True Faith Does Not Need a Grandiose House of Worship

True Faith Does Not Need a Grandiose House of Worship

By Apolinario Villalobos


True faith regardless of leaning is found in one’s heart and not impressed upon a person by ceremonies in a grandiose house of worship. One need not go to an impressive church or cathedral full of antique icons to show that he or she has a strong faith in God.  If God is All Knowing… in other words, Omnipotent, He should be able to hear the faithful who prays even under a tree while resting after toiling his rice field, or out in a field while harvesting vegetables, or out in the open sea, while casting his net.


Instead of spending money for the expansion of an already comfortable house of worship that could accommodate the faithful, these “representatives of God on earth”, should instead build chapels in far-flung villages for an effective effort on spiritual outreach, as this is what God wants in the first place. As implied in the Bible, the shepherd is supposed to be herding the flock which can only be done if he goes to them, and not the other way around, in which the flock goes to the shepherd.


As regards the effort of the “shepherd” in going to the “flock”, this is true in the case of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches. They have simply-built chapels in the midst of the less privileged such as slums and villages. Their house of worship is a simple chapel made of light materials. On the other hand, the “shepherds” of the “other churches” conduct spiritual service in the chapels and multi-purpose halls of subdivisions that are conveniently and comfortably visited in a car. Commendable also is the effort of New Christian evangelists who make do with open spaces, vacant stalls that saw good old days as stores, old garage, etc. which they convert into house of worship.


Along this line, “shepherding of flocks” should result to closeness between the “shepherd” and the “flocks” for better spiritual administration. But how can some of these supposedly “shepherds” develop close affinity with their “flocks” if they are pulled out from their assigned “religious territory” after a certain number of years of “duty” which is akin to a wordly or temporal corporate operation? Is not “shepherding of flocks” supposed to be a spiritual advocacy? How can these “fathers” be able to effectively reach out to their “children” if after a certain number of years, there is a switching of posts? Questions…questions…questions…that can lead one into asking more, but which hypocrites view as signs of faithlessness.


Lack of “shepherds” is not a plausible alibi why it is necessary to centralize the worship in a parish church or cathedral. Why not train volunteer catechists in villages, so that even simple sharing of the Words can be made? On the other hand, while “religious groups” are practically teeming in any parish, they are observed to be occupied only in social bonding and prayer meetings, as well as, attendance of church activities. For any one or two, or several members of these “religious groups” to have even attempted to conduct catechism in a slum or a barrio is a big question.


Again, there is a nagging question as to who among these supposedly “shepherds” or church “heads” are willing to do the task of reaching out to their far-flung “flocks” when they even consider the one day/week rest a necessity since, as they insist, they are only humans who need to rest. But why not come up with a schedule for a 7 days/week “duty”, such that while the “leader” takes a day- off on a certain day, the “assistant”, can take his on another day…thereby, leaving no gap in the their spiritual administration? Why must the two take their day off at the same day?


I was prompted to write this blog after a friend told me that she “loves” to attend a Mass in the Cathedral near their home because the “ambience” is very different…very captivating, and that by just closing her eyes makes her cry!  By the way, this lady friend hired a fourteen-year old girl from their province, and whom she pays one thousand five hundred pesos a month wage. The housegirl serves the family of six – the woman and her husband, and their four children. The woman also “lovingly” calls the housegirl “punyeta” and “tanga”, which I heard when I visited her several times.  One time, the housegirl told me discreetly that she has no day off. So there’s our “faithful” woman who cries a river inside a cathedral because of its ambience…what a faith!

Fr. Eric I. Santos of the Eastern Catholic Church Preaches Where He is Needed Most

Fr. Eric I. Santos of the Eastern Catholic Church

Preaches Where He is Needed Most

By Apolinario Villalobos


Fr. Eric is “Fr. Ericson I. Santos, D.D.”, an Eastern Catholic priest who established an “oasis of faith” in the heart of Malumot, a depressed area of Panapaan 7 in Bacoor City. The young priest has gone through trials that saw him start his spiritual career as an Aglipayan priest.


He finished his studies in Batac, Ilocos Norte, and in 1999 was ordained as an Aglipayan priest. His first assignment brought him to Olongapo, particularly, the Sta. Rita parish where he preached until 2004. On that same year until 2008, he covered the whole of Zambales and Cavite. In October of 2008, he was elected as Bishop for southern Tagalog diocese. For his consecration, no less than, Bayani Fernando, the popular head of the Metro Manila Development Authority stood as his sponsor, with Bishop Romualdo Badni officiating. The following year, 2009, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Zambales.


Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances that brought about some enlightenment, Fr. Eric made a crucial decision to join the Holy Eastern Catholic Church, particularly, the Metropolitan See of the Philippines and All Asia. From then on, what he started in Malumot began to prosper as he found the community deserving of such spiritual attention.


A young spiritual shepherd at the age of 36, Fr. Eric, has been consistent in his advocacy by attending to the needs of the Catholics around the area, reaching out to them, using a motorcycle. He confides that the spiritual offerings of the faithful are in a way “returned” to them through the affordable improvements of the chapel. He derives his personal financial support from being the chaplain of Bacoor city which makes the government then, afford to extend not only the temporal assistance for the constituents, but the spiritual as well. He became known among the people of Bacoor as the priest who dispenses spiritual help with much ease, in spite of distance and time.


When I visited Fr. Eric, it was a Holy Thursday during which I witnessed a “pabasa” in their humble chapel. He was a picture of a “true shepherd” who melds with the faithful around him, in his shorts and t-shirt. While we were conversing, groups of children would stop by to kiss his hand or put it on their forehead as a sign of respect. We had an iced chocolate that he bought in the food stall nearby to counter the terrible heat of the early afternoon sun. Just like any Catholic “father” of the parish, he dreams of having the present chapel renovated for the necessary second floor.


Malumot is “catch basin” during flood days since time immemorial as it is situated beside a river that easily gets overflowed. Fr. Eric experienced the waist-deep flood since the first day he lived among the people of this area but his resolve was never deterred. He could have just lived comfortably in any subdivision near the area and just conduct regular service in the chapel, but such decision never entered his mind.

Without saying, his act implies that he should suffer with his flock according to his vow of poverty…indeed, an act of a true Catholic priest or Christian shepherd for that matter. May other Christian leaders emulate your ways, Fr. Eric..or, Bishop Eric!…Bacoor City is fortunate to have you!


Just Keep Quiet and Pray

Just Keep Quiet and Pray

By Apolinario Villalobos


If you cannot part with your coins as your neighbor does who reaches out to others with gladness in their heart…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


If you cannot speak for the sake of others, though you know you can, but still refuse, while others do with boldness in their heart…jut keep quiet and for them…pray.


If you cannot afford to open your heart to others so that you may feel for them with compassion, as others do without hesitance…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


If you cannot stand for Jesus’ words, and Whose legacy is a bunch of virtues that can be lived so that they may prosper while emulated and shared…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


Don’t hold others back as they move on while waving the standard of charity, for if you don’t want to join the throng…better step aside…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


Don’t utter discouragements in an effort to douse the enthusiasm of others who want to brighten up the gloomy world with love…better step aside…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


Don’t taunt the courage of others in treading on strange paths that lead to where the neglected are huddled, for if you cannot do it…better step aside…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


Don’ jeer at the sympathy that others show to the less privileged because for you, it’s none of their business…better step aside…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


You can help others who want to make the world a pleasant place to live in…just keep quiet and for them…pray.


May the Lord bless you a million fold…this for you, I pray!



Ang Maging Saksi ni Hesus sa Mundo ay Obligasyong 24/7

Paalala para sa Banal na Linngo…


Ang Maging Saksi ni Hesus sa Mundo

Ay Obligasyong 24/7

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Akala ng iba, ang pagtayo bilang saksi ni Hesus sa mundo ay nagsisimula at nagtatapos sa dinaluhang Misa, pagbasa ng Bibliya sa harap ng maraming tao, o pagbigay ng agarang tulong lamang. Ang pagiging saksi ni Hesus ay nangangahulugang bahagi Siya ng buhay ng tumatayong saksi kaya bahagi din Siya ng lahat ng kilos, pati sa paghinga nito sa lahat ng sandali.


May ilang tao na pinagyayabang pa ang kanilang pagiging active member daw ng kung ano-anong religious group, at ng mga nauusong “kongregasyon” ng “Bagong Kristiyano” at nakikibahagi pa ng kaalaman nila sa Bibliya, subalit, ni hindi man lang makabati o makangiti sa mga nakakasalubong na kapitbahay. Saan ngayon si Hesus sa mga pinapakita nila sa kanilang kapwa? Gusto nilang masabing Kristiyano pero sa pangalan lang pala, hindi sa kilos at isip, at lalong hindi sa puso.


Hindi kailangang magpapako sa krus tulad ng nangyari kay Hesus upang masabi ng iba na sila ay nagmamahal sa Kanya, kung bugbog-sarado naman pala sa kanila ang kanilang misis at kung sipain ang mga anak ay ganoon na lang tuwing sila ay malasing. Yong iba naman ay milyones ang dino-donate sa mga simbahan dahil mahal daw nila si Hesus, yon pala ang pera ay ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan.


Sa darating na Banal na Linggo, dadagsa sa kalye ang mga “saksi” ni Hesus, mga magkakakawag  upang palabasing sinaniban daw sila ng ispiritu Niya o ng kung sinong santo. Ang iba ay magka-camping sa harap ng Quiapo church at naka-costume pa na hango sa Bibliya, at marami pang ibang paraang pagpapakita ng pagiging saksi daw nila. Sa mga araw na yon…kung kumidlat man, sana ay walang tamaan!





Erlando Almaez-Ayuste Finds Solace and Strength in His Volunteered Spiritual Undertakings

Erlando Almaez- Ayuste Finds Solace and Strength

In His Volunteered Spiritual Undertakings

By Apolinario Villalobos


Orly, as his friends call him has been living along F. Torres in Sta. Cruz district of Manila for more than 50 years. He used to occupy a small studio-type apartment on the second floor of an old building that unfortunately got razed more than 20 years ago. The incident made him sleep on the sidewalk for several months until a friend took him in temporarily while waiting for the vacancy in another old building. He moved on to the new studio room and with a found makeshift table, sold coffee and costume jewelries that he assembled out of beads from broken ones that friends give him or he buys from junk collectors. The owner of the small building allowed him the use of the studio room for free but the electricity and water are on his account.


The portion of the street along which he lives is where one can find sellers and buyers of second-hand cellphones, watches and jewelries. F. Torres is stretched parallel to Arranque St, the famous “thieve’s market”. At five in the afternoon a short portion of the street teems with the curious and ambulant “merchants”. To them, Orly sells coffee, and from some of them he buys broken jewelries. The earning is meager, just enough to buy him three meals a day and replenishment for sachets of coffee and small bags of sugar for his business.


The first time I saw him, I thought he was some kind of an office worker who just dropped by the place to buy cheap jewelry or cellphone. He was then attired in a collared shirt which was neatly tucked giving him a sleek countenance. The next time I saw him, he was in walking shorts that exposed the varicose veins in his legs. And, as it was early in the morning, before 8AM, he was washing a couple of shirts in the makeshift lavatory in front of the slim table where his coffee mugs and some plates were stacked. As he was aloof, I did not bother to talk to him while ordering a mug of coffee.


As I felt that his life could be colorful, I kept on observing him, until after several mugs of coffee and days of dropping by, he sort of trusted me with a modest smile. That broke the ice. During our talks, I led him to open up and share his experiences when he was just a stranger in Manila. According to him, he arrived in Manila from Tacloban during the 60’s when Ramon Magsaysay was the president of the country. He initially worked as a houseboy. He did his best to save out of his earnings so that in no time, he was able to get a small room and supported himself by selling snacks and coffee on the sidewalk.


I was surprised to learn that despite his meager formal education, as he finished only Grade Five, he is able to speak a sprinkling of German, though with fluency of Spanish and English. He told me that he is a fast learner and a voracious reader. Another surprise is that he can read musical scores despite the lack of a basic music education.  He plays the piano and organ but admits that he needs musical sheets to guide him. He learned to read music during the early years of his membership in the Sta. Cruz parish choir, as he was then, fond of observing their pianist. In this regard, he has been singing with the Sta. Cruz parish choir for more than twenty years now.

Orly’s sister, Lydia lives in Masangkay with her own family, and which is not far from F. Torres where he lives. Today at 77, he dreams of owning a piano so that he can put to life the melodies that have been bugging his mind. He dreams of translating them into musical scores. I told him to go on dreaming for this blessing, as it is free anyway…for who knows, some day, we might meet a musician who got tired of his Weinstein that needs just a simple retuning of strings.


Every time I drink at least two mugs of Orly’s coffee, I wonder if others can muster life just like he does sans bank account or just a few pesos stashed away, and only with a few decent shirts and pair of pants to wear on Sundays for his scheduled singing with the choir in honor of the Nuestra Seἧora del Pilar. That’s Orly …strong and gutsy guy, who at 77 sings and plays the piano for the glory of the Blessed Mother!



Ang Pagpapalaganap ng Pananalig o Pananampalataya

Ang Pagpapalaganap ng Pananalig o Pananampalataya

(tungkol ito sa “chain prayer” at iba pa)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Maraming paraan ang maaaring gamitin sa pagpalaganap ng pananalig o pananamapalataya sa Diyos. Subali’t magandang gawin ito sa paraang walang karahasan o pamimilit.


Ang isang halimbawa ay ang ginagawa ng ISIS sa Gitnang Silangan na gumagamit ng dahas upang maisakatuparan ang hangad nilang mapalawak ang pamumuno ng “Islamic Caliphate”. Inabuso din nila ang tunay na kahulugan ng “jihad” na ginamit nilang pangbalatkayo sa pulitikal nilang layunin.


Ang iba naman ay gumagamit ng “literal” na kahulugan ng mga sinasabi sa Bibliya upang ipakita na malawak na ang narating sa kababasa ng nasabing libro. Hindi man lang nila naisip na ang Bibliya ay may iba’t-ibang bersiyon na ginagamit ng iba’t- iba ring relihiyon. Ang matindi pa nga ay ang sinadyang pagkaltas ng ibang bahagi ng nasabing libro upang umangkop sa layunin ng mga namumuno ng relihiyon.


May mga taong sumasampa sa mga bus at jeep o di kaya ay nagtitiyagang magsalita sa matataong lugar tulad ng palengke. Ang iba naman ay naghahanap ng makikinig sa kanila kaya umiistambay sa mga mall at liwasan o park tulad ng Luneta. Karamihan sa kanila ay nag-resign sa trabaho upang bigyan ng halaga ang “nararamdaman” daw nilang utos sa kanila ng Diyos, kaya ang resulta….pagtigil ng pag-aaral ng mga anak, at kagutuman ng pamilya. Ang mga nasa palengke naman ay matiyaga din, at kadalasan ay grupo sila – habang ang isa ay nagsasalita o kumakanta sa harap ng mikropono, ang mga kasama naman niya ay nakakalat hanggang sa paligid ng palengke na hindi na abot ng loud speaker, lumalapit sa mga tao habang may hawak na lagayan ng “donation”.


Noong wala pa ang computer, ang tawag sa daluyan ng teknolohiyang hatid ng radyo at telebisyon ay “air wave”. Ngayon naman ay may mas malawak na daluyang kung tawagin ay “cyberspace”. Kung noon ay may “air time” na binabayan ang mga maperang pastor na kung tawagin naman ay “block timer” upang magpalaganap ng mga salita ng Diyos ayon sa kanilang paniniwala, ngayon ang napakasimpleng gagawin lang ng isang tao ay magbukas ng facebook account, at presto!…mayroon na siyang venue, o outlet, o labasan ng kanyang mga saloobin.


Ang “facebook” naman ay para lang sana sa mga larawan ng mga magkaibigan upang maipakita nila ang  aktwal nilang hitsura o mga ginagawa lalo na ng pamilya, na maaring samahan ng maikling bagbati. Subalit dahil nakita ang lawak ng inaabot ng facebook, naisip ng mga may malakas na pananampalataya na magpalaganap ng kanilang paniniwala sa pamamagitan ng paglagay sa “frame” ng mga dasal na ginamit sa “chain” o tanikala upang marami ang marating na kaibigan. Ang nakasama ay ang “babala” o warning na kung hindi ipagpapatuloy ng nakatanggap ay may mangyayaring sakuna o kamalasan sa kanyang buhay. Ang mga may mahinang pundasyon ng pananalig ay natataranta at natatakot dahil kung minsan ang natatanggap nila ay may warning na  “dapat ay sa 50 na kaibigan” ipaabot. Kaya ang mga kawawang nakatanggap na ang kaibigan sa facebook ay wala pa ngang 10 ay  hindi na magkandaugaga sa paghanap ng iba pang tao kahit hindi gaanong kilala upang umabot lang 50 ang kanyang padadalhan! Ang iba ay hindi makatulog dahil dapat daw ay ikalat ang dasal sa loob ng 24 na oras!


Sa isang banda, hindi dapat ipinipilit ang pagyakap sa isang paniniwala na mula’t sapul ay ayaw ng isang tao. Hindi dapat idaan sa “chain prayer” ang pagpapalaganap ng pananalig sa Diyos, kung mismong ang nagpadala ay hindi rin gumagawa ng dapat gawin ayon sa dasal na ikinakalat niya. Paano kung ang pinadalhan ay bistado ang ugaling masama ng nagpadala? Alalahaning hindi nakokontrol ang ganitong uri ng pamamahagi o sharing at hindi maiwasang magkakabistuhan ng ugaling “plastic”. Ang mangyayari niyan, baka libakin pa ang nagpada ng “chain prayer”, ng mga pinadalhan niya dahil sa kanyang pagkukunwari. Yan ang dapat pag-ingatan sa paggamit ng “social media” tulad ng facebook.


At, ang pinakamahalaga….dapat alalahaning, mas malakas ang internet sa “itaas”….iba ang gusto ni Lord na mangyari, ang ipakita sa gawa at kilos ang mga Salita Niya, hindi ipakalat sa facebook na may kasamang pananakot….dahil marami nang taong pagod sa mismong pananakot ng ibang relihiyon na ang gagawa ng masama ay “mahuhulog sa nag-aapoy na impyerno”!


Marerespeto Lamang ang Isang Bagay Kung Lubos ang Pagka-unawa Dito…ganyan ang dapat gawin sa Bibliya

Marerespeto Lamang ang Isang Bagay

Kung Lubos ang Pagka-unawa Dito

…ganyan ang dapat gawin sa Bibliya

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Matalino talaga ang Diyos. Habang maaga ay naipakita niya na hindi pala malawak ang pang-unawa ni Manny Pacquiao dahil ang isip niya ay naka-kahon lamang o limitado sa mga nakapaloob sa Bibliya na halatang hindi naman niya inunawa na mabuti. Ang Old Testament kung nasaan ang Leviticus ay patungkol sa mga  Israelista noong unang panahon. Ang mga nakapaloob na mga utos ay para sa kanila at angkop sa kapanahunan nila…ngunit may iilan naman na ang “substance” o “essence” ay maaaring gamitin sa makabagong panahon…kaya hindi dapat “literal” ang interpretasyon. Marami ang nasiraan ng isip dahil sa pagkapanatiko sa literal na pagpaniwala sa mga kautusang ito sa Old Testament. Maraming nasirang pamilya sa makabagong panahon dahil ipinagpalit ng isang ama ng tahanan ang kanyang pamilya sa isang kopya ng Bibliya kaya lumayas at “nag-pastor” sa iba’t ibang lugar. Maraming nag-resign sa trabaho at nag-astang “Moses” at nagpastor-pastoran, sumasampa sa mga jeep at bus upang mag-share kuno.


Nakakabahala ang ginagawa ni Pacquiao na pagsangkalan sa Bibliya sa pangangampanya upang ipakita sa taong bayan na mabuti siyang tao. Ano ngayon kung naniniwala siya sa Bibliya niya?…ang dami diyang inaalmusal, tinatanghalian, at hinahapunan ang pagsambit sa pangalan ng Diyos, at tuwing araw ng pagsimba ay nasa simbahan din sila, pero magnanakaw naman pala ng pera ng taong bayan! Paano na lang kung manalo siya bilang senador? Gusto ba niyang ipilit sa mga hindi “Born Again Christians” ang nabasa niya sa kanyang Bibliya?


Ang isa sa mga totoo na sinasabi sa Bibliya ay darating ang panahon na maglalabasan ang mga hangal na taong nagkukunwaring mga “sugo” ng Diyos at pag-usbungan ng iba’t ibang grupo na nagbabalatkayong “maka-Diyos”…dahil nangyayari na…at may naghuspa pa na ang ibang tao ay masahol pa sa hayop dahil nagkakagusto sila sa isa’t isa!


Ang Bibliya ay isang sagradong bagay, ano mang uri ito na ginagamit ng iba’t ibang relihiyon. Ang mga hindi naniniwala ay dapat magpakita man lang dito ng respeto. Ang pag-abuso dito ay isang uri ng pambabastos sa Diyos.


May kasabihan sa Ingles na “respect begets respect” at sa Pilipino ay, “ang respeto ay nasusuklian ng respeto”. Dahil diyan, marerespeto pa kaya si Pacquiao dahil mismong Bibliya ay hindi niya nirespeto sa pagbigay ng ibang kahulugan sa mga nilalaman nito?






Sa Holy Week, Hindi Lang Dapat Mga Batang Gutom ang Pakainin

Sa Holy Week, Hindi Lang Dapat

Mga Batang Nagugutom ang Pakainin

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang sinabi ni Cardinal Tagle na sa pangingilin ng mga Kristiyano, isama ang pagpakain sa mga batang gutom…para sa akin ay bitin, kulang. Dapat ay buong pamilya na ang pakainin dahil kung may mga batang gutom, malamang ay gutom din ang kanilang pamilya dahil sa kahirapan, maliban lang kung ang tinutukoy ni Cardinal Tagle ay mga batang kalye na lumayas mula sa kanilang mga tahanan. Sa isang banda, kahit ang tinutukoy ni Cardinal Tagle ay ang batang sumisinghot ng rugby, o mga “batang hamog”, dapat isiping may mga pamilyang gutom din namang nakatira sa bangket at yong iba ay ginawa pang tahanan ang kariton. Hindi lang dapat pagkain ang ibigay sa kanila kundi pati na rin damit at tarpaulin na panglatag sa sementong hinihigaan.


Maliban sa tao, sana naman ay isama na rin ng mga nangingilin ang mga hayop na nasa kalye – mga aso at pusang walang mga “tao”, o mga taong nag-aalaga, o walang tahanan inuuwian. Sila ay may mga buhay din naman. Sana ang mga taong nangingilin na naglagay pa ng uling na hugis krus sa noo nang sumapit ang Ash Wednesday ay hindi mandiri sa pag-abot ng pagkain sa aso at pusang tadtad ng galis ang katawan kaya halos mawalan na ng balahibo. Sana ay hindi sila maduwal o masuka kung abutan nila ang mga ito ng mga pinira-pirasong tinapay.


At baka, maaari na ring isama ang isa pang nilalang ng Diyos na bahagi na rin ng buhay ng tao – ang mga halaman. Maraming tao ang pabaya sa kanilang mga halaman. Sila ang mga taong ang hangad lang sa pagbili ng mga halaman ay makisabay sa mga kinainggitang kapitbahay, subalit dahil talagang walang hilig, kalaunan ay pinabayaan na nila ang mga kawawang halaman. Itong mga mayayabang kaya ang gutumin at uhawin? Kung ayaw na nilang mag-alaga sa pinagyabang na mga halaman sana ay ipamigay na lang din nila sa mga kapitbahay na hindi nila kinaiinggitan.


Kung dapat maging mabait ang mga nangingilin sa mga hayop at halaman sa Holy Week, sana ay bigyan din nila ng puwang sa kanilang dasal ang mga taong ASAL-HAYOP na nagkalat sa Kongreso, Senado, at mga ahensiya ng gobyerno. Sana ay ipagdasal nila ang pagbago ng mga ASAL-HAYOP na mga taong ito upang hindi pa madagdagan pa ang haba ng kanilang mga sungay!


Higit sa lahat, sana ang gagawing pangingilin ng mga tao sa taong 2016  ay hindi dahil nakisabay lang sila sa mga kaibigan, kundi dahil bukal sa kanilang kalooban. Hindi sana nila gagawin ang pangingilin para sa mga nagawa nilang kasalanan, kundi upang bigyan din sila ng lakas na mapaglabanan ang tukso sa paggawa ulit ng mga kasalanan. Tuluy-tuloy sana nilang gawin ang pangingilin taon-taon, habang kaya nila hanggang sila ay malagutan ng hininga!






Never Put to Test the Faith of a Person

Never Put to Test the Faith of a Person

By Apolinario Villalobos


Some people have the habit of putting to test the faith of others. They should take extra care as regards this kind of attitude due to the rise of so many groups that used to be part of the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, and whose primary reason for leaving is the realization that the ceremonious Mass is not for them, though their exit does not necessarily mean the erosion of their faith in God.


Not only are some of the Roman Catholic adherents have this kind of attitude but others who belong to other churches and the various congregations that mushroomed around, assuming different names – all in the name of Jesus. For them, those who “deprive” themselves of the “words of God” will not be saved. But then, what can these “holy” words do when they are not put into action or practiced? A fanatic person may eat the whole Bible, page by page every day, but it will not do him any good if he or she cannot even say “Hi!” to a neighbor.


The best test of faith founded on what Jesus really wanted done, is the test of one’s own. If one can honestly sacrifice for others, share with others, and be consistent in doing them, there is no need to look around and see what others are doing. By then, others will instead emulate what he does. That is what I call faith by practice…that everyone should do, instead of testing that of someone else’s. Do not give somebody the opportunity to put you to shame by sarcastically asking, “…how about you?”

Priests Should Not Assume That Catholics are Stupid

Priests Should Not Assume That Catholics are Stupid

Translated from Tagalog by Perla Buhay
Some priests think that just because they have studied the holy book and the history of the Catholic Church during their seclusion in the seminary, only they have knowledge about these things.  As a result of this erroneous thinking, many priests act as if they were chosen by God and blessed with said knowledge.


To face the truth, many people have separated from the Roman Catholic Church after coming to know the “shame” which the Vatican has kept under wraps, especially the despicable sins of some modern priests.  Such priests exhibit their ignorance if they do not realize the power of technology in helping Cathoics unearth information through the internet.


In all likelihood, there are many lay Catholics who know more about the history of the Roman Catholic Church than said priests, and therefore the latter should not act all-knowing.  In this day and age, it would be well for priests to be truthful and humble, emulating the ways of Jesus, so that they may at least show that the wrongs committed by certain priests will not be repeated. And what do these priests do instead?  They inflict more shame on the Church, to the extent that the new Pope begins to sound like a broken record, repeatedly reminding the clergy of their duties and responsibilities.  Must they be called names to attract their attention?


A priest who runs a parish must show professionalism in the performance of his work; a parish is a community that needs proper and intelligent management.  He must not invoke the idea that the Church is a spiritual realm, just to be able to enforce his authority and impose his “leadership.”  In so doing, the priest is harking back to the times of Padre Damaso of the Spanish era our history.  A priest with a tarnished reputation has no credibility to lead a flock of Catholics; instead of being able to institute reforms, he will do more harm because his reputation will contaminate the community’s image.


The Holy Father has the small religious congregations to thank, because they save the day and redeem the Church’s good name. The good works performed by religious groups overshadow the questionable acts done by some parish priests. Undesirable priests can be relocated, but religious groups based in their communities stay on, giving valuable support to replacement clergy. Unfortunately, new priests are not immune to arrogance; within a short time of their arrival, they begin to smell like rotten fish. Modern versions of Padre Damaso!



(Ms. Perla Buhay is a retired Computer Documentation Specialist, a well-travelled foodie blogger and a spoken language interpreter. She was born and raised in Manila, attended Nazareth (high) School, holds BA and BSE degrees (majors, English and History) from the College of the Holy Spirit in Mendiola, Manila.  After a brief stint as high school teacher with the Division of City Schools, she joined the Bureau of Animal Industry, where she served as Chief Public Information Officer under the late Dr. Salvador H. Escudero III, Director.  Then she won a Rotary International scholarship to pursue graduate education at Oklahoma State University’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting.  Perla resides in California and maintains a small farm in Nueva Ecija.  Check out her foodie blog at

Here’s the original essay in Tagalog, translated by Ms. Buhay into English:


Hindi Dapat Isipin ng ibang mga Pari na Tanga

Ang Lahat ng Mga Katoliko

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Akala ng ibang pari, dahil nakapag-aral sila ng mga salita ng Diyos at ng kasaysayan ng simbahang Katoliko sa loob ng kung ilang taon habang nakakulong sa seminaryo, ay sila lang ang may kaalaman sa mga ganitong bagay kaya  kung umasta sila ay aakalain mong sila lang talaga ang mga pinagpala ng Diyos dahil sa kanilang kaalaman.


Ang katotohanan ay marami ang tumitiwalag sa simbahang Romano Katoliko dahil naliwanagan sila pagkatapos malaman ang mga kahihiyang pilit itinatago ng Vatican, lalo na ang mga makabagong nakakadiring kasalanan ng ibang pari. Tanga ang mga paring ito kung hindi nila mauunawaan ang tulong na naibibigay ng makabagong teknolohiya sa mga Katolikong nakakakuha ng impormasyon sa internet.


Baka mas marami pang alam ang ibang ordinaryong Katoliko tungkol sa kasaysayan ng simbahang Romano Katoliko na hindi pa alam ng karamihan sa mga pari, kaya hindi sila dapat magyabang. Ang dapat gawin sana ng mga kaparian sa panahong ito ay magpakatotoo, magpakabait, magpakumbaba, maging tulad ni Hesus sa ugali, upang kahit papaano ay maipakita nila na ang pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang panahon ay hindi na mauulit pa sa kasalukuyan. Pero ano ang kanilang ginagawa? Mas higit pang kahihiyan ang ibinibigay sa simbahang Romano Katoliko kaya ang bagong santo papa ay parang sirang plaka sa paulit-ulit nitong pagpapaalala sa kanilang mga responsibilidad at obligasyon. Kulang na lang ay murahin sila!


Kung may “pinapatakbo” o mina-manage na parukya ang isang pari, dapat ay magpakita ito ng propesyonalismo dahil ang isang parukya ay isang komunidad na nangangailangan din ng “proper and intelligent management”. Hindi dapat gamiting dahilan ang pagka-ispiritwal ng simbahan upang siya ay makapagdikta o magpasunod ng kanyang kagustuhan dahil gusto lang niyang maipakita na siya ang “lider”. Kung ganyan ang ugali niya, aba eh, bumabalik siya sa panahon ni Padre Damaso noong panahon ng Kastila! Wala siyang karapatang mamuno ng isang lokal na simbahang Katoliko ngayon na sirang-sira na ang reputasyon, dahil sa halip na nakakatulong siya upang makapagbago man lang kahit kapiranggot, lalo pa niyang binabahiran ng putik ang imahe nito.


Dapat pasalamatan ng santo papa ang mga maliliit na religious organizations sa lahat ng komunidad na siyang sumasalo at nagtatakip sa pagkakamali ng kanilang parish priest. Dahil maganda ang ipinapakita ng mga religious organizations hindi masyadong nahahalata ang mga kamalasaduhang ginagawa ng ibang parish priest. Ang mga parish priests ay napapalitan pagkalipas ng kung ilang taon, subalit ang mga religious organizations ay hindi dahil taal silang taga-komunidad kaya kung tutuusin sila ang nagbibigay ng agapay sa mga bagong naitatalagang parish priest, subali’t dahil sa kayabangan ng iba sa mga ito, kalimitan, ilang buwan pa lang pagkatapos silang maitalaga ay umaalingasaw na agad ang mabantot nilang ugali!….sila ang mga makabagong Padre Damaso!