Discipline as Essence of Life


By Apolinario Villalobos


Man can never do away with discipline for as long he lives in this world. Nobody lacks discipline, but just vary in degree accordingly. Those who grew up in strict homes, as expected are more disciplined than those whose parents are lax. The people with whom we are associated with also counts a lot in the development of discipline. An offshoot of discipline is the so-called, “good manners” which goes with the sayings, “tell me who your friends are and I will know what kind of a person you are”, as well as, “your manners indicate the kind of parents you have”.


A “happy go lucky guy” does not necessarily mean that he lacks discipline, otherwise, he could have been dead years before his adolescence. Discipline is an important element for one’s survival so that even a pampered guy’s instinct has a bit of it. The big or little bit of discipline determines the lifestyle of people. Those who have no regards for their health, for instance, may suffer from an off-balanced discipline resulting to their lack of control in their diet, as well as, their development of vices. They know that what they are doing is bad, but what can a bit of discipline do to stop them?


Success in life depends a lot on discipline. For students with weak discipline, graduation could just be a wish if their life veers away from the right track. Those who fail in their studies have more likely given priority to short-term pleasures that resulted to their long-term regret. Finding a job could also be difficult for those whose discipline in the simple waking up early to be in time for interview, is wanting. Many graduates thought that the name of a high-end university scribbled on top of their diploma is a guarantee for a job. What establishment for instance, would want to hire a guy who has no respect for time, despite his having graduated from a high-end university?


Discipline is life…. as it makes us breathe in regular cadence for oxygen to enter our system that makes our heart beat and our brain to function properly. Most importantly, discipline makes us control our life, as well as, make us realize whatever wrong we have done, though how late such realization may have occurred, as we tread the path towards that “light”….


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!

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!




Ang Pagbaba ng Standards ng Moralidad at Values…dahil naging subjective o pangsarili na ang mga ito

Ang Pagbaba ng Standards ng Moralidad at Values
…dahil naging subjective, o pangsarili na ang mga ito
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Malaki na talaga ang ipinagbago sa ugali ng mga tao dahil sa mga makabagong pangyayari sa kanyang paligid. Katulad na lamang ng pagbaba ng standards ng moralidad at values. Kung noon, ang umiiral ay todo-todong pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, ngayon ay kawalan ng pakialam ang madalas mangyari. Ang sabi ng iba, mas maganda na daw yong hindi nakikialam upang hindi masangkot sa problema kung sakali. Subalit kung sa mga taong ito naman mangyari ang hindi maganda at walang makialam, nagagalit naman sila. Kaya masasabing ang moralidad at values ngayon ay naging “one way”, kabaligtaran ng mga dating nangyayari na nagpapakialaman upang maipairal ang tulungan o bayanihan.

Ang isang halimbawa ay mga problema na dulot ng droga. Marami nang nababalitaan tungkol dito. Pero may isa akong kaibigan na kibit-balikat lamang dahil ang mga anak daw niya ay mababait kaya walang problema sa droga. Subalit minsan ay nabugbog ang anak niyang binatilyo ng mga nangingikil na kilala sa lugar nila na mga adik. Naospital ang kanyang anak. Dahil sa pangyayari, “naramdaman” ng kaibigan ko ang masamang epekto ng droga, na kahit hindi binibisyo ng kanyang anak ay nakakaapekto din pala sa kanilang pamilya. Dahil sa nangyari sa kanyang anak, ang kaibigan ko ay galit na sa mundo!

May isang pamilya naman na lahat ng miyembro ay kumpleto sa mga bisyo, tulad ng sugal, sigarilyo, at droga. Ang katwiran ng ina, basta hindi naman sila nananakit o nakikialam sa kanilang mga kapitbahay, okey lang. Nakakaraos sila sa pakikisama sa mga katulad nilang ganoon din ang mga bisyo. May pansarili silang standards ng moralidad na pinaiiral, hindi na yong sinusunod na dapat ay may dulot na kabutihan para sa lahat.

Ang pagbaba ng moralidad ay nakikita rin sa buhay ng mga pulitiko. Ang mga pulitikong pamilya na bistado namang may ginagawang hindi maganda ay walang pakialam kahit binabatikos na. Baka sa harap ng hapunan kung magkita sila ay nagpapalakihan pa ng nakurakot sa kaban ng bayan! Kaya sa panahon ngayon, ang kasabihan sa Ingles na “it runs in the family” ay hindi lang tumutukoy sa ganda, talino, sipag, atbp…kundi pati sa pagka-corrupt!

Sa isang banda, mayroon pa rin namang iilang pulitiko na nagpipilit na magpairal ng mataas at katanggap-tanggap na antas ng moralidad at values sa trabaho nila. Mahirap man, kailangan nilang gawin ito upang hindi tuluyang mawala ang batayan ng mga nararapat na gawin ng isang tao…saludo ako sa kanila!

Delikadesa…ano yun?

Delikadesa….ano yun?

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang delikadesa ay mahalagang bahagi ng isang kultura. Ito ang pundasyon ng dangal. Ito ang nagsisilbing harang bago umabot ang isang bagay sa punto na magreresulta sa kahihiyan ng isang tao. Sa ibang kultura, lalo na ng mga Asyano, ito ay katumbas ng buhay. Subali’t ang hindi maunawaan ay kung bakit tila nawawala ito sa kultura ng Pilipino. Marami ang nagtatanong kung bakit. Ang matindi, dahil sa ganitong kalakaran ngayon, ni hindi na ito nauunawaan ng mga bata. Malamang nga ay ni hindi ito nababanggit sa mga eskwelahan bilang bahagi ng pagtuturo.


Ang kawalan ng delikadesa ng isang tao ay pagpapakita niya ng katigasan ng loob. Pagpapakita niya ito ng pagmamarunong at kakapalan ng mukha dahil sa pagkawala na ng kanyang hiya. Ang pinakamagandang mga halimbawa ay sa larangan ng pulitika at sa pamamalakad ng gobyerno sa Pilipinas. Ang mga talaga din namang nakabali ng mga patakaran at batas ay kung anu-ano ang binabanggit na dahilan upang makalusot sa mga kaso. Galit pa kunwari dahil napupulitika daw sila. Yong iba naman, dahil abugado, nagsasabi na alam nila ang ginagawa nila at naaayon sa batas.


Ang isang gobernador na nailuklok ng mga tao kaya nanalo ay nagpipilit na hindi siya pwedeng palitan o bumaba ng pwesto dahil sa dahilang siya ang gusto ng tao at wala nang iba – maski pa hayagang malaki ang ginawa niyang paglabag sa batas na may kinalaman sa paggastos nang nakaraang eleksiyon. Ang mga namumuno ng mga ahensiya na pormalidad na lang ang pag-imbestiga sa kanila dahil maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw ang kasalanan, ayaw ding patinag sa pwesto dahil hindi naman daw sila pinapababa ng pangulo ng Pilipinas na siyang nagtalaga sa kanila. Ang mga mambabatas naman na nagpipilit na hangga’t hindi daw napatunayan ng hukumang nagkasala ay ayaw ring patinag sa pwesto, kahi’t ang korapsiyon nila ay hantad na hantad na simula pa nang sila may mamili ng boto nang nakaraang eleksiyon.


May nakikita kasing halimbawa at kinukunsinte ng nasa itaas…yan ang mga dahilan kung bakit talamak ang ugaling kahiyaan at pagkawala ng delikadesa. At yan din ang nakikita ng mga bata kaya kung tanungin sila kung alam nila ang ibig sabihin ng delikadesa, ang sagot nila ay…ano yun?




Good Habits as Foundation of Moral and Personality Development

Good    Habits   as   Foundation   of   Moral  

and    Personality    Development


By  Apolinario   Villalobos


From   the   pulpits   of    worship    temples  to   seminar   rooms     and     schools,     the    call   to   make    the    habit    of   being     “sorry”      for     misdeeds      as    a    way   of     life   is    being   made.    Priests,    pastors,     evangelists,    and      self-proclaimed    preachers,   make    the     reminder     as   part     of    their    spiritual     sharing.       Highly-paid     lecturers   in   seminar    and    business     training    centers     devote    paragraphs     of    their    module     in    Values     and    Attitudes    for    such    a    reminder,      and   the   teachers    likewise,  never    miss    an    opportunity    to   call     the    attention    of    their    students    about   it.    While     some    are    successful    in   their   effort,    the   rest  unfortunately    failed,   and   are    still    failing   because    of    the  adamant     refusal    by    others      to   change.


We   still    meet    people   who,   instead   of    being   apologetic    for   hurting   the   feelings    of    others,   have    the   temerity    to    say,   “good   for   him,   he    deserve     that” .     Government    elected    officials    who    became    overnight    millionaires     from    plundering    the   people’s    money,    are    one   in   saying,    “good    for    those    fools    who   voted     for     me”,    as    if   further    saying,   “never    say    sorry    for    money”.    Speaking    of    government    officials,    the   then,   President   Gloria   Arroyo,   said    sorry    to    wash    her    hands    of    the    stain   of   election   fraud,    but    many    of    the    Filipinos    doubted    her    sincerity    when   she    mumbled     it.


This    elusive     word     requires     two    efforts   –    that    of    saying     it    with     sincerity      by    the     wrongdoer,     and    wholehearted        acceptance     by    the    victim.    Such    word     when    released     by    the   lips    of    the    offender    will   just    be    left     floating     in    the    air     if    the    party    for    which   it    is    intended    will    not   accept    it.    No    result     then     is    achieved.     Just     like     the    rest    of    human    acts,     the    action    should     be    of     a    two-way      direction   –   reciprocal.      Love,    for    instance,     though     how    great,      becomes     useless    if    the    one    who    expresses     it    will    not    be    loved    in   return.    In    many    instances,    the    reciprocal    action    is    given     at     the    end,    when    the    one    asking    for      it    is    fighting    for    his   last   breath,    and    most    ironically,    at     his    wake     or    grave.  



To    ensure     that     smiling    and    greeting     become    habits,     an    airline    requires    their    flight    attendants  and    pilots       undergoing    trainings     to   greet    and     smile     at     practically    everybody     they   meet  in   the   building   –   lounge,    corridors,     and    elevator.    During    break    periods,    public    areas    of    the   building    resound    with    “good    morning,    sir/ma’am”    and    “good     afternoon,    sir/ma’am”    and    become   bright    with   toothpaste   smile .  After    contract    signing,    these   former    courteous    trainees   who      become   regulars       turn      snooty,    with    stiff    necks    while    treading    the   airport    terminal    floors    on    their       way   to   the    departure    gate    to   board    their   flight.


During     election    times,     the    country    becomes    abloom    with     smiles    –    of      campaigning    candidates.     As     one    of    my    money    earning     ventures,    I wrote    on –  the-    spot   speeches      of    a    candidate,    during  which  I    braved     the    heat     and     the      pang    of     hunger     during     his      sorties.     I     was   amused     by    the     quickness     in    how    he     could    change     the     expression     of    his    face     from    a    serious    one    with     tightly     pursed       lips      to     one    with     a     clownish     smile.      If     I    wanted    to     give     myself     a    perk     in    the    morning    with    even    a    few    minutes     of    laughter    (good    for    the    heart),   to    dispel    stress,     I    would    just     imagine     this    politician    with    his   dexterity   in   changing   faces.    His    entourage    had    a   good   laugh   behind   his   back   one   time,    when   he      berated    his    driver  –   while    still   smiling,     as    he   had    just    finished    talking    to    a    media   man.   He    forgot    to    zip    his    lips    and   be    his       real       self     again    when    he   scolded    his     driver!        But    what    happened    to    a    former    lady    senator    put     her       in    a      far       worse    situation    because    of    dead    nerves    on   her    face    resulting    from   the   injected    chemical    to   firm   up   her    sagging   facial    skin.    The    paralyzing     effect      of    the   chemical    gave    her    the   permanent    staring    look    on    her    face.      She    had    to   come    up   with    a    difficult    choice   –   smooth   face    or    sweet    smile.    She    chose     the    first    and    is    now   regretting    it,    for    she    could    no    longer    part    her   lips    even   just    for   the    slightest    smile. 


Habits    can    be    “formed”,    that    is    why   there    is    a    reminder    that   certain   acts    can    be    “habit     forming”    if    not    checked.     For    a    person    to   develop    positive       habits,    the    people    surrounding  him   in    a   morally    healthy    environment     are   imperatively  necessary.       And,    it    starts    with    the   family –   at   home.   The    effort    to   develop   a  child     should   not   only    be    expressed    by   words    but   also    by    actions.     The    foundation    of    the   habit    should    be    tempered    with    values    to    withstand    influences     as    the   grown    up    child      steps    out    of    the    door    of    the    protective     home.     Hugs    and    profuse    pronouncement   of   “I  love   you”    are   useless    if    a    growing    child   sees    his    parents    entertain    friends    at    home    over    bottles    of   beer    while     enjoying       in     filling     the   house    with   their    cigarette   smoke    to    a    choking     point.    Not     a       single    drop     of   understanding    can   be   absorbed    by   a   growing   child   who   is    always    reminded    by    his    mother      to    “love    your    teacher    and   classmates”,   but   sees    her    slap    their    maid    at   the    slightest    mistake.     And     the   child    is    further    confused    by   the   reminder    of    his    mother    to    “love    Jesus”    but    sees     her    harass    their    elderly    neighbor.


Finally,    as    the    saying    goes,    one    can   always    try     to    change    for     the    better.      Unfortunately,      without    firm    determination,     this    quest     can   only   be    anchored    in    hope.