Saturday, October 01, 2011

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE!

YOU KNOW I CAN'T SMILE...
I visited Philippine General Hospital today. Why? I don't know. I just wanted to see what things are like on the ground. Being the son of a pediatrician, it only makes sense that I should go and see what things are like for kids out there in Manila's hospitals. Thank you Kimmy, for granting my request to see what things were like at PGH and what they do over at www.smiletrain.ph (below).

I learned that cleft palate is ngo-ngo & it's a bit tragic. Ngo-ngo is when genetic factors coupled with a badly managed pregnancy, results in a face not fully "formed". Although non-life threatening, it affects a person psychologically (think: ngo-ngo joke) and affects a person's development as a confident adult. And since lack of education about planning a pregnancy is a major factor here, well, it's mostly the lower economic strata of the Philippines that is affected. Note to self and YOU ALL: No more ngo-ngo jokes.

I'll tell you some stuff that I learned this morning: There are 4,500 cases of ngo-ngo born every year. In PGH alone, over 100 surgeries are completed annually. The PH has double the rate of that of the US or any other developed nation (US: 1 in 1,000; PH: 1 in 500). Most, if not, ALL of these cases require post-procedure therapy. There are only Two, yes TWO universities in the Philippines that teach speech therapy. UP and UST. Do a little math and you can see that we still have a long way to go. Folks, take speech therapy over nursing or PT. There is a huge demand.

Even though some might think that connecting high incidence of ngo-ngo in the PH to the RH Bill might be a stretch, I think the issues are totally connected. Cleft lips are mostly a product of badly managed pregnancies, Ngo-ngo mostly happens among the lower economic strata of the PH, and incidents keep increasing in the PH. And to not see the connection between education, reproductive health access to the poorer sectors and gov't population management in solving this problem, is to well, just be arrogantly ignorant or delusional. Without agencies like www.smiletrain.ph, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the overstretched PH gov't health system to solve this problem on it's own.

I also heard that PGH is not under the Department of Health but is mostly run by the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine. Cool! From being part of the underfunded Philippine public health system, it's now been transferred to the auspices of the underfunded Philippine educational system. But hope springs eternal, I see that many wings have been renovated due to private efforts (Senate spouses, Alumni orgs, Corporate endeavors), and even a spanking new Reproductive Health wing is being constructed. I certainly hope the Ortolls (the name on the building) support reproductive health access (both natural & artificial) for Filipinos.

Sigh. I still dream of the day when the Philippine health system would no longer be overstretched. A day when there will be just the right amount of doctors with the right amount of hospitals catering to the right amount of patients and everyone is given an equal chance of a healthy life in ALL economic sectors of the Philippines. But given the spirit of the health workers that I met at PGH and www.smiletrain.ph today, that day is getting closer and closer. (above: birthing room under construction at the Ortoll Reproductive Health Center at PGH.)

Please please PLEASE donate to www.smiletrain.ph and pass the #RHBill.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

LIVE THE LIFE!


Come to my Livin' La Vida Imelda Show at the Twist Gallery in Toronto on June 2-5. It will be a night of disco, dictators, and a whole lotta dirty laundry. Log onto www.kapisanan.com for details.

Monday, May 23, 2011

WALK HIS WAY!

GO WITH GREG...
As you know, I am on tour in Canada and the U.S. until July 2. I'll be bringing the Imelda and Intramuros tours to North America. Meanwhile, in my absence, Mr. Greg Dorris, an honorary Filipino who has been living in the city for more than 20 years will be touring the Walled City in my absence (above). If you really need your Intramuros kick, Greg will be more than happy to provide. His regular schedule is listed below.

June 4 (Saturday)
June 5 (Sunday)
June 11 (Saturday)
June 18 (Saturday)
June 19 (Sunday)
June 25 (Saturday)
June 26 (Sunday)
July 2 (Saturday)
July 3 (Sunday)

Details:
Tour begins at the San Agustin Church at 3:00pm and concludes at Fort Santiago by 5:30pm. Tour fee is 750 including entrance to the both the San Agustin Church Museum and Fort Santiago, and a kalesa ride between the two. Please sign up to reserve a space with Lesley at +63920-9092021.

Minimum number of reservations for a tour to proceed is 10.

Contact Greg Dorris for additional information at +63916-7669170.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FROM THE MAILBAG...


A heartwarming story about the Philippines and the nature of the Filipino...

Dear Carlos,

I had the great fortune to participate in your tour of Intramuros when I was in Manila on Friday afternoon, March 11, 2011. The tour was not just entertaining but terrifically informative even if it opened my eyes to some of the typical American embarrassments we cause for ourselves. Interesting how so much of what you pointed out never made it into the history lessons I was taught!

I do have a great story for you though which made my first visit to Manila a real intense personal experience and showed your City and her People to be warm, caring and highly spiritual.

A friend and I had a flight on Cebu Pacific to Bangkok on March 15, 2011 from NAIA 3 International Airport and stopped for a snack at the San Miguel Food Shop in the Departures area. When we left to board our flight, I forgot my hand bag on a chair in the snack shop. It contained everything...money, credit cards, ATM cards, Travelers Checks, my checkbook, two watches, rings, my driver's license, all my health insurance cards, future flight information, my address book...basically everything I needed for life!!!!! I discovered I lost it an hour into the flight so you can imagine how delightful the rest of the flight was! The only thing I did have with me was my passport since I needed to have it with my boarding pass to get on the plane.

Long, long story short, the two young men running the shop and the shop owner, Nora Culajara, found my bag, secured it and then got my son's email address out of it and contacted him immediately. A friend living in Manila then was able to get my bag from Nora and bring it to me in Bangkok when he came a few days later. Everything was in place, nothing had been touched as Nora assured me in our emails and calls. Can you even imagine something like this happening almost anywhere in the world and having that kind of an outcome??? Nora has politely refused my attempts at rewarding her and the young men working that day telling me the reward for them is knowing they were able to help me make it through a very stressful situation. Genuine kindness and humanity like that doesn't just happen, it's something people are born with and it is the way they live their lives. And it happened in Manila.

I tell my story all the time, especially when people ask me why I chose to go to the Philippines. Yes, as you pointed out on the tour, Manila is a city of extreme contrasts and because of that, people often come away having only experienced the chaotic, gritty part. I want people to know there is a real, lively, spiritual and beautiful Manila and meeting a classy lady like Nora and those two gentle men at the shop has changed forever the way I look at not only your City, but even more importantly, her People!

Maybe if you get a minute, you'd be kind enough to email Nora and thank her and her guys for helping you in your quest to change the way people look at Manila, one step..one person at a time!! You might even be able to incorporate this feel-good story into your tours.

(NORA CULAJARA, email: ARON_1953@yahoo.com)

Best wishes for a nice holiday (your website told me!) and thank you for a terrific visit!

Tom Minicucci
Sarasota, Florida, USA

Thursday, May 05, 2011

MY FULL STATEMENT

THE LAST WORD... PROMISE.

It was hard to get an edge in wordwise last night while I was on HARAPAN. I actually had a two minute statement that I prepared to read out to Joey Lina and Roilo Golez, but there was just no time. So since I couldn't fully express my entire sentiment, here is my statement in full as written before I went on air:

Your Honorables Joey Lina and Roilo Golez.

The Reproductive Health Bill is not a new bill.

It's no secret that the RH Bill has been languishing in Congress for the last 16 years.

And unfortunately, the problems we face today are not new as well.

Because after all your fancy words have been said and done, your economic numbers and scientific data thrown about, one thing will remain for sure: outside on the streets, life is a living hell for a majority of Filipinos.

We’re still plagued by high infant mortality, high maternal deaths, overpopulation, & a skyrocketing HIV and abortion rate and it’s the worst it’s ever been in our history.

And for the last 16 years, people in Congress have been trying to pass the RH Bill, a piece of legislation that would holistically address these issues. And this bill has been held back, delayed, and shot down by Anti-RH lawmakers such as yourselves for reasons that were either legal, economic, or religious.

But it also seems that for the last 16 years, these problems that I have mentioned have gotten worse. So tell me, your honors, if your alternate solutions to the RHBill are so great, why haven’t you implemented them in the last 16 years? Why haven’t I felt its effects on a national scale? Your honors, tell me: After 16 years, why are we STILL where we are?

And since the RH bill has been shot down so many times by lawmakers like you, in effect, we have been trying it your way for the last 16 years and we haven’t seen any tangible results at all. The mortality numbers are still there and staring at us in the face.

So as a member of the public and as your boss – so to speak – allow me to say that either your solutions to these problems have failed, you aren’t doing your job, or you are just plain ineffective as public servants.

I sincerely believe it is time for us to try a different strategy, a new one. We don’t have much choices anymore. Your side has never really presented us with any. It is time to turn away from this ineffectiveness of the last 16 years. It is time to activate the RH bill and let the power of education, information, and choice create a better Philippines before it’s too late.

Because unless you Anti-RH lawmakers can present a cohesive, concrete plan of action to solve these problems holistically TODAY and right now. I’m not going to wait for another 16 years.

Let the RH Bill start doing it’s work or get out of the way. Because if you have no better solutions, then you are just part of the problem.

Sincerely,

A Filipino named Carlos Celdran

Feel Free to cut and paste and sign your own name and send it to them or any other Anti-RH congressman that you know. Let them know that we know.

Friday, April 29, 2011

PRETTY PACO!

PRETTY PACO!
Paco. One of Manila's oldest districts. Named after a fern that once grew abundantly in the area. Paco is the home of historical residences, heritage sites, and really cool architecture. Come with us on a souped up aircon jeepney ride. We'll visit one of the city's oldest cemeteries, a heritage site public market, walk along a cleaner Estero de Paco, visit the 19th century residence of one of the Philippines' most famous historical figures, along with other historical sites.


May 15, 2011 - Sunday
8:30AM
Meet at an American Era Residence on Peñafrancia Extension

Paco Park
Visit American Era Paco Market
Walk Along the Estero de Paco
Laurel Mansion on Peñafrancia Street
Plaza Dilao.
Late Lunch

Php2000.00 inclusive of Jeepney transportation around Paco, and donations to Laurel Foundation/Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission/Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, and a fantastic organic Filipino buffet lunch at the Fructuoso Compound.

Directions to the starting point at: 1238-B Penafrancia Extension

From Plaza Dilao, follow Pres Quirino Extension around the Philippine Colombian Association. After the second signal and immediately after the Manila-Sacramento Library, turn right. You will see Paco Volunteer Fire trucks. Do not turn right before the library or you will be on West Zamora (the street signs are wrong). Park anywhere along the street. The house is down a small alley on the right side of the street.

From UN Avenue/Unilever, take Pres Quirino Extension toward Plaza Dilao. At the first signal, do a U-turn and immediate hard right onto Penafrancia Extension. You will see the Paco Volunteer Fire trucks. Do not merely turn left or you will end up on West Zamora (the street signs are wrong).

Land line: 564-8635
Cellphone: 0916 7669170
Email: gahdorris@hotmail.com

Only 20 slots available

Tour Guide: Gregory Dorris

Hope to see you guys there. I'll be hopping along on this tour as well. Cheers!

Thank you Just Wandering for the picture of Paco Park.

Monday, April 25, 2011

COOL QUEZON!


SUMMER QUEZON FESTIVAL TOUR!
3 Days 2 Nights Package Festival Tour of Sariaya, Tayabas & Lucban!
Proposed Itinerary

Day 1
(May 12, 2011) Lucban - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

0700 ETA Lucban. Breakfast at Lucban Public Market (pansit hab-hab and siopao)

0900 Start of Lucban Tour

Kamay ni Hesus - located on the slopes of Mt. Banahaw, Barangay Tinamnan, Lucban, Quezon. It features a church where healing masses are celebrated by the known healing priest Fr. Joey Faller. Also on the site is a 292-steps hill with life size figures depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross. On the top is a large statue of Jesus Christ, a 50-foot statue that is said to be the third biggest in the world.

1200 Lunch at Buddy’s Restaurant . Walk. Shop.

0200 Langgonisa Festival- This native sausage is usually homemade. Langanisang Lucban is usually made of ground pork, oregano extract, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. Every year, Lucban holds the Langgonisang Lucban, an event in search for the longest langgonisang Lucban and Langgonisa eating contest.

0600 Dinner at Abcede’s Restaurant

0700 Mutya ng Lucban Beauty Pageant – Mutya ng Lucban Pageant willl present the women of Lucban, these are the women who will represent Lucban's beauty and intelligence.

1000 Check – in. Sleep.

Resort and Hotel options:

Balai Sadyaya Resort - offers a luxurious theme for special occasions like b-day and weddings. Strategically located near the Poblacion, Sadyaya is also perfect for summer getaways, holiday vacations and even for a simple day tour. It has its own restaurant with Sariaya's cuisine such as the Pancit Hotia, which is the owner's family secret recipe Elegant, stylish and affordable rooms are also available for accommodation.

Dalampasigan Beach & Pool Resort – located at the long stretch of Tayabas Bay, Dalampasigan beach resort offers the ideal venue for out-of-town corporate functions and family gatherings. Activities available in Dalampasigan are: beach and pool swimming, kayaking, play beach volleyball, basketball, billiards or table tennis.

Villa Del Prado Pool & Beach Resort - offers comfort and fun in an idyllic beach setting. In just one day, one can relax sipping coffee outdoor while getting a glimpse of an exotic bird, walking the beach to collect seashells, and building sandcastles. But most of all, Villa Del Prado provides the best way to spend the day at the swimming pool or playing sport activities.

Day 2
(May 13, 2011) Sariaya - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

0800 Breakfast, Swimming at the hotel / resort.

1000 Gala - Rodriguez Ancestral House - The historical town of Sariaya, Quezon is home to a number of ancestral houses. Among the most revered is the two-storey Gala-Rodriguez house owned by one of the most prominent couples in Quezon, Dr. Isidro Rodriguez and Doña Gregoria Gala.Situated in the heart of the town, along the impressive string of houses owned by the “illustrados,” this house is said to have been used as headquarters by the Japanese occupation forces during World War II and later by the American forces. In May 14, 2008, the mansion was declared as a national heritage site by the National Historical Institute (NHI).

Governor Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House - This eye-catching and brick-roofed Sariaya landmark near the church, is an Art Deco style house designed by European schooled architect Andres Luna de San Pedro, the son of artist Juan Luna. It was built in 1931 by erstwhile Tayabas Provincial Governor Natalio Enriquez (1941 - 1945) and his wife Susana Gala. A venue for fabulous social gatherings in pre war Sariaya, it hosted the grand reception during the 1938 wedding of their daughter Alicia to Manuel Gala where Philippine Commonwealth First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon served as principal sponsor. It was declared by the National Historical Institute as a Heritage House on May 14, 2008.

Enriquez - Gala House - This big house is owned by Atty. Librado Enriquez and his wife Josefina Gala which was built to replace a much older residence that burned in the Japanese-started great fire of 1944. Among its features are an arched roofed - entrance topped by a curved veranda, a silo-like outside wall with small windows where a curving flight of stairs inside leads to the second floor of the house as well as three cathedral-type arched side doors with Corinthian style column embellishments that open to the garden topped by another veranda upstairs held by the curving crowns of ionic columns.

1200 Lunch at Plaza de Shalom featuring Kulinarya Sariaya - located at the back of Gala rodriguez house. Plaza de Shalom offers Sariaya's best cuisines. It has a swimming pool with the view of Gala Rodriguez Ancestral House. Plaza Shalom has apartment type of units for groups and they have affordable prices for food and accommodation right in the center of Sariaya's Poblcaion.

0100 Visit the Municipal Hall, Sariaya Park and St. Francis of Assisi Parish for the Diocesan Shrine of Santo Cristo de Burgos, Sariaya Bread House for Baking Demonstration of Pinagong and Leah’s Store for Cooking Demonstration of Tamales. Merienda at Casa Plaza La Casa de Sariaya.

0500 Back to resort/ hotel. Rest. Dinner.

0700 Sariaya Sports Complex for The Grand Launching of Buli Products and Bulindakan (a street dancing competition that requires to wear buli costumes in a Filipiniana stlye of dancing)

1045 pm ETA – Tayabas. Check in.

Resort and Hotel options:

Mi Casa en Tayabas –Striking Mexican-inspired architecture and landscaped gardens which allows you to relax and enjoy our beautifully designed rooms that evoke elegance and comfort at the same time. Wine and dine in restaurants that are sure to satisfy your palate. Rest.Sleep.

Nawawalang Paraiso Resort & Hotel - Dubbed as “The Lost Paradise”, its living up to be one place for ultimate fun, rest, recreation and romance. Nestled at the foot of the mystic and legendary rain mountain. Mt. Banahaw. Rest. Sleep.

Day 3
(May 14, 2011) Tayabas - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

0600 Gayakan ng Pa’yas sa Munting Bayan. (Decoration of freshly harvested fruits by the people of tayabas).Tourist may witness on how Tayabenses decorate their houses in preparation for the Mayohan sa Tayabas Festival.

0900 Breakfast at the resort / hotel.

1000 San Miguel de Archangel Basilica Manor Church - St. Michael the Archangel Minor Basilica.One of the oldest churches in the century, it was first built in 1585 and repaired in 1590 using nipa and palm. In 1600, they used bricks. The church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1743 and later rebuilt and made bigger in 1856. It is located in Tayabas, Quezon.

Casa de Comunidad de Tayabas - Constructed in 1831 when Don Diego Enriquez was Gobernadorcillo, it is primarily designed as a guesthouse for visiting Spanish dignitaries. Casa de Comunidad is a national historical landmark which houses the local museum and the municipal library. It is host to many cultural and historical activities.It is the biggest “bahay na bato” ever restored by the National Historical Institute.

Kalye Budin(Budin or cassava cake)Tayabas caters the sweetest cassava cake, with a street known as Kalye Budin(A portion of Jacinto St between AM Regidor and Legaspi Street ), tourists may have a taste and take home with them this native dessert made of cassava, margarine.

1200 Lunch at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan – offers exquisite taste of its freshly harvested seafoods and delectable fine dining. The place provides guests with the opportunity to relax and commune with the serenity of nature. Stylish and luxury rooms are also available for accommodation.

Lunch at Palaisdaan Restaurant- spearheads the promotion of the traditional culinary arts of Tayabas. The restaurant offers guests with fresh sea foods matched with the natural and serene ambiance of the place.

0100 Lambanog Distillery - a wine made from coconut. Lambanog is famous for its potency that normally carries about 80 to 90 proof variations. It is mostly produced in the Tayabas,Quezon. It has been passed down throughout generations of coconut plantation farmers. The process involves collecting the sap from the coconut flower, similar to rubber tree tapping. The sap is then cooked and fermented to become tuba, popular coconut toddy. The tuba is then distilled to make lambanog.

Malagonlong Bridge -Built by the Spanish colonizers, this bridge is considered the oldest one in town. However, it is not clear whether it was constructed before or after the town church was built in 1585.

0300 Back at the resort / hotel. Rest. Dinner.

0700 Lambanog Night “Flairtending Competition”- A showcase of talent in flairtending with Lambanog as the main beverage for mixing drinks. Lambanog night celebrates Tayabas pride in producing the original coconut vodka.

Umpukan sa tagayan(Lambanog) The Tayabenses way of drinking Lambanog is simple. It is usually coupled with songs accompanied by a guitar player (who is also part of the “inuman”). One common glass (tagayan) is placed on the table and is shared by everybody who symbolizes their common level in the society and of course, camaraderie. And when it is your turn to take your “tagay” you would have to say “Tagay ko!” before taking that round.

0900 End of Tour

For Inquiries and costs:
Please Contact JC Constantino of The Quezon Tourism Office:
jc_05e@yahoo.com.ph
0919 2504043


Thank you Lugaluda.com for the photo.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

INTRAMUROS WILL SHOW THE WAY...

INTRAMUROS WAY OF THE CROSS

The public is invited to observe Holy Week through the unique Way of the Cross at Fort Santiago, the most popular spot in Intramuros and the prime tourist destination in Manila. The Way of the Cross is a series of 14 stations representing the events of the Passion of Christ. The Intramuros Administration (IA) requested educational institutions and other government agencies in the Walled City to set up the 14 Stations of the Cross at Fort Santiago, as an alternative venue for the thousands of Catholics who will be visiting Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church during Holy Week.

Joining IA in this special Lenten project are (in chronological order): Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Club Intramuros Golf Course, Bureau of the Treasury, Department of Labor and Employment, Mapua Institute of Technology, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum, Commission on Elections, Bureau of Internal Revenue No. 6 Manila and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Everyone is welcome to do the Way of the Cross at Fort Santiago starting Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday (except Good Friday), from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

JOIN! JOIN! JOIN!


Open Call for Dance Performances!

Dances and Rituals on Natural Elements or Climate change / Mga Katutubong Sayaw at Ritwal Tungkol sa Kalikasan

Zero-in Arts Festival | September 2011

Now on its 10th year, Zero-in, a consortium of 5 galleries and museums annually mounts exhibitions on an agreed theme. This year the theme is “Open Call” focusing on Dance, Food, Film, Music and Visual Art. Museo Pambata will be presenting an exhibition on Indigenous Dances and Rituals with dance performances by groups. The dance will be performed in a popular mall and at Museo Pambata.

Mechanics:
Open Call forms will be given to identified artistic groups. They should be a legitimate group from an organization/school.
Groups are encouraged to develop a dance depicting traditional rituals or a contemporary piece on environmental changes and its effects on man.

Requirements:
Interested groups will submit a one page description of their dance. They have to submit a 3 to 5 minute video of a specific dance similar to what they will be performing.

Number of dancers:
Minimum of 5, maximum of 10

Other important information:
- Fill up the application form.
- Submission should be on or before May 15.
- Groups will be informed by June 14 for their participation in the Zero-in arts festival.
- Selected dance pieces will be performed at the Zero-in arts festival on September 2011. (Performance dates - weekend)
- Grant fund is P15,000.

--
PLEASE EMAIL:
info@museopambata.org
Maricel P Montero
Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc.
Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive
Ermita, Manila
Philippines

Saturday, April 02, 2011

CARLOS RECOMMENDS!


I LAB IT.
I'm pretty proud to be part of this summer program organized by Dr. Fernando "Butch" Zialcita of the Ateneo de Manila.

I'll be doing a talk as part of this program, "Walk This Way: What I Look at When Walking Around". I'll be doing that talk on April 28, 2011 at 3:30pm. Meanwhile, check out the program above.

Anyone can join the program and you can get academic credits too. Now ain't that a perfect summer thing to do?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WORK! WORK! WORK!


HEY! HEY! HEY!

I need a collaborator.

I'm looking to take my Imelda Tour on the road later this year, and I need to level up. I need a professional graphic designer or graphic group that can assist me in re-doing my Imelda visuals book and create a PowerPoint (.ppt) version of the aforementioned book:

I'll need someone who has:
The time to do this
A scanner
Their own computer
Knowledge of where/how to print out the visuals in large format
Can come over to work at The Living Room in Malate or lives in Metro Manila area
(People who live in other cities need not apply. Sorry).

And has knowledge about:
Scanning
Laying out on iDesign, Pagemaker, Powerpoint
Printing

Most importantly, I need to hire someone who is not an idiot.
Intelligence and creativity is a must. Being nice is a plus.

Must be able to work under a tight schedule: ONE MONTH

Please send all CVs to celdrantours@hotmail.com

Of course, this is a paid gig.

Friday, March 11, 2011

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!



A huge THANK YOU to Joey Mendoza of New York City for these great RH Bill Graphics. They are clean, effective, and quite elegant.

Please post them on your walls or use them as a profile pic, everyone. Joey says it's alright.

Pass the RH Bill now, Congress. C'mon. I know you can do the right thing!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

THE DRAFT....


Dear Cardinal Rosales,

I am writing in letter to formally apologize for the incident that occurred on September 30, 2010 at the Manila Cathedral.

The protest which I mounted, however passionate and earnest on my part, was done without deliberation. It was my attempt to catch the attention of the Church regarding certain politcal issues but it was not my intention to disrespect the solemnity of the Ecumenical event being celebrated on that day.

I was born and raised a Catholic and my faith only seeks understanding. The state of our country drives me to seek the common good. Perhaps my methods are different from yours, but in my heart I know we all consider the same things: the health and welfare of our countrymen—as well as peace, culture, education, order, and freedom for each one of us.

In this light, I would like to seek peaceful resolution with the Church. I am comforted by the grace of forgiveness and reconciliation that Christ’s Resurrection brought to us. We are constantly given the chance to return to the Father’s house, to reclaim the state of grace that is always there for us to receive as his children.

I hope that we—as mere men—can learn to put aside our differences and work towards a better future together. I have chosen to take up my personal cross, and although it may be difficult for others to understand my reasons for doing so, it is my way of finding peace and love in the world.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

LIKE! LIKE! LIKE!

RED LIGHT LIM LUNCH SPECIAL
For the months of February and March, if you book a weekday (Monday to Friday) tour (Intramuros or Imelda), get a lovely set lunch at Chef Bruce Lim's CHEF'S TABLE at Infinity Tower in Fort Bonifacio included for only Php150.00

Php 1350.00 for the Intramuros tour
Php 1150.00 for Imelda

You could have the lunch either before or after the tour.

Valentine tour day not included in this package.

Please just email your name and reservations to celdrantours@hotmail.com for payment and reservation details.

Subject: Lim Lunch

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A HOUSE IS A HOUSE...

LET'S BUILD THIS HOUSE...
My friend Caress Banson has started a wonderful project. She, on her lonesome, is helping to build a church for the people of Bgy. Natipuan in Batangas. It will function also as a common community space where feeding programs and medical missions can be done. The shell (above) has already been built and it's already being used for masses and baptisms.

But as you can see, it's still in a pretty raw state. The pews are ratty and there are no tile floors nor proper lighting. It would be great if the people of this town could have a church that they can be proud of, one with proper pews, lighting, and icons even. It's very near Punta Fuego and Pico de Loro as well. Helping create a church/tourist attraction would benefit the people but the area as a whole. Their collection of Virgin Marys and saints are pretty shabby to say the least.

It would be great if she could find people who can help her. People who can donate time, money, construction supplies or any form of support to complete this house. Yes, I know it may seem weird of me to ask of this from all of you as the "heretic" who barged into a church, but I support this project because the people of the community want this project. They want a dignified place where they can worship and interact with their community. Many find comfort in religion, whatever religion that may be. Who am I to deprive them of this comfort?

So please help us finish this house. It's located right between the properties of the Angaras and the Ponce Enriles. If anyone knows these senators, please tell them the community needs help in building this church. If you are interested in donating anything, please contact Mrs. Caress Banson at banson@caress.com or me at celdrantours@hotmail.com

Thanks a bunch.
Carlos "Damaso" Celdran