Archive for March 2013

Mater Dolorosa, Museums and Mothers

March 29, 2013

Mater Dolorosa, Museums and Mothers

Angela and I pause to admire the icon of Mother of Sorrows inside the San Augustine Museum. Holy Thursday was spent visiting churches and walking inside the Augustinian monastery to learn about its 450 years of mission work. I wonder how our development advocacy for our citizens can sustain even 100 years. As we enter the rooms, we notice three things that the Augustinians did :
one, they wrote,translated, published and circulated many spiritual books in the dialects, from Ilokano to Hiligaynun; second, they built and rebuilt churches in various islands until all these churches became sites for the faithful for 4 centuries; third, their missionaries were willing to be tortured, burned, crucified, disembowelled by the natives they wished to convert and save. The first, our ML activists have done but not sufficiently. The second, building permanent structures , on the dream table . The third, thousands have been detained,disappeared, tortured, died and are still on the path but never achieving enough recognition, not even acknowledgement as heroes.

As a mother now, I pray that the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis and its cardinals will really work harder and serve better. I pray that as women of perpetual sorrows, we will be given the freedom and resources to provide succour to all. Salve Regina, Mater Misericordia,Oh Pia, O Dulcis Virgio Maria.


San Sebastian Church 1891, Coconuts, CCT reflections

March 29, 2013

San Sebastian Church 1891, Coconuts, CCT reflections

Ed, Angela and I went to San Sebastian church in Legarda as part of the church visits during lenten season. As we enter the church, our eyes looked up at the Gothic inspired structure which was magnificent. We say thanks to all the stone workers who built this church and framed by Eiffel in steel. My mind and eyes were nourished by the stained windows and its portrayal of the rosary mysteries.

As i meditated inside such century-old churches, I ask, what can we do for the faithful, the disempowered, the people of God (as we preferred to describe our brethen rather than say poor) ?

Thousands of people were going in and out of the churches, but there were two sights that made me think : the enterprising informal vendors and the blind old beggars who were around the churches.
In Intramuros, there were a hundred food vendors selling food and drinks, mostly corn, camotes, bananas and rice cakes . We bought tupig, fried camote and bibingka. My mind went then to the CCT, why not help people make delicious staple food and rice cakes to sell during festivals and close all the malls ? The malls are open longer than these stalls during the whole year , the owners can use the time to do their inventories .

Why not inspire people to use their time and labor to become enterprising rather than be dependent on CCT? We were told by a friend Maitet D that the workers who used to braid coir fibers into ropes adn mats have stopped working because they get cash anyway. Other friends say the same with the cct-atms being pawned not for the children’s education nor for natal healthcare but for gambling debts. With 34.9 billion pesos, we can do rural agro-industrial devt among the poorest of farmers and fisherfolks. The coconut industry can use 10 billion to build village type CNO plants (copra made into crude oil) that can run from 25 million pesos plus and help coconut copra farmers to manage their own plants and sell to refineries. Then the copra wont be sold at P15 per kilo and the crude oil can be sold in tons to refineries. Replanting of three million hectares can be supported by DA and a research team that can study how Mexico runs its research on in producing thousands of coconut seeds from one genotype.

With 15 billion pesos, we can make urban cities sustainable for the citizens by designing antifragile structures like the one that Eiffel did for San Sebastian to survive earthquakes and fires.

We can make millions of mudballs to clean the polluted rivers and esteros (mudballs cost P5@) and have a thousand Pasig boats and ferries offer commuters faster and safer travels. Pasig river can also be transformed into river markets.

There are many governance innovations by LGUs and Galing Pook awardees with social and economic impact that the Pnoy cabinet can replicate especially now that Pnoy has 3 more years to serve. With 10 billion pesos, many can be mentored on zero-death disaster action programs and our people need not suffer from climate changes. Farm to market roads can be built by a club of lgus pooling their equipment and engineers at the cost of P400,000 per kilometer which has been demonstrated by PALMA LGUS in Mindanao. Towns and villages can become staple-food sufficient with the Dept of Agriculture assisting the farmers and lgus in knowledge and machinery support.

This lent, i really pray for all our leaders who hold the purse to think deeply as they spend their vacation in five star hotels and leisure venues. I pray that a special fire will enlighten our DBM, DUF, DSWD, DTI, DPWDH, BIR, DILG and the Palace officials as Easter church bells ring on sunday morning. Amen


March 6, 2013

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