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!

Baclaran Creek: Ugly Stain on the Philippines’ Tourism Image

Baclaran Creek: Ugly Stain on the Philippines’

Tourism Image

by Apolinario Villalobos


Nothing can be one hundred percent clean, sanitized, germ-free, well-kept, etc., to show a pleasant image. But in exerting an effort for such end-result, consistency should be exercised, as failure to do so could be tantamount to being negligent.


Among the ugliest manifestation of the Philippine government’s negligence and inconsistency is the creek at Baclaran which is fringing the northern edge of the purported “business-tourism showcase” of Metro Manila – the cornucopia of condominium buildings, malls, office buildings and the supposedly biggest casino in Asia. Practically, the creek that serves as the catch basin-cum-open drainage of Pasay and Paraἧaque that flows out to the Manila Bay, shows it all. How can the Department of Tourism proudly declare that Manila is a clean city with the obnoxious filth floating on the stagnant creek in all its obnoxious glory greeting the arriving tourists from the airport on their way to their hotels along Roxas Boulevard? Is this progress as what the Philippine president always mumbles? How can such a short strip of open drainage not be cleaned on a daily basis, just like what street sweepers do to the entire extent of the Roxas Boulevard?


It has been observed that every time a government agency’s attention is called for not doing its job well, it cries out such old lines, as “lack of budget” and “lack of personnel”. But why can’t they include such requirements every time they submit their proposed budget? In the meantime, as regards the issue on the maintenance of the city waterways, national and local agencies throw blames at each other, trying to outdo each other in keeping their hands clean of irresponsibility and negligence!


During the APEC conference which caused the “temporary” bankruptcy of commercial establishments in Pasay and Paraἧaque, as well as, local airlines and lowly vendors by the millions of pesos, the creek was almost “immaculately” clean with all the floating scum scooped up and thrown somewhere else. But as soon as the delegates have left, the poor creek is back to its old self again – gagged with the city denizens’ filth and refuse.


Viewing the Baclaran creek is like viewing the rest of the waterways around Metro Manila, including Pasig River, as they are all equally the same filthy picture of neglect, irresponsibility and inconsistency of government concern! One should see the nearby creek at Pasay where the Pumping Station is located, with an “island” that practically developed out of silt, garbage and clumps of water lily! Some days, the short length of artificial creek is skimmed with filth to make it look clean, but most days, it is neglected.


In view of all the above-mentioned, why can’t the national and local government agencies concerned co-operate and do the following?


  • REQUIRE the daily cleaning of the creek by assigning permanent “brigades”, just like what they do for the streets. If there are “street sweepers”, why can’t there be “creek scoopers” and “dredgers”?


  • REQUIRE the vendors with stalls along or near the creeks to maintain the cleanliness of their respective periphery so that they are obliged to call the attention of irresponsible pedestrians who do not show concern. Each stall must be required to have a garbage bag or bin, as well as, broom and dust pan. Their negligence in carrying out such obligation should be made as a basis in revoking their hawker’s permit.


  • REQUIRE government employees with sanitation responsibilities TO GO OUT OF THEIR OFFICES AND DO THEIR JOB, and not just make reports to the City Administrators based on what street sweepers tell them.


  • DREDGE the creek regularly on a yearly basis, not only when flooding occurs during the rainy season, which is a very repugnant reactionary show of concern on the part of the government. The yearly dredging of the waterways would eventually “deepen” them to accommodate more surface water during the rainy season, and even bring their bed back to their former level.


The costly effort of the national government in putting on a pleasant “face” for Manila every time there is an international event, as what happened during the APEC conference, may elicit sympathy and grudgingly executed cooperation, but there should be consistency in it….otherwise, it would just be like sweeping the house, only when visitors are expected, or worse, sweeping the dirt to a corner to hide them.


Cooperation between the government authorities and the citizens is necessary. However, as there is a clear indication that the concerned citizens, such as vendors and pedestrians, lack discipline, the government should take necessary steps in imposing measures to ensure their cooperation, albeit by coercion, so that whatever sanitation projects may have been initiated can be consistently maintained, for the benefit of all.


If littering on the ground can be prohibited with appropriate penalty, why can’t the same be done for the sake of the waterways? If ever local government units have passed such measures why can’t they be imposed authoritatively and consistently?



Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ang Pagmumura at si Duterte

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Dapat mag-ingat kahit kaunti si Duterte dahil tumitindi ang smear campaign laban sa kanya. Noon ay ang patagong banat sa kanya laban sa kanyang “pambabae” daw at “salvaging”. Mabuti at siya mismo ay nagsalita na tungkol sa mga bagay na ito at umamin pa, kaya wala nang mauukilkil tungkol sa mga ito upang hantarang ibabanat sa kanya. Isa sa mga tinitingnan ngayon ng mga naninira laban sa kanya ay ang ugali niyang pagmumura. Masama mang banggitin, may ginagamit na mga taga-media ang mga kalaban niya kaya sa isang iglap, kalat agad sa buong bansa kung may masambit man siyang pagmumura. Wala tayong magagawa dahil yan ang kalakaran ng pulitika sa Pilipinas.


Ang malas, “tinuka” niya ang pain na tanong tungkol sa pagdating ng santo papa, sa pagsagot subalit may kasamang pagmumura. Pinagpipiyestahan ng mga maninira ang ugali niyang pagmumura at pagiging prangka. Dahil sa ginagawa niyang pagmumura ay nagiging tactless siya.


May mga taong naging ugali na ang pagmumura kaya automatiko ang pagsambit ng maaanghang na salita na naging bahagi ng kanyang bokabularyo. Dapat baguhin ang ganitong pag-uugali na hindi man dinidekta ng puso ay masama ang epekto lalo sa mga taong banal kuno pero mahilig namang magbanggit ng “for Christ’s sake” o “for God’s sake” na mas matinding blasphemy at laban sa isa sa mga kautusan sa Ten Commandments. Ang mga banal na ito ay nagsa-sign of the cross pa kapag nakarinig ng masama o nakakita ng masama. Bakit hindi na lang sila maglagay ng busal sa mga tenga o di kaya ay maglagay ng pantakip sa mga mata na ginagamit ng mga kutsero sa kanilang kabayo para diretso ang kanilang tingin kapag naglalakad sa kalye? Pero kung marinig lang sila kung murahin nila ang kapitbahay at kasambahay kahit pa kararating lang nila mula sa simbahan dahil dumalo sa misa……..nakuuuu!


Upang maipakita ko ang katapatan sa binabahagi ko tungkol sa pagmumura at upang maging makatotohanan ang mga sinasabi ko, aaminin kong nakikita ko ang sarili ko kay Duterte dahil naging bahagi na rin ng pananalita ko ang pagmumura tulad ng “tangna” na pinaiksing “putang ina”, ang “belatibay” na pinaiksing “latibay” upang hindi masyadong maanghang pakinggan, at ang pabulong na “..hit” na sana ay “shit”, pero hindi pa rin nawawala ang “yodiputa”. Tulad ni Duterte, marami rin ang nagalit at nakadanas din ako ng panlilibak dahil sa pagmumura ko. Ang masakit lang, ang iba pala sa kanila ay matindi naman palang manira ng kapwa!


Sa mga naging president ng Pilipinas ang kilala sa pagmumura ay si Manuel L. Quezon na ang ginagamit na kataga ay mula sa wikang Kastila…maraming nagalit sa kanya noon lalo na ang mga kasama niya sa gobyerno na karamihan ay nakatikim ng pagmumura mula sa kanya. May dati akong boss na ang ginagamit na salita ay “Jesus Christ” or “Jessezzzz” sabay hawak sa kanyang noo…at ngayon ay malamang kasama na niya dahil namayapa na siya. Yong isang kaibigan ko naman ay paborito ang “damn you” at “go to hell”, patay na rin siya at malamang ay nandoon na rin siya. Yong isa pa ay “demonyo ka” o di kaya ay “demonyo” lang kung walang kausap pero nadapa o nauntog o may nakalimutan sa bahay.


Ang pagmumura ay isang paraan upang lumuwag ang naninikip na dibdib ng isang taong galit. Sa halip na lakas ang gamitin niya sa pamamagitan ng pagsuntok sa kausap o manira ng anumang gamit na mahawakan ay dinadaan na lang niya sa pagmumura.  May nasimulan naman sa Japan na pantanggal ng tension na sanhi ng paninikip ng dibdib, at ito ay ang pagsigaw kahit halos namamaos na. Subalit may paraan na ngayon upang mapalitan ang ganitong uri ng paglabas ng galit, sa pamamagitan ng paghinga ng malalim o “deep breathing”. Sa kamalasan, may isa akong kaibigan na sa sobran galit ay pinilit ang sunud-sunod na deep breathing kaya hinimatay dahil na-choke…kinapos ng hangin! Ayaw kong mahimatay tulad niya.


Ang problema sa kultura natin na may pagka-colonial pa rin, kapag ang pagmumura ay ginawa sa English o Kastila, parang wala lang ang epekto, pero kung ang pagmumura ay ginawa na sa Pilipino, ang nakakarinig, lalo na mga banal daw ay para nang natapunan ng ipot ng pusa sa mukha. Hindi ko sinasabing hindi masama ang pagmumura. Subalit dapat ay maghinay-hinay sa paghusga sa mga taong nagmumura. Mabuti nga lumabas ang masamang salita lang mula sa kanya, hindi tulad ng ibang nagbabanal-banalan na ang masamang ugali ay nagkakaugat sa puso nila at diwa kaya habang tumagatal ay yumayabong pa. Ang pagmumura namang inilalabas ay walang pagkakataong yumabong dahil….yon nga, ibinuga na ng bibig!


Narinig ang tape tungkol sa pagmumura ni Duterte sa santo papa, kaya malinaw na ginawa nga niya. Isa itong maituturing na “tactlessness” o kawalan ng pasubali o ugaling bara-bara sa salitang kanto….na talagang mali. Subalit si Duterte ay kilala sa paghalo ng mga biro sa kanyang pananalita, kaya malamang, para sa kanya ay joke ang sinabi niya….pero joke na masama o hindi nararapat dahil si Francs bilang pinakamataas na lider ng simbahang Katoliko ay tinuturing na banal kay tinawag na “santo papa”.


Kilalal sa pagbiro ang mga Bisaya, na kahit maanghang sa pandinig ay hindi naman bukal sa kalooban ng nagsabi, tulad ng pabirong “gi-atay ka”  o “lilinti-an ka” na ang mga kahulugan ay ayaw ko na lang sabihin. Mabuti na rin ang ginawang pagpuna kay Duterte, para hindi isipin ng santo papa na tino-tolerate ng mga Pilipino ang ganitong ugali…at baka hindi na siya magsalita ng blessing sa Pilipino tuwing mamintana upang magbasbas sa mga taong nag-aabang sa kanya.


Pero, sa isang banda, kung papipiliin ako sa pagitan ng isang taong nagmumura subalit ang layunin ay magkaroon ng pagbabago sa isang sistema ng gobyerno na may makapal na kulapol ng korapsyon at may napatanuyan na, at sa isang taong namang dahilan ng kagutuman at kahirapan ng buong bayan dahil sa kawalan ng malasakit, kahit hindi pa nagmumura at animo ay larawan ng pagkabanal at pagka-santo na pagkukunwari lang pala….ang pipiliin ko ay ang nagmumura!


Ang ginawa ni Duterte kahit pa maituturing na joke ay patunay sa binitiwan niyang babala noon na kung maging presidente siya ay wala siyang sasantuhin….kaya humanda na sila!


Ridiculing the Police on the Issue of the Diaper is Senseless

Ridiculing the Police
On the Issue of the Diaper is Senseless
By Apolinario Villalobos

The plan to let the police use diaper as an option to effectively carry out their responsibilities during the papal visit, has basis. Other countries use this option, and discreetly, this was also used during the past big events in the country. It was only during the planning stage of the operational strategy for the papal visit that the police agency was vocal about it, after having been egged to come out with detailed plans.

The thousands of police from the provinces were “billeted” in public venue facilities such as stadiums which are uncomfortable due to limited facilities, yet, they patiently persisted in maintaining their poise despite the lack of rest. This Spartan life was endured for five days. The police went through a lot of sacrifice, although they expected it as part of their job, no question about that.

But despite all those sacrifices, some conscienceless Filipinos, still had the heart to ridicule the police. It is a common knowledge that the rank of these law enforcers also reeks with graft and corruption but to ridicule them despite their selfless effort during a significant papal visit smacks of insanity on the part of the blogger who abused the use of the social media. If the blogger uploaded a photo of a police sniffing shabu or accepting bribe, it could have been acceptable.

Bloggers should show decency, fairness, and as necessary, some restraint in expressing themselves.