Archbishop Bernardito Auza is flanked by Roger and Josie Santos.

BOHOLANO Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, announced that the 31st PARING BOL-ANON reunion (Boholano priests), 60 of them, coming from different parts of the U.S. and the Philippines, will be held in New York City on July 25-30, 2016.

Archbishop Auza is inviting the Filipino-American community to spend time with the Boholanos on July 29 starting at 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Pompeii Church on 25 Carmine Street, near Christopher Street in Downtown Manhattan for a community mass, to be followed by Fiesta ng Nayon.

Dinner will be served.

This is an opportunity for fellowship, especially among Boholanos and Cebuanos.

In a signed letter published in Facebook, coursed through Roger Santos of Couples for Christ ANCOP USA, the archbishop is both inviting and appealing for help to defray the hotel and other expenses of the visiting priests who are poor.

Archbishop Auza mentioned in his letter that “cheerful givers” may issue their checks to Archbishop Bernardito Auza and send them to:

The Holy See Mission
25 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016

Thank you po.



Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo waves to supporters as she leaves Lubao Elementary School after casting her vote on May 9. Seated behind her is her husband, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.  (Photo by Michael Varcas)

Philippines, country of laws and of God

Despite the imperfections of Philippine democracy, one shining feature of our native country is its regard and respect for the law.

And love of God.

The acquittal of ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a shining case in point.

Her first statement upon learning the good news was, “First and foremost, to God Almighty be all the glory and praise...”

After four years, the Supreme Court of the Philippines exonerated its former president of plunder charges for lack of sufficient evidence.

She had been under hospital arrest since 2012.

For a period, she was not allowed to have a smartphone.

She was not allowed to use a computer.

I can’t wait to read her book which she wrote, while under arrest, in her own handwriting in yellow pads.

Irrespective of political reasons for the charges against her, guided by the laws of the land, the entire process was carried out in accordance with existing laws embodied in Philippine jurisprudence.

The Supreme Court, after evaluating the findings of the Ombudsman (Graft & Corruption Court), by a vote of 11-4, declared that there was not enough evidence to continue detaining Mrs. Arroyo.

She is a free person again.

As one of the best economists of her nation, she can be of help to the Duterte government.

But, she has to undergo treatment first of her sickness.

She can now explain better whether the good economy of the Philippines is, indeed, a result of the Aquino administration’s efforts or due to the strong economic fundamentals established under the nine years of the Arroyo administration, or both.

The above is another beautiful example of life that respects the laws.

Can you imagine how chaotic life would be if a nation will operate without regard and respect for the laws, both domestic and international?

Disorder and chaos will reign if a country is an unlawful nation.

That would be very embarrassing to neighboring nations which abide by the laws.


Fr. Ralph

My pastor, Fr. Ralph, an Ilonggo, in my church in Jersey City, whose homily about being “rejected by a woman for the first time,” I wrote in this space some months ago, spoke about another relevant life subject last Sunday.

His entire homily was about texting, Facebook and smartphone.

Fr. Ralph said that while Facebook and texts place people who are far from each other closer to one another, the same, push family members away from each other.

He gave the example at mealtime, where family members are supposed to talk to one other and share the day’s experiences.

Instead, he said the members are busy either texting or doing Facebook.

He said before mealtime is a good time to thank God for His blessings.

But, no, members of the family are busy with their smartphones, especially the young.

I must confess that like Fr. Ralph, I pleaded guilty as charged.

But, no more.

We will heed the reverend.



Maybe, some of you know this already.

I’m talking of a fairly new amazing and fun electronic voice gadget.

It’s called Echo by Amazon.

You can talk to it.

Unlike China, it listens and abide by what it is told to do.

All conversations with the gadget begins with “Alexa.”

That’s her name.

If you ask Alexa for a song, it will play it.

Just tell her the title and singer if you know.

I asked for “Thinking Out Loud.”

It played within seconds.

I asked Alexa to repeat the song, she did.

I asked for the latest news, it stopped the music and broadcast the latest news from NPR.

I asked Alexa to tell me a joke, she did.

Then, I asked Alexa what Ria Serrano of New Jersey was doing.

Alexa replied, “Facebook.”


All of the above are true except the last one about Ria.

It’s a joke.  

Have a good weekend, Folks!

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