I was awakened just before the alarm could at 7. My husband was coming out of a dream.
“A column is writing in my head,” he said, rolling over to my side of the bed. ”The bigger picture in this election must include China, prominently, historically. We need to go back to when Mao began exporting his brand of communism, before he got together with Imelda.”
He went on to track Mao’s campaign as his political heirs took it up and “cultivated” Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Rodrigo Duterte, after the Marcoses. (The piece was published in his fortnightly column for Rappler: “The three dynasties.”)
But I was more struck, made proud actually, by the interims, when China was held off by Cory Aquino, after the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was booted out of power, and her son, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, after he succeeded Arroyo. All that somehow explains to me why all the trolls are bombarding us with fake news to discredit the Aquinos, and anyone else who carries on in their legacy against Chinese intrusion.
And now, as Duterte’s term approaches its end, the Chinese must be behind the Ferdinand Marcos Jr.-Sara Duterte tandem.
Vergel and I were both fully awake now. Only once before did I see Vergel so agitated—in 2016, when it became clear Duterte was going for the presidency. My husband, whose sense about such and other things I’ve learned to trust, not seldom fearfully, had more than a bad feeling about Duterte—he had made himself familiar with his authoritarian mayoralty of Davao City for more than two decades. He felt he needed to do something.
And, for the first time, he augmented his advocacy writing with speaking, by both invitation and arrangement, to any audiences who cared to listen—from the poorest communities to company executives and workers. “Having seen it all before [as a journalist for more than 50 years], I must have some light to contribute to shine on the issues,” he would say.
But Duterte could not be stopped—certainly not by him, and neither by the collective cautionary calls of everyone.
Now, my own column began writing in my head, except that the picture I saw went even beyond China—back to 1917, into the spiritual realm of Fatima. Our Lady, appearing to three children, warned that if Russia were not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, its unrighteousness would spread and bring about the world’s destruction. At that time, the Russian monarchy was still in place, already ripe for a revolution, but hardly the menace to the world it would become.
For its own reasons, the Church had kept message of Fatima secret until Russia had influenced China, among other societies.
Soon enough, the Chinese came up with their own Godless version of Communism.
In 1948, Our Lady was reported to have had another apparition in Lipa, Batangas province, to a Carmelite nun, Teresita Castillo. As many visionaries, she suffered not only doubts but humiliation from her own church. I was a child myself at the time, but never doubted it.
For my 9th birthday, I asked my dad to take me to Lipa. No shower of petals happened there on my visit, but another kind of miracle did.
On the way home, my dad at the wheel, my mom in the front seat, and my 4-year-old brother and I in the back, something happened, causing Dad to somehow lose control. The car overturned a couple of times and landed upside down. Its tires were still whirling when I came to.
Somehow we found ourselves out of the car, some distance away. If trapped inside the battered car, we might have suffered more serious injuries; instead we came away with only scratches and cuts that required no stitching. The other blessing came when a good Samaritan took all of us all the way to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
Not just another election
The experience kept my interest and belief in my namesake nun, Sister Teresita. Through statements of Cardinal Vidal, then Bishop of Lipa, I learned that Our Lady had an “urgent” request: “Pray hard, for China‘s dream is to invade the whole world.”
At the start the Church decided, as it did with the message of Fatima, to keep this part of the message secret, thinking it sounded far-fetched or probably unfair. With all its internal problems, China, like Russia in the time of Fatima, was far from being a world power. It was not until the early ’50s that Mao Zedong’s communism would triumph in China completely. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward resulted in the death of 45 million, outdoing even Stalin’s communism or Hitler’s Nazism.
In 1995, during Fidel V. Ramos’ presidency, following Cory’s, military structures, rather spare yet, were discovered in Mischief Reef in the Spratlys. When Chinese fishermen were arrested on Half Moon Shoal, we filed a diplomatic protest.
In 2012, the Chinese took possession of Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough) Shoal and made several incursions into the West Philippine Sea.
In 2013, during Noynoy’s presidency, we filed a case—subsequently winning it—with the International Arbitration Tribunal, accusing China of violating international law and interfering with our fishing, and with travelers sailing the waterway and destroying the marine environment.
Alas, in 2018, two years into Duterte’s presidency, they were somehow able to build a massive military facility in our sea. In 2019, Maung Bo, the Burmese president of the Federation of Asia Bishops Conference, accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of criminal negligence that he said caused the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, “through its inhumane and irresponsible handling of the coronavirus.” The CCP, he said, had suppressed the news and silenced whistleblowers, putting millions of lives around the world in danger. As early as 2014 our own Cardinal Vidal wrote a letter to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, revealing what Our Lady said in Lipa: ”Pray hard, for China’s dream is to invade the whole world.”
He further warned, “The Philippines is one of its (China’s) favorites. Money is the evil force that will lead people to the destruction of the world.”
There may or may not be time, but there’s always hope. Put in the context of the two apparitions, the coming election is not just another election. In 1993, when Cardinal Vidal had spoken with Sister Lucia herself, she told him, “We are in the consecration period. The triumph is an ongoing process. Fatima has just begun.”