FR. ERICSON JOSUE is one of few Catholic priests I admire. Besides being bright and hardworking, he is humble and sensitive. We have known each other since our early teens (when he was still so lanky while I was then too fat), and I have always held him in high regard.
While other priests were busy attending parties, grooming expensive dogs, and constructing an ostentatious swimming pool in the Bishop’s Palace, Ericson had been busy writing books. Only in his early thirties, this son of Pasuquin has already published his second research output. “Out of the Depths”, which came out last December, tackles the phenomenal rise and eventual decline of Aglipayanism.
Well-meaning scholars must be given support and due recognition, and so I encourage my students and friends to read the book, if only to generate intelligent and enlightened discourse, a rarity in the Church (and government) these days.
Here, allow me to share excerpts of an interview conducted by students with Professor Fides Bernardo A. Bitanga, who teaches Sociology of Religion in the Mariano Marcos State University. Bitanga is also the new Editor-in-Chief of Sabangan, a social sciences publication in MMSU.
Young Ilocano Sociologists at work
INSTEAD of submitting tired academic papers, my students in Sociology of Development are working on a blog (http://laoagcentralissue.wordpress.com).
Using the sociological lens, the blog tackles the complex issues that surround the construction of a mall in downtown Laoag.
My students’ zest in posting entries there is fueled not only of their aspirations for high marks, but more so of their desire to generate intelligent and enlightened discussion on the implications of the mall project to development.
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, Gloria wears red and gets a new haircut. Continue reading
AS A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales last month gave his pectoral cross (that huge accessory that hangs on a prelate’s chest) to someone who, in the cardinal’s opinion, has served the Catholic Church well.
You might be tempted to think that the recipient of such honor is a human rights advocate, or an anti-gambling crusader, or a vanguard of the environment, or a brave journalist, or a catechist who has sacrificed her whole life in the service of God’s vineyard. Well, karikna, don’t give in to such temptation. Yet again, you might be expecting too much of the church. And expectation is a cause of suffering.
Rosales’ pectoral cross went to Felicidad Sy, matriarch of the family which owns the SM retail chain. The Sys handed the church a cash donation that was so big, Rosales, who admits to having “a close relationship with the family”, promised not to disclose it.
Not just one, but two.
In mid-2008, another illustrious archbishop also presented the Sy family his pectoral cross. The Most Reverend Diosdado Talamayan of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, another long-time friend of the family, made the gesture in appreciation of the many cash donations the Chinoy capitalists have given his archdiocese.
There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts. Nothing’s wrong with accepting donations either. I am not surprised that the prelates are receiving huge sums of money, I’m just dismayed that they would come from where they come from. Continue reading
I almost puked when I saw this morning what I saw on TV.
A reporter asked Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita what Gloria can learn from Obama. As if not embarrassed enough of Obama’s cold-shoulder attitude towards the Philippine president, Ermita replied that the reporter’s question was faulty because it was Obama who stands to learn from Gloria.
What the ….! As if Malacanang folks are not content that Gloria has messed up our country, they dream of scandalizing the whole world as well.
Oh my, whatever lessons Teacher Gloria wants to share Obama, she better keep to her jaded, self-absorbed, corrupted self.
Prepared for armaggedon, I am not. Are you?
(Allow me to share with you this work of Ianree Raquel, my intellectual amiga in the university. I was there when this “Sayamedy” happened, and I was squirming in my seat. Right there and then, I decided to write on this outrage. But Aian wrote about it instead, and I could not have done a better job. Read on… )
“You want to find yourself? Try humor.”
WITH ANDREI, a four-year-old boy I have come to call my own son, I entered through the side door of the Teatro. Seeing the Teatro filled with students gave me a nostalgic feeling, reminding me of not-so-long-ago when I performed, debated, rehearsed, or simply acted as a good audience in this hall, famed for its egg-tray sound-proofing. “Say, ‘May I pass’,” I told Andrei as we made our way through the crowd. I have earlier asked one of my students to reserve front seats for us. “I’ll be with my son. I need a good view,” I pleaded.
Roughly translated, this Iluko phrase means: “Father carrying a child”.
I may be no fan to America, but the greatness of human spirit transcends geography, race, religion, and even time… and so he has my respect. No man has inspired humanity in recent times more than this guy. Continue reading