Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Doctor Is Out: A Reaction

There is this tragic story in the INQ7.net today (4/29/06) about a doctor studying to become a nurse so she can leave for the US. I am not a nurse but I can sympathize with the author being an "OFW" myself. I spent six years trying to "resist assimilation" by rejecting the invitations of my college friends who had shipped out to the US, Europe, and Singapore within the first three years of their IT careers. I can say, I was not in financial want but eventually, me too had to fly out. I would have stayed longer were it not for more reasons not entirely everything economic. Now, I am not sure if I can ever go back because to do so, will mean having to give up the small conveniences you can enjoy by living in a more egalitarian society. Every time I come back for a vacation, I get frustrated and distressed by what I see. I would like our nation, our people, to change for the better, to progress in terms of human spirit, to mature intellectually and economically, for our government and society to address the current gross inequity amongst our people and be the latest Middle Class Economy, so that our doctor neighbors like Czarinah Pagay will no longer find a reason or the need to fly-out, to make a forced-move career-change midstream. Our society need not aspire to be an economic powerhouse like Japan, or a military powerhouse like the US, all she needs is to provide equal opportunity for everyone to choose the kind of life they want to live, with no second class citizens. To let everybody be in control of one's fate provided he/she respects the rights of others to be equal to his/her own. I'd bet that what most would want are just the bare minimum, the basic things like health, food, shelter, literacy, security, peace and quiet, and the small savings that will help us get through our retirement in simple comfort. I am sure many of us - a minority - have already achieved some or all of those wants I mentioned - our bottom-line - but I am also sure that we wish the same bottom-line to be available for the big majority as well as this reduces our anxiety on a day to day basis not having to trouble ourselves with the thought that our neighbors are practically starving or even dying of diseases that could have been prevented were it not for the cure not forthcoming because the doctors are out.


CC: PDI Feedback
INQ7.net Feedback
Pinoy Atheists, off-topic

Thursday, April 27, 2006

CHEd To Investigate Pangilinan

The news item today about CHEd ordering the investigation on the recent heckling of PGMA in Cavite State University by graduating students led by Maria Teresa Pangilinan for purposes of imposing sanctions to the protesters, is truly nauseating. What should be investigated is the vote stealing by PGMA which is the root cause of all these. These people - Arroyo and her lapdogs - are really shameless. If there is somebody or something that warrants immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation, it's the biggest theft of all - the presidency itself.


Above, modified slightly and sent to INQ7.net feedback section:

The news item today (PDI, 4/27/06) about CHEd ordering the investigation on the recent heckling of PGMA in Cavite State University by graduating students led by Maria Teresa Pangilinan for purposes of imposing sanctions to the protesters, is truly nauseating. Arroyo should not be surprised by the heckling at all. As the cliche goes, "respect is earned." These people - Arroyo and her lapdogs - are really shameless. If there is something that warrants immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation, it's the biggest theft of all - stealing the presidency itself. It is the root cause of all the mess our nation now finds itself in.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Incoherent Article in INQ7.net

This is a letter I sent today to INQ7.net. The article is a confused one about secularization or so it seems. Click on the link and go judge for yourself.

Dear Editor,

This is about the article titled "Gullibility" (PDI 04/17/06) by Antonio Montalvan II. I don't quite understand why a paper of your stature allows articles of such low quality to be printed in its pages. This must be one if not the most incoherent article your paper ever allowed to see print. I understand that the amount or articles that the editors have to sift through on a daily basis is just enormous but this one at least should not have been allowed to pass even an assistant proofreader's eyes if only to correct the atrocious sentences.

I originally set out to rebut the assertions he made against secularization but the gist of his message escaped me completely.

Please take this constructively.

Thank you.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Refreshing Lenten Season Article

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate Neal H Cruz on his article about the origin of the bible which appeared in Inq7.net (4/12/2006) titled "Where did the Bible come from?" As our country celebrated the Lenten Season, it's refreshing to read somebody who tries to
shed light on the origins of the bible under the light of historical facts. It comes as a respite for irreligious people like me when the whole week newspapers are filled with tiring articles about faith and religion.


Letter sent to INQ7.net feedback and cc'ed a couple of friends.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Holy Week in Paete, Laguna

If you have visited the Philippine Atheists web recently, I posted two pictures of the traditional afternoon procession of the dead Christ in Paete, Laguna. This procession is called locally as Dapit. In my whole life, I have been only a spectator of the Friday events, except one time when my college friends came over for a visit. But I used to participate in the Wednesday events way back before then. Dapit starts at around 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon so the sun is still blazing and hot. The poon is brought to the Catholic church for the mass later in the evening followed by the evening procession. Here are more pictures that came with those I posted in the website.

In the first set of pictures, the figure is taken from the Catholic church and brought to the house of the family who owns it. Then on Friday afternoon, it's taken out for Dapit (the pictures I took) going back to the church for mass. The Friday evening procession is the "main event" of the Holy Week celebration in this town of about 23,000 people. I hope others will post more pictures later. It's only today I learned that there are more ceremonies/rituals with the same poon.

These Holy Week events have become a popular tourist attraction for some time now. It's also the time where townfolks who have settled elsewhere come back and visit their remaining relatives which is one good reason to go home on these days as the town comes alive with plenty of out-of-towners. It's also the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends who take their vacation during this time of year to come home.

On Good Friday, no marching bands will accompany the processions, neither will the bells be knelt. Instead, pieces of metals attached to small planks of wood will be used like clappers (forgot what its called) together with split bamboos are used throughout the procession for sound effects. The bells will not be knelt until early morning of Easter, when another procession traces its way across town with the poon Risen Christ.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

PhilStar Quote of the Day

From PhilStar.com today:
"There would be no crown-wearers in heaven had Christ not been the cross-bearer on earth."
I wonder what this means? I wonder what's going on inside the head of whoever is responsible for these quotes appearing in a respectable nationwide broadsheet?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Waiting For A Week Or Two

...for your letter to the editor to be published may be a good idea. I sent an an email about the main editorial (3/21) and it got published just today. I sent that a few days earlier than the one I sent about Orbos' column. (See previous post.) I should watch out for the change of title though because it looks like they do that fairly common. Or maybe I have been choosing bad titles. :)