Thursday, April 27, 2017


1907 crowning reenacted in solemn splendor

THE CANONICAL coronation is a special privilege bestowed only on a very special Marian image.

This is what Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco pointed out in his homily before the solemn re-enactment of the canonical coronation of La Naval de Manila, which was canonically crowned on orders of Pius X in 1907 in the first ever canonical coronation of any Marian image in the Philippines and Asia.

The ceremonial coronation was made during a High Mass celebrated by Ongtioco and 15 other bishops from across the country last Oct. 4 at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.

“Our saga as a nation has always been intertwined with divine faith and the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Ongtioco said. “The venerated image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval has through the years proven itself as a source of inspiration, and a symbol of faith and hope in times of despair.”

The Queen and her Thomasian subjects

NO OTHER Marian image in the Philippines compares with the historical and spiritual richness of La Naval de Manila, whose divine interventions have been well-acknowledged from time immemorial.

Our Lady of La Naval continues to influence lives of Marian devotees as it did in the almost desperate but triumphant battles of Filipino-Spanish forces against the Dutch armada in the 1600s. After four centuries of devastating wars, natural calamities, and rampant sacrilegious Church robberies, La Naval has gained and received immense devotion from Filipinos, being the country’s patroness.

“We are full of gratitude because we have been bountifully blessed by God’s grace through the intercessions of Mary,” Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said in his homily during the centennial of the canonical coronation of Our Lady of La Naval.

No tears for Lola

AS I STARED at the white casket serenely adorned with white orchids, I saw my dead grandmother.

Still, things did not sink in even as I sat at the back row, staring at the people present in the wake. My aunt was crying beyond consolation, and so are my cousins. I looked away and sighed. I just didn’t understand. Why are they crying? And why don’t I feel anything?

The day of the burial came. We walked under the scorching heat of the sun, in the dusty road leading to the cemetery. It was a slow, agonizing walk and everyone around me was crying.

‘Gospel-imbued’ politics urged

IS IT the task of the clergy to orient lay people toward government leadership?

According to Pampanga’s priest-governor, Eddie Panlilio, it is the clergy’s responsibility to heed this “calling.”

“We have family life ministries and youth programs, but endeavors leading to the conscious formation of potential lay public administrators seem to be non-existent,” said Panlilio, who spoke to seminarians of the UST Central Seminary during the Fourth Padre Burgos Memorial Lecture Series last Sept. 18 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

“We have to admit that the clergy failed miserably in advocating these types of programs,” Panlilio said.

Christ’s alleged burial clothes on exhibit

IS THIS the face of Christ?

This question has intrigued the millions of poeple who have seen the Shroud of Turin, the venerated “burial clothes of Jesus Christ” believed to have captured Christ’s image after the Crucifixion.

According to Maricar Estrabo, project officer of “The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: The Philippine Exhibition” and a member of the Crusaders of the Holy Face, the Shroud of Turin, despite doubts about its authenticity, is one of the most precious treasures of Christianity.

“Although the Shroud of Turin is not known to many, the value given to it is manifested through its expositions,” Estrabo told the Varsitarian. “The Shroud of Turin is viewed by the public three to four times only in a century. Today, it is safely kept in a special chamber designed to preserve the artifact in Turin, Italy.”

Clothes make the man

UST INTERIOR Design alumnus Jerome Salaya Ang crashed into fashion design despite his ignorance of the basics such as pattern-making and sewing.

But much has changed since 1999 as Ang’s patience to learn the fundamentals and hone his fashion sense steadily built for him a reputation for tailoring chic wedding and evening gowns dolling up today’s high-class socialites and well-known celebrities.

Indeed, Ang has come a long way from being the clueless fashion designer wanna-be to the promising young style maker he is now. Thanks to eight years of hard work and four years of studying in UST.

From interior to couture

Ang studied at UST because of its proximity to his home in Tondo. He also acknowledges the University’s commitment in tapping and improving the talents of its students.

CJA and the journalists’ laboratory

EXPERIENCE as they say is the best teacher, and in my four years here in the University, I have proven that premise right.

Degrees offered here may be diverse but they share a common ground. More than the lectures and exams, it is on the spot training that holds more foundation for us students.

Majority of the courses require a laboratory subject, where they apply all the principles they have learned during the lectures they previously had. Apart from these burdensome yet educational subjects, some still have what many identify as internship, where they get a slap of the kind of world they would they will soon be facing outside the four corners of the University.

But it is quite sad to note that this is not the intensive kind of curriculum that every Thomasian receives. What about those who solely have lecture subjects in their list?

Stop the exodus

LAST October 18, my godmother, Dr. Charlotte M. Chiong, was awarded as one of the Top Outstanding Filipino Physicians (TOFP) by the Department of Health (DOH). She told me a few days later about the speech that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gave during the TOFP awarding ceremonies. Duque said that 85 per cent of the country’s healthcare professionals are now abroad and that a “collapse” of the Philippine healthcare delivery system is not too far behind.

Concerned, I researched on the topic and discovered that, according to Duque, for every 100 healthcare professionals, 88 have left the country in search of more lucrative jobs abroad. Duque added that for every 28,000 Filipinos, only one government doctor is available and that Filipinos in the rural areas are at a disadvantage because the best doctors in the country practice in Metro Manila.

Think before you laugh

IT USUALLY takes an ordeal of wit, creativity, and incredible timing for comedians to craft and deliver a decent, sellable punch line. But vending humor in exchange for insult makes it unacceptable.

However hilarious, some American comedy shows have bluntly offended Filipinos by remarks mentioned in the lines of some shows. It is as if Filipinos and our attributes are treated as a mere punch line.


ASIDE FROM Dominic, Aquinas, and Martin de Porres, there is one more hound of God that I recently came to admire as my eyes raked through the texts of his life story one leisurely morning on All Saints Day.

Pardon me for getting hooked at Church history these days. The kind of pasttime that I have may appear trivial, if not antiquated, for a handful of intellectual posers roaming the University and declaring the secularism of their thoughts from all evils, imagined or otherwise. I could only mope in boundless consternation.