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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lolo Iloy and his Anting Anting

Petronilo Noble de Vera was  grandfather to my mother.  She refers to him as Lolo Iloy.   She says “Ang apellido ng aking Lolo Iloy ay Noble de Vera.  Noong matagal na ay inalis na nang mga kastila ang isa.  Kagaya ng Bonus, iyan ay Bonus Santos at inalis ang Santos. “  (The surname of my Grandpa Iloy is Noble de Vera.  Eventually the Spaniards removed part of the surname, such as Bonus which was Bonus Santos but the Santos was removed.)

Aside from the confrontation incident with the Spanish artillery, my mother is proud to say that the baptismal records during that period bears his grandfather’s calligraphy.  Lolo Iloy was Escribiente of the Catholic Church in Pandacan.  As a young lad, he left his hometown, Saluysoy, Meykawayan, Bulacan and tagged along with priests which brought him to several places and eventually in Pandacan, Manila where he spent the rest of his life.

My mother used tell me that Lolo Iloy had an “anting-anting”, the kind which fell from the banana tree during the full moon; at midnight, one had to wrestle with evil spirits for the first drop of dew from the banana blossom.   The victor gets to keep the amulet, a pearl like droplet which one captures in a white handkerchief and swallows making one immortal.  Lolo Iloy, at the time of his death suffered an ordeal that tormented him so much he had to vomit the amulet to expire peacefully.  She also said that Lolo Iloy also had  an “oracion” in latin which gave him powers.

But that was when I was still very young and even then, I was already skeptical.  As I grew up, she stopped the anting anting story.  I learned to dismiss that part as a tall tale meant to wow children.

But she kept mentioning that her grandfather prayed in latin, something that was not unusual during that era.  One latin prayer that she kept mentioning  was “Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortális, miserére nobis..” 

I later discovered this to be from the Angelic Trisagion, a prayer of antiquity was unfamiliar to many Catholics.   Lately, it has gained a following as the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.