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The wonders of folk Catholicism


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During the seven decades of Cold War ideological conflicts, popes for the modern times—John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis—have repeatedly called for the reinvigoration of fundamentals in the growth of the existing Christian flock and in the universal call for holiness. These are the lifelong clerical and lay missions of Catholicism to keep the faith durable.

Posted: March 23rd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Pests and ashes


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The other week, in my backyard farm, I noticed ominous signs of pest infestations in the lanzones trees that I planted a couple of years ago. The trees shed all their leaves, and nothing but naked branches remained.

Posted: March 9th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

The stigma of the mentally ill


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My column topic last week, “Lunacy is the most inhuman illness,” an account of my cousin Gerry’s becoming mentally ill, resulted in some queries and comments sent through my e-mail (care of Inquirer readers Teng Aguilar, Herminio Liwanag, Clarissa Teves and Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, a practicing psychiatrist for 40 years).

Posted: March 2nd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Lunacy is the most inhuman illness


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One of the most inhuman tragedies that can befall a normal family is for one of its members to be sick with mental illness. Some call it a curse.

Posted: February 23rd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

The greatest spectator sport in the world


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In 1970 I saw world-class soccer played in Bangkok, when world champion Brazil played against Manchester United in an exhibition game. The Thais were nuts about soccer. As soon as the Brazilians entered the field, the huge Bangkok crowd burst into a standing ovation.

Posted: February 16th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Filipinos are the most culturally nimble people in the world


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I have long been fascinated by the various cultures that made up our earliest genes, and the succeeding influences that shaped our character as modern Filipinos. Our mix is rather varied.

Posted: February 9th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Today I’m 78, Happy Birthday to me


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On Feb. 2, 1936 ON a cold and foggy morning, I was born in a farmhouse at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Laguna.

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Reminiscing with our gang of mass-market magicians


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I wept as I watched Supertyphoon “Yolanda” destroy lives and homes in Tacloban with end-of-the-world fury. Millions of others, too, watched in tears. Hope and help were also blown away by the storm.

Posted: January 26th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

The hypnotist


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I first saw my stepfather-to-be in 1942, when I was eight, during the Japanese time. He was attending the town fiesta of Majayjay. I saw him approaching on our pathway, dressed in clothes I’d never seen.

Posted: January 19th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Culture vulture advertising


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A recent estimate reveals that the average viewer sees roughly 2,300 commercials per month. Better still, include the daily dosages of shocking news headlines on bloody events around the world.

Posted: January 12th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

‘Iba ang Filipina’


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My first images of Filipina beauty unfolded from the pages of my mother’s album, with pictures of Manila Carnival queens during the ’20s and ’30s. I was 7 years old, and I lingered on the pages showing the pictures of beauteous Miss Philippines; Miss Maria Katigbak of Batangas was the kayumanggi, Miss Pacita de los Reyes was fair-complexioned and mestisahin. Both were dressed like a queen and wore a bejeweled crown on their heads.

Posted: December 8th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

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