Dominus Est!


The Church in the Philippines has another reason to rejoice.

After the canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod, the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI in his weekly General Audience came as a surprise when he revealed that there will be six new Cardinals for the Church, all of whom are not from Europe.

One of the six is Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, lovingly called “Chito” by those who have worked with him.

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While we see that this is a gift for the Philippine Church at large, Tagle’s appointment as Cardinal came sooner than expected.

Manila Archbishop-Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was given the red hat in 2006, three years after his election as archbishop. Cebu Archbishop-Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal received his in 1985, two years after he was installed.

Tagle, only installed as Manila archbishop in December of last year, became cardinal in less than 12 months.

The good archbishop’s affiliation with Benedict is very apparent. When the former received his pallium, that thin garment with six crosses worn by metropolitan archbishops in Masses within their archdioceses, the two spoke for the longest time. My friends from the Ave Maria online community also noticed this as we were running our coverage for the reception of the pallium months ago.

Tagle, still a priest by then, and the erstwhile-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger worked together in the International Theological Commission, that body of the world’s brightest theologians who meet a week in a year to discuss the most pressing questions regarding the Catholic faith.

I will not be surprised though if he will be named to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the rod of Catholic doctrine in the Vatican, and with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas named to Manila.

Granting that Tagle has been named Cardinal, fears have sparked regarding the Pope’s health. This appointment of new cardinals is the second this year. Last February, four Italians have been raised to the cardinalate, raising their number of cardinal-electors to 30. With this development, how wide are Tagle’s chances in ascending to the See of Peter in the event of a conclave?

Nothing is impossible. In fact, John Allen, a journalist for the US-based National Catholic Reporter, said that Tagle may be a papabile. Allen goes on to cite instances in Tagle’s life as bishop of Imus, where he rode the bus to work and took the pedicab to celebrate Mass for a barrio having its fiesta.

He might be another silent contender in the papacy (Jaime Cardinal Sin was also seen as a Papal contender due to his role in the 1986 Edsa Revolution). We’ve already seen John Paul II as pope from 1978-2005. No one ever expected him to be elected; yet, the Holy Spirit rained down on the Cardinals and inspired them to choose the now-beatified pope.

In this Year of Faith, while we still hover over these questions in the days to come, we could not but say “Dominus est.” It is the Lord.

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Mamalandong Kita!


Pamalandong alang sa Ikakawhaa’g Siyam nga Domingo “Sulod sa Tuig”
Kanonisasyon ni Beato Pedro Calungsod, katekista’ng layko ug martir
Alan Luigi Flores

Mata’g usa kanato aduna’y gipangandoy. Uban kanato nangambisyon og taas nga katungdanan; ang pipila, buot moserbisyo; ang uban, ganahan madato. Sama sa managsuon nga si Santiago ug si Juan, aduna puy uban kanato nga nangandoy sa labing taas nga mga posisyon—bahala na’g matamakan ang isigkaingon basta lang makab-ot ang mga gitinguha.

Kon aduna man gani’y angayan nga ipangandoy ang matag Kristyano, walay lain kundili ang langit. Apan, unsaon man nato pagbaton sa langit? Unsa nga mga paagi ang angayan aron atong masinati ug atong makab-ot ang labing mahinungdanon nga grasya: ang pakighiusa sa Dios.

Atong klarohon nga miingon si Jesus: Kon usa kaninyo buot magdakong tawo, kinahanglan nga mag-alagad siya sa tanan; ug ang buot nga mahimong labaw sa tanan, kinahanglan nga siya magpaulipon sa tanan.”

Ang World Mission Sunday haom nga okasyon sa sulod sa Tuig sa Pagtuo diin kita makapamalandong sa kalunsay sa pag-alagad sa Dios sa atong tagsatagsang mga kinabuhi. Ang mao’ng kalunsay gipakita sa atong katagilungsod nga si Pedro Calungsod, kinsa nga mibiya sa iyang pamilya dinhi sa iyang yutang natawhan sa Kabisay-an, ug mikuyog sa misyon sa walay paglangay uban sa mga Heswita.

Karon sa pagbayaw sa atong katagilungsod ug higala nga si Pedro sa kadungganan sa altar isip hingpit nga balaan, isip santo, makapangutana kita: kini ba’ng tanan nga akong gibuhat ug gilaoman, makadangat ba kini nato sa kinabuhing walay kataposan? 

Naseguro ni Pedro nga nahingpit gayod niya ang iyang gipangandoy nga mahiusa siya sa Dios diha sa bug-os ug tiunay nga pagpangalagad sa tanan. Sa iyang pagpanlimbasog sa matag adlaw nga tanan sa misyon didto sa Marianas, nakita niya nga gugma alang sa Ginoo ang nagpasulabi sa tanan niyang gimbuhaton uban ang iyang matawag nga “bossing”: si Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores, kinsa usab nahimong Beato sa nakalabay nga 27 ka tuig.

Nakab-ot ni Pedro ang langit uban ni Padre Diego kay hangtod sa pag-ula sa ilang kinabuhi samtang ilang gimantala ang pagtuo nga ilang gipuy-an, ilang gihatagan og kinabuhi ang mga pulong ni Jesus: Ang Anak sa Tawo wala moanhi aron alagaran, kondili sa pag-alagad ug paghatag sa iyang kinabuhi aron pagtubos sa daghang mga tawo.”

Natandog ko sa estorya nga gipakita sa Maalaala Mo Kaya sa ABS-CBN diin adunay usa ka magtutudlo nga didto gipadala sa usa ka tunghaan sa mga Aeta sa usa sa mga lalawigan didto sa Luzon. Sa pag-abot niya sa lugar wala niya damha nga ang mga bata didto wala masayod sa ilang mga ngalan ug apelyido, mga adlaw nga natawhan, ug ang ilang edad. Kay wala man g’yod siyay makuha gikan sa mga bata, giingnan niya ang mga bata nga dad-on nila ang ilang mga ginikanan aron aduna siyay kapangutan-an. 

Apan sa pag-abot sa mga ginikanan, wala na pod niya damha nga hasta usab sila, wala masayod sa petsa sa pagkahimugso sa ilang mga anak. Lalim ba kon ang tubag: “natawo siya sa pagbukad sa sampaguita” o dili ba kaha “sa paglawom na sa sapa”? Wala siya kaagwanta ug misuway sa pagluwat sa iyang pwesto apan gitandog siya sa iyang konsyensya ug mibalik siya sa mga Aeta bisan sa pagsupak sa iyang bana ug sa iyang mga anak.

Sama niining sugilanon sa pag-alagad, ang mga kasakit bayloan sa kalipay nga walay sama kon ang tim-os ug tiunay nga tumong ug tuyo sa serbisyo ug misyon makab-ot. Walay sukod ang pagmahal nga gihatag sa Dios alang kanatong iyang katawhan. Siya ang tuburan sa tanang gugma, ug dili mahimo nila ni Pedro ug ni Padre Diego ang pag-alagad sa misyon kon dili tungod ug alang sa gugma nga gihatag sa Dios alang kanato nga iyang mga anak.

Karong adlawa mangamuyo kita sa Ginoo nga unta hatagan kita og igong kadasig ug kusog aron sa kanunay sa walay pagpihig ug walay lipudlipod atong mahatagan og igong pagtagad ang pagpangalagad sa uban.

Sa ngalan sa Amahan, ug sa Anak, ug sa Espiritu Santo. Amen.

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We Scream to Be Kings (repost)


My good brother John Michael Logarta sent me and four other gentlmen this letter that talks just volumes on what it is to be Filipino. He may have practically grown up outside the Philippines, but apparently he may be more Filipino than we could ever think: ideal.

As we read this, let us ponder on what we can do for our country. This country has given us so much, and when we give to our country, we give back to God.

The thoughts below that you will read are not mine, but from a very good brother who loves every bit of his being Filipino. Let’s hoist once more the banner of las islas Filipinas.

Sir Luis Quibranza III,
Sir Luis Jr K Quibranza,
Sir Alan Luigi Ladrera Flores,
Sir Omar Razdawi Sahibbil,
Sir William Billy Sienes III,

My friends who love this country,
please pass this message onto everyone you know
and encourage them to pass it on to everyone else they know.
This is my cry for the country and her people.
Let us all read this as whole and not as fragments,
for all of us to understand entirely and not partially.
For the truth should be whole,
not half, not quarter.
So should be the heart of each countryman,
who wields the links that binds this country,
and the wheels that turn and bring it further down the road
of the progress we love.
I started with the five of you because you are the ones I trust most that have the heart to love this country of ours.
May God bless us all as we go forth and make this country
worthy as a kingdom.
To my brothers and sisters who receive this blessing, may it guide your heart forward. God bless you all.

We scream to be Kings.
by: L John M

Oh Majestic Empress covered in dirt,
My motherland tormented by the rapids earth,
Though debted to your neighbors you continue to feed,
your children who are growing both in number and need.

Oh wonderful empire covered in dust,
the rooves of your children are smothered in rust,
their carriages old and coughing up smoke,
their pockets are emptying, almost all, broke.

Beloved motherland, are you listening to me?
Can you hear my voice among all their pleas?
Can you hear me crying to receive that thrown?
That zone that remains to commoners unknown?

Though I am among them, not a monarch in robe,
I want all of us to have the heart to conquer the globe,
not by wars, nor through money, nor by powers that force,
but by noble intentions, from all evil divorce.

By the noblest heart, I choose to uphold,
the ones they call legends and stories of old.
Though with myth I belong in “reality’s” eyes,
I am part of a “truth” that is no way a lie.

My brothers and sisters are starving to death,
from eachother they earn, so they sink in their debts.
I’m sure we can give out what our neighbors don’t own,
as they fairly help out, buying seeds that we sow.

Let me call out my brothers who steal from the rest,
Go back to our motherland, change and re-bless,
our brothers and sisters who you all once misplaced,
back right into your arms, with the dearest embrace.

Let me teach our empire the difference from two;
The reality we teach, and The truth that we knew.
That reality satisfies what we can hold,
While the truth is an absolute story to be told.

That reality relies only on matter,
but when matter is gone, it is all a disaster.
For the fact will be hidden by death of the proof,
But the Truth remains, though burried in fruits.

Once they know this my mother, they will realize,
the difference of both, as they open their eyes.
To put a difference between correct and right,
So they could determine decisions upright.

Correct as in something relative by facts,
reasonably logic, systematic, on track.
But relative in favor. Some right. Some wrong.
Cause sometimes it would alter, it may fail after all.

Then, Right as in something that favors no one,
for the answer is general and an absolute one,
Good as in holy, not lukewarm, nor both.
The standing on barriers, it’s purity loathes.

When they learn to put differences, they will reveal,
a mind that is stable, a spirit unveiled.
A thinking that no one can puppet and wield,
For the person who owns it, leaves it unsealed.

Rise their minds from starvation, and drive them with truth,
A truth that will urge them to heal and to soothe,
all the wounds that they nurse and ignore with a smile.
as they open their eyes and walk the miles.

The road to progress, that they then shall endear,
for they’ll no longer tolerate poverty and tears.
For they’ll strive to get better than the halfbaked works,
by these financial fatcats, bribers and jerks.

My mother, my words may be thorns in a broth,
but nurtured it can be suttle and soft,
like a breeze that gently pushes right through,
and bring all these wanderers safely to you.

These vagabonds lost from speed of the world,
these children of yours treated old and absurd,
let them soar with these wisdoms I leave in this poem,
for these are knowledges, solid and solemn.

Forgive the theives who will twist my words,
for they’re slaves of the devil’s merciless world.
Instead, help my brothers reveal its true worth,
so these slaves would escape their sufferings and curse.

To our God that made everything good in His eyes,
To you my mother, my queen and her knights,
To the brothers and sisters I love, and the ones the bring tears to my eyes,
let us contemplate more on these words and rise.

For though different we are in opinions and faith,
we are all destined under one holy way,
the fate to be destined with our God who made
us all to be with Him forever unscathed.

For all was made with purpose and order,
the gates, the bridges, the tunnels, and borders,
The time, space, elements, planets and stars,
We are all bound to be as noble as we are.

…or correction….

“as we should be.”

For that is something we are meant to be.
Something we are all made to be.

The image and likeliness of God.
The ones whom He made and meant to be with Him.

Passion, where are you?


In a matter of days we will be having the Future Leaders’ Summit. This is where we hone the skills of 90 selected young leaders from all over the Philippines.

This year, the summit will take place at the Radisson Blu at the North Reclamation Area. This is to me quite a major change as for the last five years, until my batch last year, the summit was held at the Waterfront.

There are a lot of things that I would love to share with you but in line with company policies, it would seem that I should keep this to myself lang muna and wait until the summit is over, or at least ongoing.

However, what I will tell you is that I have tasks during the Summit, not as direct participant, but as member of the working committee. This is a far cry from what I did last year, because I had to be there as direct participant.

Of course, those tasks will be in line with what I do as part of the Corporate Communications team.

For those part of last years’ summit who will be reading this one, expect some tweaks during this summit. Venue pa lang gani, kausaban na. 

For now, let’s see what will happen in the next few days.

Happy Birthday!


There are two important celebrations we remember today as Filipino Catholics:

First off, we celebrate our birthday as a nation. This is the 113th year of independence from Spain. We remember those who fought for our freedom and sovereignty from our oppressors. We celebrate the birth of a nation, the birth of a race, the ennoblement of those who sought for true freedom despite opposition, the resurrection from the rubbles of war.

Though this date in 1898, 113 years ago today, is disputed because the Americans are also said to have handed down independence on July 4, 1946. We just have barely a month before its 65th year and at present, this is considered Filipino-American Friendship Day.

We remember as Filipino Catholics that all authority comes from God alone, and it would not be ours had it not been handed down to man.

Secondly, we celebrate another birthday. This is the birth of the Church. This is Pentecost.

More than 2000 years ago, Jesus promised to pour out His Spirit upon us. The promise of Jesus never to abandon us should be a sign of rebirth: that we are able to stand on our own feet and proclaim that truth that Jesus is Lord. When Jesus breathed on the apostles and declared “Receive the Holy Spirit,” this act is a sign that life is given. Remember that the action of breathing is supposed to denote the presence of life.

At childbirth, midwives and doctors usually gently rub the skin of the newborn baby in order to induce him to cry, thereby allowing him to breathe. This “breathing exercise” should be able to determine if the baby is alive at birth or is considered stillborn. Therefore, we need some touch from an external source in order to bring forth life, such as the action of God molding man out of clay and breathing on him.

The breath of life given to us is an assurance that we are given authority to dominate. Remember that one of the gifts of the Spirit is wisdom. Our independence is an assurance that we are given the wisdom, the strength and all the other gifts needed to live the life of the authentic Christian, and of course, as authentic Filipinos.

Freedom is supposed to be a new lease on life. If we consider this to be a new lease on life, then we should consider that this is never an absolute thing. Freedom without God is never authentic: it will let your conscience imprison you and therefore make you feel dead.

On our birth as a nation and as a Church, let us remember that true freedom as citizens of a nation under God is not being able to think without being in tune with the promptings of that same Spirit which the apostles and the Blessed Mother received at Pentecost. Remember that it was not by the power of the apostles themselves that they were able to speak in the native languages of those who were present there, but it was because there was this Breath who moved them to do so.

In the same way, as we celebrate our freedom, we are reminded that it was not by the power of those like Ramos, Enrile, Cory, Cardinal Sin, and all others that we were able to say “Free at last!” We still have to be reminded that there were those who prayed for guidance from the Spirit, and as a result, there was no bloodshed.

Today, we need what is called a renaissance, a rebirth, a new Pentecost. In order to truly feel our freedom, we need a new breath of air that will refresh us and make us do things in conformance with what is good, what is God’s will. If, however, we do it without air, it’s uncomfortable.

Happy birthday to us!

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