Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mass for hostage victims, Quirino Grandstand, Aug. 31, 2010

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has announced that Filipino and Chinese priests will co-preside in a Mass to be held 8AM (Manila time), Aug. 31, 2010 (Tuesday) for the victims of the hostage-taking that happened Aug. 23, 2010 in the same place. A number of Hong Kong tourists perished in the said incident, along with their captor, a dismissed Filipino police officer. The Mass will mark the ninth day after the incident, where eight Hong Kong tourists onboard a tourist bus were killed along with their hostage-taker. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo will lead the Mass with Bishops Deogracias IƱiguez Jr. (Caloocan) and Honesto Ongtioco (Cubao) as concelebrants. Even as the instigator of the hostage-taking has perished, investigation in Manila is ongoing, amid protests that have arisen in Hong Kong following the bloody incident. The bodies of the victims have been airlifted to their homeland.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blessed Teresa's 100th

Today is the 100th birthday of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. She who inspired and continues to inspire people with her genuine love for people and for God. Blessed Teresa's image from

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not to miss--Sonny Camarillo and Lea Salonga

At the Cinema Level of Trinoma Mall, North Avenue, Quezon City, until August 23, 2010: well-known Filipino photographer Sonny Camarillo's splendid images ranging from the time of the assassination (1983) of Philippines Sen. Ninoy Aquino from the People Power Revolution (1986) that catapulted Ninoy's widow Cory to the presidency replacing dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to the last moments of Cory with the people, a few months before her death in 2009, and to her funeral march that equalled the length and breadth of her husband's own funeral. A photo-exhibit, being held in honor of Ninoy and Cory's death anniversaries both in August, not to miss for its historical and artistic value.

At the Cultural Center of the Philippines (or CCP, which is incidentally, a structure put up under the regime of Marcos) in Roxas Blvd, Pasay City, until August 22, 2010: CATS, the musical play with music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, with "Memory" as probably the most famous song in this play. This version of the play has mostly an Australian cast, but Filipino international actor and singer Tony-winner Lea Salonga (as "Grizabella") gets the honor of bringing this song to life in this play at the CCP, with her beautiful, strong, and soulful rendition. They have afternoon and evening shows, everyday.

A standing ovation to Sonny Camarillo and Lea Salonga--great artists both.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shocking news almost everyday...

Almost everyday, I read of shocking news happening anywhere in the world. The Internet has made it possible for reporters to file their news quickly and for readers to immediately get hold of these articles. Who hasn't heard of the mother (in the USA, I think) who's been found out recently to have killed her babies right after she gave birth to them? Or of another mother who kept her dying babies (or left them to die) in a suitcase (also in the USA, I believe)?

Indeed, the shocking news becomes even more shocking when kids or young children are the victims. One can just wonder these how helpless young ones could be made to suffer pain and agony, sometimes leading to their demise.

Just the other day, I read also in the Internet of a five-year-old girl in a province in the Philippines, who died after being beaten up by her brothers aged about 9 and 10. She was already dying when her mother got home, and was buried immediately the next day, according to the news account. The police report mentioned that the victim's mother was always beaten up by the father (who became missing after the child's death) in full view of the children. The police report also said that the brothers beat up their poor sister after she refused to do an errand for them but that they didn't intend to kill her. For me, it's obvious that the brothers imbibed their father's beating habits after seeing him doing this to their mother.

I pray for the soul of the young girl. I also pray that the violence running in her family will be stemmed out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

RHINESTONE--your ATM card is in the BDO office

Yesterday, passing by a row of ATMs (automated teller machines) in Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, I saw an ATM card sticking out of the slot of one of the machines. The card belonged to one named "Rhinestone." I forgot his or her surname written on the ATM card. It was a Banco de Oro (BDO) card, but Rhinestone inserted and left it on the slot of another bank's machine, perhaps because BDO's machine next to it had a long line of people waiting to use it. Two men on the line of BDO's ATM said to me that a man in green jacket had just left that machine I was standing by, so they presumed he was Rhinestone. I waited for a few minutes for any person to come looking for a card on the machine, but no one did. I decided to keep the ATM card I found and planned to pass by the BDO branch office on Congressional Avenue, a few minutes away from my home, after I did my groceries in Trinoma.

Thus carrying my heavy bags of groceries, I alighted off the taxi in front of the BDO-Congressional branch and approached the BDO counter staff. I fished from my bag the the ATM card I found and told the two women on the counter that I found it in their bank's machine in Trinoma. The other woman mumbled something upon seeing the card and proceeded to punch on her computer's keyboard, perhaps to trace the card's branch. She seemed unmindful that I was still sitting in front of her, waiting for her to say something like she was going to take care of it, etc. I had to ask her if it was okay for me to go already. She said it was, and I stood up to leave. Well, she didn't even thank me for bringing over the card. Not that I was waiting for her to say that to me, her reason maybe being that it wasn't her own card anyway. But after all the effort I made in going to their bank to turn over the card, rushing as I were to get to the bank before it closed in 30 minutes, amid the heat of the afternoon sun (it wasn't cool inside the taxi), and my expense in having to get another taxi after going to the bank, I think at least a smile from the poker-faced BDO staff would have been nice to see that hot afternoon. But, of course, the bank's staff didn't know what I had to go through in turning over that ATM card to them. I just consoled myself with the thought that, hopefully, Rhinestone was immediately contacted by the bank that his or her card was already safe with them, so that my effort would not have been useless.

This wasn't the first time that I've had some incident with an ATM machine. In fact, this was the fourth time. First time was when I chanced upon a little over a thousand pesos hidden by a plastic thing placed over the ATM money slot by some petty criminals whose racket was to cover the slot to capture the money of unknowing people who would use the machine. I saw the money while I was withdrawing some money of my own, which got stuck inside the plastic cover and made me wonder where it all went. (It was a weekend when I took home the captured money. When I talked to the bank manager that Monday over the phone, she thanked me profusely for keeping the money to turn over to them. She sent someone to me to pick it up). Second and third times, I chanced upon the ATM slot spewing some money while the owners (two separate occasions) were walking away, forgetting for some reason that they had just withdrawn money!

Oh, well, so much for stories about the ATM!