Monday, October 11, 2010



There are many newsworthy articles that I came upon in the last few days but only a few of them stood out. Among the few that stood out, one thing in particular caught my attention. This was the report that our fruit industry took an unexpected hit.

Apparently, our banana exports to the Middle East became an unwilling casualty of the row between the US and Iran. A prominent local paper reported last week that Iran refused to buy them. Iran is the biggest buyer of locally grown bananas in that region.

The fallout: 64,000 citizens will most probably lose their jobs; that's 64,000 heads of families and this close to the Christmas season, I personally do feel for my fellow Filipino compatriots - the littlest Filipino worker - a lot.

Let me just say that I very much disapprove of this quite inconsiderate act of state. And that through this post, I personally protest it as being squarely unjust.

While it is true that this Country is allied to the United States, the roots of our alliance are established upon the same foundations that built the United Nations of which my Republic of the Philippines is a founding member. As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Philippines makes clear our principle that our alliances are built not upon war or aggression but upon peace and human community. And as a member of the ASEAN comity of nations, we stand by that same principle.

I myself am squarely in favor of peace and human community so that even if I am speaking here only for myself, in the democratic traditions of Philippine society, it is still representative of the good will of my nation as a whole. Because no nation on this earth may truly exist for war's own sake most especially at this crucial time in the history of our world.

It might just be that we are, as a nation, experiencing some difficulty at present. Long may our years have been but we are still an emerging endeavor of Country. We have yet, as a nation, to become reconciled with what virtue we may contribute for the good of all nations and also that all nations possess this same potential to contribute to the good of the world. And I would that we should not overlook this, my fellow Filipino compatriots: Never again must we think in terms of what darkness there is or how deep into oblivion it runs - for darkness that is deep is madness.

I think the Iranian people are a good people. Otherwise they wouldn't be here with the rest of us this far out into exile time. So let our own thoughts be focused on this - only on the things of the light - as we continue to complete our remembrances as a people - a nation distinct from among all the other nations of the one family of the nations of Mankind: Distinct but not apart.

Let us say to them: Peace, I salute you.

And understand that if we continue on this path, though there may be setbacks like this, though things may seem difficult, we will prosper. Because we will be fulfilling the promise we have been purposed for by the one Sovereign of all nations, the LORD.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.

A little anecdote:

A fellow Catholic told me once that he left the Faith because of all the bad apples in the bunch. He told me that Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels were Catholic (or so he said) and to look at what they did.

Being very good friends with my Anne Frank, you should know by now, my fellow Filipino compatriots, that I am particularly sensitive to those things.

And indeed, I know what they did. I fully understand it. Indeed, I fully understand the depth of it. Because I am utterly repelled by it. The very spirit of it nauseates me. I see in it everything I ought by the grace of God not to be. For the evil in evil things does not inspire me to be good. It only serves to affirm in my heart what goodness I know there is. Only good things inspire me to be good. My Anne inspires me to be good. But evil itself inspires me not to be evil.

The thing about him, brothers and sisters, was that his sight was dead set on the darkness and how deep the darkness runs so he forgot about the Light.

He betrayed Peter because of Judas.

He left Christ because of Satan.

However wholesome and right these things may present themselves to the door of our hearts, we should never be inspired by evil inspiration -

Salutation #5


PEACE, I salute you.

Even the smallest of lights
shines in the darkness -
so shift your focus, my friend,
if you haven't already done so
for each and every good thing counts
regardless of the darkness.

What is praiseworthy is right action.
It is what makes us distinct from the darkness -
it is ignition -
the actual point of contact
between human will and divine grace.
Right action is, in the painting by Michelangelo
of Adam reaching out to God
with their fingers extending out to each other,
that bright spark at the imagined point of contact
between the freedom of Man and the freedom of God:
Right action always results in good works.

What motivates the will to act
must also be what inspire the heart to love.
Therefore, evil action is always the result
of false inspiration -
the idolatry of sin!
So if we are to do good,
we must first learn to love the good -
and shun all that is evil.

For we profit not from evil,
my dear friend,
but from the good;
our motivation being derived
from purposes that are good,
our hopes being anchored upon things
that are true and therefore, good,
and the wings of our surrender to prayer
being ever vigilant and discerning
in its ascent
to the one Giver of all good things.

For evil no longer hold us captive.
We have come to know it
and forever bless the LORD for His Light.
Therefore, we seek now to unknow it
upon paths of repentance
that lead away from darkness
and into peace -
peace in our hearts -
peace with our fellow human beings -
peace with all of heaven -
and peace with our God.

I continue to pray for peace...

...from star to star, one whole sky.

Lastly, brothers and sisters, it is not the seeming randomness of nature that impart virtue on human events but the freedom of Man cooperating with the freedom of God: This is a first principle truth.

Therefore, if you want to know if there was anything special to me about 10/10/10, well here it is -

Congratulations to all the 175K+ people who joined in on the 10/10/10 Run for Pasig River - what a splendid success it was!

It was truly a model of community participation in the national conservation effort.

Way to go, Philippines!