Saturday, July 15, 2006

Superman Returns!

My hubby and I watched "Superman Returns" the other day...Well, I liked it :-)
The film started like a "virtual ride" with you virtually having a tour around the universe journeying from Krypton to Earth...and of course, the superman theme song was playing in full orchestra making you feel like you are really flying and swishing through outer space...It was exhilerating that right after hearing the last beating of the drum from the theme song, the child behind us says "Ang saya! Ang saya-saya!" loud enough for Superman to take a bow ;-)

Superlate Post on Wimbledon

I know Wimbledon is already out of season...just like the World Cup...but it is only now that I found time to post something on the women's championship. As made obvious by my previous post, I am a fan of Justine Henin-Hardenne. At first I was really apprehensive with how she is going to fare on grass as she has always been praised for her game on the clay court. But when I heard that she won at Eastbourne which was sort of the "warm-up" for Wimbledon, I said to myself - may pag-asa. So I was so happy to see how easy it was for her to reach the finals without losing any match (set? game? ano ba tawag don? sabi ko na sa inyo, I am not a tennis player - a J.Henin-Hardenne fan only). However the inevitable happened, my favorite lost to Amelie Mauresmo...Henin-Hardenne committed a lot of errors and Mauresmo's serves were really superb...well, it is not yet Justine's time to earn that prestigious Wimbledon title...Better luck next year...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hooray for J.Henin-Hardenne

I gave a sigh of relief when Justine Henin-Hardenne won the 2006 French Open making it her 3rd French Open championship. She once again proved that she is the "Queen of Clay". It is not often that I watch sports on tv but whenever J. Henin-Hardenne plays I always find myself watching...until eventually, I find myself rooting for her. My first taste of J.Henin-Hardenne's tennis was also at a French Open tournament in 2003. I already admired how she played the game then. But I started rooting for her I think when she was up against Maria Sharapova in the Quarter Finals of the French Open 2005....of course, most people (or men) were rooting for Sharapova being the more "appealing" player...But then J.Henin-Hardenne proved to be the better and smarter player (Sharapova was the stronger hitting one) so she moved on to become the French Open 2005 Champion beating Mary Pierce...From then on, I became a certified fan of J.Henin-Hardenne. But ever since 2003 I am always looking out for her at every tennis grandslam. There were times though that she was not playing due to health reasons so I was so happy when she came back to play again in full-swing last year but this time she just chooses the tournaments she is going to join. The only grandslam she has yet to win is the Wimbledon. I hope she wins it this year. You just have to see how sweet her backhand swing is. And she really plays smart although lately she seems to be playing less of her drop and volley shots. I notice that this time she's going for the baseline. I hope I can see more of the running game...but what do I know? I am no athlete. I usually start with buying equipment (tennis, golf, badminton, etc.) and then everybody (including myself) just gives up on me ever learning the sport...But anyway, as long as I enjoy watching J.Henin-Hardenne with the illusion that I have the same sweet backhand swing...that can do for now ;-)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

having a great time with friends

i am here now at dome shang mall with two of my wacky best friends - laughing out loud that people at the next table are staring at us - i hope they think we are not crazy people - but who cares hehehe

Friday, May 12, 2006

More on Da Vinci Code

I just can't help it but I need to post more things about this subject....I am just concerned about how some people are saying "Chillout!!! It is just fiction!"...Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those who are calling to boycott the book or movie...nor do I call for the excommunication of Dan Brown...I am just concerned that people seem to be indifferent...Yes, the book is just fiction BUT...

1. I mentioned this already in my previous post - When writing about fiction, the rule is the foreground (the characters, episodes, plot, etc) is of course fictitious, however, if a writer used non-fictional elements (e.g. historical events, actual institutions, actual places, etc.), the writer has to be responsible enough to be accurate on these elements. The problem with DVC is that a lot of references were made on non-fictional elements that are not at all accurate and then some people think that it is really true. History Scholars, Art Historians, Bible Scholars and Theologians, not to mention members of Opus Dei, are all saying that there are so many errors in the description, depiction and referencing on these non-fictional elements that they don't know where to start. Just to give you examples (note that these are just few of the errors in the DVC story background):
a. History Scholars - In DVC, it was mentioned that Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as the State Religion. Historians say Constantine legalized Christianity but it was Theodosius decades later who declared Christianity as the State Religion.
b. Art Experts - In DVC, the depiction of St. John at the Last Supper was too feminine for comfort. But art experts says that that is how young male scholars are depicted in rennaissance paintings (and even art students know that).
c. Theologians - In DVC, it was stated that it was just Emperor Constantine who declared that Jesus is God and that before that people believed that he is just mere man. It is clear in the Bible that the apostles believed that Jesus is God and even in the Acts of the Apostles, that is already what the Apostles are teaching and that dates back to at least 300 years before Constantine.
d. Opus Dei - In DVC the villain is an Opus Dei monk. There are no monks in Opus Dei. It is not in the charism of Opus Dei to be monks and to be secluded from the world. Plus, the head of Opus Dei is not based in New York as stated in the book. The Prelate of Opus Dei is based in Rome.

2. Yes, it is just fiction but instead of praising how well the book is written, I just wonder, don't you think we should feel insulted because:
a. the book is so badly researched - it is an insult our intelligence
b. the book is implying that the Church all this 2000 years has been fooling its believers from time immemorial - doesn't that feel like an insult to our family? (that is if you feel you are part of the family of God)
c. the book is implying that Jesus is just man, not God - isn't that an insult to God himself after all that he has done for us? Is it going to be that mock trial at the Sanhedrin all over again? Isn't that an insult to our dignity as man as well? Because if Jesus is not God, then how can he redeem us? Thus we do not merit heaven? How can we call ourselves sons and daughters of God then? So what does that make us?

When one says "Yeah, it is just fiction so there's nothing really to be uptight about. Besides we all know the author, the publishing house and the producers of the movie would just like to make money", it is like saying "You are making money out of saying false and malicious stories about me, my father and my family but in fairness ha, the story was well written." Duh? How can we be so dense? How did our culture has become so callous that we cannot anymore realize when our dignity as a person is already being maligned, worse, we even welcome it.

So what is the proper Christian response to DVC?
1. Study, study, study...Brush-up with Catholic doctrine and Church History
2. Take this opportunity to educate those who would want to be clarified
3. Pray for yourself, for all Christians, for those who have or are going to read the book or watch the movie and pray even for the author and producers of DVC

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - a Threat or an Opportunity?

The movie Da Vinci Code (DVC) is set to be released worldwide on May 19, 2006. As everybody knows, this movie is based on Dan Brown's bestselling book of the same title. The producers of the movie is hoping to cash-in from the book's cult following. But why the uproar on the said book and movie? Why the controversy? Is there really a mystery to be solved? Should Christiandom consider this as a threat? Or this is really just about making lots of money?

The reason why DVC is so hot is because the story revolves around the personhood of all-time superstar, Jesus Christ. Even for mortal superstars with the likes of Branjolina and TomKat, any publicity whether broadsheet or tabloid material will be gobbled up by the public because of their thirst to know more about these celebrities. But just like any material, whether regarding mortal or immortal superstars, we have to discern what has value, what is trash, what is for "pampalipas oras".

So what is DVC? Is it a source of valuable information? Is it outright trash? Or is it just a book to while your time away? Whichever way the book impacts us, we have to discern what is fact from fiction. The problem is some people take as gospel truth everything that is written in the book. I got to talk to a friend recently who after reading DVC asked where do Opus Dei members go to Mass now. Of course had this person made even just a simple click on the internet, it would have been easily found out that Opus Dei remains very much part of the Catholic Church and that all these are just in the imagination of Dan Brown.

But we ask how come some people believe the book hook, line and sinker? Is it because of the "Fact Page" in book where Dan Brown says that the architecture, artifacts, documents and rituals are accurate? But the reality is, even Dan Brown's "Fact Page" is not at all accurate. For example, it was mentioned in the "Fact Page" that Opus Dei is a Vatican Prelature and on the inside pages it was mentioned that Opus Dei is a Personal Prelature of the Pope as if Opus Dei is personally under the Pope. The truth is Opus Dei is a personal prelature inside the Catholic Church. It is "personal" because the jurisdiction of the Prelate of Opus Dei is not linked to a territory but over persons wherever in the world the members may be (source: wikipedia).

What I am pointing out is that had Dan Brown really, really made authentic historical research simple things such as the correct referencing to "Personal Prelature" would have been accurate. So how can we take everything in the book hook, line and sinker when on basic story background details the author errs. Of course the foreground (characters, episodes, etc.) are fictitious - that is a given for a fictional novel. But if one uses non-fictional elements as his backdrop of his fictional story then the writer should be responsible enough to be accurate. And this is just one of those...

For those who got confused, curious and carried-away reading DVC, please do not stop by just reading the book. As the movie trailer challenges the viewers to seek the truth, you may start your real mystery solving adventure by looking at these websites:
Or you can read books like The DaVinci Code: The Facts behind the Fiction by Amy Welborn. Or you can also read or watch The DaVinci Deception (VCD available at National Bookstore).

The popularity of the book and its almost sure box-office hit will not be a threat to Christianity nor to the Catholic Church, in particular. I think this is a golden opportunity for the Church to feed the hearts and minds of the people on the truth about Jesus Christ and his Church. People are thirsting for the truth and that thirst can only be quenched if we go get the elixir straight from the source - which is no other than the Church and the Gospels.

Monday, April 24, 2006

On Philippine-bashing by Filipinos

This is my current battlecry...STOP PHILIPPINE-BASHING NOW!!!

I have noticed this time and again...Some Filipinos love, relish and sometimes even feel proud talking down on their own country, their countrymen, their heritage...Ano ba yan? And then, these very same people ask what is wrong with our country? Hay, naku...

In my travels abroad, it never fails that I get to meet a kababayan (or should I say, a former kababayan) who will say there's no hope in the Philippines, that everybody is corrupt, that we are doomed, etc...Why are they saying this? To justify their migration to another land? Don't get me wrong, I do not condemn those who chose to embrace another citizenship because it is their choice and they have their own reasons for doing so...But please do not talk down on your country of origin. If you do not have anything good to say, then just keep mum. I am not saying that everybody who migrated has this mentality because I have met a lot of Filipino immigrants who are still proud of their roots and, in fact, are going out in every which way they can to help the Philippines. It seems these negative blah-blahs only come out from those who have yet to reconcile within themselves why are they slaving it out in a foreign land and cannot fathom why they were not able to make good in the Philippines.

Similarly so, it is sad to note that some Filipinos still living in this country also tend to focus on the negative side of the Philippines. Sometimes these kinds of people even talk about this in front of foreigners. And they think these foreigners will think how politically aware and savvy they are? My dear kalahi, these foreigners laugh at you when you talk down on your country. In their minds, you look like somebody who is spitting on yourself (paano yon?). Ibinabaon mo lang lalo ang sarili mo, kabayan.

Of course, there are a number of problems in the Philippines but other countries also have their own problems...but do you hear Australians talk about their langaws? Do you hear Indians talk about their not so clean cities? Do you hear Americans talk about their bigotry? Do you hear Italians talk about watching your bag when you visit Rome? Every country, just like every individual, has their own positives and negatives. Let us not focus on our negatives. Our positives still outnumber the negatives. If we only start believing in ourselves, in our country and in our countrymen, then other people will also start to believe in us. Just like when applying for a job, you stress on your strengths but you do not brag about your weaknesses, you may admit them, but then you also discuss how these flaws are being addressed.

So please to fellow Filipinos (even the former ones), let's be more positive in our outlook towards our country. That is a very big step already in uplifting our nation even if that is the only thing we can do to help the Philippines.

To blog or Not to Blog

I am still debating within myself...tuloy ko ba itong blog na ito? I can't think of anything to write anyway...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ordinary Life

Wanted to set a blog to talk about life and the ordinary things that happen each this is it...hopefully, I'd be persevering to get to post something each day...