A Hole on the Shore and the Sea

On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity The sign of the cross "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is the prayer that we usually recite to begin and end all our prayers and our liturgies with like the Mass, the Rosary, grace at meals, even when we start our trips, etc. This is the formula of the rite by which we were baptized, which marks the beginning of our Christian life, and the sign by which the priest blesses our mortal remains at the end of our life here on earth. This prayer expresses our profound belief in the nature and the inner life of the God we worship: one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Jews, Muslims and other an

A Pilgrimage within  A Pilgrimage

- The Lamb of God - at John Paul II Center at the Shrine. Blood and water ooze and flow from His Heart. Last Sunday afternoon, 20 of us St. Columba parishioners and a few from other parishes boarded a bus for a 12-hour trip to EWTN, the U.S. Catholic radio-TV network with a world-wide reach, and to the beautiful Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, both built by their founder, Mother Angelica, an extraordinary woman of faith. We were going there as pilgrims. We intended our visit to these places to help increase our knowledge of our Faith, enhance our devotion to it, and get into a closer relationship with our Lord we know loves us and helps us live our lives. That similarity of purpose is

"Tawag ng Tanghalan" (Call of the Stage)

It has been a very long time since I used to listen to "Tawag ng Tanghalan" (Call of the Stage) on the radio as a child. "Tawag" was an amateur singing contest on radio in the Philippines in the mid 1950s, long before the American Idol, the Voice, and similar singing contests came into being. The contest ran for 30 years and had a temporary hiatus until it was revived on TV a few years ago as a segment of "Showtime," a local TV station's noontime show. The old and new contest produced winners many of whom later became singing celebrities and even movie stars. During the show contestants are always asked what made them join the contest. Many of them have answered that they were motivated by t

"I Can See Your Voice"

There is a very entertaining weekly show on TFC (the Filipino Channel), called "I Can See Your Voice." The show features 6 supposed-to-be singers on stage standing and holding microphones in different frozen singing stances. Three of these are not really singers but are pretending to be so. They are the "sintunados," the out of tune ones. The rest are true singers. A well-known singer, with the help of some comedians and the audience, is supposed to see, through clues provided by the 6 supposed-to-be singers themselves, who the real singers are and who the "sintunados" are. He or she is supposed to be able to choose, by a process of elimination, the one who would sing in a duet with her/him

The Ascension of the Lord

Gist: The Ascension of Christ is not about His absence, but His continuing presence with us. The goal is for us to be with Him where He is. But we have a mission to proclaim the Gospel with the way we live. Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, which occurred forty days after His resurrection. For forty days Jesus appeared to his apostles in His glorified Body, and gave them final information and instructions before leaving their company. In Jerusalem there is what is called the Ascension Chapel which the faithful traditionally believe to be the spot where Jesus ascended into heaven. It houses a slab of stone believed to contain one of his footprints. The chapel is on th

The Love of a Mother

A mother’s love is unconditional, self-sacrificing and never gives up. It is our mothers who loved us first. They carried us in their wombs for nine months or so, experiencing physical, emotional and biological changes and discomfort. It is only a mother who actually knows the travails and pains of giving birth to child. It is only a mother who knows and feels, after all these pains, the love oozing from her heart when her newborn child, fresh from her womb, is put on her chest and receives from her a loving welcome into this world. Together with the father, the mother experiences sleepless nights caring for and nurturing her child especially when the child is sick, and in most cases nowaday

Leng, Maggie and Lamb

My daughter Leng does not eat lamb chops or any lamb dish. This is a decision she says she had made, and it was for a reason. She also says that she would not be surprised if her daughter Maggie followed her example later. We named Leng "Agnes" after Saint Agnes, a virgin and martyr for God in the early years of Christianity. When Maggie was born, she and Ryan decided to name her "Mary Agnes." Saint Agnes is frequently depicted with a lamb by her side. Agnes thus became associated with “agnus,” the Latin for lamb. And Leng knows this. So she says she does not want to eat herself (lol). In the history of the Israelites, the Chosen People, lambs and other animals were killed and offered as

Flying A Kite

One of the joys of boyhood, especially for those living in the countryside where there are lots of open space, is flying a kite. In my time, we made our own kites, starting from the most simple ones, like the "boca-boca", which was a sheet of paper we used in grade school folded at the sides to which we attached a spool of fine sewing thread.  We held the kite with its string and ran with it in the field. It did not fly if you did not run, nor did it fly higher than a few feet. When we grew older, we cut strips of bamboo, shaped them into thin pieces, joined them with string into a frame over which we pasted very thin "papel de hapon" (Japanese paper) or cellophane. This type of kite, called

Missing My Cell Phone

I was riding with a couple of family members who wanted to go mall shopping one afternoon. Just a couple of minutes after leaving home, I looked at my pockets to pull out my cell phone to tinker with but I did not find it. I realized I had left it at home. But we decided not to turn back to get it. This gave me a feeling of missing something very important from my person. The trip to the mall was a good half-hour and I figured I would have nothing to do while waiting for them to finish shopping. Without my phone I would surely get bored for hours. I usually brought a book to read before the cell phone craze. I realized I had gotten attached to my cell phone. It occurred to me that probably m

Flores de Mayo

Flowers of May The purple clematis around my Mama Mary's shrine are in full bloom. The red roses are now showing their buds while the white pansies are carrying on very well after adorning the shrine in winter. May is the month of flowers. In the Philippines it is Flores de Mayo season and devotees of Mary offer flowers to her in church and in their homes the whole month. The Philippines is a Marian country. For its love and devotion to Mary, it is called "Pueblo Amante de Maria," a people in love with Mary. There are at least 20 Marian shrines where Mary is honored by her different names. I believe that as a people who love Mary, and a people loved by her, they are people that undoubtedly l

Two Angels

Or, Invisible Realities Last Wednesday my pastor blessed a new statue at the narthex after Mass. It is a 4-foot statue of St. Michael the Archangel stepping on an ugly figure representing Satan. St. Michael is holding a sword aimed at it. The statue depicts St. Michael vanquishing Satan. A battle scene of two angels -- two spiritual beings created by God. One of them chose to serve God; the other one chose to oppose and rebel against Him. The latter fell and became the enemy of God and, therefore, of human beings. Satan is a fallen angel, together with his cohorts who followed him. Man fell due to the devil's lies and machinations. But fallen man was given a second chance to get into the goo