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I baptize you in the name of whatever

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

infant-baptismTO MY readers who were just too happy to have not seen this column for the past three consecutive weeks, I’m sorry to tell you that I’m back. I’ve been too busy attending lousy pre-Jordan seminars to remember that I have an obligation to ruin your Tuesdays.

And when I say lousy pre-Jordan seminars, I really mean “lousy” pre-Jordan seminars that ruin most people’s Sundays.

To those who are not familiar with traditional religious practices, a pre-Jordan seminar is a momentous family event that proves true the religious saying that the road to holiness is paved with burden. The way the seminar was handled, it was a really a burden to all of us 130 parents, godparents and infants cramped inside a small room shut tight from the unbaptized world outside. But I will leave it at that.

Our baby is now officially a Christian, and he has to deal with that by himself when he’s old enough to read Aramaic.



How I spent my Holy Week vacation

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

HOLY Week is about taking stock of your spiritual life in the light of Christ’s Passion and Death, so that you will realize what an idiot you’ve been the whole year complaining about the high prices of gasoline while the greatest Man who ever lived had to ride a dumb ass on his way to be ganged up bloody hell in Jerusalem.

Most important of all, Holy Week is about accepting the extremely spiritual truth that from being one of the most highly respected beer-guzzling, guitar-slinging bachelors in the entire Ypil-Ypil St., Friendship Village, Sitio Sinangag, Barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City, Philippines, you are now nothing in the Greater Scheme of Things but a lousy baby poo cleaner.

Yes, you should be ashamed of yourself for giving up The Life in exchange for the anti-beer, anti-cigarette, anti-party career called Fatherhood.

Even Jesus refused to marry! Why did you fail to see that? The Man could have picked a wife from among the gorgeous women surrounding him as He preached, washing his feet, shampooing his hair, bathing Him in perfume, drinking His wine. I read somewhere that the girl Mary Magdalene was a hottie. Oh, the company of sinners!



Our God is (not) an online God

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
Our God is (not) an online God
THIS column is different from the other ones I’ve written because this is Holy Week, and for once let us be serious about ourselves and our purpose here on earth. Therefore, before you read further, I would like to invite you people to pause for a moment, bow your heads in reflection and put yourselves in the presence of… in the presence of the inventor of iConfess.
For cave-dwellers like me, iConfess is an iPhone application to guide Catholics in going through the sacrament of Confession. I would understand if you don’t know what an iPhone is. But if you’re Catholic and until now you still don’t know what the Sacrament of Confession is approximately 2,000 years after it was invented, you will surely rot in hell this very instant. See you there.
Going back, iConfess, which was launched last Februay, “is a comprehensive guidebook and tool for Roman Catholics taking the Sacrament of Confession. It helps the user do a thorough Examination of Conscience in preparation for Confession, and facilitates the remembrance of what to confess to the Priest.”
That’s an official definition I lifted from the website itunes.apple.com. I have to be very careful with definitions here because the last time I used “Molecular Transubstantiation” in one of my write-ups, a Catholic priest with the sense of humor of a doorknob e-mailed me a 2,036-page dissertation saying I’m “The Devil’s Only Begotten Son.” Needless to say, I was flattered.
Going back (again), the people behind iConfess advise us to take careful note of the keywords in the definition: helps, guidebook, tool, preparation, facilitates. Although the Catholic Church has been reported to have embraced iConfess as a modern way of reaching out to the high-end, high-maintenance section of its flock, it strongly warns its 1,166,000,000 members that the app is not and will never be a replacement to the real physical act of physically whispering your sins into the physical ears of a physical priest.
So, how is iConfess useful to the Faith? Please go back to paragraph 3. Look, I’m not tech savvy. I’m even having difficulty accepting “app” as a legitimate word here. And my Twitter account is only a week old. But as an act of penance this Holy Week, I will try.
It’s an electronic book. Let’s say I want to go to confession but I don’t know what this sacrament is all about, I click “Confession,” then I click, “What,” then “Why.” Then I forgot what this thing called “sin” is, so I click “What is Sin.” Then I’m not sure which commandments I’ve been violating these past decades, so I click “Ten Commandments.” Then I remember pouring insecticide into my boss’ coffee last week, and I’m not sure if the dosage was enough to kill him, so I click “7 Deadly Sins.”
Then I will save all my sins in the notepad feature of the app and bring this to the physical confessional box so I can whisper the list into the physical ears of the physical priest, as physically mentioned earlier. The knowledge I have stored in my iPhone will also come in handy in case I’ll find myself debating with the priest about the nonexistence of Limbo.
In short, iConfess is an app designed for the memory-impaired Catholics. And since no Catholic in his right mind will admit that he has the memory of a cauliflower, my safe prediction is that this app will not catch on.
It’s for the same reason that “Confession through SMS” will never work. I once tried texting my confession to a priest, and this was how the exchange transpired:
ME: 4gv me fathr 4 i hav sind. PRIEST: hu u?
See? It wouldn’t work.
(SUN.STAR CEBU, APRIL 19, 2011)
DSC_0744THIS column is different from the other ones I’ve written because this is Holy Week, and for once let us be serious about ourselves and our purpose here on earth. Therefore, before you read further, I would like to invite you people to pause for a moment, bow your heads in reflection and put yourselves in the presence of… in the presence of the inventor of iConfess.

For cave-dwellers like me, iConfess is an iPhone application to guide Catholics in going through the sacrament of Confession. I would understand if you don’t know what an iPhone is. But if you’re

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Catholic and until now you still don’t know what the Sacrament of Confession is approximately 2,000 years after it was invented, you will surely rot in hell this very instant. See you there.

Going back, iConfess, which was launched last Februay, “is a comprehensive guidebook and tool for Roman Catholics taking the Sacrament of Confession. It helps the user do a thorough Examination of Conscience in preparation for Confession, and facilitates the remembrance of what to confess to the Priest.”



The alien has landed

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

pogiAFTER our baby was born at 8:09 p.m. last April 3, Sunday, I now think pregnancy is overrated. So, that was it? Nine months of anticipation, fear, excitement, mood swings, baby blogging and high-folate, low-fat milk, and the baby pops out just like that?

Whatever happened to that dreaded scene of the wife being rushed to the hospital only to give birth in the backseat of a taxicab? Or where’s that romantic scene, if the mother ever makes it to the hospital on time, of husband and wife holding hands and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes as the hugely bloated figure in a maternity dress is wheeled inside the delivery room by a legion of nurses and surgeons and the entire Department of Health?

This was not the movies, so nothing of that sort happened that Sunday. Instead, we were having breakfast at home when the wife said, “Oops, I think I wet my panties.” And I said, “Oh, too much beef loaf. Let’s have corned beef tomorrow.”



The final month: Are we there yet?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

pregnant-walkingWE’RE getting bored of being pregnant now. When you’re nine months on the way, you start to wonder if all this would ever end. I heard stories about women who were weeks past their due dates. There’s this story I read about a mother who was so many weeks overdue that when the baby finally came out, she enrolled it immediately in prep school.

When you’re nine months on the way, the most exciting event in life consists of the daily walks around the neighborhood. We’ve become friends with the neighbors this way, because part of this prenatal ritual is to smile at everyone on the street, so people will know you are genuinely happy, when in fact the wife feels so bloated she is beginning to think she’s a newly-discovered planet.

Don’t forget to hold hands, too, and look into each other’s eyes when you pause at the corner to catch your breath. If the weather is good, gush over the clear blue sky, the birds on treetops, and the setting sun, and the neighbors will say, “Oh, what a lovely couple.” If the weather is bad… but why would you want to cozy up to each other in a rainstorm unless you’re Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst?



Surviving acid rain when you’re pregnant

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Pregnant-rainbathIF you’ve been following this column the past weeks, you will notice this little Tuesday space we have here has become a sort of repository of my experiences as an expectant father. I didn’t know that until last Sunday, when I bumped into fellow Sun.Star Cebu columnist Mayette Tabada at the mall.

“I follow your baby blog,” Mayette told me. Baby blog! That disturbed me, because I was expecting her to say, “Since when did you start thinking you’re the marrying type?”

Then it hit me. What a disservice this column has been to you, my dear readers. As a columnist in this paper’s Opinion Section, I am supposed to give you my expert’s opinion on what’s going on in the world around us: Libya, Japan, New Zealand, Joavan “The-Son-Of-God” Fernandez, The Fall of Sharon Cuneta, The Showbization of Philippine Football, and Justin “What-Have-We-Done-To-Deserve-Him” Bieber.



Don’t panic, it’s organic

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

organicA NEWS article written by Sun.Star staff reporter Rebelander S. Basilan last Sunday sent me running to the Department of Education (DepEd) 7’s Ecotech Center in Sudlon, Lahug yesterday morning. It was raining, which would have been enough reason for me to stay in bed and to hell with Basilan’s story.

And there was this message in my phone that said: “Warning: At 4:30 a.m., the nuclear power plant in Fukumi, Japan exploded. When rain falls anytime today, just stay inside the house, and if you are outside, see to it that you have a raincoat or an umbrella because the rain may be acidic and may cause skin cancer. Please pass this to your friends and loved ones even if you know this chain advisory is crap, just like those Marian prayers that promised you a life of misfortune and profound sadness if

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Breast milk is best for fathers, too

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

male-breastfeedingI BELONG to the extremely rare type of fathers who get pregnant with their wives. What I mean is that I will be offended if you approach me and say, “When is your wife due?”

If you want to deal with me during these bumpy days of our pre-natal excitement as a couple, the more

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politically correct thing to say would be, “When are you both due?” Because that would mean it’s me and my wife who are pregnant. Cute? Wait till you finish this article.

Call it my Freudian desire to grow a uterus and fallopian tubes. So far, I’ve only succeeded in growing my hair long like a frustrated seductress with limited budget for shampoo. And you know what? I sometimes find myself stuffing a pillow under my shirt to look like I’m eight months pregnant, to the delight of the wife during those boring spiels of her, I mean our, pregnancy.



CSI: Cebu

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Justin-Bieber-CSI

MAYBE I watch too much “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” that I find our own police investigators funny, to be generous with my comments. The more I watch this monster hit of a television series, the more I wish I lived in Miami, New York, or Las Vegas where forensic experts solve crimes in less time than it takes for your evening coffee to get cold.

In this show, everything in the crime scene is a valuable piece of evidence. Every particle of dust, the way the furniture has been moved, the lipstick stain on an empty cup, the way the wind blows to the east, they all say something about the guilty one. Even a burp smells of somebody’s DNA.



‘Chorizo’ and Joavan Fernandez

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

chorizoTHE first thing I do upon waking up is turn on the AM radio and listen to the news.

It’s a habit I acquired from my years as reporter covering the police beat. Although I hate it because it interrupts my sleep, it gives me the heads up on what’s the day’s news on a daily basis.

The problem is that at six in the morning, I’m asleep and awake at the same time. This means that sometimes I interpret what I’m hearing on the radio as continuation of an interrupted dream, or nightmare, depending on the news.





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