Last Sunday was the first day of the season of Advent, a time for Christians to wait, anticipate and prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In our real lives, Advent is more relevant today when we tend to prepare more for a materialistic celebration of Christmas with shopping and Christmas gifts for our loved ones while forgetting the true meaning of the event.
Many Catholics have ignored the religious aspect of the Christmas celebration that involves preparing spiritually for the coming of our Lord. Some believe that attending all nine days of the early morning misa de gallo is enough while some commit to doing charity work.
In business, Christmas is a good time to open new malls and offer promotional sales to to make more money. The season makes money for many sectors. While we enjoy the material goods of Christmas, it is best to complete our preparation by allocating time to reflect on our relationship with the Creator, and and our relationship with our fellowmen.
Let us pray some more for God’s intervention in our lives, for good health in the new year and a better relationship with our fellowmen and with God.
For the world, we pray for peace and the protection of countries from terror attacks, for poverty alleviation and a better life for all.
To all, an advance Merry Christmas and may God touch you this season to become “men for others”.
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Three weeks ago, I went to a beauty salon for some grooming service in the southern part of Metro Cebu. In the past few times I was there, I’d be greeted by an attendant who revealed himself as a gay person. One could mistake the beautiful attendant for a woman by his looks and clothes.
Until one day I was greeted by the news that the gay attendant was hospitalized for multiple stab wounds in the body inflicted by his boyfriend.
In my last visit to the salon three weeks ago, I didn’t see the attendant. Co-workers told me the attendant was no longer gay and had gone back to being a man.
Then I saw a handsome young man going in and out of the salon. We were introduced. It was the same attendant, now sporting short hair and a goatee.
I asked him about his transformation. He answered candidly that the stabbing incident prompted the change. He said he was now a true man and happy with his life.
I was happy to learn about the change but was also scandalized by the domestic violence he had suffered. The former boyfriend had displayed typical misplaced machismo in attacking him.
I’ve long realized that many women in the community silently suffer from domestic violence at the hands of their partners. I am hoping and praying that men in our society, including myself, will fully respect the rights of women, in order to end violence which takes place not only as physical abuse, rape and molestation but as emotional and psychological abuse as well.
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Finally the court has dismissed the case filed by Romulo Torres against Cebu City from spending proceeds of the sale of two lots in the South Road Properties (SRP).
This legal issue was the very reason councilors of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) have not acted on the proposed Supplemental Budget No. 1 of Mayor Rama.
Now that the court has dismissed the case, many city residents were expecting action on the budget.
But apparently BO-PK councilors have not surrendered and continue to sit on the budget because Torres filed for a motion for reconsideration.
The issue is simple. If the council objects to SB1, they can disapprove the budget or cut some portions and not hold it in abeyance all together.
This holds hostage the programs supported by SB1, especially the payment of the SRP’s foreign debt, the incentive bonus of City Hall employees, garbage tipping fees and other outlays.
BO-PK councilors have become so unreasonable. But it is very clear that politicians should not compromise the welfare of the people in exchange for the welfare and interests of a party or a person.
I hope and pray the court, including the Office of the Ombudsman, will decide on the cases swiftly.