Monday, May 27, 2013

Invention of Weapons

   “…schemers of what is harmful...they not only keep on doing them but also approve of those practicing them.” (Romans 1:30-32)  These words were written by Paul to the Romans who at that time held countries captive by the power of their weapons and army.  Paul could not have guessed that in the future more powerful weapons would be invented and placed in the hands of children and psychologically challenged adults, and lawmakers would be fighting for the rights of these children and psychologically challenged adults to bear arms.  

   When weapons became big business, the market had to expand to include the civilians.  The police and army that are supposed to protect the rest of society became inadequate so that people were encouraged to arm themselves.  But did they not become inadequate for the very same reason – that people have armed themselves?  

   The inventors and manufacturers of these weapons wash their hands of the blood of the victims.  They did not actually pull the trigger.  The lawmakers with their limited human wisdom agree with them.  However, the God of the Bible with his infinite wisdom inspired Paul to write the passage above to clear the issue before it got muddled by conflicting interests of lawmakers, economists, businessmen, criminals and vigilantes.  The inventors of these injurious things are just as guilty as the people who actually use them.  

   Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to bear arms.  Many of them were killed by Hitler for that reason.  They fought governments around the world in the courts for the rare privilege of exemption from military training and assignment.  They are merely following the spirit of God’s law above that those who “consent with those practicing them” are just as accountable as those who actually bear arms and kill.

   As of August 28, 2013, 670 Jehovah's Witnesses are now jailed in South Korea for refusing to join the army in accordance with their belief in neutrality.

See also:
The Art of Preaching 
The Silent Life

Friday, May 24, 2013

Culture Clash

   Marla immigrated to mid-west America and immediately joined a branch of the congregation she had been attending in the Philippines.  The congregation was predominantly comprised of Americans and some Filipinas.  Her new found Filipino friends told the Elders that she had a bad record in the Philippines, something they had no proof of since they met her in the US.  The leaders believed the gossip because it came from her compatriots who were supposedly her friends.  Marla suffered in silence.  She did not refute the gossip.  She believed in a just God who will make the adjustment. (Deuteronomy 32:35-36)

   Marla opted to move to another branch of the same congregation, this time it was all American. She tried to befriend as many as she can.  However, she gave comments from her heart and not always what the audience wanted to hear.  For that she was called a diva.  

   In one of the discussions she took a stand against serious domestic physical abuse.  In the Philippines crimes against women are categorized as “heinous” and carry a death sentence.  She called serious physical abuse a deal breaker.  Serious physical abuse means a broken arm or leg, a push down a stairs, etc.   The Bible explicitly says “…husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies…” (Ephesians 5:28).  Has any man ever broken his own arm?  To her surprise the conductor took an opposing view.  Her further participation in the meetings were rejected from there on.  

   Marla moved to a third congregation after a polite notice of transfer.  This time she no longer has the illusion that she will be liked by a congregation of another nationality.  Her Bible study in the Philippines often proudly mentioned that every member would find love in any branch of any country.  She realized those people who conducted the Bible study in the Philippines have never been abroad.

   Liked or not by her congregation, Marla remains loyal to her God (Psalm 83:18).  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Presidential Qualification

   “Under Article 7, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution, in order to serve as President, one must be at least 40 years of age, a registered voter, able to read and write, a Filipino citizen by birth, and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years prior to election.” 

   According to the above article of the constitution anyone who can read or write, which means anyone with basic education is eligible to be president.  Were the founding fathers who wrote the constitution remiss in the language of that article?  Or was that foresight?   Of the past presidents 9 were lawyers, Carlos P. Garcia, Manuel L. Quezon, José P. Laurel, Sergio Osmeña, Diosdado Macapagal, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ferdinand E. Marcos, José P. Laurel; Gloria Arroyo is an economists.

   The constitution does not require a particular educational attainment because there is none specifically designed for the presidency.  The lawyer will make laws and the economist will make money.  The president’s job is executive, implementing the laws the lawyer made and appropriating the money the economist made.  The president needs simple common sense and the capacity to think outside the box which holds the lawyer and economist inside it.

   In this fast changing world, no leader can keep abreast and remain inside the box.  This is where the street wise college dropout will beat the masters and doctors anytime.  Where a lawyer would say “this is not in the books” and the economist would say “it’s too big a risk” the dropout would say “so what if it has never been done before, let’s do this!”

   A country that surprises world powers by keeping afloat through its underground economy should have a vibrant electorate fighting for one of their own – the street wise college dropout who is not too ‘main stream politics’ to catch what the country really needs.

   King David was a shepherd boy who with God’s favor became Israel’s greatest king (1 Samuel 17).  Would the same God approve and guide a petite female college dropout fighting her own batch of political Goliaths?  Does God approve of women rulers?  What do you think?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Heiress

(To Papang)

Lily's Grandpa
   When Lily was four, her grandfather took her for a walk.  They entered a bank.  

   “This bank belongs to me, someday it will be yours.  Don’t tell your Aunt and Uncles.  I am hiding this from them because I want to leave this to you when I die.” the old man said to her as they passed through the door.

   “Really Grandpa, this bank is yours”

   “Yeah, just watch when I reach that counter the lady will hand me some money.”

   When they reached the counter Lily who was three feet tall looked up to see that money did change hands.  She felt so proud of her rich grandfather.  At her young age she could already appreciate what money could buy.  She envisioned a future as a bank heiress. 

   “Did you see that?  When you own the bank you can get money anytime.  Remember don’t tell anyone at home or they will all be jealous if they find out that I’m giving the bank to you.”  Grandpa said.

   “I won’t tell, it will be our secret.” Lily said.

   The two conspirators walked home and as soon as they got through the door the little girl could not contain herself.

   “Grandpa showed me the bank I will inherit from him.  He’s not giving it to any of you.  I can go there and get money anytime”

   “What bank is she talking about?” Arthur, Lily’s uncle asked.

   The girl can’t read so she can’t say the name of the bank.  She looked at Grandpa for the answer.

   “Monte de Piedad Bank” Grandpa said.  Everyone burst out laughing.

   Lily’s heiress day ended too soon but she knew in her heart if her Grandpa did own the bank he really would give it to her.  There was no doubt that he loved her most of all.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ryzza Mae and Gerald Anderson, Rare Finds

   The Ryzza Mae Show is hosted by the youngest TV host Ryzza Mae, 8.  She rose to celebrity when she won the Little Miss Philippines 2012.  Since then she has joined the noontime show Eat Bulaga!  She stars in the television comedy Vampire ang Daddy Ko and the movie Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako where she played a dwarf.  

   I have seen children singing, and dancing but hosting a daily television show at eight is rare.  The cha-cha dancing Ryzza Mae interviews celebrities as good as an adult TV host.  It was amazing to see so much confidence and talent in such a small bundle.  

   “Be happy! Be Budoy!”  “Hello ako si Budoy” (Hello I’m Budoy) are catchphrases from the drama miniseries about hypocrisy, parenting and the much needed education for the mentally challenged.  Many films have been made about the mentally challenged but I have seen none as well written and directed as this.  Gerald Anderson was a big surprise.  Rightly so, he won the 21st KBP Golden Dove Best Actor Award for TV Drama in his portrayal of Budoy.  He also won Best Actor awards at the Golden Screen Award 2013 and Gawad Tanglaw Award for the same series.  Gerald gave the role credibility.  He tugs at your heart even during the lighter moments and was adorable as a man struggling to escape a boy’s mentality.  In 2011, inspired by his role in Budoy, he organized a charity basketball game event for the benefit of the kids with special needs.  

   Gerald is only 24 years old.  He is this generation’s Christopher de Leon.  The big difference is that the boy can dance!  

   Ryzza Mae and Gerald Anderson make every Filipino proud!

See also Eat Bulaga - The Nation's Equalizer dated October 2013 and
Eat Bulaga Scholarship dated June 2014

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Breakout Nation

   "The strongest-performing economy in the Asia today is the Philippines," Michael Spencer, chief economist for Asia at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

   According to “Indeed, the standard indictment of the economy still seems daunting. For one thing, the Philippines is startlingly dependent on alms from abroad. Roughly 11 million Philippine citizens (12 percent of the population) work in a great diaspora, running from Hong Kong to New York and Kuwait, sending home about $20 billion annually to support their families.” 

   The billions of dollars Filipinos abroad send to their families annually should not be called “alms”.  Filipinos send money out of love, responsibility and a cultural practice no foreign influence has managed to eradicate.  Where other countries kick their children out at eighteen, Filipinos support their kin, ascendants and descendants without age or cost limit.  The effect on the country’s economy is an accidental benefit.
   “The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are so yesterday, says Morgan Stanley's Ruchir Sharma. Rapid growth can't be sustained and it's time to look to the next decade's big growers for big returns. Reuters Fred Katayama tells why Turkey, Indonesia and the Philippines are the next big bet.”

   If the indictment of the Philippines’ economy is that the country is dependent on overseas Filipinos’ dollar subsidy then the country’s index rating of 100 is a consequence of the tenacity of the Filipino labor wherever they might be.  Now called the call center capital of the world, the Philippines owes the title to the labor sector that makes the night their day and the day their night answering calls from all time zones.  

   Financial gurus are predicting a bright future for the investor that would bet on the dark horse of Asia, the Philippines.  They are right.  If all the countries should fall into the ocean the Philippines' labor sector, most of them women, will dive in and literally carry their country on their shoulders.  No thanks required. 

See also:


   Philippine economic rating posted 7.2% by the end of 2013 despite the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which killed approximately 6,000.

   As of 2018, in an article in Business Insider, the Philippines is No.1 in the list of 20 countries as best place to invest despite judgmental publicity about President Duterte.