Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas and Forgiveness

It's far easier to lie and run away, than to ask for forgiveness - or forgive. 

I originally wrote this on my Facebook post since I've had a life event - again, unfortunately - that made me think about Christmas, Christianity, evolution, lying and money. The situation put me in another tough spot during a critical moment in our lives. It's funny how sometimes, the people around us become odd during the tougher stages in life.

As it is, I miss my grandparents and would love to see the land of my birth once again. I'd love to see familiar faces of my extended family. Faces, who I now see as heroes with their share of trials and tribulations, victory and sacrifice, honor and humility.

But as I write this, I am beginning to doubt that this would be achieved.

I am in a tight spot right now.

Anyway, here's the FB post I made. The latter portion rambled on and diverted but I'll leave it as it is for you to make the connection.

"I'm sorry, I was wrong." 

Five extremely powerful words that have that amazing transformative strength. Sadly, most of us don't have the strength to say it and face judgement - both human and divine. Instead of saying those amazingly easy to say words, we make it more complicated. We fabricate delusions upon illusions beneath lies upon lies. All under the mantle of having the illusion of power, strength and sometimes, even righteousness. 

But the thing is, we are all fallen and imperfect. 

If you've read thus far, and feel that slightest tinge of guilt, maybe someone out there is waiting for you to say it. Forgiveness may not come from that person, but at the very least - you can forgive yourself and plant the seeds of peace. A chance to right the wrong. 

A chance to change the course of history yet to be made. 

A chance to change who you will become. 

Sadly, I have seen far too many people live out the rest of their days like this. Angry. Bitter. And 'right' to themselves and to anyone gullible enough to believe the lies and share the delusions. I've seen persons, whole families, communities and even nations, get blinded by this and that's the reason why we are seeing so many painful and horrible things going on right now. It's the cycle of hatred and bitterness fueled by an unforgiving world. 

Christ was born and nailed to the cross.

Mocked, yes. Vilified, bloodied and eventually killed. Not so his followers can start a revolution. Not so they can have revenge and torture the Romans. Not so they can become the most powerful nation on the planet and dominate, but so we, as a race would learn. 

So that we could evolve - beyond our animalistic instincts and tendencies. Asking for forgiveness and forgiving are traits that make us more than highly evolved species of animals. The natural order is retribution and revenge. (Addendum: I don't know whether this is also true for lower forms of animals. From what I am aware of right now, revenge seems to be a human only trait too. From that, we can also put human action in this context.)

Absent forgiveness, life would be like Game of Thrones. Bloodshed that begets bloodshed. 

I feel sick at what Christmas has become. Things are things... Even certain animals collect things. But can animals forgive and have enough self consciousness to admit they were wrong? Are there animals that know how to forgive? 

To me, more than cybernetic implants or neural upgrades or even genetic engineering, it is this central theme of Christianity that truly makes us creatures of evolution.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FOR SALE: FOUR monobloc tables and BONUS 20 chairs (A Buy and Sell Advertising Experiment - OLX vs AyosDito vs Craigslist Manila

We are holding a garage sale and selling four monobloc tables for only P4,000. Yes, that's the price for FOUR monobloc tables. All in!

The monobloc are second hand but have very sturdy plastic. Uratex brand

Height - 2 ft.
Width - 3 ft.
Length - 5 ft.

**For pickup only

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

An Irate SMS from an Anonymous Reader

I just got an SMS message from +63927-944-0072. As I routinely try to inform people who'd like to contact me, please, oh please, use my contact form or use the comments section. Moreover, if you will send my business number an SMS without informing me of your intent and without identifying yourself, I have no recourse but to respond in kind. 

I usually ignore these kinds of text messages, but I'll give this guy (or girl - credit for the effort). That's why I'm posting your message on my blog.

But next time, again, and again, please comment or use my contact form. Thank you have a nice day! I quoted the text verbatim.

"christmass"&"mass are NOT in the Bible!!!
"christmass" is from "christ's mass"
( o "misa ni cristo".
"Misa" ay PAULIT-ULIT na pagsasakripisyo ng "dugo at laman" ni LORD CHRIST (transubstantiation, Archbishop Hildebert, en c. 1055-1133, (
Nuon ang mga kriminal ay ipinapako sa krus upang "IBILAD SA KAHIHIYAN" (Heb6:6-12; 12:2).
offered HIS BODY & BLOOD, "ONCE & FOR ALL" or "ONE SACRIFICE ONLY"!!! (Heb. 9:28; 10;10,12,14; 1 Pet. 3:18) & HE CLEARLY said while on the cross, Jn. 19:30 "It is FINISHED"!!! or "NAGANAP NA"!!! KAYA DI NA KAILANGANG ULIT-ULITIN PA!!! GUSTO ng diablo ang "christmas" dahil si LORD CHRIST AY PAULIT-ULIT na IBINIBILAD SA KAHIHIYAN"!!!
Sender +63927-944-0072
Sent: 9 Dec. 2014

Well, actually, what you believe and what I believe about Christmas will be different. There are too many points here that need discussion. But I am not equipped with these knowledge as of the moment. For now, and you may not agree with me, but let's agree to disagree - we celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ. You hold your beliefs, I will hold mine. Regardless of the actual date's purported pagan roots, let's tentatively put that on hold for the purposes of convenience, culture and happiness.

I think you are alluding to certain traditions by the mainstream Catholic Christian group. I doubt that they are doing so because of the devil.

Anyway, whatever you believe, I'll let you believe what you believe, so we're both happy.

Yes, Christ was humiliated, tortured and eventually killed but not for the devil's sake, but as payment for our sins.

I don't know everything my friend, sometimes, I even have doubts about certain portions of the Christian bible. Sometimes, I may even hold certain beliefs that may go against the Christian mainstream.

I don't want to get caught up in dogma and the intricacies of religious faith, though sometimes I'd like to get a wider worldview by studying different aspects of religion.

For now, Christmas to me and my family, is important and we will celebrate it as the symbolic birth of Jesus Christ. If you do not like it, well, don't celebrate it!

Wala kang pamasko ok?

Merry Christmas Mr. Anonymous! 

Why We Would Have Less Miracles in the Future

Typhoon "Hagupit" / Ruby, has been dubbed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as "Yolanda Like" and has garnered its share of debates and consternation among the fine Filipino folk of the Internet. While the religious and the faithful prayed, the agnostics and atheists made fun of them. I'll try my best to stay in the middle in the hopes that we could see a slightly more objective point of view.

First, what is a "miracle"

  • a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
    • "the miracle of rising from the grave"
synonyms: wonder, marvel, sensation, phenomenon, supernatural phenomenon, mystery
    • "his recovery was a blessed miracle"
  • a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
  • "it was a miracle that more people hadn't been killed or injured"
  • an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
Deconstructed it has at least three main factors:

  • An adverse event, situation or circumstance
  • An inexplicable and welcome development
  • The attribution to a divine agency
In highly religious Philippines, miracles can sometimes be loosely defined. Some consider a job promotion a miracle. Some consider a change in prognosis a miracle. Some consider meeting a key person a miracle. In the past, most favorable things can be defined as a miracle to the heart warming applause of many. 

As debates raged on social media sites and in the comment sections of Philippine dailies, I have been forced to be circumspect on the matter. 

As of 6:00 am, 9th of December 2014, Typhoon Ruby / Hagupit fizzled into a mere thunderstorm. The first time in my personal memory that I recalled such happening. We barely felt it. Again, if this is the work of a divine agency, I am thankful. That's one thing off my checklist of problems.

Why the future would have less miracles - or - subsequently more miracles... Confused? Read on...
Remember the three factors of a miracle I noted above? 1. Problem 2. Positive Circumstance 3. Divine Attribution.

My concern is in number 2. More and more things are having scientific explanations. More and more solutions are coming (and yes I am also aware of the problems that they also bring). 

In short, there are less things which we cannot explain - and yes there are still many to study and learn. 

  • There would be less miracles, because there would be less people who believe that these extraordinary events are "miracles". If you think about it, to some people, the Internet itself is a miracle of sorts...
  • There would be more miracles - but only for those who believe that everything is a "miracle". 
Many schools of thoughts and paradigms overlap on how to treat "miracles". Whatever happened to Typhoon Ruby that caused it to weaken, be it colder sea surface temperature and NorthEasterly winds, or the fervent prayers of those who wished well, 

I am just grateful...

Friday, December 05, 2014

Typhoon "Hagupit"/Ruby Google Crisis Map

Everybody became an instant meteorologist overnight. With the specter of an incoming typhoon, I could only wait and listen. My wife is near giving birth. Last week, the doctor said that she might deliver next week. This is "next week".

At the same time, we're facing a myriad of concerns financially as this is the month we have to pay the RPT. So, yeah, the pressure is overwhelming. The map says that the typhoon will reach us in 72 hours. Hopefully by that time, it would have subsided and weakened. It usually does.

Typhoon week is like having a week off from reality. It's like having a disaster related TV show coming to life. Complete with its challenges and even its misgivings.