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In Payatas, the Church helps widows and orphans pick up the pieces

The women are all business inside a tailoring shop a stone’s throw from Ina ng Lupang Pangako church in Payatas, Quezon City.  They work on fabrics and sewing machines to produce bags of all shapes and sizes—totes, “ecobags,” shoe bags, envelope bags, lunch bags, laundry bags. For six days of work a week, they take...


Amid tensions, Jerusalem celebrates the King of Peace

While the Crucified Christ and the Risen Lord are the most dominant images of Jesus during Holy Week and the Easter Season (which runs until May 28, Pentecost Sunday), another image is that of the King of Peace entering Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt. Christians remember it as the Palm Sunday to start Holy Week.  The...


Life with cell tower: Safe technology pushed amid industry rush

(Last of two parts) CITY OF CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro—When Rosendo Rojas came home from a month-long vacation in Tarlac to vote in last year’s May elections, he was startled by an unlikely neighbor beyond his fence: A rising telecommunications tower. Rojas and the other residents of Camia Street in Calapan’s Sitio 1, Barangay Suqui, asked...


It’s OK to lament, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!’

Minutes before he died on the cross, Jesus cried out in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?”—“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). This lament, considered Jesus’ fourth last word before he died, is one of the Seven Last Words, compiled from the passion and death narratives of...


‘Pasyon’ and ‘Semana Santa’ when I was young

AVERNES, France—When I moved to France in 2005, I didn’t expect anything closely resembling the practices of the Semana Santa of my childhood in the Philippines. But without fail, every year in March or April, as though set off by an internal spiritual clock, I hear familiar strains of pasyon in my head.  Once, my...


How decluttering helps ease mind and heart

Who wouldn’t want a house that’s free of clutter? Why not dispose of the things that have been gathering dust and eating up space for years and years? Easier said than done, of course, because what might be clutter for others is a trove of special memories for you. Many of us have heard of...


My understanding of economics

High prices often confront us. Government is trying to control inflation, which is increasing beyond its desired levels—an ideal of about 2% annually but currently is about 9%. Why do prices increase and why do they drop? Why do things appreciate and increase in value over time? Why do they depreciate?  Market forces, we are...


Small dogs are all the rage, but think twice before buying these fur babies

You often see them in malls and other public places looking so cute and cuddly. But laying aside their lovable appearance, is the proliferation of small dog breeds anything to be worried about?  Of course, each one of us is free to choose the kind of pet and breed that we want to bring home...


The Year of the Rabbit is ‘a year of recovery’

The Year of the Water Rabbit starts on Jan. 22 and ends on Feb. 9, 2024. And even with the traditional fireworks display, dragon and lion dance, red envelopes and family feasts, the celebration will not be complete without a glimpse of what the lunar new year will bring.  According to Hanz Cua, one of...