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Showing posts from August, 2009

Bien, Hernandez! Celebrate life, cerebrate death

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Revised 16 August at 0826 hours, names changed to protect the innocent
MANILA – We have yet to make an art out of mourning the death of a loved one. I remember when my mother died at almost 100 years, we had a party. We celebrated. My brother paid for a band with some pretty young girls to sing and dance for us the whole night through. This was in Asingan, Pangasinan, Central Luzon, the Philippines. And the Hilarios were not the first to hire entertainment on death night. And the girls sang pop songs, and ballads, and rock and what have you, in English, Tagalog, Ilocano. Did we feel remorse? We did feel relieved. Music speaks your language. Music hath charm that soothes the savaged breast.

Bien Hernandez died 27 July 2009 and Cory Aquino died 01 August 2009 (see my 'Cory Aquino's Legacy,' 01 August, americanchronicle.com). A thousand mourned his death; a million mourned hers, and I don't think it's fair. 'Every man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in …

US teen suicide. Christianity & dying to oneself

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Revised 12 August 2009 Wednesday at 0414 hours
MANILA – Today, 09 August 2009, Sunday, I picked up and couldn't stop reading to the end a book my daughter Graciela left around and which I learned later she has borrowed from her sister Neenah: Pitch Black (Color Me Lost) by Melody Carlson (2006, Cubao QC: Navigators Ministries, 202 pages). It's about friendship; it's also about becoming and behaving as a Christian. It's also about teenage suicide, and it strikes me that Jason Harding worried too much about his grades in school he actually killed himself by taking an overdose, 80 to 90 pills of Tylenol, that one for pain and fever with the generic name acetaminophen. I learn from the book that suicide is itself generic among American teenagers, being the second leading cause of death among youth in the United States – but not in the Philippines, thank God. Civilization does that to you. An overdose of Tylenol irreversibly damages the liver. That should teach everyone that…

Cory Aquino’s legacy. The Passion of Christ? Ours

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MANILA – Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino dies at 0318 hours today, Saturday, 01 August 2009; she is 76 years old going on 77 (25 January 1933). Now, we only have Cory Aquino’s legacy to be thankful for. I’m assuming, of course, that we know what legacy means and are able to discern what her legacy is. I’m also assuming that we have a grateful heart.
Dennis Carcamo (01 August 2009, philstar.com) quotes Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz as saying, ‘We have to thank God for giving her to us.’ Thank God for what? Thank God for Cory Aquino enduring pain for her country? As they say, no pain, no gain. AFP quotes her as saying in the 1990s, about learning a valuable lesson in governance (01 August 2009, straitstimes.com): I realized that I could have made things easier for myself if I had done the popular things, rather than the painful but better ones in the long run. After all, in the long run, I wouldn’t be around to be blamed. Sunday, 12 July 2009, during the mass he celebrates at the Chapel o…