents where the large hailstones had struck it. I started to complain to God. Then I discovered that all cars affected by the storm would get a full insurance rebate so I thanked God once again! One way we can live a risen life is by being more generous, especially with what we have.
* * *
The Lord is also risen in our relationships, in that relationship that maybe we have taken for granted, in the relationship that maybe is strained or dead. Here the Lord has resurrected! It reminds me of the Christian art in catacombs. Sometimes the Lord’s resurrection is symbolized by the phoenix. This mythical bird after its death in fire would rise up again from the ashes. St. Clement (the fourth Pope) in his first epistle to the Corinthians cites the phoenix as an emblem of the resurrection. “Let us consider that wonderful sign (of the resurrection) which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.”
* * *
Of course the description of St. Clement is rather colorful—well, he is writing in the second century AD and if he had Google, one quick search would have confirmed that the phoenix is actually a mythical creature. Still, it is beautiful to cite from early Christian writing and see that the analogy of faith still holds true today. St. Clement then asks: “Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to rise up again those who have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the mightiness of His power to fulfill His promise?”
* * *
Christ is risen, like the phoenix and death no longer has power over him. We are all called to be witnesses of his resurrection. How can we be witnesses?
…Well, we can eat and drink with Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrament of his body and blood, a privileged place to open our eyes of faith, to see his risen presence there… We need to pray, folks! We need to contemplate the Easter mystery and in our prayer to experience the risen Christ. In this way we can truly become witnesses of the resurrection!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Should Be Good For Those Rare Songs

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Filipino voters should be blamed for the Philippines’ problems

Unexpected emergency today. The eve of our elections, Get Real Philippines was inaccessible. Timing is suspect. It may or not may not be from this post here. Whatever the case this has to be read.  This being mother's day, let us do our Mother's proud by taking full advantage of life they have given us by improving lives of others.  Make every voter you know as educated as they can be. 


Filipino voters should be blamed for the Philippines’ problems

I don’t think there is a point in holding elections in the Philippines. It’s so expensive and the whole process just disrupts normal activities and keeps Filipinos from moving forward. What is the point in going through something that won’t even change or improve how things are being run in the country anyway?
Before every election, the candidates use literally the same song and dance routine to entertain the voters. After the election is over, the candidates go back to doing everything they can to protect their family’s interests and virtually nothing that could benefit the rest of the population. It’s just ridiculous.
[Photo courtesy When in Manila.]
If the Filipino voters are going to choose and elect their public servants from candidates who come from the same families who have been ruling the country for decades, then these families ought to just take turns in having a go at those lucrative positions in government; something like a contractual term will do. That’ll save us from bearing with all the empty slogans, campaign jingles, and adolescent mudslinging in the months leading to Election Day.
It’s getting harder and harder to feel sorry for Filipinos nowadays. They keep blaming others for their miseries when the fact is they are the ones who vote for the same people who cause much of their miseries. One can be forgiven for saying that Filipino voters are simply stupid, arrogant and just a bunch of losers.
At the moment, there are 178 dynasties ruling 73 of the 80 provinces in the Philippines. Now, that’s a lot. Who voted for these people? The answer: the same people who continue to complain about their wretched lives. Even a convicted plunderer can run again and again for public office. As long as he is popular, he and the rest of his family’s chances of winning are strong. It’s so pathetic.
Every three years the voters have an opportunity to vote for someone new and yet they still choose to vote for the same bozos. If Filipinos are tired of the same families who are running the country, why can’t they demand the end of the ruling of the dynasties? It should be easy enough to do if the clamor to end it is loud enough. The clamor for better candidates should culminate on Election Day, when voters choose someone who doesn’t belong to a ruling elite and someone who holds a true vision for the country.
Some Filipinos think that blaming the candidates is the way to go. Yes, majority of the candidates are taking advantage of the voter’s ignorance. These candidates deserve the scrutiny and some of the valid criticism. However, let us not ignore the fact that the voters are responsible for choosing the candidates.
Take a candidate like Nancy Binay. She is using her father’s popularity to win the election. Some of her critics are actually too harsh on her when they should be directing their anger at the voters. Nancy Binay or Bam Aquino would not even think twice about running if they knew they didn’t have a chance to win – if they knew the voters use their heads. But they know that having a popular family name is enough for them to win. What Nancy or Bam are doing may be unethical or wrong but they are comforted by the fact that it was the people who want them to win.
[Photo courtesy Showbiz Government.]
According to Bobby Tuazon who is the director for policy studies at the Centre for People Empowerment in Governance, the country’s political landscape is “getting worse”. Here’s what he had to say about the mid-term elections:
Tuazon projected that when all votes are counted, 21 of the 24 Senate seats will fall under the control of political families. That includes former President Joseph Estrada’s two sons from different mothers. In the House of Representatives, about 80 percent of the 229 seats will also be dominated by dynasties.
“The government will remain under the control of the traditional political parties,” he said.
“These are the same elites who control the economic resources of the country,” Tuazon said. What is even more alarming for him is that clans are no longer content in fielding two or three family members each election cycle.
In the province of Maguindanao, where 34 journalists covering a campaign were killed in 2009, about 80 members of the Ampatuan family, which has been implicated in the massacre, are running for office.
I can’t help but think that Tuazon is letting the Filipino voters off the hook with regard to the worsening state of Philippine politics. It’s as if the Filipino people are not free to choose. Filipinos are free to vote for the right candidate but they choose the wrong ones most of the time. President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino is proof of this. I mean, why would the voters in Maguidananao still want to put any of the Ampatuan family in power after senior members of the clan allegedly massacred 52 innocent people? It’s so inconceivable.
Shaming the members of political dynasties does not even work. They have become dense and do not seem to have any shred of decency left. Since that is the case, shaming the voters could work instead in changing the political landscape in the Philippines. If the voters still prefer giving up their right to have a decent life, then members of the dynasties should just take turns ruling them, indeed. At the end of the day, Filipino voters should be blamed for how the public servants they voted for run the country.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This is not For the Faint of Heart

I am addressing this all candidates that feel they can answer challenging questions. I will specifically address though to candidates who I feel may have more interesting answers or even non answers.
  • Aquino, Paolo Benigno IV A.
  • Madrigal, Maria Ana Consuelo A.
  • Casiño, Teodoro A.
  • Cayetano, Alan Peter S.
  • Trillanes, Antonio IV F.
  • Villar, Cynthia A.
  • Enrile, Juan Ponce Jr., C.
  • Legarda, Lorna Regina B.
  • Pimentel, Aquilino Martin III D
  • Binay, Maria Lourdes Nancy S.
  • Cojuangco, Margarita R.
  • Ejercito, Joseph Victor G.
  • Bro Ed Villanueva
What values do you stand for that you can substantiate with documented action?
How do you feel about candidates who intentionally try to look like historical figures?
How do you feel about candidates who include as part of their campaign a relative who died thirty years ago who they never met? Explain the relevance.
With the high cost of campaigning, do you expect to see some sort of financial compensation over the length of your term should you win?
Do you feel it is appropriate for a mid term president to be taken away from his hectic schedule in order to campaign for his party?
Once elected will you serve the nation/ the community or just supporters of your party?
Is it appropriate for an elected president to be always wearing his party's symbol as opposed to the national symbol?
What is your opinion on candidates who are already labeled as inexperienced and cerebrally unfit for the senate avoiding any and all opportunities to refute those suspicions?
How do you feel about candidates when given the opportunity to explain why they deserve to be voted for answer in such a way that their victory has no bearing on the ability to answer the question as stated?
When you go from "fiancée" to "husband/ wife". Will your behavior be drastically different? Can you refer to your track record?
How do you feel about candidates claim to represent God as part of their uniqueness?
Some first time senatorial candidates can not seem to shake the stigma of alleged past crimes. Do you believe this kind of behavior sets a good example for our citizens?
Do you believe that the Comelec should require candidates to be more accessible to the public in terms of intellectual discourse?
A year ago did you feel that the Chief Justice was held to a standard that the tribunal themselves did not live up to? If yes, what did you do about it? If no then state where that conviction comes from?
What does the Freedom of Information Act mean to you? Not as a politician, but as a citizen of the Philippines? Is there any documentation that substantiates your stand?
How did you feel about the CyberAct that was initially approved in 2012? Who did you feel it served? Why were there no countries that are more technologically advanced than us with a similar law? Were you aware that the law that was initially passed resembled what is being enforced in Iran? Whether you approved or disapproved of the law state examples from the time that the law was quietly passed and signed by the President to substantiate your stance on the issue.