Father’s Day today?

They say it’s Father’s Day today. I say, “no way”.

For us Filipinos, the real Father’s Day (Día del Padre) should be commemorated every March 19th. Our forefathers knew this. It was the US neocolonialist pigs who subtly imposed the modern-day commemoration of Father’s Day every 3rd Sunday of June for commercial purposes: to sell greeting cards, items that fathers’ love (such as tools, electronics, and other similar gadgets), special promos in restaurants, discounts in resorts, and the like. In short, today’s celebration of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) is BASED ON PROFITEERING whereas the real Filipino celebration of Father’s Day is SPIRITUAL (feast of Saint Joseph, the adoptive father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the patron saint of fathers).

The Father’s Day that Filipinos celebrate today has its origins from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of a US Civil War veteran, was inspired by a sermon from Anna Jarvis who was promoting Mother’s Day the year before, in 1909. Dodd then thought of a noble idea to honor fathers as well. And she was doubly inspired because her dad was a single parent who raised six children on his own. She then suggested to a pastor in the YMCA to organize a Father’s Day celebration that will complement Jarvis’s Mother’s Day. Dodd initially suggested to hold the very first Father’s Day celebration on June 5, on her father’s birthday. However, YMCA pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, so it was decided that they celebrate Father’s Day two Sundays later: on June 19, 1910. That date was the third Sunday of the month. Since then, it has become a tradition to hold Father’s Day every third Sunday of June.

Unlike Jarvis’s Mother’s Day, Dodd’s concept did not become a huge hit on its first few years. She even stopped promoting it to pursue further studies in Chicago, Illinois during the 1920s. A decade later, she returned to Spokane and revived Father’s Day, with the motive of raising awareness at a national level. Interestingly, she received help from trade groups who were thinking of other opportunities: profit. These trade groups had interests in the manufacturing of ties, tobacco pipes, and other typical items that would be of interest for fathers. Hungry for profit, they worked hard in order to make Father’s Day the “Second Christmas’ for all the men’s gift-oriented industries” (See Leigh Eric Schmidt’s CONSUMER RITES The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 256-292).

Both Jarvis and Dodd’s objectives were simple and noble: to honor parents. But their noble vision was buried by commercialization which still pervades to this very day. All in the name of US imperialism. So why do we Filipinos have to identify ourselves with something that is not ours, that is not us?

I am a Filipino. Soy filipino. Not a little brown Kanô.

Originally published in FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, with minor edits.

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Twisting the Spanish conquest

In his Inquirer column today, lawyer Joel Butuyan wrote:

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Actually, a friend of mine (Rommel López of the Knights of Columbus) alerted me to this doltishness of a declaration, prompting me to tap a deceased non-lawyer, in fact a high school dropout, to teach this “well-learned” columnist-lawyer a lesson in history. So in my Facebook account, I shared the following:

Joel Butuyan (seasoned INC lawyer) vs Nick Joaquín (Catholic high school dropout). Take your pick.

BUTUYAN: The Spanish conquest obliterated almost everything that is Asian in our people, except the color of our skin.

JOAQUÍN: This is recognized even by those who deny it, as when they assert that 1521 marked a deviation from what might have been our true history; or when they fume that we were Christianized at the cost of our “Asian” soul; or when they argue that if the Philippines had only been completely converted to Islam by the 16th century, not all the arms of the West could have turned us into “Filipinos”. Now that is absolutely true; and the argument can be extended with the observation that only, by the 16th century, the Philippines were already Buddhist, or Taoist, or Hindu, or Confucian, or Shintoist, the West would have conquered us in vain, because, being already formed by the media of the great civilizations of the East, we would be in little danger of deviating from that Asian form. What a different kind of Christian, for instance, we might have been if we had been evangelized, not by Spaniards, but by the Nestorian Christians of Asia; and what a truly “Asian” art we might have had if our first teachers in painting had been the Japanese and not the Europeans. But the office of the historian is not to relate what might have happened but to inquire why it did not — and in this case the answer is one we have been so shyly refusing to face as fact, though it stares us in the face, that it may be for the best to have it stated bluntly at last:
If it be true indeed that we were Westernized at the cost of our Asian soul, then the blame must fall, not on the West, but on Asia…
…We say we were Christianized to our cultural disaster. Do we ever ask why we were not Buddhicized, or Taoicized, or Hinduicized, or Confucianized, or Shintocized, or Islamicized, to our cultural salvation? The reason cannot have been doctrinal timidity, for the great East Asian religions produced missionaries every bit as aggressive as any Paul of Tarsus.

The foregoing rebuttal is from the late National Artist’s famous essay “Culture and History”.

By the way, the lawyer boasted that history is one of his leisure indulgences, and that writing about olden times gives him a welcome break from the toxic chore of writing about law and politics. He also boasted that one of his prized possessions as an amateur history buff is the 55-volume “Blair and Robertson”, a most sought-after compendium among students of history.

In comparison, when Nick was alive, he never declared the same: he didn’t tell anyone that history was one of his “leisure indulgences”. Neither did he boast of all the history books that he had read just to show how profound his thinking was when it comes to knowledge of history. He simply let his knowledge (with a logic to die for) do the talking. 😉

So now we have a lesson not just in history but also a lesson in humility. So yes, dear reader, take your pick.

Crossing out the flag

I saw this on Twitter this morning…

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Yesterday, that same Twitter account had a much dramatic message as it was more specific on the sectors it was inviting, sectors that many deem to be deeply divided: Christians and Muslims, DDS and Dilawan, etc.

Today, May 28, is National Flag Day. To be more precise, it commemorates the day when the Filipino flag was first unfurled, was actually used as a battle ensign, during the Battle of Alapán in Imus, Cavite between rebel (Katipunan) and government troops.

I may be considered a nationalist, but my love of country cannot be dictated by imperious flag laws. First and foremost, I am a Catholic. But the national flag is a Masonic emblem. So there lies the rub. Nevertheless, my love of country was forged and even strengthened by Catholicism. Thus my patriotism is above all sorts of national pride and imagery. I was made Filipino not by flag nor legalese but by Cross and Culture.

Soy católico, pero la bandera nacional es un emblema masónico. Así que en eso reside el problema. Sin embargo, mi amor por el país fue forjado e incluso fortalecido por el catolicismo. Así, mi patriotismo está por encima de todo tipo de orgullo nacional e imágenes. Fui hecho filipino no por bandera ni por jergas legales sino por Cruz y Cultura.

Amén.

A call for prayers. Un llamado para las oraciones.

My dear readers. Please pray for me. After being released from a long hospitalization last year, I noticed that my passion for reading and writing has dissipated. It now reached a point where I couldn’t even finish a page or two in just one sitting (before: I could finish a book or two within a day, and there existed a delight to scribble verses). I’ve been carrying a pen and notebook wherever I go, but I don’t even have the heart to use them. My uncomfortable circumstances (debts, chronic pain, court case between my parents, working at night for more than a decade, etc.) add up to this wretchedness of mind. And it’s getting worse. Anyway, I am fully aware that I am not as talented nor as well-known as many other Filipino writers, but writing is the only thing I know I’m good at. If I don’t write, I will die. But I believe in prayers; they have worked wonders. So my dear readers, this Holy Week, please pray for me. Thank you.
Mis queridos lectores. Por favor, oren por mí. Después de ser dado de alta de una larga hospitalización el año pasado, noté que se había disipado mi pasión por la lectura y la escritura. Ahora llegó a un punto en el que ni siquiera podía terminar una página o dos en una sóla sesión (antes: podía terminar un libro o dos en el transcurso de un día, y existía un deleite garabatear versos). He estado llevando un bolígrafo y un cuaderno donde quiera que vaya pero ni siquiera el corazón para usarlos. Y mis circunstancias incómodas (deudas, dolor crónico, caso judicial entre mis padres, trabajando de noche por más de una década, etc.) se suman a esta desdicha mental. Siento que se está poniendo peor. De todos modos, soy plenamente consciente de que no soy tan talentoso ni tan conocido como muchos otros escritores filipinos, pero escribir es lo único que sé en lo que soy bueno. Si no escribo, moriré. Pero creo en oraciones; han hecho maravillas. Así que mis queridos lectores, esta Semana Santa, por favor oren por mí. Gracias.

Feliz 150º cumple, Señor Presidente Aguinaldo…

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Señor Presidente Emilio Aguinaldo! Aunque usted rebeló contra nuestra Madre España, ha preservado la unidad del archipiélago, bajo el mismo nombre de Filipinas, con el español como el idioma oficial. Luchó contra los verdaderos invasores, los WASP usenses. Y lo que es más importante, usted ha expresado su arrepentimiento por la rebelión cuando asistió los ritos fúnebres del Rey Alfonso XIII en la Catedral de Manila… y ha rechazado la masonería al regresar a la Iglesia Católica durante sus últimos años. ¡Un saludo cordial!

 

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How to celebrate the rites and blessings of Epiphany

Epiphany is one of the Chuch’s major and spectacular feasts. It occurs on January 6th, the final day of the 12 days of Christmas (in some locations it is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 – 8). In some places it is also called Twelfth night or Three Kings Day. This is the day the Church commemorates the Magi arriving to give homage to the newborn King of Kings with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, symbolic of all the Gentile nations coming into the Kingdom of God. In many places around the world, this was the traditional day of gift-giving in celebration of Christmas.

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There is a long-standing Epiphany tradition of marking churches, homes, schools, and other buildings with a special ‘holy formula’ over the entryway using chalk that has been blessed for this purpose on Epiphany. This formula includes the current year along with the initials C, M, and B in the order shown below.
20 + C + M + B + 18 
The C, M, and B are placed in between the numbers of the current year, with crosses in between each symbol. The three letters have two significations: the invocation Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house), as well as the first initial of the names of the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.

Click here for the rest of the article (by Gretchen Filz). Happy Three Kings!

2019 for the win!

At the start of every year we always ask ourselves, “what’s in store for me this year?” I’m sure many of you asked poor 2019 about it when it has not even lasted a full day yet. But didn’t it even occur to you that it is us who create our own destiny? A year is not like a box filled with all of life’s goodies. A year is not a sentient being. We should not liken life to a calendar year. While life may be a box filled with chocolates, a year is an empty box. And we have an obligation to fill it up. Therefore, it is good ‘ol 2019 who should ask us instead:

“What are you gonna fill me up with?”

A year is just a number. But with our own perseverance and faith in God, we have the capability to make it come alive. Don’t falter whenever you encounter bad-tasting chocolates; that is part of life which Forrest Gump’s mom failed to tell him. Just spit it out and move on. As we say in Spanish: así es la vida.

So let us make 2019 a meaningful one. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! And may God bless and guide us all!