Ang Moralidad at Mga Moralista sa Bansang Pilipinas

Ang Moralidad at Mga Moralista

Sa Bansang Pilipinas

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang moralidad ay isang prinsipyo na may kinalaman sa pagiging tama o mali ng isang gawain batay sa itinakda ng batas o simbahan, kaya hindi ito dapat limitado sa gawaing may kinalaman lamang sa sex. Ang pagnanakaw, pagpatay dahil sa masamang dahilan, pagsisinungaling, panlalamang ng kapwa, paninira ng kapwa, at iba pang maling gawain ay maituturing na mga imoral. Ang  kabaligtaran naman ng mga nabanggit ay may kinalaman sa kabutihan at itinuturing na moral. Sa ganang ito, hindi lang ang mga taong may mahigit sa isang asawa kung siya ay Kristiyano, halimbawa, ang maituturing na imoral dahil sinusuway niya ang itinuturo ng simbahan, kundi pati na rin ang mga taong nanlalalamang ng kapwa at lalo na ang mga opisyal na nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan na naging sanhi ng kahirapan ng maraming mamamayan. Ang huling nabanggit na imoralidad ay ang pinakamasidhi dahil hindi lang isa, dalawa, o tatlong tao ang napaglalangan at naapi, subalit milyon-milyon!


Walang namumukod-tanging tao na walang bahid ng imoralidad, lalo na sa panahon ngayon. Patunay dito ang nagpuputukang mga isyu tungkol sa imoralidad mismo ng mga namumuno sa mga simbahan, lalo na ang paglipana ng mga korap na opisyal sa mga pamahalaan ng anumang bansa.


May mga taong marami ang kerida o kabit at hindi nila itinuturing na “asawa” kundi “parausan” lamang ng kanilang kalibugan….YAN ANG IMORAL! At lalong imoral na gawain ang pag-abandona sa mga ito dahil hindi man lang nila binibigyan ng sustento, at hindi kinikilala ang bunga ng kanilang kalibugan.


Bakit binabatikos ng mga “moralista” ang isang taong may tatlong asawa, ganoong umamin naman sa ginawa niya at hindi naman tumatalikod sa responsibilidad, subalit ayaw naman nilang pamukhaan ang mga opisyal ng bayan na hayagang nagsisinungaling, nagpapabaya sa gawain, lalo na ang mga nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, at  may gana pang ipagmalaki ang yamang galing sa masama? Dahil ba kapartido nila?


Huwag nang magmaang-maangang banal ang mga taong nagdadalawang mukha o nagdodoble-kara dahil lang sa ambisyong may kinalaman sa pulitika. Alam naman nilang masama ang tinutumbok ng tinatahak nilang daan tuwid man ito o liku-liko.  Ang isang taong nagmamalinis ay hindi dapat pumasok sa larangan ng pulitika na animo ay isang maputik na kwadra ng mga hayop. Wala silang karapatang bumatikos sa mga kalaban na tingin nila ay may masamang ugali dahil ang mga kasama nila sa partido mismo, kung hindi man kasingsama ng binabatikos nila ay lalong higit pang masama.


Ang hirap sa mga nagmamaang-maangang taong pumasok sa pulitika na tutulong daw sa bayan ay tumitingin pa sa malayo upang makakita lang ng taong imoral daw, samantalang pinaliligiran na sila ng mga taong hindi lang simpleng imoral subalit sagad sa buto ang pagka-imoral! Nagkakabanggaan pa nga sila ng mga balikat dahil natataranta na kung ano ang gagawin dala ng nerbiyos at baka matalo!




Maggie Asuncion: Serenely Surviving the Threat of Cancer through Christian Faith

Maggie Asuncion: Serenely Surviving the

Threat of Cancer through Christian Faith

By Apolinario Villalobos

It takes much courage before a person who is threatened by cancer can accept his or her fate. Initially, disbelief sets in, followed by denial. And, this is despite the factual medical findings, yet. But what happened to Maggie Asuncion is different. With all her heart and mind, she accepted her fate but also went through a “compromise” offered by the modern medical technology. She underwent a mastectomy, a gamble on her part, in the year 2000, as during the time, stories about immediate failure of operation were prevalent.  The operation was followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, and 5 years of oral medication.

Maggie grew up in a Christian home that molded her personality according to her family’s strong faith. With a strong Christian foundation, she developed a steely personality that enabled her to face any kind of challenge in life. The worry that dawned on her when she was told about the growth of cancerous cyst in her breast did not last long. She did not suffer even just a bit from stigma, even after her operation. She went on with her life as if nothing has been taken from her body.

The more than five years of observation period during which she underwent rigorous medication, was patiently endured while participating in community outreach projects together with her supportive husband, Gene. The projects involved feeding of street children, clean-up drives, and random acts of charity, with the last, they did on their own. The projects served as an effective therapy, as she has practically forgotten about herself while spending her time with the less fortunate.

Their advocacy has in time, become an integral part of their life that today, every time they go out of their home, they would see to it that they have with them goodies for street children whom they might encounter along the way. They humbly admit that these are small tokens, though heartily given – things that they can afford.

Today, Maggie is a picture of serenity and dynamism, despite her age which is beyond sixty. If not with religious groups that undertake feeding programs for street children or with environmentalist groups doing clean- ups of Manila Bay, she bakes cake and prepares salads for the family. A time is also inserted in their schedule for visits to a bed-ridden friend. Every time there is an opportunity, she also gives testimonies in assemblies, assuring victims of the big C, that there is life after its riddance by operation, but with a reminder that the patient must do his or her share by following  a disciplined way of life…plus, of course, strong faith in Him.

Maggie and Gene are blessed with four daughters, Gemma Lee A. Namit (38), Gracious Melody A. Torrijos (37), Genette Mae A. Shuler (34), and Geneve Maude N. Asuncion (26). Their only twenty day-old grandson, Gavril Matteo, unfortunately died of congenital heart disease.

Maggie showed that it pays by just leaving everything to God by virtue of strong faith….that praying should not always be for asking worldly blessings.

The Survival Instinct of the Filipinos

The Survival Instinct of the Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

Survival is a human instinct, but varies according to environment and culture. Some can survive with utmost honesty, some with deception, and still others do with violence. The Filipinos use ingenuity and resourcefulness in order to survive, sometimes even with much tolerance of a wrongdoing – a manifestation of a non-violent character. This tolerance does not mean, however, that the Filipinos are of a cowardly race. By survival, this writer, mean endurance and persistence.

Filipinos have shown that despite the onslaught of disasters, they have recovered, with grace, yet. And, recovery is made with resourcefulness. Though typhoons and floods may have flattened villages and towns, the affected literally pick up pieces of their lives– actually, useful debris that could be pieced together even for a scant roof over their head.

Tin cans become pots for rice to be cooked and water to be boiled for doled out coffee or instant noodles.

In big cities such as Manila, what some perceive as vagabonds are actually Filipinos who survive on the jingling coins in their pockets and junks that can be salvaged from dumps, and sold in recycling centers for their daily subsistence. Those who sell candies and cigarettes in traffic-clogged streets do their best to set aside substantial amount for a pedaled trike (traysikad) that would become a regular source of a bigger income. Some patiently gather vegetable trimmings discarded by vegetable wholesalers, to be cleaned and sold by pile on sidewalks.

The non-violent character of the Filipinos made them tolerate even the blatant ineptness of the government, and instead of raising hands that grip guns, they make do with rallies where effigy- burning, shouts, speeches and songs become their “most violent” expressions. Not even the much ballyhooed “People Power Revolution” that caused the toppling of the Marcos dictatorship saw violent actions from the waves of protesters. Compatriots in military and police uniforms reciprocated by accepting flowers and foods offered to them.

While in the Middle East and Africa there are incidents of suicide bombings, nothing of same sort has ever happened in the country. Long before the spate of kidnapping for ransom in Mindanao rocked the island, particularly Jolo and Basilan, some countries in South America have already been suffering from it. Despite the threats announced by headlines in broadsheets and tabloids about the sure collapse of tourism industry because of the varied turmoil, the Filipinos nonchalantly continue to hope for the better by doing something to arrest the downtrend.

The Philippines is a case of “unity in diversity”. Filipinos who have diversified cultures and religions have managed to maintain a closely-knit society. When the vast Philippine Arena of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Bulacan was inaugurated, the whole country celebrated. During the seasons of Ramadan and Eidl Fitre, Christians are one with Muslim brethren, the former being respectful to the solemnity involved. During Christmas, many Muslim homes also display lanterns and Christmas trees. When the MNLF-Nur Misuari faction devastated Zamboanga City, Christians and Muslims joined hands in condemning his act. In Mindanao, when ragtag bands of rebels would attack a village, Muslims and Christians flee to the same direction for safety.

This unique survival character of the Filipinos is once again put to test in the face of the political and economic unrest that beset the country today. Not a single day is without a tabloid or a broadsheet shouting headlines about corruptions in the government and the weakness of the leadership. The Filipinos turn to the social media to express their ill-feelings. There are pockets of rallies but they are held with utmost restraint. Issues on the volatile economy and impending “chaos” that might result to starvation due to skyrocketing of prices and expected long power interruptions do not deter the steadfast Filipinos who astutely maintain their patience and poise.

The unique survival instinct of the Filipinos may be attributed to their fear of God. Their religiosity is so deeply-rooted in their character that even in the face of any adversity, they are unfazed.