Monday, November 17, 2008


Readers of the article “A HANDY GUIDE ON THE QUEST FOR MASONIC LIGHT” learned that six topics are involved in the study of the Craft. The first, which is labeled as “Rituals” need no elaboration as it merely involves memory work and nothing else. The second of course is called “philosophy” and will therefore be the subject of this article.

I. Philosophy’s Simplest Definition

Freemasonry has a myriad of philosophies, and no wonder, it involves an entire system of morality. But its basic theme involves man, his soul and his longing to reunite with his Maker. Let this writer now elaborate.

In simplest terms,. philosophy is synonymous to belief, way of life, set of values, or thinking that governs mankind. But Masonry’s philosophy transcends all these because when viewed on the higher plane, it gets straight to the longing of the creature to return to his Creator when his time to “pass his papers” has finally arrived. The final equation therefore is that “man with an immortal soul will at one time finally return to his Maker.

Curiously, this philosophy is not original, meaning, it was already there long before Masonry was established as a brotherhood. It was adopted from the existing philosophies of all religions invented by man which in turn were thought of after Cain slew Abel in envy which resulted why the burnt offering of the latter that consist of animal carcass rose higher than the smoke that consisted of plant harvest that the former offered to the Lord. This event also spelled out for the first time the need for caring for one’s own sibling became pronounced when Cain evasively asked: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

And if this writer may be allowed to digress for a moment, the reason atheists and agnostics are barred from admission into the Masonic Fraternity is because the said philosophy requires belief that man has an immortal soul who yearns to return to his Creator when time his has come. Which also explains why the petitioner must answer in the affirmative the query “Do you believe in God?” And there are no ifs nor buts here.

II. The Need for Alternative Examples

Oddly, man often fails to comprehend even the simplest of terms. Sages from the ancient times had to invent ways of getting their messages across to their intended listeners. Aesop had to use animals to teach a lesson and called his examples “fables”; “allegories” and “metaphors” were also used to tell stories and even the Greatest Teacher of all time had to use what is called “parables” in order that he may be understood. Masonry, in like manner, had to resort to the use of the builders’ tools as symbols to convey messages that involve separate but clear and understandable meanings which the use of words oftentimes mess up in confusing jargons.

The main reason why Freemasonry has a good number of philosophies to live by is because it is defined as a system of morality and when morality is concerned, there are innumerable ways of achieving them. It has adopted the four cardinal virtues as its own, always to be in the right, know the truth even if it hurts and so on and so forth. But nowhere did it say that all these will in fine take him back to the Lord.

III. How then is Basic Philosophy is Conveyed to its Disciples

The question that most likely will be posed by the reader is: “where in Masonry’s teachings are these words contained?”

Okay then, in the lambskin apron it says:

“and when your trembling soul shall stand naked and alone before the great white throne, there to receive judgment for the deeds while in the body, may it be your pleasure to hear from Him who sitteth as the Judge Supreme the welcome words, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant, enter now into the joys of the Lord.”

Conversely, in the ending paragraph of the third degree lecture it admonishes:

So how important it is to imitate the GMHA in his truly exemplified character and in his unfeigned piety to God that we may welcome death, not as a grim ripper but as a kind messenger sent to translate us from this imperfect world to that perfect world where the Supreme Architect of the Universe forever resides.

And the Last Rites further expound on this when on the elocution for a departing brother it emphatically says somewhere in the middle of the discourse it said::

“then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return to God who gave it

And that is not all for somewhere in the Chaplain’s concluding prayer it said:

“and when our work on earth is done, and our bodies shall have mingled with their kindred dust, may our immortal soul, freed from their cumbrous clay, be received into thy keeping to rest forever into that spiritual house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”




A dilemma that undeniably confronts all newly-raised master masons is the admonition which is contained in the third degree “charge” that says:

“As a master mason, you are authorized to correct the irregularities of your less-informed brethren, to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious practices.”

Fine, a caution so eloquently phrased, but how is he expected to do it? More so if he became a master mason via the one-day conferral of the three degrees!!

And so, it may be necessary to briefly look back and assess the situation.

Still smarting from the bruises that he acquired while traveling the rough and rugged road (not on the one-day conferral though) but nonetheless feeling the euphoria of recently being elevated to the elite rank of master masons, and most probably also still tipsy at the recently-concluded fellowship that usually follow every raising ceremony, the newly-raised brother begins to wonder what the “charge” was all about. He has now attained the status of being called a peer to many celebrated and immortal men that have graced the rolls of the Craft, men who are listed as heroes, geniuses, statesmen and others in the many countries or nationalities where he may belong, men who have became presidents, kings, men of sciences and even of the cloth whose stature and fame reverberated within all corridors of fame and power, they who have answered to the call of being labeled as “Freemasons”, the newly-raised gentleman begin to wonder that after the completion of the three degrees, what so far, has he achieved?

More importantly, what is expected of him?


The question that consequently confronts the newly-raised brother therefore, is “how does one proceed to learn the ways of the Fraternity that he has recently joined?

Sadly, there is no ready answer but the very nature of the Craft’s basic philosophy in part provides a ready clue. Let now this writer mention one of the Fraternity’s simply worded definitions:

“Freemasonry is a system of morality illustrated in symbols.” Or, “it is a system of morality veiled in allegory.”

But how would a novice in the Craft ever understand that gobbledygook?” since the lodge that he has joined, and even the Grand Lodge that exercises supervision and control over its existence generally do not have guidelines that can help him understand the intricacies of this mystic brotherhood!! But learn he must if he aspires to earn the title of ever being called being called “a fellow of the Craft.”


Scanning the inexhaustible source materials that the world of the Internet offers, this writer was fortunate enough to stumble upon an essay written about Bro. Allen E. Roberts, long time secretary of the Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget me Not, who eloquently pictured the structure or body of Freemasonry in six broad categories as follows:

Ritual= Skeleton (or framework)
Philosophy= Bloodstream
Symbolism= Heart and brains
Benevolence+= Soul
Jurisprudence= Muscles
History= Flesh (or binder)


Having thus enumerated the six categories of Freemasonry, a Freemason, whether newly-raised or an old timer who desires to study in earnest can thus proceed with the awesome goal of learning the tenets of the Craft by using the above-mentioned guide no different from a receptacles or storage area where he can periodically accumulate in the proper whatever knowledge he has learned which, understandably, should start with “RITUALS” as follows:


It is often said that “rituals” are what differentiates Masonry from all other fraternal organizations and that without it, Masonry will just be like any other . These rituals, the three most basic of which introduce the candidate to the ways of the Craft via its three degrees are understandably the best starting points. For the purpose of this article however, it will be necessary to include the other basic ritual instructions: These are:

1. The entered apprentice degree
2. The fellowcraft degree
3. The master mason’s degree
4. The installation ceremonies
5. The Last Rites and the Lodge of Remembrance

There are still other rituals but these will no longer be enumerated for the sake of brevity.

Suffice it to say that the newly-raised master mason must be patiently coached by an elder to commit to memory these rituals if he is to progressively advance his knowledge of the Craft, and here is how the time-tested “from mouth to ear method” of instruction is effectively put in play. He should start delivering the lambskin apron, the working tools, learn the role of the marshal, the stewards and the deacons, patiently and progressively committing to memory all the roles that he has performed. As he gains experience, he should also be ready to deliver the lecture of the three degrees until the time he is deemed ready by the lodge to handle more important roles and is therefore consequently chosen to perform the role of a “light” by being elected to any of the fixed stations of the lodge.

And these stored knowledge will come handy in scrutinizing and analyzing the myriad of data that he will later classify and sort in the five other categories mentioned earlier. For example, the novice will be able to clearly sort into their proper categories the following phrases as these are committed to his memory, thus:

*** in it you’ll find the important duties you owe to God, your neighbor or yourself, or
***by refusing to recommend anyone to the participation of our privileges unless you have strong reasons to believe that by similar fidelity he will ultimately reflect honor into our ancient institution, or
*** white balls elect and black cubes reject, or
*** justice is that standard or boundary of right that renders unto every man his just due without distinction,
and so on and so forth.


A philosophy is usually a simple sentence or a “one liner” that best explains a basic belief. Thus, an oft-repeated philosophy of Freemasonry states that:

“it is a brotherhood of men under the fatherhood of God.”

From the above-mentioned phrase, note that three basic ingredients must always be present as follows”, men is in the plural form and that God must be present, the absence of one of which will render the tenet useless. Citing simple examples, hermits believe in God but do not subscribe to the brotherhood of men and therefore do not qualify; atheists, on the other hand may believe in brotherhood of men but do not think that God exists!

Of course, these philosophies can be rephrased differently but in effect, will produce the same result. Like,

“Freemasonry subscribes to the belief in God and in the immortality of the soul”.
In this instance, however, the tenet on brotherhood is implied as it lay hidden in the maxim “love thy neighbor as thyself”, a tenet expounded not only by the Greatest Teacher of all time, but by all known sages of the world. Note also that immortality pertains to the afterlife.

Other tenets, like “brotherly love, relief and truth, make the sentence more thought-provoking and are therefore appealing but in essence the phrase still convey the same message.

Curiously also, both the exoteric and esoteric applications of these philosophies are revealed to the discerning adept as follows:

The obvious meaning of “brotherhood of men under the fatherhood of God” pertains to our relationship with our neighbors in this world that is best measured by the square while the phrase “the immortality of the soul” pertains to a deeper meaning that relates more to the world where the compasses are effectively put in use.


Freemasonry, having borrowed its mode of communication from Operative Masonry, uses symbols as its most effective tools of relaying the messages that it seeks to convey. There is no need to itemize these in detail as members are understandably familiar with these already but for the sake of brevity, the reader is nonetheless advised to refresh himself on the symbolisms of the various tools that were used and were explained in the ritual of the Installation Ceremony. In addition, he is also advised to take interest of the various symbolisms that lay hidden but were nonetheless were impliedly explained in the floor works of the three degrees.

In hindsight however, symbols may, to the uninitiated, be tricky. Ever wonder why “hele” means “to conceal” or that a “black ball” actually meant a “black cube?” And has the reader also wondered why the square is the tool used to measure the surface of the earth whereas the compasses are used measure the heavens and those above it?


Charity, the synonym of benevolence is first explained in the lecture of the first degree as the covering of a lodge in the following manner:

“the three principal rounds of which are denominated in faith, hope and charity, which admonishes us to have faith in God, hope for immortality, and charity for all mankind. The greatest of these is charity, for our faith may be lost in sight, hope ends in fruition but charity extends beyond the grave through the boundless realms of eternity.”
and was further amplified the second degree perambulation.
although quite frankly, it is doubtful whether many of the brethren understood it at all. Charity, after all, is not merely taking a paper bill from one’s own pocket when the Almoner pass around with the Almoner’s bag, nor rummaging the attic for used clothes when calamity occurs, bur it means much more than these. Imagine the ineffectiveness of Freemasonry if charity is deleted from its vocabulary!

And how does the reader puts the message of charity to practice??


Jurisprudence appears to be the most complicated topic of the six categories and indeed this may be so. The reader should however take consolation to the fact that like any citizen of whatever nationality who ideally should know all the rules and regulations of the country where he pays allegiance to, the same situation applies to Freemasonry. Ideally therefore, it is preferable that he is knowledgeable of all the rules and regulations of the Grand Lodge where his own lodge pays allegiance to although how it can be achieved is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is still desirable however for the member to familiarize himself with the following:

1. The Constitution and by laws of Grand Lodge where he belongs,
2. The ancient charges of Masonry
3. The obligation of the three degrees (he has already committed these to memory, anyway),
4. The periodic edicts that govern the Grand Lodge
and so on and so forth.


All Grand Lodges that exist have their own unique history that deserves to be learned, and it is important to understand these to appreciate his membership better. Most masons are aware how the United Grand Lodge of England was created in the British Isles and therefore no longer needs further elaboration.

Masonry in the Philippines, on the other hand, was introduced by Jose Malcampo y Monje, a Spaniard who later became Governor General of Spain, when he organized the Primera Luz Filipina in 1856 under the banner of Gran Oriente Luisitano of Portugal to escape the clutches of the marauding Hongkong Masons that were established under the aegis of the British Masons. But let’s not talk about it any further as this paper may turn out to be a boring article.

Suffice it to add however that in addition to what may be called “local Masonic history”, it is also preferable that he should also have a general idea of the Masonic history of the mother grand lodge from where his own Grand Lodge came from. The Grand Lodge of the Philippines for example was a creation of the Grand Lodge of California which explains why the rituals and basic rules that govern both jurisdictions are in many respects, similar. How the Filipino Masons became Americanized despite its roots coming from Gran Oriente Luisitano of Portugal and later nurtured by Gran Oriente Espanol is a topic that deserves more than a page in order to be appreciated and therefore will no longer be touched in this paper.

But one may well wonder; did the masons of Cavite that were organized by Malcampo fraternized with the Masons of Manila where Jocobo Zobel, a Filipino fo a German father who joined in Manila and in like manner, did they fraternize with the Masons that were organized under the aegis of the Gran Oriente Espanol? The most likely answer of course is “probably not” because they were organized under different grand jurisdictions that coexisted during that time..


Non masons are naturally baffled whenever they see Masons who are total strangers to each other conversing or helping each other whom they have met for the first time and probably will never meet again. This happens when, accompanied by a friend who is a Mason, would chance upon a total stranger in a foreign land, especially at airports who, upon recognizing each other as fraternal brothers would offer a helping hand in exchange of a mere “handshake”. The non mason will naturally suspect there is something mysterious but will never be able to know what the mystery is all about. Short anecdotes like these are common and none but the initiates can explain how it can ever come about.


Readers who have reached this page may complain that many topics still deserve mention; for example, why there are clandestine masons, how the relationship of the individual member to his lodge and to the grand lodge interplay with the Grand Lodges of other grand jurisdiction, or why there is a gap between the Prince Hall Masons and mainstream Freemasonry. In like manner, he may also wonder why Grand Orient of France was declared irregular by the others.

But these and many other topics were omitted on purpose. It is now for the reader to take interest, do some researches and consequently prepare a study guide of his own.

Teka, teka, but how shall we classify the fellowship that goes after every stated meeting, especially those that occur after the third-degree conferral of degrees?
Ah, but the answer cannot be divulged in this article and thus readers who may want it must send in their queries direct to the writer by email at The same procedure goes to readers who may want to submit their reactions or rejoinders on this article and thus expect a healthy exchange of ideas that will definitely redound to the benefit of the Fraternity that they both love!

So you have reached this line. Congratulations!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It was a role the aging lion earlier thought he would no longer perform. His two cubs were already members of the Craft fondly calling them Bro1 and Bro2 respectively such that he thought the need to do conferral roles again should now be left to the younger generation, whether as Solomon, a deacon or even a fellowcraft who man the gates which the Craft usually calls a ruffian..

But Bro2’s request sounded more than Webster’s definition of the word, it seemed more of an appeal that his patriarch gets down to the floor once more if only to recite the “charge” to Ferdie Garcia and Denver Lamangan, another fellowcraft soon to be raised in their mother lodge whose entry to the Fraternity were derailed, one by a dreaded black cube and the other by a compulsory schooling at a police academy. Will the aging cat do it one last time to these candidates who have literally traveled the rough and rugged roads far longer than what were ordinarily required?

Lamely, the limping cat nodded (and you also would if you have but one leg to stand on), not only because of Ferdie whom the aging cat also liked but more so because it would also give the aging puma the chance to exhibit to his youngest cub how to portray roles during conferrals, that whatever part is assigned it should be performed as seriously as one would do, be it the role of Solomon, a ruffian or even menial tasks usually assigned elders like the proverbial “charge” (but not of the Light Brigade, dumdum).

The aging lion, who was as usual accompanied by the lion tamer arrived at the Temple at four in the afternoon at the precise time the lodge was in recess and after the usual pleasantries with the brethren at the Temple’s yard, promptly climbed the stairs and entered the lodge room. There he saw Bro2 examining the two candidates on their proficiency and noted that the trio are doing exactly what were expected of them. “Proficient”, the master and the lodge later chorused in unison!

` Soon the conferral started and the aging cat noticed Bro2 performing the role of the senior deacon. So, the lion silently mused, these two roles were the underlying reasons why the young cub who is but five months a master mason wanted his lifetime mentor to be around. Invariably, the small pieces of advise the old cat has been feeding his two cubs ever since both donned their white lapel apron are now being put to the test and what better evaluation test is available other than to have the old lion to witness how he will do it?! Both have decided to be active during conferrals, the eldest at his mother lodge in 181 while the youngest where the old cat was raised a master mason at 122.

The roles of examiner and SD were performed by the young cub satisfactorily, and it turned out he still has another part to perform, that of guarding the third gate where the impostors of Hiram Abif are to pass. And he did it with aplomb, although for the purpose of this article, it could not be narrated as the experiences are only worth retelling during the hours of fellowship that usually last later than midnight and with the recipients enjoying the tales more than the kibitzers and even those of the ruffians. Also, the pivotal roles of the three lights during the first section were satisfactory performed by the lodge’ three lights namely WM Omar Equiza and Bros. Alden Bait and Godo Velarde, while the role of Solomon were alternated by VW Louie Reyes and Rogelio “Junjun“ Gevero and in addition the ageless VW Louie completing the task by giving the 3rd degree lecture to complete the task. VW Alan Bontuyan, an honorary member of the lodge was also there tending to the sounds and acting the cameo role of conferral secretary during the Craft’s roll call.

And what the heck happened to the old cat who delivered the “charge?”

Ay sus! But this article is not about the aging lion but about the road wherewith beers are made the scapegoats why the brethren usually get home drunk!

Monday, April 14, 2008


The art of copying, that unwholesome technique used by students who don’t study their lessons but at given times would utilize it to pass their test questions, is actually boon to diabetic sufferers. Well, at least indirectly, for comparing notes are actually done by worried wives when they discuss the ailments of their patient-hubbies.

Take the case of the lion tamer for instance.

Out here in sleepy Guindulman town are three such patients. Oh, well!! This statement does not mean that there are only three diabetic victims in the locality; it is only that comparing notes could only be done to the three. So let us compare!

In addition to the three patients being of almost the same ages and having the same ailments, their physical conditions are not alike. Rar is a big hulk of a man that could easily remind you of either Arnold Schwarzeneger or that guy who portrayed the role of the “Incredible Hulk” in the movies. Nandy, on the other hand, is a five foot two, midget sized gentleman who could remind you of Napoleon Bonaparte, while the third is the aging cat that no longer needed additional description else he might growl at you for being so ignorant at how the now limping cat looks like.

In addition, both Rar and Nandy had already undergone heart bypass and whose professional lives were spent mostly in the land of the brave and the home of the free. In short, meaning the US of A, where else?!; both are retirees now living comfortably in their hometown enjoying, or rather spending their hard-earned pensions accompanied by their respective spouses who looked at their respective husbands no different from caregivers although this time, doing the chores for free, while their children, by now all adults and having their own families are now snugly rooted in the States no longer having plans of ever going back home to the land of birth of their ancestors partly because they cannot pronounce nor understand the dialects of their parents.

In contrast, the aging cat, as readers may have noted, has not migrated although he briefly sojourned in a neighboring Asian country sometime back, has retired on a meager SSS pension that is not even enough to buy him all his medicines, and that none of his three children have migrated for abroad. In addition, instead of a heart bypass, he lost his right leg instead.

But all three now walk with difficulty. Nandy and the aging cat both use a walker to enable them to walk while Rar can still do so without the help of this contraption but runs the risk of stumbling down that can get you nervous if you watch him move around.

All three take insulin injection daily although of different doses. All three also gulps different types of oral medicines for their respective heart ailments and in addition, Nandy and the aging cat also absorb injection of Epocain to add red corposules so that the war between the reds and the whites may balance meanwhile their respective bodies are still battling their respective skirmishes alive.

All three face their daily wars in much the same way although in points of fact are really different. When Baby, the wife of Rar went to the States last month to visit her two sons, Rar opted to stay behind saying he no longer saw the thrill of going back to the States. Nandy earlier decided to return to the States for check-up and also see his own adult children but at the last hour, decided to cancel the trip mumbling it is no longer worth it, while the aging cat, is still determined to board the Philippine Airlines on April 16 no matter what.

How will the three face their respective battles and who will jump first to the Great Beyond??

Oh, well. The aging cat philosophizes. He who blinks first, the Grim Ripper bags his prize.

Note (Chances are, this will be the last email of the aging puma before he takes the plane ride and therefore, there will be no need for rejoinders. To those who may feel the itch may well expect that it may be read only when he the cat is able to open the mails when he is already in the big city.)

Friday, April 11, 2008



On Wednesday April 16, the lion tamer holding the end of a leash on her right hand that at the other end is attached to the neck of her aging pet, will board the Philippine Airlines officially to take him to two medical experts for his scheduled check-up.

The first is an endocrinologist-niece who will diagnose if his vital organs can still stand the rigors of father time with his heart not yet sputtering, while the second is his kidney specialist-niece who will endeavor to find out if his kidneys can still avoid dialysis treatment and thus postpone his trip to kingdom come.

More importantly, they will also visit their three full-grown cubs who now have two offspring each for their own, especially the youngest grandkid whose features is the spitting image of his playful granddad!

As his youngest cub will be initiated later today (April 12), to the mysteries of the Craft, the aging lion daydreams of seeing him raised to the sublime degree and hopefully expects it to materialize on June 14, a Saturday, which is also the birthday of his only sister.

That therefore means he daydreams to be around at least a day after that date to savor its significance, to see him on the checkered floor being manhandled (?! this term should appropriately be animal-handled) by the three ruffians and when the ceremony is completed, be able to execute the strong grip of the lion’s paw, thus formally welcoming his youngest cub as a full grown member of the Craft. (He is a Senior DeMolay, remember?)

Too bad that at his present condition, his Dad could not even pinch him on his behind while the ceremony is going on, nor even trip him with his left foot; for how can he possibly do that with only one serviceable leg on hand? (Ay mali, dapat sa phrase na ito, “on foot!” hindi “on hand!!”)

But when that happens, a slight adjustment at name calling is needed. Since his elder brother is now called “Brod” by the aging cat, that endearing word, by necessity will be renamed “Bro1” and the soon-to-be-raised brod be called “Bro2”.

Much like Bro1, Bro2, Brohaha!!

Expect a lull in transmission of emails from hereon, for at the metropolis the aging cat can hardly manage to get himself in front of a monitor. Which means that the latest he can resume tinkering with the computer keys will be upon his return to his den sometime after June 14. And if his passion for sending emails is finally disrupted, it can only signify that the Grim Ripper has finally succeeded in pushing him to the Great Beyond!

And why has his writing style turned satirical? Well, he realized it enables him to ignore the pain, whether deadening, searing, prickling, tingling or stabbing, that he often have to bear at times making him during the night wonder whether the morrow is still worth craving for, because of neuropathy and the other ailments caused by this dreaded disease these medical experts call diabetes.

Definitely more potent than Ponstan Dolfenol, and Alaxan, the medicine that is advertised by the pambansang kamao that we all call Manny Pacquiao.

It also enables him to stubbornly fight the odds day to day, hoping like a losing chess player that he can still manage to duck the slings and arrows that the Grim Ripper hurls at him, although fully aware that sooner than later, he will be caught off guard, and allow the GAOTU’s dreaded messenger to finally say “Check mate!”

As a parting shot, if it cannot be your pleasure to wish the aging cat “Good luck”, you can, by reverse logic, just mumble the colloquial phrase



Sunday, March 23, 2008


Nasasaad sa banal na Aklat na “hanggga’t hindi ka muling nabuhay ay hindi ka makakapasok sa pinto ng kalangitan.”

Ibaling natin kay Ka Pule2 ang kadahilanan kung bakit sa wikang pambansa isinulat ang akdang ito, pero natanto ba naman natin kung ano ang kahalagahan at kung paano nagsimula ang kapistahan ng muling pagkabuhay na idinadaos natin ngayon? At alam ba naman natin na bagama’t ito ay kaugaliang iniuukol natin pangkalahatan sa Kristiyanismo ang talagng panimula nito ay galing sa relihiyon ng mga pagano?

Naalala tuloy ng manunulat na ito ang paksa ng dalawang batang paslit ukol sa makaraang mahal na linggo nitong nakaraang araw.

Tanong ng una, “paano kaya nalalaman kung semana santa na? Sagot naman nung tinanong: “Ay tange! Di tignan mo sa kalendaryo! Pag ang petsa ay may nakasulat na Holy Thursday at Holy Friday, ibig sabihin nun ay Hwebes at Biyernes Santo na, at bagama’t di na nailista, ang dalawang susunod na araw ay Sabado de Gloria at Domingo de Ramos na. Kailangan pa bang imemorize yan?!”

Napangiti tuloy na umiiling ang matandang leon. Pero oo nga naman, bakit pa nga ba pag-uukulan ng panahon ang problema ng mga gumagawa ng kalendaryo? Sila ang dapat manaliksik kung saang Hwebes at Bieyrnes ang araw ng mga Santo at saan namang Sabado dapat ilatag si Gloria at saang Linggo dapat itakda si Ramos na kagat ang kanyang di pa nasisindihang tabako!

Pero balik tayo sa paksang muling pagkabuhay bago tayo naligaw sa pulitika. Baka magreklamo si Erap bakit wala siya sa talaan ng banal na kalendaryo.

Nabanggit ko kangina na ang kaugaliang ito ay hango sa kaugalian ng mga pagano.

Ayon sa mga lumang kasulatan, ito ay nagsimula sa paganong diyos na si Attis, na diyos na Halamanan o sa salitang ingles ay “God of Vegetation” na ang kaarawan ay ang “vernal equinox” na nangyayari kapistahan at sa kapanhunan ay sa ikalawang araw matapos ang pagkahulog ng mga dahon. (Yong mga romantikong nagbabasa nito ay pinapayuhang ilagay sa alaala ang awiting “Autum Leaves” ni Nat King Cole.) na ayon sa kwentada ng mga pantas ay nangyayari ika 23 ng Marso bawat taon.

Dahil ang muling pagkabuhay ay dapat magsimula sa kamatayan (oo nga naman, kailangan mamatay ka muna bago ka mabuhay na muli!) noong angkinin ng mga Kristiyano ang kapistahang ito ay itinakda nila ang pagbilang ng araw sa Marso 21 para iakma ito sa pag-aalam ng kalendaryo ng mga Hudyo na ang batayan ay ang panahon ng linggo ng Palaspas o “Passover” na nangyari sa panahon ni Moises na ang batayan ay ang buwan (lunar) at hindi ang araw (solar) na gamit sa kalendaryo ng mga Romano. Ang nangyari tuloy ay parang kalendaryong pinaghalo, dahil ang Marso 21 ay hango sa kalendaryong “solar” sanantalang ang kwaresma naman o araw ng mga palaspas ay hango sa kalendaryong “lunar.”

Sa paraang ito, ang pag-alam ng Semana santa na idinadaos natin ngayon ay nagsisimula sa Marso 21 at dito inaalam kung kailan sisikat ang kabilugan ng buwan at ang susunod na linggo ay doon itatakda ang Domingo de Ramos.

At para madaling maintindihan, gamitin natin ang taong 2008 na halimbawa.

Sa taong ito, ang kabilugan ng buwan na sumunod sa Marso 21 ay natapat sa Marso 22, at dahil ang susunod na araw ng linggo ay sa Marso 23, ang takdang araw ng muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo. Sa taong 2007 naman, ang kabilugan ng buwan ay
nakatala sa April 3 at ang sumunod na linggo ay Abril 8. Sa pamamaraang unang naqbanggit, ang itinakdang Hwebes at Biyernes Santo ay Abril 6 at 7 sa taong iyon.

At pwede ba, hindi rin alam ng matandang leon kung bakit hindi na binago ang dalawang araw na itinakdang kamatayan at pagkabuhay ng paganong diyos na si Attis noong kopyahin ng mga Kristiyanong dekano ang kaugaliang ito para umayon sa tatlong araw ng pagkamatay at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo (natatandaan niyo pa ba ang sabi sa banal na kasulatang “on the third day he rose again?!) maliban lang kung sasabihin natin na ang paatras na pabilang ng kamatayan ay nagsimula sa Linggo na ibig sabihin ay uno, at ang araw ng Sabado ay dos at ang Biyernes ay ang araw na ikatlo!

Anong sey niyo?!

(Note to Bro. Earl: You will need the help of Sis. Estelle to understand this gobbledygook.)

(At huwag niyo nang pansinin kung nahirapan kayong umintindi sa akdang ito, buti nga hindi sa katagang Bisaya isinulat ito!! At pwede kayong magpadala ng inyong reaction)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Are you attuned to the Broadband caper? Then you may be amused to read the following new words and phrases on the subject::

Moderate grid: an acceptable percentage range to be added on a government expenditure as bribe money for its approval. Honor among thieves.
Patriotic fund: money offered to a government functionary to make him change his mind. Definitely not a Mafia-inspired reward money.
Communal action: CBCP’s way of admitting it erred in praying that Erap be booted out in 2001. Too late did it realize that it was like “jumping out of the frying fan but ending up directly into the flaming fire.”
Let Us Hold on Together: song popularized by Sec. Dinky Soliman in 2006 who turned out to be the weakest link in the President’s cabinet.
Let Us Hold on Together (2) song now being sung by a choir led by no less the President. Will Sec. Gary Teves now be the weakest link or will it be another, like Neri, for example? And will the Supreme Court ultimately allow Neri to do it?
Brazo de Mercedez Inhibits herself: The only and most logical alternative at ducking the slings and arrows of the opposition that were at aimed at her being the “Ombudsgirl.” It probably is the same as saying, “Look here, classmate, there’s no way I can possibly open my big mouth and not incriminate myself.”
Apostolic wit: “Dapat ideport yang probinsiyanong intsik!” which, when loosely translated means, “better that that provincial Chinaman be deported” totally overlooking the fact that he looks more Chinese and chinky-eyed on the mirror than the instant celebrity that he was referring to.
A guy named Noli: The VP with a wide grin registering on his face, as if saying: “sigi lang kayo, ito ang tawag na coasting along the homestretch.!”
Sen. Ate/Kuya: Deo Macalma’s description of Sen. Jamby Madrigal, thus totally relegating the monicker “Tito Sen” that described Tito Sotto at the halls of the previous Senate.
“Jello”: nickname of the instant celebrity, and rhymes with “yelo” the local word for “ice”. Ever heard of ice, putting the president on the hot seat??
STOLOPRO: acronym for “stolen loan proceeds” the loan obligation that undoubtedly was over-inflated and ultimately will be the burden of the future generations who had nothing to do with it.

This pun was not written by a political maverick but was concocted only to amuse and attune readers to the current atmosphere. If the reader is somehow offended by these diatribes, then the writer can only offer his apologies.

And readers should not worry, this definitely is not yet the end of the world, for planet earth will still rotate upon its own axis twenty four hours each day and 365 days a year except during leap years another day is added.

But to the skeptics who may feel that it can lead into miserable deaths, they should still be consoled that if they belong to the religions founded by the Semites (Jewish, Christian or Muslims) then they can still die and hope for resurrection after death, or if founded by the Indians of the Near East (Hindus, Buddhists or Jains) then they can reincarnate hopefully outside the Philippines and live a peaceful life in that secluded place.

And by the way, those who don’t want to make it their and their descendants’ burden at paying these atrocious loans mentioned in Item 10, the only logical option is for them to just MIGRATE!!

You may also want to pass this on!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Greg, aka Gorio is fifteen years of age. If he were a rich man’s son, he will most likely be called a special child. Because he came from a poor family however, he can only be labeled as retarded.

The first time the aging lion took notice of Greg was a week ago when the former saw him weeding out the grass together with Dante, their neighbor who, the lion tamer hired to trim the lawn and make their backyard a little more presentable to see. Worried that Gorio’s presence will entail additional cost, he called Dante whereby the latter assured the aging lion that Gorio was there helping him weed the grass gratis et amore as there was nothing else Gorio is presently doing .

Dante and Gorio are new-found friends. Both are trying their level best to eke out a living on their own. The former is a carpenter’s son from the neighboring town of Candijay who reached no further than second year in high school and was compelled to quit studying to venture as a fisherman and survive Gorio on the other hand, is a farmer’s son who was forced to leave home because his father often maltreated him apparently because he is slow understand even the simplest of instructions, that naturally often cause the misgivings of his mother. Both Dante and Gorio sought refuge at the family of Andoy, the aging lion’s neighbor and on the simplest arrangement that they will contribute their share of the rice being cooked. Their benefactor, also with the barest of means, accepted the two as hired fishermen and thus also entitled them to free shelter during the night in the benefactor’s place of abode.

The gist of this story is worth narrating because the other day Gorio approached the lion tamer asking for help. He said he has a wound at his back and would she be kind enough to treat it?, adding that he earlier asked help from Dante but because the latter was also penniless, suggested that he approach the lion tamer instead. This is how Gorio narrated his story.

Last November 1 being All Saints Day, he decided to go home to visit his mother. He arrived home however seeing his father already drunk and since there already exist animosity between the two, expletives were hurled by the father whereby the son was compelled to reply in his usual stuttering voice. The father got hold of a blunt instrument and hacked his son’s back and instinctively, he fled and returned to his adopted home.

The next day, he went to the local police station and reported the incident but beyond recording it in the police blotter and advising the boy to get to the ”Center” to have his wound treated, nothing was done. He was also told that the local police will later take action against the father should the incident be repeated. Like having a kitchen knife at the poor boy’s back?

The lion tamer was naturally infuriated upon hearing the boy’s story and her pet could only as usual shake his silvery head not certain if he is to be amused or whether he should consider the incident pathetic.

Scourging her drawer for medicines, she found a left-over from the aging lion’s “Operation Tule” project and a gauze medical material that satisfied her needs, and after applying distilled water proceeded to treat the young boy’s wounds which she fortunately found out was only superficial and therefore is expected to heal in but a few days.

But the boy’s narration on the attitude of the local police was something that worried her more! Is this the kind of police assistance that the poor folks deserve in similar cases? The aging lion could only reply: “Then call them by phone and say your piece.”

The phone call was made and the boy’s report, despite his stuttering manner of saying it was found to be accurate. Whereupon she asked for her policeman nephew who has the rank of a sergeant or something and who the aging lion addresses as “Sarge” and loudly complained about the incident. “Sarge”, upon hearing her expletive, naturally went scurrying to the lion’s den and personally attended to the matter, assuring her he will call the father to iron out things and have the complaint formally attended to.

That same afternoon “Sarge” personally took the boy to the police station on board his motorcycle but other than this fact, the aging lion no longer knew what happened next. Whether the father was finally booked on a crime that is called “slight physical injuries”, “maltreatment to minors”, or at the very least “cruelty to a retardate”, the aging lion no longer care.

But really, the aging puma considers the incident pathetic because having a son for a retardate can only mean that it must have come from his father’s genes.

And the aging lion snores!


As this short article was being written, a young lady entered the gate of their front yard holding in her arms a two year-old boy and a bag of bananas. After a short introduction she explained that her boy is one of the harelips whom we have helped some two years before. The lion tamer was of course glad to see the boy and her pet could only silently mutter in a whispering tone “mahimo na mangulitaw” meaning he can now chase girls!

And the bananas sure taste delicious!!!