Magpapasko pa naman!…nakakahiyang expression ng mga Pilipino

Magpapasko pa naman!

…nakakahiyang expression ng mga Pilipino

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dapat ay isama ng mga moralista ang pagbawal sa paggamit ng expression na “magpapasko pa naman” na tumutukoy kay Hesus, tuwing may kalamidad na mangyari bago sumapit ang “pista” na ito. Halatang ang habol lang talaga sa pistang ito ay mga kasiyahang dulot ng bonus, pagkain, gifts, Christmas lights, simbang gabi, caroling, etc.

 

Tuwing may kalamidad na nangyayari bago magpasko, ang mga naaawa sa mga nasalanta ay nagsasabi ng nabanggit na expression dahil siguro iniisip ng mga “naaawa” na ito, na mami-miss ng mga nasalanta ang mga kasiyahan, at hindi dahil bertdey ito ni Hesus… isang isyu ding kinukuwestiyon. Bakit hindi na lang dumamay at magbigay ng tulong dahil kailangan ng mga nasalanta at hindi dahil sa kung anu-ano pang dahilan tulad ng pasko?

 

Ang sabi ng mga researchers, ang talagang bertdey ni Hesus ay sa unang linggo (week) ng Abril. Ginamit ng mga matataas na opisyal ng simbahang Katoliko na mga Romano ang Disyembre dahil dati na itong ginugunita ng mga pagano sa Roma…isang makamundong pista na puno ng mga kasiyahang nakikita sa pagbaha ng pagkain, alak, at kalaswaan. Ang talagang orihinal na ginugunita ng mga Hudyo noon pa man ay ang araw ng pagbinyag kay Hesus na nakatala sa mga sinaunang records na ang iba ay inilagay sa Bibliya. Walang binabanggit ang Bibliya tungkol sa eksaktong bertdey niya. Ang sinasabi lang ay panahon ng pag-census ng mga Hudyo kung kaylan ay nataon sa pagpanganak kay Hesus. Ang census na ito ang ginawang batayan ng mga mananaliksik upang matukoy ang “panahon” at ang buwan batay sa kalendaryong pinagamit ng Roma sa mga nasasaklaw ng Kristiyanismo.

 

Sa makabagong panahon, maski sinong bata ay umaasam ng mga regalo tuwing sasapit ang pasko dahil ito ang itinanim sa isip nila ng mga nakakatandang Romanong Katoliko. Inaasahan nila ang paglundo ng mesa sa bahay dahil sa dami ng pagkaing idi-display. Ang mga tin-edyer naman ay excited sa pagsapit ng simbang gabi dahil magkakabandingan na naman sila ng mga kabarkada, at ang iba naman ay magliligawan – sa labas ng simbahan. Ang mga talagang isip at asal demonyo ay may lakas ng loob pang magsuot ng mga damit na kung hindi manipis ay may plunging neckline naman, at ang lalong malaswa ay ang pagsuot nila ng short shorts na nagdi-display ng maitim naman nilang kuyukot! Ang iba naman ay magdi-displey ng mga alahas na tulad ng ginagawa nila sa pagdalo ng misa kung araw ng Linggo.

 

Ang isa pang itinuro ng simbahang Romano Katoliko upang mapilitang magsimba araw-araw ang mga kasapi ay ang pagbuo ng siyam na araw upang matupad daw ang kanilang mga hiling! Hindi ba ito katarantaduhan….dahil wala naman yan sa Bibliya? Ang dapat na itinanim sa mga kasapi ng simbahang Romano Katoliko ay ang sakripisyo na kaakibat sa pagdalo sa misa tuwing madaling araw o gabi, upang pagdating ng talagang “kapanganakan” ni Hesus, ay hindi nakakahiyang humarap sa kanya….hindi yong hihiling ng kung anu-ano para sa sarili na kalimitan naman ay pera. Pati ang mga prutas na kung ilang piraso na puro bilog ay kasama din sa kinalolokohan ng mga Pilipino…pero ito ay paganong paniniwala naman ng mga Intsik na isinabay sa pasko at bagong taon dahil nakita ng mga taong ito ang malaking kikitain na resulta ng panloloko nila…mga negosyante kasi!

 

Bakit hindi sundin ang panawagan ng mismong santo papa na si Francis na sa paggunita ng “kapanganakan” ni Hesus, dapat ay iwasan ang pagiging materialistic?…dahil ba marami ang gustong magpakita ng karangyaan? Bakit pa ituturing ng mga Katolikong “tatay” nila si Francis kung hindi rin lang siya pakikinggan?…dahil ba sagad-buto na ang kanilang pagiging makasarili?

 

At, kung seseryusuhin na talagang “bertdey” ni Hesus ang isi-celebrate bakit hindi sa isang araw lang – ang pinaniniwalaang December 25? …dahil ba ginagamit ito bilang dahilan upang mag-celebrate ng mga makamundong bagay na orihinal na ginagawa ng mga pagano sa Europe?

 

Pinagmamalaki ng mga Pilipino ang “pinakamahabang pasko” sa buong mundo, pero kung talagang iisipin ang diwa ng pasko…ang kahabaang ito ay dapat ikahiya dahil sa kahirapang dinadanas na ng mga Pilipino at kalagayan ng Pilipinas! Nakakahiyang Setyembre pa lang ay hindi na magkandaugaga ang karamihan sa paglagay ng mga palamuti na para bang “mauubusan na ng pasko”. Kanya-kanya ang mga lunsod at bayan sa pagtayo ng mga giant Christmas tree pati mga lugar kung saan ay may mga kalakalan tulad ng malls. Ang maririnig sa radio ay mga kantang pang-krismas. Ang nakikita sa mga TV screens ay mga pagkaing mararangya na pang-pasko, etc….hanggang Enero ito. Habang nangyayari ang mga nabanggit , marami namang mga Pilipino ang halos hindi makakain ng kahit isang beses sa isang araw. Ang iba, makakain lang ay namumulot ng mga tira-tira sa basurahan.

 

Ang mga Pilipinong ayaw tumingin sa katotohanang ito, simple lang naman ang mga sagot: “kasalanan ko ba kung naghihirap sila at kaya naming gumastos?”, o di kaya ay, “kasalanan nila kung bakit sila naghihirap, dahil tamad sila!”….masasabi bang tamad ang isang taong nauulanan na’t lahat at halos malapnos na ang balat dahil sa init ng araw ay nangangalkal pa rin ng basura?

 

Peace to all!!!!

 

Religion, Christian Faith, and Immorality

Religion, Christian Faith, and Immorality

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I am wondering whether those who profess religiosity based on what they practice really “understand” what they are doing. They claim that the bible contributes a lot to their spiritual development. The problem with these people though, is that, while some stick to just the New Testament, others devote their time more to the Old Testament, when the two sections of the bible are supposed to complement each other. So what happens is that, while some of them learn about the teachings of Jesus which are in the New Testament, they do not have a slight idea that the religion that they follow can be traced back to Abraham who is in the Old Testament, and whom they hear only as a name when mentioned in sermons. The ignorance came to light when I asked one Catholic Lay Minister if he has an idea on who the eldest son of Abraham is. I found out that all he knew was that Abraham has a son and that, he was Isaac. When I told him that Ishmael was his eldest son bore to him by Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah, he was surprised! He even asked, how can it be possible when the name Ishmael is a Muslim?

 

From the desert, the Abrahamaic faith, also called Mosaic faith that also hinges on the belief on the coming of a “redeemer” spread. When Jesus came, he followed a new path along which he spread his teachings that filled the pages of the New Testament. When he died on the cross, his followers insisted that he was the sacrificial lamb for the sins of mankind – the redeemer who have finally come and did the act of redemption. But many refused to accept this, as they even keep on questioning his identity if he, indeed, belongs to the House of David from where, the redeemer should come from, more so with the allegation of his being the son of God.

 

If Jesus was the result of a “virgin birth” that gives credence to the “annunciation” as one of the “mysteries”, then, he does not belong to the House of David, because Mary, herself, as his biological mother does not, but only Joseph, who is his “foster father”, therefore, not his “biological father”. In other words, he is not the prophesied “redeemer” as insisted by his followers. Such question is one of the so many asked since the medieval period when the pagan Romans were converted into Christianity, and overdid their religiosity by incorporating pagan practices into what was supposed to be a simplistic way of spirituality. Instead of giving enlightenment on the issue, the early church leaders added problems, one of which is the question on “Trinity” that even widened the “schism”. Is it not immoral to keep the truth from the people who thought they are following the right path?

 

The “extensions” of the Church of Rome distributed throughout Europe as the 15th century was ending, was purported to be the largest “landholders” during the time. That was also the time when Christianity was forced into the inhabitants of the islands that came to be known as Philippines, so named by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in honor of the Spanish king, Philip II. But before the Spaniards came to the shores of the archipelagic islands, they had already sacked the long- thriving Inca and other highly developed cities that they converted into their colonies, and they called the natives “Indios”. For the Spaniards, the natives that they suppressed and made to kneel in front of the cross are called “Indios” who, for them are ignorant… this is how the natives of the Philippines and America were first called, and not by their real indigenous names.

 

The Spanish Christian missionaries who were also fond of shouting “punyeta”, “sin verguenza”, and “hijo de puta” to the natives, did the same hideous conduct of conversion they used in South America, when they came to the Philippines, as they went into the frenzy of burning cultural and intellectual treasures, because for them those were “demonic” and did not conform with “Christianity” which for them still, was the “righteous way”. They even went to the extent of executing “babaylans” or native priestesses.

 

During the closing of the 15th century, the Roman Church owned practically, almost half of France and Germany, and two-fifths of Sweden and England, not to mention Mexico and other South American colonies and the Philippines where, the early haciendas were located in Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, as well as, the islands of Negros, Panay and Cebu. While the colonies in Europe were not so productive, in the Philippines, the vast tracts of land that were literally grabbed from the natives were planted to sugar cane, rice, and coconut. Today, a few Filipino families who are also into politics are “hold-over owners” of these haciendas. And, they are so much devoted Roman Catholics!…and so, exploitation goes on!

 

Because of  her exploitation disguised by evangelization, Rome grew splendidly and gloriously. To maintain such splendor and glory, the papacy resorted to requiring all ecclesiastical appointees to remit their revenues to the “papal curia” in Vatican. A scandal that gave birth to the Reformation movement and also widened further the “schism” is about the pope’s selling of indulgences. Imagine the pope selling “tickets” to heaven! The large sum of money that flowed into the Vatican’s coffer led to more corruption, most prominent of which were committed by:

 

  • Sixtus IV (reign: 1471-84), who spent enormous sum of money in building the “chapel” that he named after himself, the “Sistine”, aside from causing the enrichment of his nephews and nieces;
  • Alexander VI, a.ka., Rodrigo Borgia (reign: 1492-1503) who allegedly, openly acknowledged and afforded financial opportunities to his illegitimate children;
  • Julius II (reign: 153-13), nephew of Sixtus IV, and who was said to be warlike, notorious politician, and who also spent lavishly on art, but failed in his duties as Head of the Roman Church.

 

During the time, the papacy did not monopolize immorality, as there was a popular adage then, that said, “if you want your son to be corrupted, make him decide to become a priest”.

It was alleged that confessors solicited sexual favors from female penitents, and thousands of priests were said to maintain concubines. Reformists were making a mockery of the church by saying that for Jesus’ ministers, it’s always money – from baptism, marriage, till death, with such greed and perversion spreading to Hispanic colonies.

 

Today, in the Philippines, so many Christian ministries have sprung up in almost every corner of big cities, sporting different names and congregate in inauspicious apartment units, former offices, multi-purpose halls of subdivisions, former movie theaters, and for the richy…Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater which are the projects of Imelda Marcos within the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

 

There is a joke today about the unemployed, but with an oratorical gift to just put up a “ministry” in order to survive out of the tithes or “love offering” from members. These followers attend the gatherings and listen to the same never changing themes about love that they fail to put into practice, as they go back to their old “selfish” ways when they go home by keeping to themselves – within the security of their homes and company of select friends. Still, some enterprising bible-toting ministers even go to the extent of using the religious book in soliciting money from commuters by hopping on to buses and jeepneys to “share” the words from the bible in exchange for money to be put in envelops that they patiently distribute. As this kind of undertaking is some kind of a money-making enterprise, those who conduct such should be taxed!

 

The pope, himself, acknowledges the proliferation of immorality and corruption in the Roman Catholic Church that is why lately, an external auditing firm has been contracted to check on the Vatican records. He even apologized for the abuse committed by some members of the clergy. In other words, nobody among the members of the Vatican-based church is free from the stain of immorality. Still, in the Philippines, the Iglesia ni Cristo, biggest Christian church next to the Roman Catholic, is rocked with a scandal that is undergoing an investigation. There could still be other religious scandals going around, but just get to be contained due to their insignificance, compared to the cursing of Duterte who is running for presidency during the 2016 election.

 

The world today is full of “habitual” sinners – “immorals” in the eyes of the “moralists”, just because these people that they despise do not attend religious services or utter curses habitually, or just simply, polygamous. Can they be compared with those who attend these so-called religious services but got no slightest idea what compassion means? Can they be compared with husbands who fool their wives by playing around with their “queridas”, or wives who squander the wage hard- earned by their husband abroad, on their kept “lovers”?

 

Worst, these “moralists” are emboldened by the thought that it is alright for them to commit sin because they can go to confession, afterwards anyway! ….or worse, eat the host, bread or biscuit that symbolize the body of Christ, the better for them to get “cleansed” immediately! (I read stories about pagan tribes who eat the body of their brave opponents so that such character can be made part of them).

 

Some of these “good” people do not even know the name of their neighbors, so how can they say they love God that they cannot see, but cannot love their neighbors who are just a few steps away from them? Is it not sheer hypocrisy which is just another form of immorality?  Some of them still, who have become more financially stable than the rest, act like horses pulling indigenous “calesas”, that are allowed to look just straight ahead, which is a manifestation of selfishness.

 

By the way, I do not deny that I am a sinner through and through!…please pray for me!

Pope Francis Deserves to be Left Alone

Pope Francis deserves to be Left Alone

By Apolinario Villalobos

The new pope is not being political when reaches out to people, and in so doing, travels around the world. He does not choose who to hold or hug or kiss. He does not preach about the magnificence of the papacy and the Vatican…in fact, he is obviously, embarrassed about them. He does not preach to convert, but speaks about universal love and compassion. This is how evangelization should be done, by not talking about the church to which one belongs, but letting other people read his intentions through his actions and pronouncements.

It should be recalled that Francis, upon his assumption of his papal post, started his campaign for the practice of humility when he chose to live in an austere apartment, rather than the luxurious suite reserved for popes. He wanted to be just like anybody else, so he has no qualms about carrying his meal tray when he dines in the canteen with the rest of lay people. He has no aides at his side 24/7, except when on official trips. And, he carries his own bag when he travels!

Instead of bashing him on the internet, those who are anti-pope, anti-Christ, anti-Vatican, and anti-Roman Catholic should try to understand his messages first. They should view the new pope as Francis, a former bishop, an ordinary guy, who assumed the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church which was not his choice in the first place. Francis is not presenting himself as the new Messiah or Prophet. His mission is to spread love and not hatred. He is not even asking to be loved, but for others to include him in their prayers.

Why can’t the bashers just write something about the devilish leaders of nations whose selfish acts trespass other nations’ rights? Why can’t they exhaust their effort in condemning the acts of ISIS advocates who are now being loathed by their fellow Muslims? Why can’t they just write about the conscienceless terrorists who sow fear throughout the world? Why can’t they look around them and paint with words the gruesome poverty and splash them on the internet for the world to see?

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

The “Overwhelming” Papal Power

By Apolinario Villalobos

As every Christian knows, the Apostles spread themselves to proclaim the teachings of Jesus Christ. Congregations were addressed by authors of Epistles in the New Testament, and these messages contained instructions. Among these congregations were those located in Rome where, Christianity was supposed to have been planted after the Pentecost. Traditionally, the congregations had elders who served as administrators, but nobody among them acted superior than the rest. The elders acted with equal authority, during which time there was no so-called “bishop” or “pope”, yet.

The development of the “monarchial” leadership was during the second century. But the title “pope” was first used by the Bishop of Rome, Callistus, during the third century. Later, the title evolved as a firm official reference to the Bishop of Rome exclusively, as insisted by Pope Leo I. He also used the pagan title “Pontifex Maximus”, which is still used until today, although, such title was also used by the pagan Roman Emperors until the end of the fourth century. Leo I based his insistence on what Jesus said about Peter as the first among the Apostles, therefore, the St. Peter’s Church in Vatican should be the premier Church among the rest of Catholic Churches. With this basis, it was made clear that while “the emperor held temporal power in Constantinople in the East, the pope exercised spiritual power from Rome in the west”. Such authority was manifested when Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Governments around the world viewed the pope, as the “ruler” of a separate sovereign state – the Vatican City. In this view, the Roman Catholic Church unlike the rest of religions, has the privilege to send officials vested with diplomatic authority to duly recognized governments around the world. Among the titles of the pope are: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the Vatican City. When attending official ceremonies, he is accorded with pompous honor, appropriate for the Head of a State.

Could the current pope, Francis, have realized the overwhelming papal power that he cringed with remorse, thereby, deciding to live in an “apartment” rather than the “palatial” official residence? Compassion is among his advocacies…and this can only be done if he lives among his “flock”.