"Pangangaluluwa" or Trick-or-Treat?
A few days ago, some of my grandchildren had the rare opportunity to do Trick-or-treating at the White House and have a photo with the President and First Lady after giving them each a bar of candy. They were in their costumes: Batman, Twilight Sparkle, Sofia, etc. Tonight, children, also in their Halloween costumes, will come to our door to say "trick or treat" and we will give them candy. Halloween, as practiced in America, has a counterpart in the Philippines, but there a
The Church Bells of San Isidro
The church bells of my old hometown parish figured prominently in my boyhood. As an altar server and later on a violinist with our choir, I had the chance to ring the bells by pulling the bell rope from the choir loft level and sometimes climb to the belfry with my best friend from where we had a good view of the town. The church bells of San Isidro woke up the people without fail one hour before the daily morning Mass and the Simbang Gabi Masses to invite them to church. Th
(Who Am I?) I have attended many funeral Masses at Saint Columba, our parish. The Church calls this "Mass of Christian Burial," a celebration of the life of the dear one who has passed on from this earthly life to the next. The coming together of family and friends before the mortal remains of the departed one to show sympathy on their loss is also an occasion for all to think again about who we are, and the meaning of life and death. In some cases, people get to choose what
I was doing parallel parking in front of St. Mary's Basilica to catch the 12:10 p.m. Mass but it was taking me too many little turns to squeeze into the space between two cars. A lady Mass-goer appeared and offered help by giving me a driving tip. There was joy on her face when she saw me complete my parking "perfectly," she said, giving a thumbs up. I thanked her for the help which she did not really have to give. But it was a little act of kindness that merited much apprec
"If You Love Your Mom . . ."
After the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mass last night, a parishioner told me an office mate of hers asked her why Catholics worship Mary. She said she answered: "No, we don't. But we love and honor her." I said: "Correct answer." Then I said to her: "If you love your own mom, how can you not love Jesus' mom? If you don't love your mom, how can you love Jesus' mom? If Jesus loved His mom, how can you not love Jesus' mom? If you do not love Jesus' mom, how can you say you love J
Gosnell -- Earthly Justice
I had not gone to a movie theater for many years. But when I learned about the trial of the man billed as "America's biggest serial killer," that is, of living babies from failed abortions, was showing in a limited number of cinema houses, I made sure to go and see it before they take it down. The scenes shown in the movie were horrific, cruel and shocking, to say the least. It is hard to imagine how a person trained to heal and save human life can earn his living from destr
"We Made A Deal"
Sometimes when I see my daughter always happy with her beautiful family, I cannot help but quip: "We made a deal." And she knows what I mean. When we were preparing to come to America many years ago, my daughter did not want to come with us. She was happy with her friends, her school, and her involvement in a Church ministry with those same friends. She cried unashamedly when all her friends came to send her off. And so I said: "Let's make a deal. Come with us. If you later
Gone With The Wind
For want of a free interesting movie on TV, I paid a few dollars to watch the 1939 epic film "Gone With The Wind." The movie took more than three hours to watch, but it was worth it. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and reconstruction in the South, the movie revolves around the pursuits of the daughter of a plantation owner, Scarlett O'Hara, who herself wooed a man who did not love her and married someone else. However, she did not give up even after she ma
Lynne Broke An Angel
As my daughter Lianne and her four children were leaving after a visit, we heard Lynne, my granddaughter who is in first grade, suddenly cry loudly. She had accidentally brushed an angel figurine as she was getting to her shoes to put on and it broke into three pieces on the floor. Finding out why, my daughter Lily, picked Lynne up and embraced her, saying, "It's okay, Lynne. It's not your fault. It's an accident." And I chimed in, "It's okay, Lynne. It's just a figurine.
"Why did you change the color of that?"
Last Sunday, a little girl, probably in pre-K or kinder, tugged at my dalmatic a few minutes before Mass started and asked me: "Why did you change the color of that? (pointing to my green deacon vestment). In the simplest way I could, I explained why we change to the colors green, red, white and purple of the priest's and deacon's vestments and what each color means. After Mass, she was there again, and she looked at me while holding her mom's skirt, and I gave her a blessing