On the Cross: Thoughts

Please excuse the absence of posts.  Not only was I flooded with work, I was also flooded with family commitments that I had to attend to.

First off, thank you very much for joining the first giveaway here in my blog!  I will be announcing soon the winners of BARO x Trinkets MNL Summer Giveaway.  I managed to collate all shares and likes and links and retweets, and I also drew the two winners.  I will announce them within the week, on a separate post of course. :)

Meanwhile, let’s go on with my daily litany of what nots. :)

While Marga and I were out frolicking in Baguio (again, more on that later), a photo was posted online that shows tourists posing in the cross at Pampanga that devotees used in penitence for the Holy Week.  I first saw it on Mo Twister’s Instagram account.  The man has millions of followers and soon enough, it trended and made it to the local news.

(This is in no way saying that anything promoted by Mo Twister immediately becomes a hit.  It’s just stupid to not acknowledge the ripple effect this man can create.  He may be a douche at times, but admit it.  He has impact.)

So far, the locals are outraged and like I said, it made news all over the weekend.  It was blasphemous, most of them say.

I am not Catholic, nor do I agree with their practices, but I honestly felt bad that this kind of “exhibition” was made fun of by supposed tourists who did not know any better.  It was offensive; to describe it like that is an understatement.  I don’t even believe in this practice and already I am taken aback.  How much more the people who do?

Each year, Pampanga has been known to have the most visual displays of penitence during the Holy Week.  I know this for a fact because when I was younger, my family along with our relatives will visit our grandparents’ extended families in Pampanga.  I would always see this exhibition and it is not something that people take lightly.  At first, the blood grossed me out, but eventually, I understood that this is how they practice their faith.

While I was surveying the news over the weekend, I noticed that a lot of tourists flocked the place, armed with their cameras and jaws dropping in awe upon witnessing the sacrifices these people make in the name of faith.  I think about the first two rows in the streets were just tourists.  Instead of observing the sacrifice, it almost seemed like they were witnessing a show.

As much as I want to condemn the people for committing such a heinous crime of rudeness and lack of courtesy, I find it more prudent if the LGU should also share the blame.  Over the years, this practice has been a spectacle to tourists.  Has the LGU ever thought of handing out leaflets, posting bulletins and informing residents to orient their tourists and other guests of the sacredness of this ritual?  Obviously, this happened because they do not understand the sanctity of the practice.  They do not understand the significance of this sacrifice to the Catholic faith.  To them, it was just self-infliction of pain, not a sacrifice, not a devotion.  Perhaps if they understood better, they would have more respect for it.

I find it wrong to assume that the moment you are immersed in a particular community, it is mandatory to respect and understand its culture and practices.  You have to gain a particular level of education at some point in order to appreciate and understand the nature of an exercise.  It’s like knowing why we INCs separate men and women in our church service (which is our sense of order and promptness).  You don’t necessarily have to agree to it, but you conform because you have at least a good insight of why it is done.  As locals – and more importantly, as people who have such strong attachments to religious practices – perhaps it would be best to take on the task of enlightening others.  Whether or not the practice is logical, let us teach them a bit of why it is done.  Maybe then they will have the smidgen of respect to the community and to the people to not do this again.

I feel bad really that this happens.  What used to be a sacred practice at a sacred time became a mere show to others.  Let’s work on making them more insightful shall we?

That’s all.  :)

Let’s end this post in a much more optimistic note.  (cue cute music)

BARO x Trinkets MNL Summer Giveaway!

I said it would come, and because of the powers that be, it is here!

First ever giveaway so let’s make it easy for you shall we? :)

  1. Like BARO and Trinkets MNL pages
  2. Follow my blog.  Just click the funky button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Post this as your status in Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr: “The best and most glamorous summer ever with BARO for stylista and Trinkets MNL! #supercarlagiveaway”  Don’t forget to tag those names! :)

Promo is for Philippine residents only.

Quite simple I believe! :)  Two of you gets to win this!

First place gets to take home the Polka Kaftan and second place, the Mithra Top from BARO for Stylista!

First and second place winners get to choose their prize:  one beaded necklace and one threads bracelet from Trinkets MNL!  Oh and the first place winner gets a pair of feathered earrings too!

It’s so simple and easy — we’re giving all these away for you!

Keep your comments coming, answer as much as you can, tweet/post as much as you can!  Promo ends on March 31, 11:59 pm!  Winners will be drawn on April 2 and announced on April 4!

Come on ladies!  You know this is just too good to pass up! :)

Bye Coron!

(Please note that all of the photos for the next few posts are taken by me and my brother Ted.  Anyone who would like to use these photos, please shoot an email to let us know where you’ll be using them.  Courtesy please.  Thanks! *grin*)

It is always hard to end a vacation.  Even though this place is not as technologically advanced as I thought it should be, I have to admit that it was the perfect escape from our usual busy days.

This is our last sunrise (moonset?) in Busuanga.  I will definitely  miss the place, mainly because it made me like sea water.  To be honest, I never really liked it before, but when I saw what it has to offer me, I am not ashamed to admit that it has completely whopped me in the ass.  I have been missing out on a lot.

I never really got to show where we stayed at in Concepcion, Busuanga.

We had to wake up again at the crack of dawn because there is only one jeepney that goes from Concepcion to Coron town proper.  It was literally just one jeepney.  We crammed ourselves in it and the driver did something I will never forget.

He must have went back and forth three times all over Concepcion, just scouring for people who need a ride to Coron.  Along the way, he would stop and greet people who, in turn, will hand him cash and a list wrapped in plastic and a few containers.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that he’s going to run errands for these people.  We think it’s because some of them can’t afford to go to Coron — either they can’t leave their houses/tasks or they just literally can’t.

The ride took about 3 hours, but when we got to Coron we’re still too early to check in.  We went to the airport nonetheless.

Being a weekend, the place was jampacked.

So my brothers and I went back to our usual stuff to do.

It’s amazing how different we are from each other, and to be honest, I didn’t really think I will enjoy this break as much as I did.  For a moment, I forgot how cool and funny and amazing my brothers were.  Coron reminded me of that.

Our next goal is to have everyone in the clan to come and visit this place.  I promised myself before that day comes, I will be a certified scuba diver.


And here are some parting shots from the beautiful town of Coron!  Till next time!

Coron Day 1

(Please note that all of the photos for the next few posts are taken by me and my brother Ted.  Anyone who would like to use these photos, please shoot an email to let us know where you’ll be using them.  Courtesy please.  Thanks! *grin*)

We arrived right on time.

Please ignore the girl. She was taking so long to leave and Daniel didn’t want to stay there and have the facade all to himself. A lot of people were waiting for their photo opp at Busuanga’s welcome banner.

You know you’re in for a good vacation when the airport scenery looks like this.

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Recovering from the long weekend

I cannot even begin to explain the difficulty of recovering from a long weekend.  I honestly believe I enjoyed it too much, even though all I did was watch movies.  For those who follow me on Twitter, you can so tell that I was perfectly happy with my self-imposed movie marathon.  After all, the working class don’t always get four-day vacations.  I mean, come on!  The hospitality and healthcare industry don’t even get breaks like these.  So imagine how much power I felt I had.  And I used it all up by watching movies.

I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it, but I can say this:

It’s something that’s inherent in long vacations.  I even brought home my work laptop in hopes of completing, if not starting, some of my long laundry list of to dos, but yeah, that never really happened.  Somehow, I always end up enjoying too much of my vacation, so when reality strikes, it slaps me in the face like a scorned bitch.

Fell asleep around 9 last night, woke up at 11, fell asleep at 1 in the morning.  And I woke up at 5:30 today.  And I have no choice because Mondays are manic.  If I don’t get up or get ready soon, I am sure to have a hard time commuting to work.

So I’ve come up with three possible options:  (1) move out and live somewhere closer to work, so I wouldn’t have to commute on the day the car is not allowed by the government to be on the road, (2) loan some money and get my own car, that is of course after completing my driving lessons and overcoming my fear of being ran over by a truck and (3) convince the government how healthy and productive it is for employees when they are granted brief but frequent vacations.  Hey, a happy employee is a productive employee.

Just saying. :)  Have a great workweek, everyone.