Tuesday, September 27, 2016

St. Vincent de Paul

September 27 is the feastday of St. Vincent de Paul.  That church at San Marcelino called Paules Church will be celebrating the day with Archbishop Socrates Villegas celebrating holy mass in the afternoon.Paules Church has been referred to with so many names due to ignorance. 

Some refer to it as the San Marcelino Church because it is located at San Marcelino Street in Ermita, Manila. Then there  is the reference to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal because the Miraculous Medal apostolate is promoted by the Vincentians who also runs the parish of San Vicente de Paul.  And then there are those who refer to it as the church at Adamson University even if the university is a separate entity altogether.  Really, the proper name is San Vicente de Paul Church, a parish manned  by the Congregation of the Missions,  a.k.a.  Vincentian Fathers.  

I prefer to call it  the Paules Church as it brings back the time when the area was quiet and the neighborhood of genteel folks. It was one of the favorite wedding venues but most important was the presence of this aging Vincentian who heard confessions. To my surprise my children liked going to confession to Fr. Jesus Cavanna, C.M. Perhaps because he was patient, or he gave good advice,  but definitely not because of the long penance he gave.

Fr. Cavanna speaks Spanish, English, Tagalog and Latin fluently.  He wrote "Rizal's Unfading Glory" and  "Basic Christian Doctrine." 

During the debate on the bill that passed R.A. No. 1425, known as the Rizal Law, Fr. Cavanna speaker to many a symposium reacting against the mandatory reading of Rizal.  He argued that the novels belonged to the past and that teaching them would misrepresent current conditions in the country.

He spent his last years as formation and spiritual director to Vincentian Seminarians.  Fr. Cavanna died in San Juan De Dios Hospital in 1994.

Saints Philip Neri, John Mary Vianney, Padre Pio,  Leopold Mandic., and John Francis Regis are some of the saints that spent long hours in the confessional.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Marcos and Sheen

The much awaited burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos shares centerstage with another distinguished personality, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. The Archbishop's remains have long been interred at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York while  President Marcos remains in an air-condtioned glass for public display in a mausoleum in his hometown of Batac,  Ilocos Norte..

Sheen died on December 9,1979 and Marcos on September 28, 1989.

Ferdinand E. Marcos died in Hawaii, three years after he fled the Philippines. He was forced to leave in the face of "people power" which set the end of his regime.  His return to the Philippines was at first denied by President Corazon Aquino but when Fidel Ramos became president, Mrs. Imelda Marcos was allowed to bring back her husband but the demand for a hero's burial was denied.  The family stood pat and therein lies the rub.

Sheen rose to prominence in the United States during 1950’s as host of a television program.  He was ordained as a priest at the Diocese of Peoria in 1919 and later Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1951. Sheen died of heart disease and was interred in the crypt of St. Patrick's Cathedral.  His cause for canonization as a saint was opened in 2002.  After ten years, the Congregation for the Causes 
of Saints declared that Sheen lived a life of "heroic virtues", a major step towards beatification.  But the cause was suspended because of a dispute between the Diocese or Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York.

When President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go-ahead for the burial of Marcos at a Libingan ng mga Bayani as a former soldier and president,  Akbayan's Ibarra Gutierrez and Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon petitioned the Supreme Court to block the order of President Duterte.

To whom does the body of Fulton Sheen belong? That’s a question that is now before the Supreme Court of the state of New York, as the niece of the late Archbishop Sheen, Joan Sheen Cunningham, has petitioned to have the body transferred to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, Ill.

The mortal remains of President Marcos and Archbishop Sheen lie in the hands of the Supreme Courts, long after they have left this world.

Requiēscant In Pāce

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dick & Jane

Dick and Jane, sang by Bobby Vinton and written by Dewayne Blackwell speaks of unrequited love and the eternal love triangle. A love story spawned at the early stages of childhood, from innocence to social awareness.  The song opens with the chorus:

Look, Dick look, look at Jane
See Jane laugh and play
Look, Dick look, see pretty Jane
I'm gonna marry her someday

The phrases bring back familiar phrases: look, look at jane, see pretty Jane.  Indeed, Dick and Jane are the main characters of books used to teach children in the United Stateshow to  read using the "look say" method.  The next lines confirms this connection of the song:

I've loved her since we were children
Back in grammar school
Loved her then and I always wiIll
Though I know I'm just a fool

Was the songwriter admonishing the basal reading method? In the 50s Rudolf Flesch wrote the book "Why Johnny Can't Read" blaming "look say" and urging a return to teaching phonics instead.

The story of unrequited love follows with:

Then one day I kissed her
But it was all in vain
Cause I was at their reception
To have fun with Dick and Jane

Time has turned some pages
Since they moved away
I think back in stage
Of the way she'd laugh and play

Today I received a letter
That she has passed away
So one last time I kissed her
By the flowers where she'll lay

But Why did Blackwell turn the love story to a tragic ending

The basal reading pedagogy started losing favor in the 70s.  

Bobby Vinton recorded Dick and Jane in 1975. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exploring the past, present and future at MCAD

CARMELA G. LAPEÑA,  June 4, 2012
Along Pablo Ocampo Street in Manila, a large white building towers over the dirty city. Outside, pedestrians play patintero in the traffic, dodging pedicabs and vendors with their karitons overflowing with ripe fruit and dusty vegetables. The street is littered with discarded barbecue sticks, and the air smells like fried food. A wide ramp leads to the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts Campus, which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design on the ground floor.
Step inside the museum and everything changes. It's as if the world were put on mute, all the colors erased. About two weeks ago, the vast space was empty except for a large frame of what would become a roof installation. Apart from that, the white walls and gray floor were all there was to see.
"We want you to see the process," explained MCAD's director and curator Joselina Cruz during a lunch with the press on May 17.
On May 26, the museum opened "There Can Be No Better World," its first exhibition for the year. The show features three major installations from artists around the region, and although the number might seem small, there's plenty to see in "There Can Be No Better World."
"The future is always a creative enterprise, for we can only but imagine what it will bring and what it will look like. The exhibition ‘There Can Be No Better World’ is a response to the worlds of past, present and future, as it insists that each period be the space-time to satisfy us and our longings for contentment," the exhibit notes read.
The works
On the ground floor is Tiffany Chung's roof and glass turtles installation "twigs, bones, rocks and the Giant Tortoise." Next to the installation, two videos play simultaneously on different screens: "the great simplicity" and "thousands of years before and after."
The massive piece imagines the end of the world—the artist answers the question, "What happens after the collapse of modern society?" 
Here, the roof is all that is left of a house. The viewer can fill in the blanks and try to picture the people who might have found shelter there before. On top of the roof, hundreds of tiny glass turtles. From afar, they look like melting snow.

Hundreds of tiny glass turtles on Tiffany Chung's roof installation.
In "thousands of years before and after," the last group of humans wanders in search of a dwelling place and means of surviving. In "the great simplicity," a mutated, simple dialect derived from English becomes the common language. In one video, we see blue skies, blades of grass swaying with the wind. In the other, we see stones, cement and glass. 
"When great human achievements of art, science and technology have resulted in ruins, simplicity is the key for survival. The end of humankind is similar to its beginning," Chung explains in the exhibit notes.
"Derived from my research on the decline of towns and cities due to deindustrialization and demographic changes, this project explores issues in urban progress and the complex relationship between human and nature and examines the aftermath of colonization and modernization. Using semiotics, biblical references as well as references from Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos and the actual Galápagos Archipelago, the work encompasses human destruction and transformation not only in just spatial terms," says Chung, who was born in Vietnam and lived in the US for several years.

Tiffany Chung's roof and glass turtles installation "twigs, bones, rocks and the Giant Tortoise."
On the walls are a series of linework pieces, Michael Lee's "Dwelling." The minimalist floor plans hang with no explanation next to them, and it is not immediately clear what they are. Lee shares that they are sometimes mistaken for circuit boards, which he likes. 
Lee explains that one of the reasons he compiled the titles instead of placing them next to each canvas is so that he doesn't make it too easy for the audience. "It frustrates me when the audience looks at the work, and then they feel happy because they have understood everything. I like something a bit more nuanced in a way, rather than something that is very certain of itself," he says.
Lee adds there are at least 10 ways for architects to represent and explore spaces, but in "Dwellings," he commemorates old buildings with their floor plans. 
"Not many people other than the architect would have memory or access to the floor plans," he says, adding that the floor plan has an association with nature, as it offers a bird's eye view. "I wanted to play with this relationship between horizontal and vertical, because when this thing which exists in reality horizontally becomes hung on the wall, it means that people are flying," he says.
In "Dwellings," Lee presents an archive of architectures loosely connected to the 80s, a decade of major social, economic, political and cultural changes. The centerpiece of the installation refers to the demolished Benguet Center in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. 
"I have a feeling that Benguet Center is a little bit similar to the case of the National Theater in Singapore which was built in the 60s and demolished in the 80s. Both of them have very strong modernist design. As with anything, there is an expiry date," says Lee.

Michael Lee commemorates the Benguet Center in "Dwellings."
Also included in the global survey are New York's destroyed 3WTC, Taipei's abandoned Sanzhi Pod City, and the yet-to-be-built Singapore Cloud Forest Center. The artist uses a 1:50 scale for all the floor plans, so that the sizes of his pieces depend on the sizes of the buildings.
"By fixing the scale I end up creating this system where I cannot use my whims and fancy to say, 'Oh I have no more canvases so maybe I'll make a smaller one,’" he says.
By reducing the buildings to pure linework, Lee allows the viewer to imagine what was, what no longer is, and what could have been. "I'm not interested so much in perpetuating nostalgia, but trying to facilitate imaginative memory," he says.
At the mezzanine is Felix Bacolor's stripped down installation "Waiting." Inspired by Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," the virtual stage design simulates a waiting room, where nothing will arrive. In the space occupied by rows of cold lounge chairs, time is the only thing that moves.

Felix Bacolor's stripped down installation "Waiting."
"Bacolor has transposed Beckett's theater into a site made precisely so people can lose themselves in the act of waiting. Clocks count to the second and the waiting creates a sense of urgency, literally making us count to the second. For Bacolor, the future is always here, or something we're always expecting but never arrives," the exhibit notes end. –KG, GMA News
"There Can Be No Better World" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design from May 26 to August 18. Museum hours are Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call (02) 5366752 loc. 105.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out of the Woodwork

Coming out of the woodwork, Ana Basa and Sister Flory add to the woes of Chief Justice Renato Corona.  What has been a family squabble for three decades is turning into a sensational story that adds to serious misgivings on the character of the Chief Justice.

Out  of the woodwork, Ana Basa talks about the family corporation Basa-Guidote Enerprises Inc. (BGEI) and how the Coronas deprived them of their participation in the company.  A follow thru by her Aunt, Sister Flory a ninety year old nun of the Franciscan order and now the darling of the press, roused staunch Corona sympathizer Mon Tulfo to withdraw his support of the beleaguered chief justice.

 Questions have been asked by the Corona camp:   Why only now? 

Out of the woodwork is meant to criticize people who suddenly appear in public revealing their opinions when previously they did not make themselves known.  Does this hold with the family of Mrs. Corona coming out this late?  Perhaps the better idiom is “the cat is out of the bag.”

Or “throw in the towel?

PHOTO: Éva Jospin, daughter of the former French Prime Minister, transforms cardboard into tree trunks, roots and leaves. “Everyone relates to the forest, because its references lie not only in mythology, but also in gothic architecture and animation”. (from Artists Coming Out of the Woodwork)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Miriam sends Hell into a crisis

Miriam sends Hell into a crisis
By Rene Ciria-Cruz 
March 7, 2012

VATICAN CITY (L’Osservatore Romano)—A Catholic priest accidentally sent a residential area of Afterlife reeling in fear and confusion when he consigned a Philippine senator to Hell for publicly insulting prosecutors in the impeachment of the country’s top jurist.

Father Catalino Arevalo declared in a homily that Sen. Miriam Santiago deserved “the fires of Hell” for calling prosecutors fools for their mishandling of their accusations. The priest’s pronouncement immediately sent shivers to residents of the Hellfire and Brimstone neighborhoods of Hell.

“We’re okay with the eternal scorching and scalding, but adding nonstop, high-decibel diatribes to that would be intolerable,” complained Lucrezia Borgia, who hurriedly packed her exotic poisons to evacuate to a truly violent but quieter neighborhood, Circle Seven.

Panicked residents like Borgia learned of the looming crisis triggered by Santiago’s possible arrival when the piped-in music system abruptly stopped playing “Unchained Melody” and began airing ominous choral passages from “Carmina Burana,” which were made famous by horror movies.

Legions of fallen angels, including incubi and succubi, were seen scampering to emergency posts to await further orders. Three-headed hellhounds closed the famous Tunnel of White Light, which will remain shut until further notice. Extra units of disembodied Nephilim guards were posted to make sure Santiago does not arrive before the neighborhood’s evacuation is completed.

Satan shocked

In a hastily called press conference, Hell’s president, Satan, expressed shock and dismay and criticized Fr. Arevalo’s “unilateral and egregious judgment.” Satan told reporters who were standing knee-deep in excrement that short-listing Sen. Santiago for Hell was cruel and unusual punishment.

“Jesus Christ! Can’t this priest see people here are suffering enough already? It’s just not fair to them. She’s the last thing we need,” hissed the old devil, who fidgeted and nervously chewed his barbed tail.

The outspoken Philippine senator added to the confusion when in response to Fr. Arevalo she confidently declared, “There is no Hell as a geographical place,” which made demons pinch themselves frantically to confirm their existence.

Satan explained that he was simply not prepared for the sharp-tongued senator to take up residence in his realm. “I pray to God that we be spared the logistical requirements of her arrival here. Where will I get a megazillion earplugs to protect my citizens’ eardrums?”

Satan also defended his lack of preparation, arguing that Sloth was clearly in his job description. “And the prospect of being scolded again and again by Senator Santiago would be too damaging to my self-esteem, and you know I must maintain a certain amount of Pride to be worthy of my name.”

Asked if he was just scared there was not room enough in Hell for the both of them, Satan became extremely irritated and sidestepped the question. He excoriated the reporters instead.

“The mainstream media’s effort to quote unquote demonize Senator Santiago is grossly unfair to demons. The MSM is gratuitously tainting our already bad name.”

Before Satan retreated into the Inner Mouth of Hell, which reporters thought was just a big pothole on EDSA courtesy of the Department of Public Works, he clarified that he did not have the power to determine any government official’s ultimate fate, contrary to popular belief.

“I can’t stop Ms. Santiago or any Filipino public official. Let’s make one thing clear, people. I’m just the Prince of Darkness, not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Some prominent hell-raisers, however, disagreed with Satan’s “overreaction” to Santiago’s pending sentence and saw economic potential to her coming.

“I foresee a spike in the number of masochists looking for entertainment, ditto for sadists—Miriam is going to be in great demand,” predicted Dante Alighieri, CEO of Infernal Tours and Cruises, Inc.

Alighieri added, “Satan shouldn’t worry too much about the logistics of Santiago’s permanent residency.”

“Three words,” he explained. “Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.” Alighieri believed Santiago would cause little trouble if the accommodations made her feel welcome.

“Give her a nice new suite, say, in the Eighth Circle, Malebolge, for narcissists, with state-of-the-art voice monitors so she could hear herself talk all the time.”

St. Peter cautious

Aftershocks of the crisis in Hellfire corner Brimstone were felt in the Upper Reaches of firmament.

According to unconfirmed reports, Saint Peter has ordered new deadbolts and sophisticated combination locks for the Pearly Gate. A top cherubim guarding Eden disclosed that he heard Saint Peter issue a warning.

“With these Filipino senators you can never be too careful,” said the old saint, gently stroking his… rooster.

“Most of them are lawyers and some are even fond of being the Devil’s Advocate. If you’re not careful, their tangled interpretations of Biblical tenets can spin your head around —and boom, one is slipping through our Gate before you know it.”

Saint Peter cautioned his celestial jurors that Sen. Santiago has a master’s degree in theology. “If anyone can sneak through the eye of a needle, it’s a lawyer with a real graduate degree to boot, not one of those made-up ones from the University of Santo Tomas.”

Jiggling his keys, the top saint asked Angel Gabriel if egress to the Kingdom was securely shut and that all cherubs, seraphs, ophanim and archangels have been properly briefed so they would not mistake Senator Santiago for someone who should be let in.

“Don’t worry, my dear master,” Gabriel replied, “it will be a cold day in Hell before that happens.”

FROM: Global Nation: Inquirer

Monday, March 5, 2012

Secularization of the Clergy

The execution by garote of Fathers José Burgos, Mariano Gómez, and Jacinto Zamora on February 17, 1872 turned the three priest into martyrs for the cause of independence from Spain. 

One of the three martyrs, Father Jacinto Zamora was born and bred in Pandacan.  He was the son of Don Venancio Zamora, a former capitan of Pandacan, and Doña Hilaria del Rosario.  Father Zamora was outspoken, a character, which was evident even during his student days. Zamora was assigned to work with Fathers Burgos and Gomez for the secularization of the Filipino clergy, much to the irritation of the Spanish Friars. 

Three Filipino priests—Fathers Gomez, Burgos,and Zamora, collectively known as the Gomburza martyrs—were executed bythe colonial regime during the Philippine revolution against Spain. Playing theGomburza for the GMA cinematic version of "Lupang Hinirang" are (fromleft, in priests' cassock) Victor Aliwalas, Paolo Paraiso, and BodjieCruz. 
My grandfather, Marciano Noble was born in Pandacan on May 24, 1876, four years after the execution of the three priests.  He was the youngest child of Petronilo Noble and Barbara de Jesus.  I was told that my grandfather worked as a book keeper for Don Mauro Prieto at the Compania General de Tabacos.  His job must have been akin to that of a cost accountant; it is said that Marciano Noble knew exactly what  and how much goes into a cigar.   

The prevailing mood of the population at that time was nationalistic and at the same time very critical of the church.  What was basically a conflict between the religious orders (otherwise referred to as the Friars) and the bishops (who have their own secular priests) turned into issues of nationalism and racial discrimination.  While his father Petronilo was himself a church persona, and his mother Barbara de Jesus was in charge of liturgical vestments, Marciano Noble was never known to be involved with church matters.  It must have been the revolutionary mood that distanced him from priests.

When friars were captured by the Filipino rebels they were killed. The first three priests secured by Aguinaldo in his first battle were roasted on bamboo spits, smeared with oil and burned, and minced to pieces.  A Filipino priest, Father Serrondo, at Pandacan was assaulted by a mob of women. They tore his cassocks in shred and chased him out of town.  Two hundred irate women occupied the churchyard to prevent him from coming back.

On the other hand, a noteworthy katipunero from Pandacan, General Ramon Bernardo whose Katipunan nom de guerre is Salogo says “My faith in the eventual victory of the Sons of the People  never wavered, and to this end I often said the Te Deum.”  After the Battle of Santa Mesa where only a few of his troops survived, Salogo regrouped with Bonifacio at Balara. Bonifacio offered him a promotion as General of a Division with the troops in Balara, Tungko and Masuyod under his command.  

“I told the Supremo that I could serve the Katipunan better as a humble deputy of the Supreme Council of the Sons of the people,” says Bernardo in an account kept by General Santiago Alvarez.  After delivering a letter from Bonifacio to Aguinaldo, General Bernardo, known for his  heroic stand at Santa Mesa, disappeared from the annals of the revolution.  

Ramon Bernardo played the organ, specially during high mass, at the church in Pandacan.  Petronilo Noble tended the church records.  Both were church mice, but not Marciano Noble.

(Click on the link to go to the NHI website)  The Secularization Issue was an international Issue

PHOTO: Courtesy of GMA-7