3 The Best Courtship

Friday, May 10, 2013

Realization of the day:

The best courtships are not necessarily those that lead to marriage. The best relationships are those that lead to SAINTHOOD. ^_^ 

May our relationships be pleasing in God's eyes ALL THE TIME.

This time, I will not mess it up. So help me, God.

6 Pro-RH Supporters Celebrate Death of Philippine Democracy

Friday, December 14, 2012
Pro-Life lobbyists throw their hands in the air to applaud courageous Pro-Life congressmen 
who voted "No" to the RH Bill (Photo courtesy of CBCP for Life)

December 13, 2012 was the day democracy died (again) in our country.  And it is ironic that it was the very son of the hero who once restored democracy in our land, who actually put it to death.  This is even scarier because at least when Martial Law was declared 40 years ago, people were aware of the dictatorship, but now it is a silent one.  What's worse, some people-- many of them probably unsuspecting-- even celebrated it.  It is such a pity that they did not know they were not really celebrating the passage of the RH Bill, but the resurrection of Marcos.

I am against the RH Bill and although I felt sad that it was passed on second reading, what made me sadder was the process by which it was passed.  "Sad" is actually an understatement as I was already on the verge of tears out of anger as I witnessed how the Pro-RH people railroaded the bill at the House of Representatives in the wee hours of the night.  Aside from the public knowledge that our congressmen were bribed with P280 million worth of pork barrel by PNoy, we also learned while the five-hour nominal voting was going on, that Malacanang sent Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Secretary Ricky Carandang, and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, to pressure the congressmen to either vote yes to RH Bill or just go home and abstain from voting.  This is nothing but sheer corruption and abuse AND misuse of authority.

One of my Facebook friends tried to justify this, saying that what MalacaƱang did was just the same as what the Church is doing to the congressmen as She "threatens" them with the Catholic Vote.  However, this is an illogical analogy.  LOBBYING and BRIBING are two different things.  On one hand, the Church (composed of both lay and religious people) came to the House of Representatives as ordinary citizens exercising their right to lobby, and they stayed on the second and third floor galleries of the Batasan Building.  On the other hand, these people from MalacaƱang were operating inside the South Lounge of the building, looking for congressmen to send home as the fight between the votes became very close, as reported by the Inquirer.  If  Roxas, Lacierda, Carandang, and Abad came as ordinary citizens exercising their rights, they should have also stayed in the gallery where they would have been visible to all.  But wherever they stayed that night does not change the fact that they destroyed the integrity of the Philippine Government as the Executive Branch violated the independence of our legislators.  Nothing can justify that.

Contrary to what another one of my Pro-RH friends said, we are very far from a "politically mature Philippine legislative system," but we are definitely still stuck in a corrupt one.  However, I believe there is still hope-- and a huge one at that.  Considering the tally of votes: 113 allowed themselves to be bribed and dictated upon, 104 stood their ground and kept their integrity, and 3 abstained, those are 104 sparks of hope we got there!  And they could be more come Monday as the 63 absentees cast their vote on the Third Reading.

This fight is far from over.  What our congressmen need most right now is our moral support and assurance that if ever they do decide to go against the wishes of our President, they have the Filipino people to fall back on.  So be with us on Monday (December 17, 2012) either at the House of Representatives (Quezon City) or at the Senate (Pasay City) and show our love and support for our courageous legislators.  This is no longer just a fight for LIFE but a fight for our DEMOCRACY as well.  See you there!

Updates: The RH Bill passed on third reading on December 17, 2012. Of the originally 104 pro-life/anti-rh votes on second reading, only 79 maintained their position. The third reading vote was 133-79-7. In the Senate, the vote was 13-8 (affirmative-negative). Despite his promise to not sign the RH Bill into law until after Christmas, President Aquino still did so (and even secretly, at that) on December 21, 2012.

4 Pro-RH Side Desperate, Misleads Youth via Teen Magazines

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I used to collect teen magazines when I was younger. Actually, when I started working I still bought one every so often—but no longer monthly like I used to when I was in college. I just realized that magazines of this type did me little good, especially when it came to priorities in life. Very little, if there was any, was written about the importance of one’s spirituality. The pages were mostly worldly, though that was already expected since we’re living in a “material world,” and “material girls” dig that stuff. It’s what sells. I still have my magazine collection at the bottom part of my book shelf, and when I browse them sometimes, I realize they’re all the same—three-fourths advertisements, one-fourth real content, how-to-get-the-guy articles, interviews of boys who easily got their 15 minutes of fame just by enrolling in a well-known school (the most boring part of the magazine for me), how-to-copy-this-celeb’s-look articles, and lots of pages about mixing and matching clothes and putting on makeup (my all-time favorite part). There are also sensible stories from which the reader would learn life lessons. But there are stories that simply don’t make sense at all, like the ones that mislead readers by making opinion sound like fact, just like the following articles published by Meg, Chalk, and Maven magazines.

Meg Magazine (by Mega Publishing Group) November 2010 Issue
Click HERE to read complete article.

Meg Magazine (by Mega Publishing Group) November 2010 issue, Chalk Magazine (by ABS-CBN Publishing) July 2011 issue, and Maven Magazine (also by ABS-CBN Publishing) July-August 2011 issue, all have something in common: an article about the RH Bill that urges you (the reader) to “know the facts about the Reproductive Health Bill” (Meg), “make an informed choice” (Chalk), and to “rethink your stand” (Maven), based on the information they presented—information that favored only one side.

Meg Magazines’s “Basic Right” article by Monica Guerra, labeled some statements about the RH Bill as fallacies, such as “the bill is anti-life,” “the bill legalizes abortion,” “the bill will prohibit pregnancy and will promote contraceptive mentality,” “sexuality education will give birth to a culture of promiscuity.” She claimed that these were not true and countered them with these answers: “It [the RH Bill] is actually pro-life,” “the bill still believes that abortion is a crime,” “contraceptives are used to prevent unwanted pregnancies,” and “education of sexuality will empower the youth to make wise decisions.”

Chalk Magazine (by ABS-CBN Publishing) July 2011 Issue

Darwin Chiong, who wrote the article, “Understanding the RH Bill” for Chalk Magazine, had the same claims as Guerra’s, only he added that the RH Bill prioritizes the poor by granting them “universal access” to reproductive health services, which include contraceptives.

Maven Magazine (also by ABS-CBN Publishing) July-August 2011 Issue

Lastly, Elizabeth Angsioco, a known proponent of the RH Bill, compiled statistics that were supposed to make readers “rethink [their] stand.” Obviously, she was addressing only us, pro-life (anti-RH) readers, in particular. I don’t think she would want the pro-RH to still rethink their views.

And I thought these journalists took an oath to tell only the truth and to present issues without bias. Looks like they failed at both. As if publishing unquestionably prejudiced articles in their magazines weren’t enough, one even got a die-hard pro-RH personality to fill an entire page. Survey results that show more and more Filipinos oppose the RH Bill must have gotten their knees shaking. One publishing company (ABS-CBN Publishing), two different magazines (Chalk and Maven) of the same month issue (July 2011), and one extreme RH supporter as author… hmm, sounds desperate to me.

Filipinos are wiser now; thank God we no longer believe everything we see on TV or hear on the radio or read from glossy magazines! Also, thank God there are individuals and groups who know the truth and do not keep it to themselves. The RH Bill is TRULY anti-life, as hormonal contraceptives may prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum (a new life!) into the mother’s uterus, hence depriving the embryo of the right environment to survive—clearly, an early abortion. (Read: Embryology Books Ask: Philippine Medical Association) And they say the RH Bill recognizes that abortion is illegal? Also, studies have already proven that wherever condom use is prevalent, there the higher rates of HIV/AIDS are. (Ask: Edward Green, Harvard AIDS expert; Read: Thailand) Promotion of contraception does not prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions. 54% of those who aborted their babies were using contraceptives. (Ask: Guttmacher Institute and George Akerlof) Contraceptives fail and abortion is used as the back-up method. (Read: China) The RH Bill does not empower women; they kill our women with breast cancer, cervical cancer, venous thrombosis, and generalized infection. Zero maternal mortality is possible without contraceptives in the recipe. (Read: Gattaran, Cagayan; Ara-asan, Surigao del Sur; Isalan, Sultan Kudarat) “11 women die of childbirth everyday,” they say, while 75 Filipinos die of tuberculosis everyday, 216 Filipinos die of heart disease everyday, 2.9 million Filipinos are unemployed by April 2011, 3 million Filipino FAMILIES experienced hunger in the last three months (mostly from scarcely populated Visayas and Mindanao regions)— even a first-grader can tell which is urgent. Angsioco said 23% of the youth has engaged in premarital sex—hence the need for an RH Bill? Go to the United States where they have an RH Law and see that premarital sex is already a culture there. And yes, they have mandatory sex education, too. Epic fail.

I just gave you tidbits of the real deal about the RH Bill. You’ll find other articles on the web that elaborate on these facts. If only we had the money, we could have also published these write-ups in popular magazines. Unfortunately, we don’t get funds from Obama and the European Union. So until our pro-life advocacy gets international funding, it looks like we’ll just have to continue to Facebook, Twitter, and Hail Mary our way to spreading the truth. ;-)

1 How to Do Your Own Spa Facial Treatment at Home

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Start by removing the dirt on the most superficial layer of skin, using a creamy cleansing lotion if your skin type is normal to dry or a cleansing gel if your skin type is oily. (Note: You can tell if you have dry skin when your skin feels tight after cleansing or if it looks dull and ashy. If only your cheeks tend to appear dry and your T-zone has little shine, then you have combination skin. But if your entire face looks ready for frying eggs and there are very noticeable pores, blackheads, and pimples, then you have oily skin.) Gently massage the cleanser onto your face in small circles, and then rinse with warm (not scalding hot!) water. This will open the pores on your skin in preparation for the next steps of the treatment...

Read my entire article here.

0 "Filipinos For Life" (F4L) Tells the Truth About the RH Bill to Students of Sta. Isabel College

Prof. Aliza Racelis, Anna Cosio, Atty. Jo Imbong, and Atty. Marwil Llasos, show their certificates with Sr. Josie B. Onag, D.C. and Sr. Josefia R. Quiachon, D.C

Sr. Josie B. Onag, D.C. with guests from Filipinos for Life (F4L): Ms. Anna Cosio, R.N., Prof. Marwil N. Llasos, O.P., J.D., Prof. ALiza Racelis, Ph.D., and Mr. Raymond Bandril

It was nice giving a talk to the intelligent students of Sta. Isabel College. Their challenging questions only showed that the youth of today (or at least many of them) cannot be easily swayed. They are bound to make informed decisions, and you can't expect them to just agree and agree. Thank God Filipinos are smart, lest the RH Bill would have passed just like that. Well, Filipinos are not gonna make it easy for you, Henry Kissinger and company :-P

Proof of the Holy Spirit's work for the day: [During the question and answer portion] A student walked over to the microphone and said, "I came here a Pro-RH, but after your presentation, I am now convinced why I should be against the RH Bill."

More news and pictures on Atty. Marwil Llasos' blog and CBCP for Life News.

0 Demographic Winter in the Convent

Saturday, June 11, 2011
I, together with some other members of Filipinos for Life, gave a talk today to the Daughters of St. Paul. This was the first time we presented to a big group of nuns (our typical audience were the youth, students, teachers, and other ordinary citizens like us). Before going there, I was really anxious-- I mean, anxious-excited, not anxious-worried. There's just something about nuns, their presence, and their voices when they sing, that brings me peace.

As we started the forum, I was glad to see how eager they were to know more about the RH Bill; maybe they wanted to be more specific with their prayers. (Hooray! We've got more prayer warriors!) Their prayers might even have an economic, legal, medical, and moral aspects, too-- just like the format of our presentation. Ha, ha! But I am not going to write about the RH Bill per se. I've written against it and have argued with those who believe in it, yet I can only do so much. To those whose minds are closed, no explanation will satisfy. So, let's just go back to what happened today :)

When Robyn and I got to the convent, we decided not to hold hands-- for some reason I really don't know. Maybe I still have this trauma from previous encounters with some very strict nuns. One of them scolded me for eating a sandwich while walking. She said I MUST eat at the canteen. I replied, "But Sister, I'm already hungry." She still scolded me and insisted that I continue eating at the canteen. I was quite shocked because I didn't know of such a rule. Suddenly, I felt full and wasn't able to finish my sandwich anymore.

Don't worry, that sister and I are friends now :) She has loosened up. More young people love her now and corridors don't clear up anymore when she passes by. That was a good change. I bet more young women would be attracted to the religious life if they see more smiles than frowns (or poker faces), and more mercy than punishment. I've met some sisters who said they realized they had a "calling" when they found themselves dreaming of becoming "like that sister." Unfortunately, in this day and age, "calls" from Heaven are hardly listened to. Or maybe it's just difficult to hear because of all the noise and distractions around. Hence, fewer people enter the religious life.

It was confirmed over dinner by Sr. Maimai and Sr. Clemence; they said the sisters were growing older, yet there were only a few entering the religious life. They said they were bothered when they saw the inverted triangle of the population in Professor Aliza's presentation. They said they now have a new term for their situation in the convent: Demographic Winter. They jokingly said it, but I knew they meant it. Theirs isn't an isolated case; I've heard of the same concern from sisters of other congregations. Back in second year college, I would have been able to help them increase their population, by actually becoming part of their population. But now, well, err, uhmm...

"It's not yet too late!" said one of the sisters.
"How old are you?" she asked.
"22 po," I replied.
Suddenly there was a glow in her eyes, as well as in those of the other sisters. One of them started counting with her fingers, "23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28... May six years ka pa para pag-isipan!"

Then I told them about my original plan. I was so attracted to the religious life when I started college. I even wondered why most people opted to get married and have their own families, when I couldn't imagine anything better than becoming the bride of Christ. I looked forward to finishing college and becoming a nun a.s.a.p., but one of the sisters (I'm talking about the sisters from another congregation) advised me to take it slow and if possible, to experience having a boyfriend first-- which I did for a period of six months. After the breakup, I returned to the convent, excited to share the sisters the news. They got excited, too. But one of them (she was one of the closest to me) suggested that I experience having a job first-- which I also did. So after graduating and passing the board exam, I found a job... and another boyfriend.

"This boyfriend, sisters, is actually sitting with us now," I said, and then looked at Rob who was seated across from me.

There was silence, and then "oohs" and laughter, followed by, "Pero p'wede pa naman 'di ba?"

We all laughed. It wasn't awkward. Robyn had always been very supportive. He said he was ready to accept whatever the outcome would be-- which, so far, is in his favor. Ha, ha!

Sometimes I still wonder about what could have been if I just ignored the boys and focused on becoming a nun... or if I just entered the convent after that first courtship ended. I think I would have loved the religious life-- really. When I was asked to list down what for me were the advantages and disadvantages of different states of life (religious, single blessedness, married), I wrote there that it's easier to focus on the Lord in a convent. It's easier to remain in Him in there. And nothing beats the feeling of just being close to Him. Outside, there are so many things that could distract us from doing God's will-- so many worldly thoughts and suggestions from people who think only of the temporary life. It's easy to be complacent with one's prayer life, it's easier to sin without having second thoughts, it's easier to stray away from God. It's easier to be a prodigal daughter. But I know I'm not called to do the easy things.

I know temptation will always be around, even in the convent; but the ones I find most difficult to overcome are outside the convent. Is this the reason why I'm actually out here? Hmm... God, ha...

*Sigh* I just can't wait for the day when I'd look back at my struggles and realize that by God's grace I've gotten through them all. What sweet victory... But for now, I hope on...

Right now I may not be able to help prevent "demographic winter" from happening in convents by adding to their number, but I know and I am confident that God won't let that happen-- unless, of course, we humans interfere with His plan by passing a bill that would decrease the population in the country and would promote a selfish, contraceptive mentality (oops, I forgot I mentioned I won't be talking about the RH Bill this time :-P) Besides, it takes only a pinch of salt to perfect the flavor of the soup. Guess it's the same with the salt of the earth.

Here are some other pictures from today's talk:

2 Spare the Innocents! No to Mandatory Sex Education!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

According to an NSO and DOH survey on the prevalence of premarital sex among people age 15 to 24: only 2 out of 4,856 unmarried women have had sex in the last 12 months, while 54 out of 1,468 unmarried men have had sex in the last 12 months.

As young men and women, innocent and not-so-innocent alike, are exposed to mandatory sex education, getting some "training" like the one seen in the picture, will the numbers above decrease or increase? Here's a physician's take:

"Sex educators insist that, like adults, teens are capable of making responsible decisions, they just lack information about sexuality and access to contraceptives. So the way to fight sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, these authorities argue, is to provide teens with information and contraceptives, and teach them skills like how to say “no” and how to put on a condom. But current neuropsychological research does not support this stance. We know now that teens’ poor decisions are likely due not to lack of information, but to lack of judgement. And there is only one thing that will bring that: time."

[Miriam Grossman, MD]

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