The historical Jesus: prince of peace or military messiah?

Jesus leads attack on the Temple
Jesus leads a Passover attack on the Jerusalem Temple, ca. 33 A.D.

Today is March 29, and a Good Friday as well. Notice any curious coincidence?

The first is the anniversary date of the New People’s Army—the Communist-led rebel armed force that has been the present Philippine state’s continuing specter since it was established 44 years ago, in Tarlac province.

The second is of course the traditionally observed day (which changes from year to year) of Jesus’ crucifixion and death—a multiple irony since a peace-loving prophet who claimed he was the Son of God was arrested for “declaring himself King of the Jews” and was executed in the most excruciatingly painful manner practiced by the Roman authorities.

One date is celebrated with joy by Communists and the rebel forces they lead in a small Asian country; another day is observed annually by the world of Christendom, often with somber or even morbid rituals. Could we think of a more extreme clash of images occurring on the same red-letter day? Continue reading “The historical Jesus: prince of peace or military messiah?”

Parang ganito yan teh.

hanging bridge
Ganito yan teh. Ang mga Pilipino, parang taumbaryo. Ang edukasyon, parang tulay. E paano nga, kung marupok ang tulay? (Photo is from an Indonesian rural area, not a Filipino one: But I've been around, and I saw similar scenes in many upland barrios.)

Hindi mo pa rin ba ma-gets yung nangyari kay Kristel? Feeling mo ba e nagpupuyos ka sa galit dahil may isang batang Iska na kumitil ng sariling buhay, pero di mo alam kung sino ang dapat sisihin? Umabot ka ba sa puntong si Kristel na mismo ang sinisi mo dahil sinukuan niya ang buhay? O wala ka bang naramdaman man lang na galit, kundi naawa lang saglit at nagkibit-balikat na lang?

Me gusto akong sabihin sa iyo.

Parang ganito yan Bok. Brad. Pards. Pre. Tol. Tsong. Mads. (Teka, ano ba uso ngayon…) Ok. Teh. Parang ganito yan teh. Continue reading “Parang ganito yan teh.”

Biking for Teddy C.

Ex-girlfriend and one of her bright ideas

I’m not sure if my one and only senatorial candidate, Teddy Casiño, has a bike or if he even knows how to ride one. I don’t know if his campaign machinery has any biking event listed. But, whatever the case, it’s a nice idea for bikers who support Teddy’s bid for the Senate to organize a mass bike ride on or around Earth Day or any other memorable date before the May 13 elections.

The idea actually came from my ex-girlfriend, who is immensely busy these days with her own hectic race to complete her university studies and get the degree she’d been aiming for since time immemorial. So she asked me to put her suggestion into blog form.

Like me, Ex-GF was at first doubtful of Teddy’s chances at winning a Senate seat although we had been supportive of his party-list’s program from Day 1. Truth to tell, we cringed at his first tentative steps to craft his messages for a wider audience, such as his rather tacky “Don’t touch my talong” slogan against GMOs.

But as he plodded along, or rather jogged and chatted and expounded his way into public consciousness, slowly gathering momentum, he started to shine, and XGF’s mental light bulbs started to emit brilliant flashes.

“Jogging is ok, but too slow if he wants to cover more ground,” she noted. “He should bike all around the city, and call on all bikers—including you,” emphatically pointing a finger at me, “to join him and help distribute his leaflets.”

“Hmm,” I said, contemplating her finger. “There’s an Earth Day bike ride on April 21,” I noted, checking a website calendar for the Firefly Brigade’s “critical mass rides” for this year. On the other hand—I corrected myself—it would probably be a bad idea to politicize an event that has already established itself as non-political.

So taking off from XGF’s idea, the next best thing is maybe for Teddy’s bikers to organize their own mass rides to raise environmental issues, bring their ecological philosophy and program to the masses in a creative way, and involve a wide range of activist and advocate groups—even plain biking enthusiasts and pedicab drivers. They can trace a well-chosen route that’s long enough to cover much ground, but not too long as to be exhausting and self-limiting in terms of participants. Continue reading “Biking for Teddy C.”