Your mantra for the week: “I am loving when I am kind and lovable when I create laughter.”
This may come as a shock to many of my readers. I have been wanting to get unbaptized, but I have not found a way to do it. And then my good friend, Fr. Carlos Ronquillo, rector of the The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or the Baclaran Church, reminded me, “Kapatid, baptism is a permanent sacrament.”
I was truly disappointed.
I want to get unbaptized because in IAMISM, we believe that man was born with Original Goodness, not with Original Sin which is just based on the allegorical story of Adam and Eve.
People who believe that they were born sinners have blocked much of the good they are entitled to. But this can be reversed by renewing the mind, as the Bible says. Furthermore, psychologists have shown that when you carry feelings of guilt in your life—which so-called sinners, consciously or subconsciously do—they attract the corresponding “punishment” that appear as unfortunate circumstances—in the vernacular, kamalasan.
The years I was a devout Catholic were my unhappiest, despite having gone to Mass and communion daily as requisites to go to heaven. I actually fulfilled more than the nine first Fridays, the 14 Stations of the Cross every year, the Simbang Gabi every Christmas season, novenas from Saint Anne to Saint Zebra—yes, including Jude of the Impossible and the Virgin of Perpetual Help.
I do understand that, once a year, one can get a miraculous answered prayer, like what Black Nazarene devotees have attested to.
But what a difference it makes when one can accept Jesus’ teaching, that the Kingdom of Heaven is within and, therefore, where else can God be, but in Its kingdom, within each man—that a miracle can happen at any moment, every day, especially when one prays in the following ways: affirmations, visualization, meditations, both guided and unguided, anticipating something good, acts of kindness and a lot of giving, with no strings attached.
Add to this, the prayer of substitution which needs a lot of practice, but is super effective. For instance, instead of blaming, you take responsibility. Instead of criticizing, you start praising. Instead of complaining, you start looking for possible solutions. Instead of feeling offended, you start forgiving. Instead of worrying (baka… eh kung…), you live in the now where God always resides.
If you can do all the aforementioned, you are assured of miracle after miracle in 2018 as well as the succeeding years.
People of the Year
Early this week, Philippine Ambassador to the US Babe Romualdez and People Asia chair Ray Espinosa sent out invitations to People Asia’s People of the Year awards at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Through e-mail I got an invite to People of the Year 2017, but when I arrived at the Sofitel ballroom, emblazoned across the stage was People of the Year 2018. I wondered which was the fake date.
Congratulations to the awardees, with special mention to Megaworld’s Kevin Tan for building modern townships, and who, by the way, has joined us as board member of Philippine Ballet Theater; Lulu Tan-Gan for her contributions to fashion; seasoned singer Basil Valdez who’s been a friend from way back; visual artist Ronald Ventura, who broke the auction record twice at Christie’s Hong Kong and the only Southeast Asian artist to do so; basketball coach Tim Cone, who used to frequent my Stars of Giorgio Restaurant with Wilfred Uytengsu, then president and now CEO of Alaska Milk Corp.; and, of course, Kris Aquino.
Sara Soliven de Guzman and her mother Preciosa made quite an attractive mother-and-daughter duo.
Round-trip ticket for one
The grand prize of the evening came from the Airline of the Year, Singapore Airlines, with the stylish Tina Jacinto winning a round-trip ticket to Singapore for one.
I take exception to the title given to Norman King as Lucky Person of the Year, because he made history when he became the first Aeta to graduate from the University of the Philippines. The more complimentary title should have been Most Inspiring Person of the Year, because it removes all implications of a racist Trumpish slur.
The Max Soliven award for Lifetime Achievement went to former President Fidel V. Ramos, which he truly deserved, if only for the fact that with his longevity, he continues to be a well-respected voice in the country.
Joanne Rae Ramirez was stunning in a purple Ito Curata gown. Sadly, the classy vibe at the event was lost in the scampering for the cocktail tables where the food was attractively laid out. It was like a stampede that one had to get out of the way for safety’s sake.
Alas, all grace and elegance are nonchalantly put aside in moments of hunger.
According to a reliable source, there are priests and bishops who claim they believe in birth control and contraceptives. But until they are given the authority to say so by the Vatican, “They will have to remain silent.”
Let this be the year when a miracle occurs, like the Vatican changing its position on contraceptives. Then, we can happily say, “A condom a day keeps the baby away.”