Monday, October 29, 2012


Being a preacher means opening yourself to the challenges of the world, proclaiming Christ even if everyone ridicules you.


Witnessing, my dear friends. I think, this is the best way of bringing Christ's love to others. You can never tell everyone what you have never experienced. You can never show Jesus if you don't don't have Jesus in you.

I remember a friend - a Born Again Christian - who became a close friend of mine since he worked at the company. We go out together after work until he leaves at North EDSA. Yes, he has questions regarding the faith and I dared answer them, not through the verses, but through my experience as a Catholic coupled by the Doctrine of the Church. He listened nevertheless, as we shared our ideas of being Christians in the world and not of the world.

I'm not good in Apologetics, nor am I well-versed in the passages, and - let's face it - so do many of us. But how can we show Christ at that? 


Commit yourself to a preaching life!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I think it will not be much if I dare say this to the people who tend to generalize the faults of a few.

Please. Respect our Pastors.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Habemus Cardinalem!

A year after he was named Archbishop of Manila - the de facto Primate of the Philippines, and just three days after the Canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod, the Holy Mother Church, through the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, has yet given us another gift, a reason to celebrate and declare, 
Dominus Est! It is the Lord!

"And now, with great pleasure, I announce that on November 24th, I will hold a Consistory in which I will appoint six new members of the College of Cardinals. The Cardinals have the task of helping the Successor of Peter in the performance of his ministry of confirming the brethren in the faith, and the principle and foundation of unity and communion of the Church.

Here are the names of the new cardinals:

Msgr. JAMES MICHAEL HARVEY, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household. 
Beatitude BÉCHARA BOUTROS RAÏ, Maronite Patriarch, (Lebanon).
Beatitude BASELIOS CLEEMIS THOTTUNKAL, major Archbishop of the Trivandrum of the Siro-Malankaresi in India. 
Msgr. JOHN OLORUNFEMI ONAIYEKAN, Archbishop of di Abuj (Nigeria)
Msgr. RUBÉN SALAZAR GÓMEZ, Archbishop of Bogotá (Colombia)
Msgr. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines).

The New Cardinals, as you've just heard, exercise their ministry in the service of the Holy See or as priests and pastors of particular Churches in various parts of the world.

I invite everyone to pray for the newly elected, asking the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that they will always love with courage and dedication Christ and his Church."

~ Pope  Benedict XVI

I enjoin myself to the millions of Filipinos in Manila and beyond in greeting our dear and beloved Bishop on this grace which is given to him. We continuously pray for his unwavering faith and persevering ministry for the faithful of the Archdiocese and that of the Universal Church!

Viva il Papa! 
Congratulations, Cardinal-designate Chito Tagle!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Time really flies so quickly. Twenty-five years after the Canonization of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the Church will now declare Blessed Pedro Calungsod as the Second Filipino Saint. An exemplar of the youth and a martyr for the faith, he is now enjoined among the white-robed army of Saints who always offer worship and praise to the Holy Triune God, interceding him for our needs and aspirations.

Though his ancestral background is unknown, we know nevertheless that Blessed Pedro was born and raised somewhere in Cebu, in the Visayas, formed to the faith by the Jesuits, and, at a young age, offered his life and ministry for the people of the Marianas. It was there that God called him to testify by his blood under the furious Matap'ang, declaring his bold and unscathed desire to dedicate his everything for the Gospel. 

As a teenager, Pedro was faced with many circumstances, he may have even saved his life from the fury of the Chamorros, but at that certain point in his life, he made a bold decision not to leave Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores; he decided to bring his young ministry to the ultimate, and for this he is rewarded with the palm of martyrdom. 

We look back at the annals of history and see that Pedro, like Lorenzo Ruiz, was also raised in the Christian faith; he was also 'driven' by the Holy Spirit to a far-off area to proclaim God's Word to people who do not know him yet. Like Lorenzo who willed to offer a thousand lives to God if ever he had it, Pedro willed that, in his young stature, he offer his life in order that Christ's salvation be more spread throughout. 

So, can we say that there is still a battle among the Tagalogs and the Visayas in Heaven? I don't think so. Some people call Pedro Calungsod as the first martyr of the Visayas, which is indeed true. As a teenage Visayan who gave up his life for God, he is truly considered as a son of the Visayan people, but also of the Tagalogs and the other ethnic groups, which form the One Philippines. He is not only invoked as a fellow Visayan, but he is also invoked as a Filipino, a Saint! 

Pedro is young, but this didn't stop him from bringing God's love to others. Despite his tender stature, he unwaveringly left his homeland to bring the glorious Cross to the natives of Marianas, knowing that he might not return anymore. He left his comfort zone to follow God's call, and in his death he received his reward. 

Pedro's example show that, young as we are, we can still live a life that is dedicated to God. In this society that is full of errors of modernity and secularism, in the midst of a people who are just concerned with personal matters, Pedro comes as a proof that we can still offer our lives for the Good News of salvation. Without hesitation, we can offer our lives for God. Without reservation, we can bring Christ to people who do not know him yet. We cannot say we are young; for all of us are called in God's opportune time. 

As for me, I continuously feel the support of my big KUYA, especially on the trying times. As my patron, I entrust to him my fate as a young professional. Adventurous as may be, I know Kuya Pedro would guide me as I proceed through the problems of my time. I know that as he unwaveringly offered his life for Christ, I too can be a living testimony of God's love to everyone around me. With his inspiration, I can also be a missionary of love to others, offering my all for the Good News. 

Now, as we celebrate the Canonization of (let me call him thus) Saint Pedro Calungsod, we are more assured that we have a companion who would continuously guide us, especially the youth, towards holiness. We are more consoled at the thought that Lorenzo would now have a partner to pray for our needs as individuals and as a Filipino nation. 

Kuya Pedro, you know how we feel, how we act, how we live as Filipinos in this land of exile. Pray for us as we continue to traverse through the journey of life. Grant us the strength that we may also be able to proclaim Christ to people around me. May we never doubt in giving our lives to you and for you. Pray for the Filipino people, especially the youth, as we ask you and Lorenzo to please watch over our nation; be our guide towards the real appreciation of God's will over ours. 

our second Filipino saint, 
pray for us! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reaching the Skies with Nanay...(A Guardia's story)

Then a student,...
2011 LN Festivities
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila. This is a splendid name for a queen who always comes to the aid of her children. I am proud to become one of the millions of people who felt the intercession of Our Lady, and continued to become at service to her. What was just a simple and unprepared visit at the start, now turned out to be a life of service and ministry for her love and affection.

Just a year ago (this is different from my very first visit in 2010), I was among the sea of spectators for the Feast of La Naval de Manila. Back then, I promised Nanay then that I will try my best to visit her more often. I began my monthly habit of visiting her during the First Sunday of the month, as a fulfillment of my vow. Not that I still feel the bitterness on my own home base, but it was a moment for me to reflect with Mary on my performance as a lay rising from the ashes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sa Mahal kong Nanay...

November 16, 2011
Mahal kong Nanay...

Marami silang tawag sa iyo. Maraming taguring gamit. Maraming pamanhik. Gayunpaman, nais kitang tawagin sa ngalan na kung saan ako ay panatag... NANAY.

Ilang beses na akong napatawag sa iyo! Ilang pagkakataon na ring sa kabila ng kakapusan ng pera at mga biglang insidenteng nangyari, ako ay napaparito upang dalawin ka at magpasalamat. Salamat sa mga biyayang napagkaloob, salamat sa mga pagsubok na napagdaanan at napagtagumpayan! Salamat dahil sa kabila ng aking kamalian at pagsuway, ay nariyan ka pa rin upang ako ay gabayan at suportahan lalo na sa madidilim na sandali ng aking buhay. 

Hindi ko alam kung saan ako mapapadpad noong mga panahon na iyon. Lulong ako sa masamang pita, pabaya sa pag-aaral, at wasak na wasak ang buhay. Di ba nga, ang plano ko ay talikuran ang pag-aaral at sumubok na tumayo sa sariling paa, kahit hindi ko kaya? Malamang nga, ilang bagsak na lang ng paa ko ay mabibiyak na ang lupa upang kainin ako sa aking sariling kamatayan. Mapait, malagim, madilim.

Subalit, sa isang iglap ay nanumbalik ang lahat sa dating sigla! Pinagmamasdan ko ang aking pagbangon mula sa pagkadapa at masasabi kong hindi ko ito sariling gawa! Muli kong hinarap ang mga tinalikurang pagsubok; ngayo'y dahan-dahang naaani ko ang kaganapan ng pangarap na minsan kong tinalikuran.

Tama, Nanay. Ang aking pagkabagsak ay isang pasimula. Pasimula ng isang bagong yugto sa aking buhay. Hindi ko ito napansin noon, ngunit ngayo'y ubod ng linaw!

Sa panahon na dahan-dahan akong tumatayo, hindi ko napupuna na ako ay nasa isang paghahanda upang makilala ang isang babae na pupukaw sa aking buhay; paghahanda para sa isang sandali na magpapabago ng buhay ko. At iyon ay nangyari noong gabing iyon na, sa gitna ng dagat ng tao, sa kabila ng aking takot, ay nakilala kita. isang alamat ng aking kabataan na ngayo'y isang realidad na aking hinahawakan at tinatamasa!

O kay tamis na sandali! Sandali na nagpasimula sa IYONG YUGTO ng pag-iral sa aking buhay. Mula noon, dahan-dahang nagbago ang lahat sa akin! Dahan-dahang kinuha ang aking lumang katauhan at tinuruang muling lumapit kay Hesus sa aking munting paraan.

Ngayon, sa puntong ito na ako'y naguguluhan at nadidiliman, hindi ako nagdadalawang-isip na lumapit sa iyo. Alam mo ang mga pinagdadaanan ko, ang mga hirap at pagsubok, ang aking mga kahinaan at problema. Natatalos mo kung gaano ito kabigat at kahirap. Kahit na minsan ay ako rin ang dahilan ng lahat ng pasanin ko, alam ko na hindi ko ito pinagdadaanan kung hindi mo ibig at nais.

Nanay, patuloy mo akong ipanalangin! Patuloy mo akong tulungan! Patuloy mo akong pakinggan at suportahan sa oras ng pangangailangan! Minsan mo na akong tinulungan, alam ko na ngayon ay hindi mo ako pababayaan.

Hindi ako magsasawa sa pagpapahayag ng pagmamahal... ng papuri... at ng pasasalamat sa lahat ng iyong kaloob sa akin! Sa gabi-gabi kong mga date na kasama ka, sa mga piling araw na ako'y mapaa-iyong dambana, at sa iba't-ibang oras na akin kang naipapahayag at napaglilingkuran sa aking kapwa.

Ngayon, ako ay yayao nang muli. Babalik na ako sa aking pamilya, parokya at paaralan. Babalik na ako sa araw-araw na pamumuhay. Subalit hindi ito ang huling sandali. Ipinapangako ko sa iyo, O Nanay kong mahal, na sa pagbabalik ko sa dambana mong ito, ako ay ganap mo nang lingkod. Sa bawat pagbalik ko rito, lalo at lalo kong hahanapin ang aking sariling landas na kasama ka. Lalo at lalo akong magiging bukas sa tawag ng iyong Anak.

Nay, sa huli, iiwan ko ang aking puso sa iyong paanan. Kunin mo ito at dalhin, kasama ng aking mga panalangin, naisin at pamanhik, kay Hesus na minamahal mong Anak at aking Panginoon.

Sa kanya ang kaluwalhatian at sa iyo ang pagdangal ngayon at kailanman. Amen!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

ANNUS FIDEI (October 2012-November 2013)

The Profession of Faith

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.


The 'door of faith' (Acts14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church.

The Year of Faith is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the World. 

-Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei for the Indiction of the Year of Faith. (1,6)


(Click on the Year of Faith Logo to take you to the official Vatican Website of the Year of Faith.)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Just a reminder...

Our Lady of the Rosary, La Naval de Manila, as she was enthroned yesterday, Oct. 04, 2012.
Photo Credits: Mico Pacheco
If you are a devotee, remember this: 
Being an LN devotee doesn't end after ten or eleven days. 
It must continue beyond the Solemn Festivities. 

If you love Nanay, love her, not only because of the dress nor the regalia; 
love her because of the favors you received through her. 
Love her, simply because she is your Queen and Mother.

Just a simple reminder for the La Naval de Manila 2012...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Inggo and Kiko

‎"You are my companion and must walk with me. 
For if we hold together no earthly power can withstand us."
~ St. Dominic to St. Francis

“Truly Dominic and Francis were two pillars of Holy Church: 
Francis with the poverty that was his hallmark and 
Dominic by his learning.” 
~ St. Catherine of Siena

Holy Father Francis, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Surprises... Thanks Nanay!

Just when we thought that we are the pinaka-kulelat team in Neungyule, we stood out yesterday! 

To our surprise, Team Greg got the second highest Team Award for the month of August. It is actually the First Team award we got, and it really gave us the goosebumps. We never saw this one coming... 

(My month!!!)

This is truly a blessing for us. As TL Greg said, This is not just my award because everyone worked hard for it. We take this humbly, as we thank God for giving us the strength to continue each and every day of work (including the Habagat days.). 

God bless the people who gave us this appreciation: the Korean officers, Team Managers and, most of all, the students. May Our Lady be with you and guide you in your undertakings.

As for me, this is an addition to the list of reasons why I should celebrate this year's festivities and to thank God and Nanay for all the blessings... It's La Naval Season again! ^^

All photos courtesy of: Jarvy Zapanta

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Just a forethought for the Month of October...

Yesterday, the Church started the Month of the Holy Rosary. As always, we remember Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, and the great victories of Lepanto and La Naval de Manila which was realized under her intercession. 

We are called to pray, pray always, pray unceasingly, not only for our own sake but for our families, communities, Our Holy Mother Church and our dear Fatherland, and the whole world. So, inspired by that, I had this reflection which could be shared with everyone...

Special thanks to Kat for this good rendition of the photo.

How does it feel to pray in front of God's presence? 

We have our own set of prayers, and our own strategies of raising it to God. Some of us babble, close our eyes, and do some other things hoping with profound faith that our prayers are heard and answered. But what is inside our prayers?

Some, like the Pharisee, tend to raise their eyes to Heaven in empty piety and say, 'Oh God! Thank you for not making me sick, nor poor. Thank you for sparing us from calamities, unlike the shanty guys. Thank you because I'm not like them. You know I give to the poor in Charitable institutions, but I thank you because I'm not like them!'

Some, like the Tax collector, feel like they are unworthy to approach God. In the silence of their hearts, they pray, Lord, have mercy! We are so unworthy. Please listen to our prayers. We know you would consider our plea. We have nobody to turn to, so we ask your strength and guidance in this time of need. Have mercy on us, Lord!

We think that the Lord only considers the prayers of the few who are more close to him, may pampadulas kung baga, but we should always remember that the Lord listens to all our prayers. He provides us with everything we need, if not now, in the near future. 

Some say, why pray? We can do it ourselves without God's help. Well, we think and do otherwise. 

Prayer teaches us that whoever we may be in the society, we are still under One God. 

It teaches us to be patient and wait with faith. 

It teaches us to draw ourselves closer to others, to be a living prayer ourselves.

To pray in God's presence is not just a ho-hum; it is a grace, a chance to be re-created by your Creator, to be redeemed again by your Redeemer, and to be sanctified by your Sanctifier. 

To pray is to communicate with someone close to you though you do not see Him. 

To pray is to ask, not for your own sake, but for His will to be living in you, that you, in turn, may be a moving prayer to others.

To pray is to say that you can't face this battle of life all along; that you still need someone to lean on, who is nobody else but God.

When you pray, do not say, 
'Lord, I want this, I want that.' 
Rather, say, 
'Lord, you know what I need. May your will be done.'