Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sacramental Moments

When you became with us
You did not come as a man,
but as a child.
the eternal Word,
the infinite God,
became a microscopic zygote
clinging to the wall of Mary's womb.
Through the miracle
and the mystery of life
You became a tiny fetus,
living for a few short months
in the warmth and safety
of Your mother's body.
Then you were born
and the mystery of Your life in the womb
was revealed for all the world to see.

From a babe in Mary's arms
You grew into a toddler,
a child.

By this, the act of incarnation,
You have forever given,
to every child,
a special dignity and worth.
You have made them
a living treasure,
a holy treasure.
Each and every child
is eternally precious.

Help us I pray,
as both parents and friends,
to be faithful stewards to these little ones.
May we nurture them
with Your unconditional love.
May we dicipline them
with your unerring faithfulness.
And may we train them
in Your eternal truth,
especially at Christmas time.
In Jesus name we pray.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The True Christmas Spirit

Deliver us from the spirit of consumerism,
from shopping lists,
full color catalogs,
and credit card purchases
which haunt us for the rest of the year.
Deliver us from empty cheer and seasons greetings
born of obligation,
sent with out meaning.
Deliver us from the whirl of social events
which supposedly honor Jesus' birth
but in reality are nothing more
than another desprate attempt
to coax some joy and meaning
into a life filled to the brim with busyness.
Surely Christmas is supposed to be more than this;
more than another round in bumper car existence:
"How are you doing?"
Bump, bump.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let Christmas Begin In Your Heart

Christmas begins in our heart - that secret, silent place where you've preserved your treasured memories of holidays past. Reflect on those memories. Cherish them and rejoice in them. Only then will you able to celebrate this year's holiday with a renewed spirit.

Drawing together a sparkling collage of thoughts and insights gathered over lifetime, Richard Exley's Straight from the heart for Christmas will inspire you to treasure your holiday memories and recognize God's presence in even the most ordinary of them. Well crafted and poignant, these tender stories will gently draw your back into your own family traditions and into the true spirit of Christmas.

Let Christmas begin in your heart. And let Straight from the heart for Christmas spark a fire of festive holiday memories that will keep you warm on the coldest winter nights.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tomas Pinpin

Tomas Pinpin was said to have been born in Barrio Mabantang, Abucay, Bataan. The approximate date of his birth was between 1580 and 1585.

Very little is known of his ancestry because of the loss of the parish records of Abucay.

Historians believed that Pinpin was of Chinese parentage. The basis which were his name, characteristics, business acumen and hardworking qualities.

In 1648, Pardo de Tavera claimed that a beautifully engraved book by a friar stated at the end. "Printed in the Office of Tomas Pin-pin."

It was presumed that he had a printing shop in Manila by that time and that he was the one engraving and printing books written by the Spanish friars.

It was presumed also that Pinpin taught the printer's trade to his son Simon. Pinpin was considered as the Prince of Filipino Printers.

There are no records of Tomas Pinpin after 1640. Historians could not determine the date when he passed away.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Julian Felipe

Julian Felipe was born on January 28, 1861. He was the youngest son of the twelve children of Justo Felipe and Victoria Reyes. Julia inherited his talent music from his father who was also musician.

He studied at a public school in Cavite and Binondo,Manila for his primary education. At an early age, he showed his talent in music. He also learned how to play the piano and the organ. later,He became an organist in St. Peter's Parish Church. As an organist,Felipe was given the chance to hone his gift. Soon after he was composing songs.

Among his early popular compositions were Mateti el Santesisimo, Sintas y Flores Rogodones and Amorita Danza. He impressed many music enthusiasts with the said pieces.Though still young, his works were already at par with the seasoned musicians.

In recognition of his remarkable contribution in the field of music, he was given awards and accolades.

When the revolution broke out, Julian joined his fellow Cavernous who fought against the Spaniard. He was arrested and jailed at Fort San Felipe in Cavite.

When freed he gain joined Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's troop. He composed nationalistic songs that inspired his compatriots to continue fighting against the Spaniards.

Gen. Aguinaldo asked him to provide a stirring composition to be played in the historic proclamation of the Philippine independence. His composition Marcha National Filipina, played on June 12, 1898 in Aguinaldo's home in Kawit, was adopted as the Philippine national anthem on September 5, 1938.

Julian and his wife Irene Tapia had four daughters and a son. Julian died on October 2, 1944.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jacinto Zamora

Father Jacinto Zamora was born in Pandacan, Manila on August 14, 1835. His father was Venancio Zamora. His mother was Hilaria del Rosario.

It was his childhood dream to be a priest. He did everything to follow the desire of his heart. He studied well and finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He continued his studies at the University of Santo Tomas where he completed his Bachelor of Canon Laws.

He took up examinations to qualify him for priesthood and passed them with flying colors. This however did not give him the opportunity to be given permanent position by the Spanish friars.

When he was transffered in Manila, he saw the unjust treatment of the Spanish friars against the Filipino priest. He pitied them that he resolved to fight for their rights.

He led a campaign against the abusive Spanish friars and fought for equal rights among priests.

The Filipino priest loved and admired Father Zamora. But the Spanish friars detested him. They hatched a plan even with him.

They accused him of collaborating with the rebels who led an uprising in Cavite. Like the two other priests, Father Burgos and Father Gomez, they arrested and detained him. Father Zamora was executed by strangulation together with the two martyr priests on February 28, 1872.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Panday Pira

Panday Pira was the first Filipino cannon maker. He was born in 1488 in one of the islands in the southern part of Philippines.

He was popular blacksmith and cannon maker. He was tasked by his fellowmen to make cannons for them, which they used against the foreigners. He learned the craft from the Chinese and Arab traders who were then staying at Lamayan, Sta. Ana, Manila.

Panday Pira moved to Pampanga when Martin de Goiti stormed Manila. He returned to the city because the Spaniards sent him. They ordered him to make cannons.

He died in 1576 at the age of 88. In recognition of the contribution of Panday Pira to the country, a place in Tondo was named after him.