"The Feast of the Black Nazarene shows Filipinos' religious fervor."
Today is the day of the Traslacion. This could well be the best answer to the President’s rants against the Catholic Church. Mr. Duterte always says Church leaders are hypocrites because many of them commit sexual abuses.
Of course there are rotten apples in any institution.
When I say that the Traslacion is the best answer to the President’s rants, it is because it shows very clearly the religious fervor of Catholics. Men, women and children alike try to kiss the image of the Black Nazarene, or at least have their towels or handkerchiefs touch it.
They believe prayers can move mountains.
Call the Traslacion by any other name—fanaticism, for instance. The fact remains that it shows Filipinos’ strong faith in God. Just how and why there are so many Nazarene devotees has a history of its own. It was in the year 1871 when the Recoletos, an order of priests, brought the wooden image of the Black Nazarene carrying the cross from Mexico. On its journey to the Philippines, a big storm hit the galleon carrying the image. The men on the galleon prayed so hard—and true enough, the storm dissipated. They considered it a miracle.
And just as the Black Nazarene settled first in Intramuros and moved to the Quiapo Basilica, there have been claims of miracles. This is why devotees try very hard to touch the image.
Perhaps President Duterte will never be able to understand the religious fervor that accompanies this feast. Will he continue to rant against the Church?
Certainly, the Church has faced many crises—corrupt and lecherous leaders. But the Church and the faithful are still around.
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In an unprecedented move, and throwing caution to the wind, President Duterte has come out endorsing and even campaigning for three senatorial candidates: Former PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa, former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, and former special assistant Bong Go.
Duterte even accompanied Go when the latter filed his certificate of candidacy and visited Iglesia ni Cristo Supremo Eduardo Manalo.
The President’s endorsement and premature campaigning are bad enough. He made things worse by criticizing the front runners.
Now if the three candidates don’t make it, or if only one of them does, what will this mean for the President? It will be a slap on his face. No other chief executive has so strongly supported senatorial candidates.
That poll survey I mentioned earlier was commissioned by Tolentino.
Santa Banana, have we come to this point?
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Recent surveys show that in the big cities of Manila, Makati, and Quezon City, Joseph Estrada, Abby Binay and Joy Belmonte are way ahead of their rivals.
These three have one thing in common—they are achievers and performers.
For example, Estrada has restored the city’s finances to enable him to achieve what he intends to do. The City of Manila is a picture of peace and order.
In Makati, Mayor Abby is doing what her predecessors have never done before: broken ground for a 10-kilometer subway project. This could very well be her legacy.
As for Belmonte, she is also way ahead of her competitor because of the many projects she supported and spearheaded as vice mayor. Also, the Belmonte name still carries weight among the residents of Quezon City.
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The very act of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission of making public the names of Silvestre Bello, Isidro Lapena and Leonor Oralde-Quintayo for corruption has in fact condemned them. These three now have the burden of proof to show they have not violated the President’s trust and confidence.
The problem however is that PACC has yet to complete its investigation. But will the President even fire them, for that “whiff of corruption”?