The “Funny Money” the Goes A Long, Long Way

The “Funny Money” that Goes A Long, Long Way

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The “funny money” comes from “Perla”, a kind-hearted Filipina benefactor based in America. She earns the money from her translation “sideline”, as she is on a regular call to interpret for Filipinos with cases being heard in court, and who have difficulty in speaking English. The “funny” is her lingual concoction for the job that she did not seek, but in a way, accidentally came her way. She has been consistently supporting my RAS (random acts of sharing) which started when she learned of my RAS from my blogs about such advocacy.

 

What is really funny is the reaction of friends who keep on asking where some of my fund comes from, as if suspecting me to push drugs just to earn extra. They just cannot believe that somebody would send money for total strangers who are in dire need for help. When I add that there was also a time when another friend in London sent money, and still another in America sent a “blessing” through her “balikbayan” sister, their eyes get bigger in disbelief. In exasperation, I just tell them that it is very difficult for somebody to understand the sharing that others are doing if he or she does not have the same advocacy in life….or if he or she does not extend a hand to others as a habit. As expected, these fence-sitting friends fail to get what I mean. The problem with some people is that, they are used to seeing “charitable acts” done only by people who wear t-shirts emblazoned with their mission.

 

Perla drives or commutes to courts or hospitals where her service as translator is needed. Her benevolence sometimes bothers me, as I would imagine that she could be left with a little amount or nothing for her own needs. Every time I remind her about that, she would send me a message with typed laughter with an assurance that what she sends me is “funny money” earned accidentally from the job that she has somehow learned to like.

 

The unselfish sharing of Perla always reminds me of the comment of my two “balikbayan” friends who tried to treat me to a lunch. On our way to the restaurant inside a mall, I saw an emaciated mother and her child who was holding on to a black garbage bag half-filled with empty plastic bottles. Both were staring at the customers eating fried chicken at a lunch counter near the aircon van terminal. When I told my friends to go ahead and that I would just follow in a few minutes, as I would like to buy packed lunch for the mother and her child, they told me not to bother, as “we can just pack our left- over for them after our lunch inside the mall”….they meant “doggie bag”. What they said made me adamant and which also made me decide not to join them anymore despite their pleading. When they left, I bought three packed lunch for the three of us – I, the mother and her child, and enjoyed it in the farthest corner of the terminal where we slumped on the floor. That lunch made my day….and, for which was spent part of Perla’s “funny money”.

 

 

 

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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 AtoZfoodnames.wordpress.com.)

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!

 

A Friend Gave Life to My Blogging

A Friend Gave Life to My Blogging

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

A friend who is also a blogger in her own right, based in the United States, but a Filipina, gave life to my blogging when she gave me her smart phone, after finding out that I have no camera which should be an important tool of a blogger. I told her that most of my blogs need no photo to support them.

 

It took me a very long time before finally deciding to use the cellphone, but only its camera because it has not yet been “opened” for local use, being registered with a Telcos in America. Most especially, I have no heart in spending a big amount just for that purpose because I am very much comfortable with my old basic phone.

 

Of late, I found out that the cellphone is indeed a big help in supporting my blogs, especially, events such the recent Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo. Also, for people with amazing and inspiring virtues, so that viewers will know how they look like – such as having a seasoned face due to hard work, stooped body due to almost 24/7 toil for the much needed cash, and also for strange sounding names of food. But the said contraption is still a no-no for my random acts of charity.

 

When the same friend read the blog about my laptop lacking a key cover for letter “M”, she immediately sent me a message of her plan to send over a laptop which I respectfully declined because I have no habit of getting rid of things that are still useful to me.

 

My friend is Perla Buhay….by the way, for foreign viewers, “buhay” means “life”. Coincidence?…God works in many splendid ways. Perla also gives life to her financially “dying” relatives and friends, also intellectual nutrients to children “starving” for knowledge with her book donations. So now, viewers know why I keep on praising the All-Knowing God although, I criticize to high heavens His people on earth who “badly manage” churches and manipulate the faith of innocent people.

Perla…(para kay Perla Buhay)

Perla

(para kay Perla Buhay)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang karangyaang naipagkait sa murang gulang

Ay nagsilbing lakas upang si Perla’y magsikap

Para sa kanya, ang buhay ay puno ng pag-asa

Na sa tamang panaho’y magdudulot ng biyaya.

 

Mga pangarap ang humubog ng kanyang buhay

Natanim sa isip habang kinakaya ang pagsubok

Dasal sa Panginoon sa kanya’y nagbigay ng lakas

Habang tinatahak niya ang bulubunduking landas.

 

Mga pagsisikap niya’y hindi binigo ng Panginoon

Dahil pangarap niya ay nagkaroon ng katuparan

Napatunayan niyang may kapalit ang pagtitiyaga

Lalo’t gagawin itong hindi nanlalamang ng kapwa.

 

Angkop ang pangalang Perla sa kanyang pagkatao

Na hango sa perlas, maselang yaman ng karagatan

Nagdadagdag -akit, sinuman ang magsuot na dilag

Kaya ang lalaking ‘di sumulyap at humanga ay bulag!

 

Perlas siya ng buhay…siya ay isang pamukaw-sigla

Inspirasyon at lakas ng iba upang maging masigasig

Dahil napatunayan niyang mahalaga ang magsikap

Upang magkaroon ng katuparan ang mga pangarap!

 

(Si Perla ay nakatapos ng pag-aaral sa pamamagitan ng pagsikap…naging

self-supporting. Nagkaroon ng trabaho, hanggang ang swerte sa ibayong

dagat ay kumaway sa kanya. Siya ay nakapag-asawa ng isang Amerikano

na todo ang pag-unawa sa adbokasiya niyang pagtulong sa mga maralitang

Pilipino at mga kamag-anak na naiwan sa Pilipinas.)

 

 

Perla…

Perla

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang karangyaang naipagkait sa murang gulang

Ay nagsilbing lakas upang si Perla’y magsikap

Para sa kanya, ang buhay ay puno ng pag-asa

Na sa tamang panaho’y magdudulot ng biyaya.

Mga pangarap ang humubog ng kanyang buhay

Natanim sa isip habang kinakaya ang pagsubok

Dasal sa Panginoon sa kanya’y nagbigay ng lakas

Habang tinatahak niya ang bulubunduking landas.

Mga pagsisikap niya’y hindi binigo ng Panginoon

Dahil pangarap niya ay nagkaroon ng katuparan

Napatunayan niyang may kapalit ang pagtitiyaga

Lalo’t gagawin itong hindi nanlalamang ng kapwa.

Angkop ang pangalang Perla sa kanyang pagkatao

Na hango sa perlas, maselang yaman ng karagatan

Nagdadagdag -akit, sinuman ang magsuot na dilag

Kaya ang lalaking ‘di sumulyap at humanga ay bulag!

Perlas siya ng buhay…siya ay isang pamukaw-sigla

Inspirasyon at lakas ng iba upang maging masigasig

Dahil napatunayan niyang mahalaga ang magsikap

Upang magkaroon ng katuparan ang mga pangarap!

(Si Perla ay nakatapos ng pag-aaral sa pamamagitan ng pagsikap…naging

self-supporting. Nagkaroon ng trabaho, hanggang ang swerte sa ibayong

dagat ay kumaway sa kanya. Siya ay nakapag-asawa ng isang Amerikano

na todo ang pag-unawa sa adbokasiya niyang pagtulong sa mga maralitang

Pilipino at mga kamag-anak na naiwan sa Pilipinas.)