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Showing posts from 2013

Photographs for the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

[My little speech given at the opening night—December 13, 2013]
Tonight we are here because of the events that has taken place in the past months; Typhoon Haiyan (local name: “Yolanda”) swept through our country leaving in its wake death and destruction.  In the days immediately after, my family did our best to give to the relief efforts through the Philippine Red Cross and World Vision.  Afterwards we asked, “what more can we give?”  On our way to planning a family photo exhibit, we decided to give away our photos in an online auction.  So my son, Khalil, and daughter, Erika, plus two friends who joined early—Jay Laurito and Larry Monserate Piojo—raised over US$800.00 auctioning photos online.  We were on our way to doing it again when other photographers offered to join.  Ideas were thrown in and with Diamond Hotel Philippines offering to provide the venue and Camerahaus as a sponsor, we are now here opening an exhibit and hopefully sell more photographs for the benefit of the vict…

Forever 21 Again


“Grown-up, indeed…I wish she would grow up.  She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste the rest of her life trying to stay that age.  Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can” (Lady Polly in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle).
I have apologized to my son, Khalil, for often being confused and confusing him: half the time I do not want him to grow up too fast and regret missing out on the things of youth, and the other half is that he needs to grow up now and get ready for the rest of his life.  At least, I know I am confused and is able to articulate it; my own mom also raised me in the same manner but was not able to "say" it and led to mother-son squabbles because I did not know when not to grow up too fast or grow up for the rest of my life.

Looking at the stresses my s…

Watching Grass Grow

The ‘Apocalypse’, as in the last book in Scriptures—Revelations, is mostly more about how the world turns as it is also about how it ends.  Problem is, the preoccupation is how to live in light of how it ends rather than how it turns (and right now I am watching this National Geographic documentary on doomsday preppers…).  In part, I think that is because how the world turns, in and by itself, is boring.  It is not the stuff of breaking news.

Consider for one moment how Jesus describes the Kingdom of God elsewhere:

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away” (Matthew 13:24b-25).

The rest of the story goes and is explained later to be that the servants offered to get rid of the weeds but the master simply said to let it go and let both grow together and do the sorting out later.  We rea…

The End of the World...Again

Now we are into the zombie apocalypse, before that it was the Mayan end of the world as we know it and I cannot remember what Nostradamus said came before.  It seems that there is now an interminable demand for the world to end.  I am not sure which one is more torturous, for the world to really end, or to be smothered by the seemingly endless parade of apocalyptic scenarios.

It cannot be said that Christianity is above that because it was the one who started the whole thing.  After all, the end of the world was part of that tradition: was it not that the last book in Scriptures was about the end of the world and aptly titled "The Apocalypse"?  And that word basically took a whole new meaning and spawned of life of its own.  The word "apocalypse" translates into "revelation" (or "unveiling") and was simply the author's way of presenting how the world turns...and yeah, e…

The Earth Hour: Every Day

[Originally posted in the "about" page of our Facebook Page]

We have been participating with the Earth Hour since it was started and when it was still relatively unknown years ago. Since the Earth Hour of April 2012, our family has been experimenting and now implementing our own version.  We call it the Earth Hour: Every Day.  It is our own way of helping the planet somehow (among the other little things we have been doing along the way).  Simply put, instead of having an Earth Hour (where you turn off lights for just one hour in one day of the year) once a year, we now do it daily.

Here is how we do it:

1. We do it at a random hour between 7:00PM to 12MN: those times are the most “electrically active” period in our household where everybody is doing something. It does not make sense during the day time when someone is usually out of the house or after midnight when we are asleep anyway.

2. It is…

Katipuneros and Aliens

Filipinos do not believe in aliens (extra-terrestials) ... only.

Ricoh KR-5 Super II + SMCP A 135/2.8 + Ilford XP-2 Super
Someone built that "thing" behind a monument to Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan (Filipino revolutionary movement vs. the Spanish).
We believe in a host of other things or beings, and yeah, it is easy to assign some or one of them to be the supreme deity or deities.  Western societies, being more developed and therefore more "scientific" assigns extraterrestrials to explain almost everything that go bump in the night (try watching Ancient Aliens...).  Salvation to the human condition comes from outside whether it is Superman or E.T.  Filipinos, perhaps less "scientific," are prone to believe in the supernatural which may in some way actually connect us to a deeper reality.

Alternate Route - II

Whatever happened to the Wise Men?

This is where all this musing began, intentionally and happily lost somewhere in an alternate route to Baguio City simply because I did not want to ruin my drive by joining the seasonal rush from Metro Manila.
“And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” (Matthew 2:12). 
I mused about whatever happened to the Wise Men of Christmas; albeit reducing my musings in simplistic Christianianese (or Evangelicalese).  But as I try to hold on to what is left of Christmas (it is not over yet as of today – see The Redemption of Time: The Christian Calendar as Civil Disobedience) there seems to be much more to that “another way.”
Now, if I am reading more to that verse than what it really means—i.e., going by a direct route back home to Persia without passing by Herod in Jerusalem—then I am guilty.  But I cannot shake off the words of Jesus in the same Gospel w…