Da Daster Monologues

Ang totoo nyan eh kapag nag-aral ka sa loob ng seminaryo, talagang masusubukan ang creativity mo, lalo na sa larangan ng reporting.   Hahayaan mo bang maging boring ang report mo, lalo na’t conciliar documents at mga dogmas ang laman ng report mo?  Aba eh tutulugan ka lang ng puyat ng mga seminarista.  Isa pa eh di katalinuhan ang Brother Utoy nyo so, pagdating sa mga academic reports, ang di nya makuha sa content at relevance ay dinadaan na lang nya sa audience impact at stage presence.

Nariyang gumawa ng mga pamatay na powerpoint presentation na halos maghang ang laptop sa sobrang daming animations at video clips.

Nariyang magpa-gameshow ako na syempre, may sariling gameshow jingle pa para sa report ko on Temperance sa Virtues Class namin.

Nariyang sumulat ako ng mga courtroom drama na mga skit para sa report ko sa Old Testament I (Pentateuch and prophets).

Nariyang sumulat ako ng musical play sa ngalan ng Old Testament II.

Nariyang magpa-videoke ako pero syempre, iniba ko na yung lyrics ng kanta.  Kinakanta na nila ang report ko.

At ang latest: mag-monologue ng nakadaster habang sumasayaw ng Hagibis at apat na beses na sinasambit ang salitang “puke.”  Rights of Women ang report ko sa Matrimony class namin.  Si Monsi Vengco ang prof ko. 

Ang mga kasama ko, di patatalo:  creative din!   Nariyang mag-hire sila ng mga manghuhula sa Quiapo.  Nariyang magpatalkshow sila, kalakaladkad ang kanilang mga magulang at kapatid.  Nariyang mag-hold sila ng isang cooking lesson habang nagdidiscus ng isang dogma.  Nariyang maghold ng isang mini-concert (unplugged syempre),  etc, etc…

Ngayong nauubusan na ako ng creativity, siguro eh ang mga susunod na tricks ko, sa ngalan ng good grades ay:

  • kung group work, mag-aati-atihan kami, complete with uling and headdress at kalasag na gawa sa walis tambo
  • Magpa-russian roulette para may thrill
  • Magpatoma at magpa-ihaw-ihaw, para siguradong lively ang discussion
  • video conference with Pope Benny 16
  • iinvite si Mommy Dionisia as guest

Syempre, kung meron pa kayong maisa-suggest eh sige nga’t i-share nyo naman sakin.  Malay nyo, gamitin ko nga talaga sa report ko ang mga mungkahi nyo. hehehe…

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Eto pala ang stained glass windo of the week natin!

IMG_6234

Dahil Rosary month na tayo bukas eh heto ang isang marian motif na stained glass window sa loob ng Notre Dame Cathedral sa may Ile de Paris, syempre sa syudad ng Paris, France.  Heto ang detalye ng central panel ng triphtich na ito:

IMG_6235

Ang stained glass ay modern take sa isang traditional Pieta scene.  Naalala ko, parang nagfeature na ako ako ng dalawang modern sa stained glass windows na Pieta rin ang tema, di ko lang maalala kung alin sa mga posts ko yun. 

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Ngapala, pagdasal nyo naman ako’t finals exam na namin.  Medyo hirap si Utoy sa pag-aaral at medyo kalawangin na ang kukote. hehe…

God bless po!

Animersheri ek-ek (with recipe!)

Tingnan mo nga naman.  Isang taon na ang blog ko!  Nakaraos din ang low-profile kong cyber-tahanan.  And to think, bobo ako tungkol sa computers at sa internet.  And to think, nabola lang naman ako ni Bluep na mag-blog.  And to think, gusto ko lang magka-outlet for writing.  And to think… and to think… uhhhmmm… think positive? Continue reading

On “malongkot na Byernis,” bar jokes and the SMY…

Susmaryosep. 

Isa ito sa mga pinakaantigong expression sa Pilipinas (at sa iba pang bansang Katoliko) na isang rollcall ng mga members ng Holy Family na sina Hesus, Mary and Joseph.  Syempre, ang mode d’emploi ng salitang ito eh kung nagulat ka bigla o kaya eh na-shock sa narinig.

Example 1:  Susmaryosep, nahulog ang bata sa dyip!!!

Example 2:  Susmaryosep, 10,000 pesos para sa fieldtrip?!!!  (salamat kay panaderos sa magandang example)

And true to my kaadikan, gusto ko sanang pausuhin ang expression na ito sa Net.  Pero in the tradition of OMG, LOL and WTeff, and Susmaryosep ay binibinyagan ko na ngayon as SMY.   SusMarYosep.  Kung si Dedpish may may ODK (O Diyos Ko!), si Brother Utoy ay may SMY.

SMY!  Ano na namang kalokohan ito, Utoy?  SMY talaga!

BTW, depende sa gamit, hindi ito blasphemy.  In fact, ang precise term ng Inang Simbahan sa SMY!!!, ODK!!! at HMOG!!! (Holy Mother of God!!!) ay Ejaculations.  Walang biro.  With that being said, be prepared to read more of these ejaculations on my blog.

(Kaya ako nasasabihan ng barubal eh…)

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Luksa ang Biyernes ko.   Pero let me explain, please.  (SMY, parang  makikipagbreak lang!) Continue reading

Mga Sure-Fire Tips para Hindi Antukin sa Simbahan

Una sa lahat, welcome kay Atticus, kay Luna, kay Jesshua, kay Ikay, kay Bluguy at kay Katpusa sa blogroll ko!  Mga kabisyo, tangkilikin din po natin ang mga kabaliwan nila sa blogs nila.ü

Pangalawa,  maraming maraming salamat kila Malen at Menard sa offers nilang Datkom.  Nakakataba po ng puso pero parang di pa po ready si Utoy sa Big League. Pasensya na po.  Atsaka po, may naoohan na rin kasi ako.  Hehe…  Maraming salamat po ulit!  Touched po ako!

Pangatlo, i-click nyo ito at dalawin nyo ang mga bagong listang baguhan sa ating Hellish Links, Heavenly Blogs.ü

Panglast, patawad po kung di ako nakakablog-hop.   May sinalihan kasi akong theological discussion group dito sa kabundukan tapos yung mga reading materials eh kailangang itranslate ko pa from French to English para lang maintindihan ko.  Syempre, ita-translate ko naman from English to French ang reflections ko para sila naman ang makaintindi sa akin.  Anim na documents ang lagi kong tina-translate every week.   Diba, easy lang.  Maning mani.  Parang gusto ko nang mamatay.

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Isa sa mga pinaka-common na problema ng isang karaniwang Kristiyano tuwing siya’y dumadalo ng Holy Mass o ng Sunday Bible Service ay ang labanan ang antok.  Automatic yan na pag-upong pag-upo natin para sa First Reading eh parang nagbu-book na agad tayo ng flight papuntang dreamland.   Yung tipong sana di ka na nagpakahirap na maligo at magpaka-japorms:  Nagpajama ka na lang sana para mas komportable pa ang sleep-over mo sa simbahan.

Henywey, alam ko naman na may honest effort talaga ang marami sa atin upang labanan ang antok sa Misa.  Yung tipong isang oras na pakikipagbuno na wag mapikit o tumangu-tango na parang aso sa dashboard ng kotse ang ulo natin sa sobrang antok lalo na during the readings at homily ni Pads (yan ang tawag namin sa mga pari sa seminaryo).  Kaya naman, narito si Kuya Utoy ninyo upang magbahagi sa inyo ng mga tried and tested stay-awake-in-the-Church tips na tyak hindi itinuro sa inyo ni Miss Pacheco at ni Sr. Catherine sa Catechism at Christian Living Class.  Eto na.  Go. Continue reading

Isang Walang Kakwenta-kwentang Post na Hindi Dapat Pinag-aaksayahan ng Panahon ng Kahit na Sinuman

Nalalapit na ang paghuhukom sa blogroll ko.  Tatanggalin ko na ang mga tila yumao na’t di na muling magpaparamdam.  Gayunpaman, ako’y may iaalok na kaligtasan (you: may ganun?!!).  Ang sinomang magcomment sa post na ito ay mananatili sa blogroll ko, no questions asked.  So magcomment ka na kahit wala ka pang nababasa tutal, katulad nga ng sabi sa title, ito ay “Isang Walang Kakwenta-kwentang Post na Hindi Dapat Pag-aksayahan ng Panahon ng Kahit na Sinuman.”

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ang totoo eh wala akong kahilig-hilig sa tag.  Gayunpaman, di ko mahindian ang alindog requests nina byutipul Heleyna at ni cutie Eloiski na patusin ang tag na ito na pinamagatang Ten Random Things About Me.   Ang gusto pa nga nila eh magpost ako ng candid picture ko dito (isa ring tag yun) pero I care for my readers.  Ayokong may masamang mangyari sa inyo kapag nakita nyo ng hitsura ko tulad ng bangungot, empatso, pasma o pagkawala ng ganang kumain (wag naman sanang mangyari sa akin ito, Lord!).   Kung di ka interesado sa kabagut-bagot na buhay ni Kuya Utoy  eh dumeretso ka na sa comment portion and assure yourself of a place in my blogroll, pero kung likas kang tsismosa eh stay around and read.  Mahaba ito so humanda ka.

Ten Random Things About Me…   Game. Continue reading

Of God, Atheists and Christmas Mornings

Warning 1:  This is a snobbishly serious english post.  Nosebleed.

Warning 2:  It is very important to visit this link first to know more about Taizé and understand what I’m about to say. 

I went and stayed at Taizé for four days, together with Père Manuel, two adult monitors and some teenagers from La Mure.  At the very beginning of the journey, it felt like it’s a roadtrip to hell.  Or at least for a magpie like me.  Not only do I barely speak French, but I also can’t keep up with the conversations of these kids who seemed to be hyperventilating their elisions and liaisons through any given topic.  Sometimes, I just felt plain stupid trying to weave through their speech, grasping no more than a word or two to give me the flimsiest clue of what they’re talking about.

That’s why, when I learned about the special group for Anglophones, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to make this Taizé experience truly meaningful.  I left my morning post as an animator for the “petits groupes” (much to the disappointment of Pére Manuel) and hobnobbed with those who can truly compose a real English sentence and pronounce it correctly.  The Taizé experience is just too good to be lost in translation (or the virtual lack of).

Out of the 3,000 people in Taizé that time ( French youth mostly), there was only about 20 Anglophones present, and I was surprised how motley our group was:  There were Germans (who were protestant theologians and church leaders), Norwegian social workers, a Swedish Taizé volunteer, student-hitchhikers from Netherlands, a Brazilian, an Indonesian Catholic youth leader, a Russian Parisienne, etc, etc… and of course, me, a Filipino.  In fact, even the Taizé brother who gave us a talk is an American of Puerto Rican descent.  Sure enough, this variety of culture has brought a lively exchange of varied experiences and ideas among us, which, on the bottomline, surprisingly shares so many common essential elements.

One of the themes of these meeting of Anglophones focused on the Incarnation of God.  A Gospel reflection was made from Luke 2:8-20 which speaks of the adoration of the infant Jesus by the shepherds.   Br. Hector of Taizé then lead us to recall our Christmas experiences and traditions.   Indeed, each of us has something to share about Christmas but I was quite surprised that the warmest and most intimate Christmas memory was that of Ralph (not his real name).  Ralph, you see, is an atheist.  I had a notion of what atheists are before, basing on the some “atheists” who left ignorant comments on my blog  and I, of course, deleted.  But Ralph changed all my negative image of an atheist:  Yes, he doesn’t believe in the existence of God but then he doesn’t argue with or taunt anyone about religion, he’s genuinely open to the opinion of others regarding faith, he’s not fumingly angry with the Church and he is not afraid to explore and experience Taizé, a Christian place of dialogue and prayer.   The fact that he doesn’t think there’s God hasn’t hinder himself to be trully generous, open and brotherly.  What’s more, I, for one, secretly wished I had a Christmas as happy and as memorable as his.

During our small group discussion, we were asked to reflect on a statement which roughly goes like this:  “When all things in my life seems lost, God is my sure refuge.”  Or something like that, I already forgot.  Ralph, as expected, had a problem with the word “God” and so found it hard to make a reflection out of the statement.  I then suggested that he could probably substitute a word for God like Love or Peace or Justice or Family…  He paused for a short while and gave a confident reply.  He said, it will be, for him, his experience of Christmas.  He then explained that it’s because Christmas reminds him of home and family, the experience of unconditonal love and acceptance, the act of giving and receiving gifts, the warmth, the joyful expectation of being reunited with loved ones and gathering for meals…

His description of Christmas was surprisingly very Christian, as each of his words aptly describe an authentic life with Christ: a homecoming, a feasting, a welcoming, the spirit of thankfulness, sharing and acceptance.  In my Catholic world, this is the very essence of a Eucharistic life.

Truth to tell, I never suggested to Ralph how his Christmas experience translates to the experience of God.  I don’t want to impose my religion to this young man’s journey, especially when there’s so much going on in his heart which I myself do not understand and so must not interfere.  Nevertheless, within me, I am thankful to this young man who unknowingly reminded me of what truly God is all about.  It’s a shame how we, Christians, celebrate the major Christian feasts without truly experiencing their rich and life-changing significance.  I guess, it took an atheist to remind me all that, and as Frère Roger, the founder of Taizé succinctly said, God is love, and love alone.  Nothing else…

If you read this article in its entirety…

then your reward is this: 

My photos of the stainglass windows of the church of Taizé!

Pentecost

Pentecost

Visitation

Visitation

Easter

Easter

Annunciation

Annunciation

Transfiguration

Transfiguration

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Assumption

Assumption

Epiphany

Epiphany

If you noticed, each of these stainglass windows represent a particular Catholic liturgical feast.  I arranged them not by their chronological order but rather according to the sequence of colors on a rainbow. Wala lang. Trip ko lang.  These windows were artworks of Frère Eric de Saussure, a brother of Taizé who died last year.  I pray now that as we celebrate and reflect on these feasts, may we truly discover their meaning and message in our lives.  Amen.

Utoy’s Approval Rating: The Seven Capital Sins

A week long absence of a new post already spells blog abandonment for some but what can I do?  I’m so busy lately.  Heck, the whole seminary is in steroids in preparation for the school opening.  I’m not enrolling this year, (my superiors have other supposedly big plans for me) but still, preparations for that “Big Trip” wears me out.  BTW, I lost weight avoiding foods that might hurt my kidneys.  I’m now a proud 200-pounder.  Aba, 5 lbs din yun!  Ha! Anyhow…

Approval Ratings Board (composed of the unbiased representations of Brother Utoy, himself and me) chose the topic, Seven Capital Sins because… there’s no other thing to rate yet.  Truth to tell, I took up Virtues in Theology but nothing prepared me to discuss the Sleazy Seven to you.  Buti na lang, there’s always Wikipedia.   hehehe…

Sin # I: Lust This sinful number is this generation’s best partner in trade and industries, by its ingenious marriage of business with (carnal) pleasure.  Simply put, this means many stuffs were sold in the market simply because everyone wish to be porn stars nowadays.  Lust is one of the top reasons why people are hooked on the Internet and one of the good reasons why some bloggers, to increase their traffic, used tags that are never subtle in selling sex: Scandals, Barely Legal, Live Webcam, Wet Chick, Bored Housewife, Naughty Schoolgirls…… or so I’ve gathered.   Really, I have no idea if this is true.   Utoy’s Approval Rating: truth to tell, what sounds lustier than sixty-uuhh… I’m giving it 90% 

Sin #2: Gluttony   Our authority for this sin is the Angelic Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas when he listed no less than six ways of commiting gluttony  (eating soon, eating eagerly, eating extravagantly, etc.).  It is tad ironic that Pareng Tomas should have the temerity of lecturing us about overeating when he himself was, in fact, grossly obese.  Umberto Eco’s novel, Name of the Rose, happily noted that at the time of St. Thomas’s death, it took five monks and a heavy equiptment supervisor to bring down the saint’s hefty corpse from his tower down to the mortuary.

Gluttony is best exemplified to our generation by an unlikely hero of our childhood, the messiest eater of our time, the blue carpet-skinned, wall-eyed Jim Henson creation, the venerable Cookie Monster.  His obvious lack of restraint for unleavened bakery goods is so endearingly appalling, it’s almost a virtue in itself.  Well, you must admit the single-mindedness and the purity of his intention when he sang in his signiture raspy voice and burpy satisfaction:  “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me! Hey!”

Pahibalo sa tanan, This is Brother Utoy’s personal favorite as he is known to befriend some people for their penchant for smorgasbord and for their capacity to pay for our tab during lunch dates.  Cookie Monster happens to be in his list of the most influential people in his life.   Utoy’s Approval Rating: if I give it a 100%, you’d say I’m biased so it gets 99%

Sin #3: Greed  Known to some by its more pang-spellingbee monicker, Avarice, Greed should not be confused with gluttony.  The former (or the latter?) has an exclusive contract with food consumption while the latter (or the former?  My grammar sucks.) just refers to the more generic  selfish accumulation of things other than food.   Greed, a vice so well-observed in the present Philippine governance, is noted to be the number one inspiration for so many political aspirants and veterans of today.  So inspiring was this vice that it has provided a regular fodder for the local media, eager to note the recent Who’s Who in the Philippine Graft and Corruption Almanac.  Utoy’s Aproval Rating: 85% sana but it’s now down to 40% after we’ve taken out the systems loss.

Sin #4: Sloth   While this sin may lack all the action, excitement and intrigue that go with other sins, sloth has the single honor of having a south american tree-loving mammal named after it  (thak you, wikipedia!)  We often understood this sin to mean excessive laziness when in fact, it originally refers to the restlessness of the spirit (acedia), or as a monk-friend once defined it, the noonday demon, a spirit so distracted that it roams around accomplishing nothing.   personally, I’d call this the 5:00 AM demon, because really, whenever the alarm clock rings, there’s no other sin I’d rather indulge in than this low-key-but-definitely-a-baddie sin, sloth.  Utoy’s Approval Rating: an effortless 70% 

Sin #5: Envy   Of the seven sins, envy is very fun to watch, second only to Lust, of course.  In the name of envy, people try to outdo each other in everything and try to pull the other down that it has became a huge entertainment for all of us.  It’s the stuff reality TVs and Network Wars were made of.  Many people I know persevered in their jobs and became rich and successful not because of reading books by Stephen Covey but because they have to keep up with the Joneses.  Who the heck are the Joneses anyway?  Utoy’s Approval Rating:  85%  Not high enough, compared to Gluttony, that creep.

Sin #6:  Pride  No, this sin has no reference to a pack of lions from the Serengeti, neither to that classic brand of washing machine detergent nor to any LGBT efforts like parades, speed dating and AIDS fundraisers.  Rather, pride refers to every person’s blinded self-love, much synanymous to vanity, ayon na rin sa kwento ni Aling Wiki.  The relationship between pride and vanity makes sense if the word is translated to cebuano:  Pagkamagarbo.  In our Virtues class in Theology, pride is the mother of all sins, an a very fertile mother to that.  Virtually every sin can find its source on pride/vanity.  No wonder, Lucifer, played Al Pacino in the movie, Devil’s Advocate, said in conclusion, “Vanity is my favorite sin.”  Utoy’s Approval Rating:  89% but who believe these ratings anyway?

Sin #7: Wrath  In Latin, wrath or anger is called Ira, which is a modern name for a lady.  Which reminds me of this famous Shakespearian quote, “There’s no wrath greater than a woman scorned.”  Whether there exists a scorned woman named Ira during Tito Bill Shakespeare’s generation, I really have no way of finding out.  Now, people, there’s nothing worng of being angry.  In fact, modern psychology finds it therapeutic to vent out one’s wrath since anger is a very natural emotion evoked by anyone.  Except probably for Brad Pitt during the 90’s.  In that ludicrously titled suspense-thriller movie, Se7en, my utol, Brad, in fits of wrath, shot Kevin Spacey in the head.  Now, you ever wondered by this scene was done in wide angle?  From what I heard, Brad couldn’t make himself look angry without looking pa-cute. 

Naniwala ka naman.  Gawa-gawa ko lang yan. Har! Anyway…. For the Philippine context, anger can be best witnessed in Jun Lozada’s blog, jlozada.com.  Man, I’ve never read so many angry comments on my entire life!  I guess this is how our generation express their anger: they blog them.  Gone are the days when men go shirtless on streets, weilding a kitchen knife, shouting, “Lumabas kung sinong matapang diyan!”  Thus, more gutter language is spilled rather than blood in the process.  Utoy’s Approval Rating: 92%, you $&#%?!!

So there you go, the second approval rating.   I still got time to do my laundry so bye for now and tune in again for the next Utoy’s Approval Ratings!

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