Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Legend of the Killer Bride: a ballad on the life of Camila dela Torre

A. The Killer Bride Teleserye

I have been watching the Killer Bride TV Series lately. The writers of the show should be applauded for heeding Aristotle's advice in his Poetics of making the plot central to the story--not the love teams, the speeches, nor the spectacles:
For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse. Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions. Hence the incidents and the plot are the end of a tragedy; and the end is the chief thing of all. (Aristotle, Poetics, Book XVI)
 The Killer Bride's script reads like the story of the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:
On the day of his wedding to Mercédès, Edmond Dantès, first mate of the Pharaon, is incorrectly accused of treason, arrested, and imprisoned without trial in the Château d'If, a grim island fortress off Marseilles. A fellow prisoner, Abbé Faria, correctly deduces that his jealous rival Fernand Mondego, envious crewmate Danglars, and double-dealing magistrate De Villefort turned him in. Faria inspires his escape and guides him to a fortune in treasure. As the powerful and mysterious Count of Monte Cristo (Italy), he arrives from the Orient to enter the fashionable Parisian world of the 1830s and avenge himself on the men who conspired to destroy him. (Wikipedia: Count of Monte Cristo)
Or perhaps also like Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, since these books are based on Dumas' novel:
In the events of the previous novel, Crisóstomo Ibarra, a reform-minded Spanish mestizo who tried to establish a modern school in his hometown of San Diego and marry his childhood sweetheart, was falsely accused of rebellion and presumed dead after a shootout following his escape from prison. Elias, his friend who was also a reformer, sacrificed his life to give Crisóstomo a chance to regain his treasure and flee the country, and hopefully continue their crusade for reforms from abroad. After a thirteen-year absence from the country, a more revolutionary Crisóstomo has returned, having taken the identity of Simoun, a corrupt jeweler whose objective is to drive the government to commit as much abuse as possible in order to drive people into revolution. (Wikipedia: El Filibusterismo)
This perhaps explains the reason why one of the characters in the Killer Bride is named Elias, the love interest of Emma. Emma was a girl roaming the streets near the church, ardently looking for her mother who abandoned her. then she was found by Camila, who was driven nearly to madness when he lost her baby daughter Vida in a jail fire, just like Sisa who lost her sons Crispin and Basilio in Noli Me Tangere. And now Camila is hell-bent on exacting revenge on those who wronged her. Here is the summary of the story of The Killer Bride:
Las Espadas is a superstitious town that has been haunted by the ghost of The Killer Bride for years. Most of the residents have stories of encountering Camila Dela Torre, the woman in 1999 who—right before her wedding day, "killed" and was found by her fiance in a matching bloody wedding dress and veil. In her murder trial, Camila begs to the court that she is wrongfully accused, but is eventually shunned by her own rich, prominent family and fiance Vito dela Cuesta who testifies against her. After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl in prison, a sudden freak fire encompasses the entire prison facility. Crying, desperate and unable to locate her newborn daughter, her last words exact revenge on every person who falsely accused her, all whilst her body burned in the flames. 
18 years pass and urban legend fuses into reality as a group of teenagers headed by Elias Sanchez again tell the story of Camila. Playfully, they claim that on the day of the blood moon eclipse, the ghost of Camila will possess a new body and kickstart her vow for revenge. As if fulfilling the prophecy, a girl from nowhere, Emma Bonaobra moves to the town. Securing a job as the town's mortuary cosmetologist, she is told of the tale of The Killer Bride but disbelieves it. Lo and behold, Emma wakes up possessed, gatecrashing her family's grand party event claiming that she is the long-dead Camila, The Killer Bride. The entire town begin to question her motives. Is this a haunting chronicle that connects the rival Dela Torre vs. Dela Cuesta families who battled for land and politics—or is this simply a tale of The Killer Bride destined to curse the town?.[1] (Wikipedia: The Killer Bride)
B. Killer Bride's Theme

 One of the musical themes of the Killer Bride is the Bridal Chorus of Richard Wagner, which is played in English-speaking countries as "Here Comes the Bride" or "Wedding March":
Faithfully guided, draw near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, the reward of love,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!  
Champion of virtue, proceed!
Jewel of youth, proceed!  
Flee now the splendour of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
now takes you in, away from the splendour.  
Faithfully guided, draw now near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love so pure,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!
Notice that the lyrics are more profound than the normal renditions:

Here comes the bride dressed all in light
Radiant and lovely she shines in his sight
Gently she glides graceful as a dove
Meeting her bridegroom her eyes full of love.  
Love have they waited long have they planned
Life goes before them opening her hand.  
Asking god's blessing as they begin
Life with new meaning, life shared as one
Entering God's union, bowed before His throne
Promise each other to have and to hold.

But unlike the traditional meter of the Wedding March, the theme in Killer Bride is slow and brooding. So what I wish to do is to write a ballad based on Wedding March theme that tells the story of Camila dela Torre as the Killer Bride. Hopefully, the ballad below can still be sung in the same slow and brooding tone as in The Killer Bride TV series.

C. The Legend of the Killer Bride: a Ballad on the Life of Camila dela Torre

by Monk's Hobbit

Here comes the bride dressed all in white
Youthful and lovely she walked before their eyes
Then her phone rang. "Vito" it said.
They need to meet in the place they have set.

She saddled her horse and went like the wind
To the old house of ruined stones and weeds
Gently she walked with fear in her heart
Then she saw Javier with a gun in his hand

A man came behind and put her to sleep
The last thing she saw were horseshoes in his chest
When she woke up her gown was in rags
Bloodied and soiled, with a knife in her hands

Then she freaked out. Javier laid in blood.
When Vito came he went straight to his brod.
But it was too late. The stabs took their toil.
Javier pointed to her as he died in Vito’s arms

And the judge believed Vito’s testimony
The Court sentenced Camila to reclusion perpetua
There in the jail, she bore her daughter
But a fire broke out and nowhere was her Vida

And so it was told that as she sobbed in flames
Her voice pierced the ears like a sword to the heart
“Vengeance is mine! I shall repay!
I shall come back to avenge my dear daughter!”

“Then you shall know what demon you sent!
From the pits of hell I shall come for your slaughter!”
And her curse echoed there in Las Espadas
As the children sing when the moon turns to blood:

“Here comes the bride dressed all in white!
Bloodied and soiled, with a knife in her hands!
Camila is back, just as she said!
Run for your lives for the bride is on your heels!”

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pepe's Kite: A song on happy death [Saranggola ni Pepe]

Saranggola ni Pepe (Pepe's Kite). Image credit:By Johann Michael Voltz (Illustration), Johann Carl Bock (engraving) - Kinderspiele in 24 illum. Kupfern. Fibel und Rechenbuch für kleine Kinder, Nürnberg 1828, via, Public Domain, Link

Saranggola ni Pepe was sung by Celeste Legaspi and was written by her husband Nonoy Gallardo. It was believed that the song was really about Martial Law with Pepe as Marcos, the deaf old man. But stripped of its political meanings, the song is a nice lyrical poem. The poem has six-line stanzas. Each stanza has three pairs of rhyming lines: lines 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. There is also inline rhyming in the lines 3 and 4:
Umihip ang hangin, nawala sa paningin
Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon
Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon
Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon
Pinilit umawit, ang naglaro’y isang ingit
Lumuha ang langit at ang mundo ay nanliit
It is difficult to properly translate the song following the meter of the original, while preserving the rhyming scheme. So what I did was to try to be faithful to the meter so that the translation can be sung, while using different rhyming schemes and alliterative structures. Below is my translation.

A. Pepe’s Kite (Saranggola ni Pepe)

Singer: Celeste Legazpi
Writer: Nonoy Gallardo
Tagalog Lyrics Source: Genius Lyrics
Tagalog-to-English Translation: Monk's Hobbit

Far is the flight of Pepe’s kite
Far are the dreams of the deaf old man
With the wind it flew and was lost in sight
Yesterday's reckoning was buried by the tide
Faint is the tolling of friar's bells ringing
Loud is the clinking of a woman praying

[Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Umihip ang hangin, nawala sa paningin
Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon
Malabo ang tunog ng kampanilya ni Padre
Maingay ang taginting, rosaryo ng babae]

Nay, nay, nay, nay...

Far is the flight of Pepe’s kite
Far are the dreams of the deaf old man
He caught the pigeon, and its pantaloons
He tied with a string, but girded not its loins
A jeepney passed by and sketched in the roadside
Leaving charcoal pieces he never kept aside

[Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon
Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon
Dumaan ang jeepney at gumuhit pa sa kalye
Mauling ang iniwang hindi na tinabi]

Nay, nay, nay, nay...

Far is the flight of Pepe’s kite
Far are the dreams of the deaf old man
He breathed out to sing, but blurted out squeaking
Teardrops fell from heaven and the world was shrinking
From the fence was waving the guardian angel calling
The old man obeyed not but followed his heart

[Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Pinilit umawit, ang naglaro’y isang ingit
Lumuha ang langit at ang mundo ay nanliit
Kumakaway sa bakod ang anghel na nakatanod
Sumusuway sa utos, puso’y sinusunod]

Nay, nay, nay, nay...

B. Translation Notes

I shall divide my notes regarding my translation into stanzas and lines, e.g. 1.4 is stanza 1 line 4.

1.2 The phrase "deaf old man" is "matandang bingi", because "matanda" is an old person, male or female. But Pepe is normally a man's name.

1.4 "Yesterday's reckoning was buried by the tide" (Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon). "Sigaw" is "shout". I used "reckoning" or "pagalaala" instead of shout in order to exploit the "r" sound in "yesterday" and "buried". Also, "alon" is "wave" not "tide". I used "tide" to rhyme with "sight". "Nilamon" is "was swallowed" not "was buried". I used "buried" both for the "r" sound and alliteration with "by". But on a second thought, "was swallowed" has a nice ring to it, because "was" and "swa" sound good together. A more accurate translation of "Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon" is "Yesterday's shout was swallowed by the waves."

1.5 "Faint is the tolling of friar's bells ringing" (Malabo ang tunog ng kampanilya ni Padre). A "padre" is a generic name for priest, whether regular (religious) or secular. I chose the translation "friar" for padre, because "friars" or "frayles" are the mendicant religious orders (e.g. Agustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans) who were responsible for the conversion of the whole Philippines to the Catholic, save for the enclaves of Muslims and Pagans.

1.6 "Loud is the clinking of a woman praying" (Maingay ang taginting, rosaryo ng babae). A more accurate translation would be "Loud is the clinking of a woman's rosary". It is difficult to put woman and rosary together in the second half of the line and make the end word rhyme with "clinking" and at the same time conform to the song's meter.

2.3 "He caught the pigeon, and its pantaloons" (Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon). A more accurate translation is "He caught the bird, and clothe it with pants." I used "pigeon" to make it rhyme with "pantaloons".

2.4 "He tied with a string, but girded not its loins" (Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon). Literally, "he tied with a string, [he] did not wear a belt." There is a wordplay in images here. The pants can apply to the boy who used a string instead of a belt. The "bird" can refer to the boy's reproductive organ which he needs to hide with a pair pants.

2.5 "A jeepney passed by and sketched in the roadside" (Dumaan ang jeepney at gumuhit pa sa kalye). There is a play of images here. The sentence structure says that it is the jeepney's wheels which drew on the road. But the jeepney can also represent the boy who drew on the road with charcoal. I used the word "sketched" because it sounds like "screeched"

2.6 "Leaving charcoal pieces he never kept aside" (Mauling ang iniwang hindi na tinabi). The imagery is that of a jeepney's passing which created a cloud of charcoal dust from the exhaust. I used "pieces" instead of smoke or cloud, because "piece" can refer to a charcoal painting drawn by the boy on the road.

3.6 "The old man obeyed not but followed his heart" (Sumusuway sa utos, puso’y sinusunod). "Sumusuway sa utos" is "disobeying the command". I initially used the word "heed" because it sounds like "head" to match with "heart". Another option would be to use "heard" instead of "heed" to make it sound like "heart". I settled with "obeyed" because it is more accurate and alliterates with "old".

C. What is the poem all about?

Saranggola ni Pepe is a poem about an old man reminiscing his childhood while waiting for his death. He remembered the church bells tolling from afar for the Angelus and how perhaps his mother would lead the praying of the rosary when the sun sets at 6 pm. He remembered the pigeon whose legs he would wound with a paper and tie with a string, as text messages were sent before not via Twitter but through homing pigeons, which were used by armies during World Wars I and II when the wireless telegraphs lines are broken or destroyed. He remembered the jeepney, which was invented after World War II from scraps of military jeeps, but made longer and wider to accommodate more passengers. And when the jeepney passed by, it would erase the boy's charcoal drawings on the street, such as those used for playing piko, a children's hopping game where the goal is build houses on vacant lots bounded by the charcoal marks, in such a way that the other players would have no more place to land their feet.

We can assume that the old man has been a faithful Catholic, as suggested by the Catholic elements of rosary, church bells, friars, and guardian angel. If these are the last things that he recalls, then these must be the most important things and persons in his life that left a mark on his soul.

The old man labored to sing--perhaps a childhood rhyme--but only a gasp came out as tears flowed down his cheeks. It was the last gasps of the dying man. His guardian angel said it was time to die, so we can assume he is going to heaven; otherwise, he would be tormented by demons instead. But the dying man refused to let go yet of his mortal frame and continued to recall the past. The song ended here, but it is possible to extend the lyrics to three or six more stanzas to include the days of his manhood, how he got a wife, made a family, and saw his grandchildren. Then the old man would recall how he lived his life and examine his conscience, so that he can for call a priest, confess his sins, and receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. It is a grace of God to live long unto old age, so that one can prepare for death and die well. As Our Lady of the Rosary promised to the St. Dominic and Blessed Alain de la Roche (Fifteen Rosary Promises):
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish. 6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered and never overwhelmed by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death (unprepared for heaven). The sinner shall convert. The just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life. 7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church. 8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have, during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise. 13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death
Perhaps, the ending of the song is just right. We can assume that he died thereafter. It was a happy death, since the melody of Saranggola ni Pepe is not a sad but happy. So let us end this song analysis with a prayer to St. Joseph, the patron of happy death:
O Blessed Joseph, you gave your last breath in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When the seal of death shall close my life, come with Jesus and Mary to aid me. Obtain for me this solace for that hour - to die with their holy arms around me. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul, living and dying, into your sacred arms. Amen.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Martha and Mary: A Gospel Musical [tune: Mary! How sweetly falls that word]

"Christ at the home of Martha and Mary" attributed to Georg Friedrich Stettner († 1639) - Van Ham Kunstauktionen, Public Domain, Link

I wrote the song “Martha and Mary,” which I based from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 10:39-42). Actually, it should have been “Martha and Jesus” because the song is structured as a dialogue song of Jesus and Martha, with a narrator in between that should be sung by a chorus, such as those in the Greek Tragedies like Oedipus Rex. But Martha and Mary is a proper title, since each character serves each other's foil. The dialogue structure is similar to the song of Ents and Entwives in Lord of the Rings, while the melody follows “Mary, how sweetly falls that word” (music sheet, video). You will notice that Mary in the song speaks not, but kept all things in her heart, just like Mary the Mother of Jesus (Lk 2:19).

Actually, I initially planned to make a three part song that would include the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11) and Mary pouring oil on Jesus’ feet (Jn 12). But this will take several days of work and I can only blog during Sundays. Perhaps someday I can turn this project into a musical. 


by Monk's Hobbit

When Jesus entered a village 
A woman welcomed Him 
The woman’s name was Martha 
Her sister was Mary 

Stay, O my Lord. Rest for today 
O Master, O Master. So long was thy way 
Stay, O my Lord. Rest for today. 
O Master, O Master. Our home is that way. 

So Jesus went to Martha’s home 
His disciples went with him 
And there He preached of child-like trust 
To God Who knows our needs 

Look at the birds high in the air! 
They sow not, they reap not, yet are in His care 
Look at wild flowers out in the fields! 
They work not, they spin not, yet dressed more than kings 

And Mary was listening to His Words 
She sat beside His feet 
Meanwhile Martha served all their guests 
And grumbled before the Lord 

Do you not care that my sister left me 
With cooking and cleaning to prepare us some feast 
Do you not care that my sister sits here 
Doing nothing, doing nothing while I serve all our guests 

And Jesus stopped his preaching 
He looked at Martha’s face 

Martha, you’re anxious and worried 
About so many things 

But come, my child. You need just one thing 
Just listen. Just listen to all my teachings. 
Your sister Mary chose the better part 
And it won’t be and it won’t be that from her it shall part

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Do you seriously think Jesus would denounce a gay man or woman?

Christ and the Rich Young Man. By Heinrich Hofmann - Purchased by John D Rockefeller Jr, now residing at Riverside Church, New York, Public Domain, Link

In the comments section of the FB page of AdMU's Sanggunian: Commission on Gender Equality (25 June 2019), I read the following comment in response to Family and Life Update:
“Do you seriously think Jesus would denounce a gay man or woman? Seriously? Jesus? Go back and study the Bible again. Mga 300 times.”—Francis P.
This is an interesting question. Below is my reply.


A. Studying the Bible 300 times

I don’t know how many times I have studied the Bible, because it is difficult to quantify the word “study”. Is studying the Bible equal to the number of hours you spent reading some books in the Bible? Or is it the number of times you have read the Bible from Genesis to the Book of Revelation? But even then, many of the most learned people who studied the Bible—spending hours, days, weeks, and years poring Biblical texts—may still end up as heretics, e.g. Arius (Arianism), Luther (Protestantism), and Manalo (Iglesia ni Cristo). Remember that even Satan can quote Sacred Scripture (c.f. Ps 91:11-12) to tempt Christ:
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’" (Mt 4:5-6)
The Catholic Faith rests not on the Bible alone, but also on Holy Tradition, and Magisterium (Teaching Authority), in the same way that the Philippine Government is defined by the Constitution, Congress, and the Supreme Court:
76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: - orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";33 - in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".34 . . . continued in apostolic succession 77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."35 Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

B. Would Jesus denounce a gay man or woman?

There is no clear denunciation by Jesus of a gay man or woman, in the same way as he would denounce the Scribes and Pharisees: “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees!” (Mt 23) But why would Jesus need to denounce homosexuals, because cross dressing and homosexual acts were already forbidden in the Old Testament? There is no need for Christ to repeat what is already known to be true to his fellow Jews who are faithful to the Laws of Moses:
A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD, your God. (Dt 22:5
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them. (Lv 20:13)
 Remember, Jesus said:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. (Mt 5:17-18)
If there is a confusion regarding the true meaning or essence of the laws, Christ would clarify them as what he did to the Scribes and Pharisees:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others.” (Mt 23:23)
For the case of the woman caught in adultery, Christ did not condemn her to death, as the Mosaic Law dictates (Lv 20:10), but said:
"Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more." (Jn 8:11)
Christ, the Son of Man, has the power to forgive sins (c.f. Mk 2:10) because He is also the Son of God, and sin is an offense that only God can forgive (c.f. Mk 2:7).

Many of those who quote the words of Christ in support of LGBT lifestyle and the Pride Movement focused on the first statement "Neither do I condemn you," but won't mention the second statement "From now on do not sin anymore." Cross-dressing and homosexual acts are sins. A homosexual man or woman who repents will be forgiven by Christ in the same way as He forgave the woman caught in adultery, and we can be sure that Christ will also say the same thing: "From now on do not sin anymore" and not "Persist in your sin because of your pride."

C. Christ Speaks through His Church

The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as its head (c.f. Col 1:15). This truth was revealed to St. Paul on the Road to Damascus:
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.c 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”d 5 He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.e 6 Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

After His Resurrection, Christ gave the Church the power to forgive sins:
“Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20:22-23)
Thus, a homosexual who repents of his sins and confesses them to a priest in the Sacrament of Confession will be forgiven by Christ Himself: the priest only acts in persona Christi. As the Catechism says:
1548 In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Also, before His Ascension, Christ gave the Church the Magisterium or the Teaching Authority:
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 h Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 i teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)
As Christ also told his disciples:
Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me. (Lk 10:16)
That is, if you don't listen to the Church, you reject Christ, the Son of God. If you reject Christ, you also reject God the Father who sent His Son to redeem the world. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," as St. Paul said  (Heb 10:31), echoing Christ's warning:
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. 5 I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. 7 Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.d 8 I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God." (Lk 12:4-9
Thus, if the Church denounces homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, then it is Christ Himself who makes the denouncement of these acts of gay men or women:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. 2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
This answers the question of Francis P.

D. Conclusions

The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. Thus, if the Church forgives the sins of a repentant gay man or woman, it is Christ Himself who forgives him or her. If the Church denounces homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered, then it is Jesus Christ Himself who makes the denouncement. As St. Ignatius said:
13. If we wish to proceed securely in all things, we must hold fast to the following principle: What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines. For I must be convinced that in Christ our Lord, the bridegroom, and in His spouse the Church, only one Spirit holds sway, which governs and rules for the salvation of souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord who gave the Ten Commandments that our holy Mother Church is ruled and governed.
(The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph by Louis J. Puhl, SJ, p. 160)
There is still hope for conversion for LGBT, but they must repent and believe the Gospel before it is too late to do so on their deathbed--unless they steal heaven like the repentant thief who was crucified with Christ. But such grace may be rare for those who spent their lives fighting Christ and His Church. May the LGBT heed the words of St. Paul:
Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)
Outside the Kingdom of God is Hell, the fiery furnace for the punishment of the unjust:
"The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. 43  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear." (Mt 13:41-43)
Hell is real. And the thought of being sent to hell for eternity may spur a gay man or woman to conversion. Even if this conversion is due to fear and not out of love for God, this conversion is still praiseworthy according to St. Ignatius:
18. Though the zealous service of God our Lord out of pure love should be esteemed above all, we ought also to praise highly the fear of the Divine Majesty. For not only filial fear but also servile fear is pious and very holy. When nothing is higher or more useful is attained it is very helpful for rising from mortal sin, and once this is accomplished, one may easily advance to filial fear, which is wholly pleasing and agreeable to God our Lord since it is inseparable associated with love of Him. (The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph by Louis J. Puhl, SJ, p. 161)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Is the Sacrament of Confession useless? A reply to Pres. Duterte

Saint Ambrose barring Emperor Theodosius from Milan Cathedral in 390 A.D. A painting by Anthony van Dyck (Wikipedia)

Manila Times: The President then made fun of the Catholic sacrament of confession, saying attending Mass and seeking forgiveness from God were “useless” as he would tend to repeat his sins everyday. “Kaya ako hindi nagsisimba. Kasi ’pag magsimba ako (That’s why I never attend mass because if I go to Church), ‘Forgive me, father, for I have killed last night three.’ Balik na naman ako kinabukasan (then I will return tomorrow), ‘Father, forgive me because I have killed 10 drug, drug lords.’ Pabalik-balik ako, bakit pa ako magpunta doon? Useless (I keep on returning, so why should I go back? That’s useless),” he said.


The example given by our President is indeed a useless confession, because there is no conversion of the heart or interior conversion. As the Catechism says:
1430 Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.23 1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).24
Note that the Act of Contrition is recited after each confession by the penitent (though sadly some priests do not require this anymore) and this prayer states “I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.” That is:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.[8] (Wikipedia
And the priest will give the absolution:
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself  and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. (EWTN)

If Duterte has the intention to sin again when he made his confession, then he has no intention of turning away from evil and going back to God, so that his hypothetical confession would indeed be useless.  Furthermore, to presume that God will forgive him without repentance is a sin of presumption, which is a sin against the First Commandment:
2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit). (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Normally, after the penitent gives his confession, the priest will give the penance, e.g. pray 3 Hail Mary’s, or return what you stole from your company, or refrain from using the name of God in vain. For the case of the sin of murder, the priest can tell the penitent to go to the police, report the crime, and accept the punishment given by the court, e.g. imprisonment for 40 years or death (c.f. Revised Penal Code). Otherwise, if the penitent has no intention of doing these, the absolution given by the priest won’t have an effect, i.e. the penitent remains guilty of sin and if he dies, he would go to hell.

For the case of a policeman killing a drug lord or a criminal, there are many mitigating circumstances in order for the killing not to be classified as mortal sin. Did the police kill him during a shootout? This can be a legitimate police operation and the culpability is lessened. But if the drug lord was rendered immobile and in the power of the policemen at the precinct, then shooting the drug lord in the head in this case can be murder. This is called rubout. Remember that there are three requirements for a sin to be mortal: (1) grave matter, (2) full knowledge, and (3) deliberate consent. As the Catechism says:
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.  1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.  1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. the promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church
Thus, if Duterte goes to confession and says he killed 10 drug lords, a good confessor will definitely ask questions. The matter is definitely grave, but the confessor needs to know the circumstances behind the killing, so that he can determine if the killing was a mortal sin or not. The Catholic Church is not stupid and its rules regarding the Sacrament of Confession are not stupid. There is a logic behind them and also wisdom. We just need to study our Catechism and learn what the church actually teaches, because the founder of the Catholic Church is Christ who is Truth Who can neither deceive or intend to deceive.  Unlike those of masons and other secret societies, the teachings of the Catholic Church can be read by any person of good will, e.g. they can be  found the the Vatican website. As a child-like voice told St. Augustine prior to his conversion: “Take up and read.”

Let us pray that Pres. Duterte may convert from his sins and do penance for the satisfaction of his sins. There is still hope. Even the Roman Emperor Theodosius I was guilty of extra-judicial killing, slaying both the innocent and the guilty—about 7,000 in all in Thessalonica--for the murder of his Gothic garrison commander:
In 390 the population of Thessalonica rioted in complaint against the presence of the local Gothic garrison. The garrison commander was killed in the violence, so Theodosius ordered the Goths to kill all the spectators in the circus as retaliation; Theodoret, a contemporary witness to these events, reports:  ... the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.[21]  Theodosius was excommunicated by the bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, for the massacre.[22] Ambrose told Theodosius to imitate David in his repentance as he had imitated him in guilt; Ambrose readmitted the emperor to the  Eucharist only after several months of penance. (Wikipedia)
May God have mercy on the soul of Pres. Duterte. He has blasphemed God and his Church. He has mocked the Sacraments. So let us pray:
Lord, you have give the grace of conversion to Emperor Theodosius I who unjustly put innocent people to death in Thessalonica out of vengeance, grant that through the intercession of St. Ambrose of Milan may President Rodrigo Duterte also receive the grace of conversion and lead our country the Philippines into the Catholic Faith, as Theodoisus I did for the Roman Empire. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.    

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Is God stupid for putting Adam and Eve to test in Paradise?

The Fall of Adam and Eve as depicted in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Credit:  By from de.wikipedia to Commons by Roberta F. using
CommonsHelper., 9 September 2007 (original upload date), Original uploader was Nitramtrebla at de.wikipedia,
Public Domain, Link

During his speech in Davao City for the 2018 National ICT Summit, President Rodrigo Duterte said:
Who is this stupid God? Estupido talaga itong p***** i** kung ganun. You created some—something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.... 'And God doubted His creation.' So tinesting (testing) niya. Tinawag niya ‘yung ahas. [whistles] 'Come here.' Tapos binigyan niya ng apple, ipinakagat niya doon sa bunganga. Tapos sabi niya sa ahas, 'Dalhin mo itong apple doon kay Eve and tempt her to eat it, taste it....."So ang g***** ahas, walang utak… Pareho diyan sa—karamihan diyan sa gobyerno ganun man. Mga ahas sa ganun. Dineliver doon kay Eve. And Eve, because apple eh. Naka-balot pa ‘yung parang foam na net. 'Made in China.' Ang ginawa niya—kinain ni Eve. Tapos si Eve ginising si Adam. Siguro katatapos lang. Kumain ka rin. So kinain ni Adam. Then malice was born."(GMA News)


God created Adam and Eve as perfect. Before their Fall, the first couple were bestowed by God with preternatural gifts: (a) impassibility (freedom from pain), (b) immortality (freedom from death), (c) integrity (freedom from concupiscence, or disordered desires), and (d) infused knowledge (freedom from ignorance in matters essential for happiness) (Catholic Answers). As the Catechism says:
375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice".250 This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life".251 As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice". 377 The "mastery" over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence254 that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason. 378 The sign of man's familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden.255 There he lives "to till it and keep it". Work is not yet a burden,256 but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation. 379 This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God's plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents. (Catechism 375-379)
But Adam and Eve were not "something" but "someone". They are persons made in the image and likeness of God:
1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity. (Catechism 1700)
God endowed Adam and Eve with free will. This is a great gift that only God can give. Scientists, for all their efforts toward machine learning and artificial intelligence, can only create automatons or robots who decide based on certain well-defined algorithms—even if these algorithms contain tossing coins or probability functions. That is, robots can only decide based on the programs that run them. They do not have free will. But not so with humans: humans can choose to do good and avoid evil or vice-versa. Thus, because they have free will, Adam and Eve can choose either to love God or not.  Love should really be a free choice; otherwise, it is not love, but mere words uttered by prostitutes or their robot equivalents.

But how does one know if a man truly loves a woman or vice versa? Beren, for the love of Luthien, took a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth and lost his hand in the belly of the wolf Charcaroth. Jacob, for the love of Rachel, worked 14 years tending the flock of his father-in-law Laban (c.f Gen 29:18-26). Medea, for the love of Jason, helped him obtain the golden fleece guarded by the bronze man Talus.Thus, love, for it to be true, must first be tested by deeds, for not all that glitters like gold is gold—it may just be pyrite or fool's gold. That is why gold is tested by fire. We can be sure our President was also subjected to different tests by his wives and girlfriends before they agreed to accept his love and give themselves to him. For the woman not to test the love of a man before giving herself to him  as Dido did to Aeneas is a sure sign of stupidity: Aeneas later left her and Dido committed suicide on their love bed on top of a burning pyre.

But God is not as stupid. So for Adam and Eve, God made a simple test of obedience to determine their love for Him:
You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden 17 except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die. (Gen 2:16-17)
This test sounds simple, but a variation of it is still being used by psychologists in the form of marshmallow test:
The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University.[1] In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores,[2] educational attainment,[3] body mass index (BMI),[4] and other life measures.
Instead of a marshmallow, God used the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If Adam and Eve will not eat it, they can receive eternal life. If they eat the fruit, they will surely die. And to ensure that Adam and Eve will make a definite choice, God allowed a serpent to tempt Eve.

The serpent was not as stupid as our President believes, because the serpent was the form that Satan took in the Garden of Eden. Before his Fall, Satan was Lucifer, the light-bearer—the most powerful and beautiful of all the angels created by God. When the angels were give the choice after their creation to love God or not , Lucifer chose not to love and serve God, but wished to surpass God Himself. So he was sent to hell. As Isaiah wrote:
How have you fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn! How are you cut down to the ground, you who mowed down the nations! 13 3 You said in your heart: "I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my throne; I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will be like the Most High!" 15 Yet down to the nether world you go to the recesses of the pit! (Is 14:12-15)
Because angelic knowledge far surpasses human knowledge, the singular choice of angels to love God or not is for eternity, i.e. angels cannot change their choice. So when the serpent tempted Eve, it is actually Satan with all his angelic knowledge put to use to distort the words of God:
Now the snake was the most cunning* of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’?” 2 The woman answered the snake: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 a it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.’” 4 But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die!b 5 God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know* good and evil.” (Gen 3:1-5)
Satan is saying the truth here—but not the whole truth, and so lied. Adam and Eve truly did not immediately die after eating the fruit, but they lost the gift of immortality and became subject to pain, disease, and ultimately death. Adam and Eve truly will become like gods who know good and evil, but only after being sent out of Paradise as a punishment for disobedience.

The sad thing is that Eve failed the marshmallow test. Satan made an enticing marketing pitch for his "Apple" product and Eve fell for it, rationalizing her choice along the way. Or as marketers would say: "People buy with their emotion and rationalize with logic." And Adam succumbed to Eve's influencer marketing. As the Bible says:
The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Gen 3:6)
And so Adam and Eve fell into sin. From the state of Original Holiness and Justice, they fell into Original Sin and all their preternatural powers stripped away from them. Perhaps, Adam was stupid for listening to his wife, Eve. Perhaps, Eve was stupid for listening to the advice of a serpent. But the serpent was not stupid because he was Satan, the angel of lies, and the blaming buck stopped with him:
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” 13 The LORD God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, “The snake tricked me, so I ate it.”e 14 Then the LORD God said to the snake: Because you have done this, cursed are you among all the animals, tame or wild; On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.* f (Gen 3:12-14)
God was not stupid for allowing all these things to unfold. In His infinite wisdom God created us and gave us free will to either love him or not. We are not his slaves. God wishes us to be His friends and share in His divine life. As Christ said:
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.i 13 * No one has greater love than this,j to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends,* because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.k It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.l 17 This I command you: love one another. (Jn 15:12-17)
Love requires risk, because the offer of love can be rejected. God was not stupid when He took the risk. It was just tragic that Adam and Eve spurned His love by disobeying his simple commandment of not eating the fruit of of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Such disobedience led to suffering and death, not only for Adam and Eve but also for their descendants. But here is the good news: Christ opened heaven for us through his death and resurrection. As St. Paul said concerning the Sacrament of Baptism:
"We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)
That is why the Church acclaims during Easter:
O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer! (Easter Exultet)
And the Easter readings continue with the Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday on Christ's descent into hell (sheol):
"What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son....‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.....‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.... ‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God."
God was not stupid when He placed Adam and Eve to test in Paradise. And God was not stupid to save Adam and Eve from sheol by dying on the cross. These only sound stupid because of our limited minds, because we can never fathom how much God loves us. As St. Paul says:
"Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?m 21 * For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,n 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,o 24 but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Cor 1:25)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hey, DOH! Leave our kids alone: a song based on Pink Floyd's "Another Brick on the Wall"

Department of Health is planning to give out condoms to high school students, but Mayor Herbert Bautista and Senator Tito Sotto oppose this measure:
In a text message to key officials on Sunday, Bautista ordered a ban on the distribution of condoms in Quezon City public schools. But he clarified that he would “allow the use of QC public health facilities” as distribution hubs. “The best way to course these condoms is through the health facilities,” Bautista told the Inquirer. (Inquirer)
“Nothing in the RH (Reproductive Health) law allows the DOH to promote the violation of the law on statutory rape! High school students are mostly underage,” Sotto said in a text message when asked to elaborate his tweet. Asked how he could stop the DOH’s plan, the senator said: “Through the Commission on Appointments.” Sotto, a member of the powerful Commission, has already warned that Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial would not get the approval of the Commission if she pushed through with the plan. (Inquirer)

These developments remind me of the song of Pink Floyd, Another Brick on the Wall. It's a good tune but I'll change the lyrics a bit to change the persona of the speaker to that of a mother or a father of teenage students in a public school.

Another Brick on the Wall

by Pink Floyd

We don't need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

Hey, DOH! Leave our kids alone

by Monk's Hobbit

We don't need this education
We don't need this birth control
No condom giving in the classroom
Please just leave our kids alone
Hey! DOH! Leave our kids alone
What you're doing is just taking bricks from the wall
What you're doing is just showing teens how to fall

We are the fathers and the mothers
We teach our children self-control
Within marriage bond is sex in bedroom
Please just leave our kids alone
Hey! DOH! Leave our kids alone
What you're doing is just taking bricks from our wall
What you're doing is just leading families to fall

What are you doing with gays in gay bars?
Why don't you teach them self-control?
The condoms litter in their bedrooms!
Please just leave our kids alone
Hey! DOH! Leave our kids alone
What you're doing is just banging heads on the wall
What you're doing is just finding scapegoats to call

The MSM are the real culprits
They spread the virus without control
Of all the cases accounting four-fiths
Please just leave our kids alone
Hey! DOH! Leave our kids alone
What you're doing is just plotting graphs on the wall
What you're doing is just making population fall

I hope someone can sing this song and post the video in You Tube, using the music of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick on the Wall" as melody. Here's the tune at 1:18. Note that I don't approve of the original lyrics.