Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

20 September 2016

The Mysterious Our Lady of Caysasay Story as told in Old Tagalog by the 18th Century Agustinian Friar Francisco Buencuchillo
Juan Maningca fishing the image from the river as depicted by a fresco at the Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine.  Image credit:  By Eric Jam - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

The story of the Our Lady of Caysasay, or the Nuestra Señora de Caysasay as she used to be known during the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines, may not necessarily fall under the category “stock knowledge” even for many Batangueños, and especially those who do not live anywhere close to the Municipality of Taal, where the village of Caysasay is located. I, for one, heard of the academy named after her first; and for the longest time only had the vaguest notion about her story.


Archbishop’s Communique Explains Why the Vatican Has Reversed Decree Declaring Lipa Apparitions Supernatural

Image of Mary Mediatrix of all Grace at the Carmelite Convent in Lipa City.

In a communique dated 31 May 2016, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles informed the faithful of the reasons why the Vatican has reversed a September 2015 decree issued by the same archbishop declaring the 1948 alleged Marian apparition in the city of Lipa to the Carmelite novice Teresa Castillo as “exhibiting supernatural character and worthy of belief.”


23 March 2016

The Appearance of the Devil According to the Lipa Marian Visionary

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City as it looks in the present day.

Anybody who visits the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City will likely immediately sense that it has a feel to it quite distinct from most other churches. Perhaps, it is because of the imposing medieval façade of the church. Or perhaps it is because of the stillness and serenity you just do not get in many other places of worship.


23 October 2015

The Lasallian Rosary and Its Sixth Decade

Image from TJ Burdick, Author, Blogger, Educator.

Although I spent a considerable amount of my life with the De La Salle Christian Brothers, it was not until I was in middle age and already in upper administration of a Lasallian school that I learned that there was, indeed, such a thing as a Lasallian rosary and that it has a sixth decade.


26 January 2015

The Artist who Painted an ‘Accurate’ Portrait of Jesus Christ

'The Lost Years of Jesus,' painted by Akiane Kramarik at 10 years old.  Prints available for sale at Akiane Gallery.
Those of you who have not seen the 2014 film ‘Heaven is for Real,’ I hope this article does not spoil it for you when you do actually watch it.

There is this by-now 20-year old artist and poet by the name of Akiane Kramarik who, as a four-year old child, was supposed to have been spoken to by God Himself and encouraged to paint her visions.


25 January 2015

The Behind-the-Scenes Weather Miracle During the Pope’s Visit

Pope Francis in the Popemobile with Manila's Cardinal Tagle.
Before anything else, you will probably think if at all you do bother to read this that the premise of this article is something that can be thought up only by someone with too much time on his hands. To this, I say outright, guilty as charged!

But do go ahead and bear with the numbers and you will find things at least fun if not intriguing to ponder.


24 January 2015

Understanding Why People Kiss the Pope’s Ring

Image credit:

There was a bit of a question before the arrival of Pope Francis in the Philippines if President Noynoy would kiss the Pope’s ring or not. The question was a matter of protocol, the online article said.

If I understood things correctly, as Head of State, the President is not obligated to do so. After all, since the Pope is the head of the Vatican state – which is a political entity – then they are equals in the order of international relations and politics.


24 October 2014

Examining the STC-Cebu Bikini Case Supreme Court Decision

Image credit:
Having once been in Education, I had more than just a passing interest in a Supreme Court decision that was given decent coverage by the evening news yesterday. For the benefit of readers who had not previously heard or had forgotten about the incident, in 2012 the St. Theresa’s College of Cebu barred several high school seniors from attending the commencement exercises.

According to reports, the students had posted pictures of themselves on Facebook which the school subsequently deemed as lewd, obscene or immoral. The students were subsequently prevented by security guards from entering the campus to attend the commencement exercises.

If I understand things correctly from news reports, the students were allowed to graduate but just not allowed to attend the commencement exercises. If this was the case, then the school’s decision was, in fact, a win-win situation for the school and the students. Perhaps, then, the better option for the students – and their parents – would have been to cut down on their losses, accept the school’s decision and move on from there.


17 July 2013

Our Lady de Bato de Lipa?

Well, that is what I have chosen to refer to an item on the regional news this afternoon about a supposed image of the Blessed Mother etched on a piece of rock in some lady’s front yard in a village somewhere in the city of Lipa. The rock has now started to draw devotees.

Moreover, the lady who found the rock has started to ‘heal’ people. So thus, devotees and those with ailments and wishing for a miracle cure have started to arrive. To be fair, the lady does not charge for her ‘healing.’

But I am reminded of the 1982 Ishmael Bernal classic ‘Himalâ’ starring Nora Aunor as the supposed visionary and healer Elsa; and her cathartic declaration at the end of the movie, “Walang himalâ!”


26 February 2013

Teenage Pregnancy in a Catholic School

Catholic schools in this country as a matter of course are as conservative in outlook as the Church to which they belong. The degree of each school's conservatism is, to a certain extent, dictated by the religious orders that operate each school.

Suffice it to say that whatever the degree of a Catholic school's conservatism, there is in most likelihood going to be a very strongly worded statement in the student handbook against premarital sex along with the accompanying sanctions if a student is proven to have engaged in such.

Most, if not all, Catholic schools consider premarital sex as among the offences considered 'grave;' and in most likelihood will be punishable with dismissal or expulsion - or, in less diplomatic school parlance, the 'kick out.'


09 November 2012

San Pedro Calungsod in Lipa Visit

For reasons that I myself can’t explain, I feel this strange sort of affinity with the new Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod. I never even heard of him two months ago; and any sort of interest in him developed only after TV Patrol started covering the canonisation rites that officially made him a saint last month.

It’s a very personal thing; and like I said I don’t even know why. Maybe, I knew him in another lifetime, who knows? All I can say is that I only had passing interest in the canonisation of the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz. I mean no disrespect to the other saint; it’s just the way things are.


29 October 2012

Cremation and Catholic Hang-ups

Those among the readers who are Catholics will agree with me that catechetical teachings in childhood can continue to be cumbersome on a person’s conscience even after one has undergone this phase called growing up. Especially the sort taught back in the sixties when I was a kid or even earlier, there was just too much talk of fire and brimstone that one invariably grew up living in fear of going astray and meeting the horned beast.

Even when one eventually underwent higher education, which provided myriad new ideas many of which challenged these very same catechetical teachings, one did not completely outgrow what one was taught in childhood; and many of these became something like hang-ups.


21 October 2012

St. Pedro Calungsod and the Sainthood Process

All Catholics grow up being taught about holy men and women who devoted their lives in service of God and came to be known and revered as saints. Images of them adorn churches as well as Catholic households; and the faithful not only venerate them but also pray to them to intercede on their behalf so that God may grant their requests.

The canonisation today, the 21st of October, of Saint Pedro Calungsod offers all of us the perfect opportunity to understand sainthood and the process that is undertaken by the Church for a person to be declared a saint.


30 September 2012

The Our Lady de Buko de Lipa
This image was NOT taken from the so-called "apparition."

I am trying to recall – and am ultimately failing – if this so-called apparition of the Blessed Mother in Lipa occurred in the eighties or early the following decade. While I am Catholic, I rather sometimes tend to be sceptical of certain so-called phenomena that other Catholics tend to quickly believe.

Thus, although most everyone I knew went to see this so-called apparition – and many out of sheer curiosity than fervour – I was waiting for something more definitive from the accounts that I was hearing before I would allow myself to be coaxed to go.


Innocence of Muslims: A Tasteless, Irresponsible YouTube Movie

The stupidity that people can be capable of can be really regrettable. Those who have been following the world news will know that unrest has been spreading across the Middle East on account of a disrespectful little film called “Innocence of Muslims” which had been uploaded into YouTube.

I have seen the film, which has been viral for a while. The copy that I watched alone had more than 5.7 million hits. There are more copies at the same site; and each has been accumulating hits as well.


29 August 2012

The Church and the RH Bill

If you know that storms will come where you live, will you build a house made of paper? The Japanese of yore certainly did; but that was because in their manner of thinking, the house could quickly be repaired with more paper after the storm had passed.

On the other hand, if you had the means, will you not wish to build a house that can withstand the storm instead?


16 May 2012

Online Storm Against Pacquiao His Own Doing

For all his millions, the fact of the matter is that Manny Pacquiao, the people’s champ, remains remarkably simple – nay, naïve even. Naïve enough, at any rate, to be unable to control his lips from spouting words on issues of no direct or indirect consequence to his life, his boxing career or his constituencies in his home province of Saranggani.

Somebody please advise him – and quick – that he is very much an international public figure; and that the Visayan-accented words that slip from his lips in rapid-fire fashion are always bound to be quoted or misquoted by those who make a living from doing so.


08 December 2011

New Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

Among the most basic things that any Catholic boy learned when I was young, particularly in a school operated by nuns, was how to pray the Holy Rosary. The nuns were methodical. Students were first asked to memorize individual prayers. Among these, of course, were the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be.


10 September 2011

When Karma Comes to Visit

Last night, a former player was asking for cell phone numbers in our Facebook group because – he thought – the driver of the tricycle that took him home stole his own cell phone. “Maybe you dropped it,” I suggested, as always uncomfortable about a finger being pointed when there is no apparent proof.


02 September 2011

Wrong Man Inside the Coffin

I do not believe that any other story has filled me with so much mixed emotions as this one I just saw on the prime time news. I was horrified; but there was also something about the way it was told that as much as I tried not to, it also made me want to laugh.




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