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10 posts categorized "#1: Loving God Above All Else"

Saturday, August 09, 2008

GK Taguig 2.0! - The Best for the Least

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On 8-8-08, instead of watching the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, I witnessed the launching of the new GK Designer Village (GK 2.0) by Tony Meloto and the grand vision for Taguig 2.0 by Mayor Freddie R. Tiñga!

All the best architects in Manila will be helping to design the next level of GK community. The best architects for the least of our brothers (and for the least fees). The new GK community looks like the HDB (Housing & Development Board) Condos of Singapore. It would be low cost condominiums designed and supported by the countries top architects: Bobby Manosa, Bong Recio, Jun Palafox, Edith Oliveros, Budji Layug and the top architects of the United Architects of the Philippines! The first GK Designer Village site will be created in Taguig along C5. No doubt, GK is building a First World Philippines and raising a First Class Filipino.

"To build a nation is to have direct impact on the lives of the poor and to influence those who have the power and the means to help them. It can start with charity but it must be a work of social justice to even the playing field and to recognize that all Filipinos are equal in worth and dignity. It begins with the heart where love resides, but it must be sustained with excellence and stewardship. We have to raise Filipinos to be first-class citizens in the Philippines so none of our people will feel second-class anywhere in the world." - Tony Meloto

Aside from being a Tony Meloto fan, I'm now a fan of Mayor Freddie R. Tiñga. He is transforming Taguig to be world class city by leveraging on technology to solve social issues in our country today. To bridge the gap between the public school education and private schools, he is implementing a distance learning program in the public schools. It would be equipped with Video Conferencing facilities to get the best teachers to educate the students of Taguig.

He also envisions Taguig to be the first 100% WIMAX city in the country! Yahoo! He is doing it by creating his own telecommunications company in Taguig. In my previous job, I worked with Smart and Globe to influence them to give unlimited broadband access for free or minimal cost. But the Telco giants are controlling unlimited broadband access for fear that it might have a huge impact on their voice business. I admire Mayor Tiñga's vision and if Globe/ Smart won't do it, he will build his own telecommunication system. Clap! Clap!

Did you know that Taguig will be equipped with 194 surveillance cameras by the end of 2008 and 400 cameras by end of 2009? They use Israeli technology for their cameras such that they could monitor the entire city virtually and they can even zoom in on plate number as needed. This would significantly reduce the crime rate in Taguig.

Lastly, he is planning to build a new modern airport in Taguig with better runway facilities, and to automate 100% of all the government transactions. Wow! All I can say is, let me know how I can help you, Mayor Tiñga, and I can offer my services and expertise to the city of Taguig.

I'm glad that we made a great decision to move from Manila to Taguig City. I'm voting Tony Meloto for President in 2010!

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Shroud of Turin

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The Shroud of Turin-8.jpg

Is this the face of Jesus Christ?

I was hoping that the exhibit would have a profound effect on us. Unfortunately, it did not and I'll tell you why.

The exhibit proves that the cloth is authentic and a documentation of a man who was scourged, speared, crowned with thorns, and crucified during the time of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the bible. But there is no conclusive evidence that suggest how the full front and back image could occur on the Shroud without any distortion and by only residing in the outermost surface of the weave. This is the core of the mystery, how could this even be possible to have a silent account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as depicted in the Shroud of the Turin. It was amazing to see how the cloth survived through centuries and how it nearly escape destruction with some burn marks to prove it.

So when reason ends, faith begins. The Risen Christ theory suggest that the image was formed by the radiation created during the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that the shroud is a miracle art where it depicts the brutal crucifixion but also the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. How can a piece of cloth be this powerful?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Now Is The Time Of Mercy

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Stanley Villavicencio - 3
"Now is the time of Mercy.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with the Lord.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with our family.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with everybody."

"Not Tomorrow."

"Because Tomorrow never comes.
When Tomorrow comes that is today.
So why wait for Tomorrow.
You have to be ready now."

(Loving Message of Jesus Christ through Stanley Villavicencio)

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Bro. Stanley is giving testimonies of his encounter with Jesus Christ since 1993. His testimonies are sanctioned by the Catholic Church and you need to hear him speak to really be touched by the message of love of the Lord. What really caught my attention and curiosity is that in one of his encounters with Jesus, he said that Jesus told him that he will see His Second Coming in his lifetime. Could it be a coincidence that New York Times just published an article about the The Final Days and talks about the mayan prophecy of December 21, 2012 as the end of the Earth cycle:

“We’re coming to an end time beyond anything that anybody has ever imagined,” Rod said with a trembling urgency. “The scientists right now, they’re not even studying the real causes. The Kyoto treaty and CO2 have nothing to do with anything.”

“Coast to Coast AM” is an overnight radio show devoted to what its weekday host, George Noory, calls “the unusual mysteries of the world and the universe.” Broadcast out of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and carried nationwide on more than 500 stations as well as the XM Radio satellite network, “Coast to Coast AM” is by far the highest-rated radio program in the country once the lights go out. The guest in the wee hours that February morning was Lawrence E. Joseph, the author of “Apocalypse 2012” — billed as “a scientific investigation into civilization’s end” — and he came on the air to tell the story of how the ancient Maya looked into the stars and predicted catastrophic changes to the earth, all pegged to the end date of an historical cycle on one of their calendars, Dec. 21, 2012.

“My motto tonight,” Noory intoned at the beginning of the program, “is be prepared, not scared.” What followed was a graphic recitation of disaster scenarios for 2012, including hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by solar storms, cracks forming in the earth’s magnetic field and mass extinctions brought on by nuclear winter. The only hopeful note of the night was struck when an unnamed caller asked Joseph what he thought about recent Virgin Mary apparitions in Bosnia.
(Source: The Final Days by New York Times)

This coming Sunday at 8pm in DZMM 630kHz, Inner Mind on Radio Jaime Lichauco continues to discuss this Mayan Prophecy (if you are interested). Going back to Stanley, the Lord said that His Second Coming will be preceded by a period of Great Mercy where everyone will be given a chance to receive His Mercy for those who embraced it. Jesus Mercy is Free and anyone can receive it as long as you are alive. It is clear and simple. When you are dead, Justice takes over and you will pay for your sins. You have to read all the related posts below so that you can fully understand where I'm coming from.

Stanley said that Salvation is for everyone despite whatever religion you are coming from. He compared the Roman Catholic Church as like an express lane in the supermarket where it is a shorter distance to heaven. The main reason for this is that we believe in Plenary Indulgence where the punishment for all forgiven sins are erased forever. This only happens during the feast day of the divine mercy which is the Sunday after Easter Sunday. All you need to do is repent and confess your sins, and receive the Holy Communion to avail of the Plenary Indulgence on the feast day of the Divine Mercy. (see Falling In Love with His Divine Mercy by Suzette Kho).

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Bro. Stanley gave a talk about his near death destimony in his Cebu accent but he was able to clearly deliver the message of love of Jesus Christ. This is Bro. Stanley's last talk in Manila and he will be coming back in November. For those who missed Bro. Stanley's Testimony, you can read his story here: Stanley Villavicencio's Near Death Testimony. I also took some notes from the Q&A so that I can share with you some practical tips you can immediately apply in your daily life.

  • You cannot appreciate my mercy until you experience the misery of sin.
  • Jesus looks for people who ask forgiveness, repent their sin, and live a new and better life.
  • He who saves a soul saves his own.
  • Pray as if it was your last prayer.
  • Salvation is a free gift from God. Religion will only guide us to salvation.
  • Plenary Indulgence is total erasure of punishment of all forgiven sins. This happens on the feast of the divine mercy which is the Sunday after Easter Sunday.
  • We can pray for ourselves, other people, and for souls who are in purgatory.
  • No prayer is wasted.
  • Purgatory is a cleansing area which is part of heaven.
  • When we offer a thanks giving mass, offer it to 1 to 2 persons specifically (name).
  • Mercy is only available when we are alive.
  • You cannot ask for forgiveness for sins not committed.
  • Miracles happen because of our Christian Faith

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After the talk, there was a Veneration of the Divine Mercy and Mama Mary's Lady of Guadalupe image where everyone will have a chance to pray in honor of the Divine Mercy. There have been stories of Jesus coming out of the photograph or Mama Mary is opening up her beautiful blue eyes. In the end, in a private interview with Bro. Stanley, I ask him what is the Message of Jesus Christ to all of us. He said these beautiful message of love:

"Now is the time of Mercy.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with the Lord.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with our family.
Now is the time for us to reconcile with everybody."

"Not Tomorrow."

"Because Tomorrow never comes.
When Tomorrow comes that is today.
So why wait for Tomorrow.
You have to be ready now."

Amen. Do you believe?

As Jesus said, He who saves one soul saves his own. I actually risk sounding like a chain letter blog post where I end this message with please forward this message to all your friends and family so that they can be saved. It is up to you. I'm here to spread this message of Love that touched my heart so that somehow, in my own little way, you can be touched as well.

Related Posts:
The Final Days by New York Times
Stanley Villavicencio's Near Death Testimony
Falling In Love with His Divine Mercy by Suzette Kho
Who is Bro. Stanley Villavicencio ? (Official website)
About the Divine Mercy Devotion

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Falling In Love with His Divine Mercy

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In observance of the Holy Week, I will be on blogging fast for the rest of the week. I will leave you with this touching article by Suzette, Rache's ICA friend, to serve as a Lenten reflection. What would you do now if you know that we are to witness the Second Coming in our lifetime?

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Falling In Love with His Divine Mercy
by Suzette T. Yu-Kho (ICA batch 1991)

Like many Catholics, I once took my faith for granted: I did not attend Mass regularly, stopped going to Confession and avoided religious people. I strayed away from the Faith and began dabbling in other forms of worship. I even took part in an East Indian “healing” seminar (it only lasted for a day). Each of them guaranteed the same results: true peace and happiness.

Yet despite all their sweet words and the promise of Eden, I felt empty. As I plunged deeper into sin, I thought there was no escape. There was no way that I could go back to the Church and face God being the sinner that I was--I was incredibly ashamed of myself! How could I stand there singing hymns with other “saintly” people who never committed such atrocious deeds? I could not fathom confessing to a priest once again who in my mind would surely rebuke me; consequently, for a quite a long time, I did not receive the Holy Eucharist either.

Years later, I was still in my predicament when I heard of Stanley Villavicencio: a Filipino lay person who touched the lives of sinners from all around the world and opened their hearts to Jesus Christ’s Divine Mercy. His testimony was mind-boggling: after three days of being pronounced “clinically dead” in Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu, he came back to life, much to the shock of his doctors and family members who were busy arranging his funeral. He claimed to have seen Jesus upon his death amidst a garden filled with various kinds of beautiful flowers. Jesus then showed him the film of his life starting from the time he was a young boy up to the moment of his death. Whenever he committed a venial sin, the film would slow down; whenever he committed a mortal sin, the film would stop and enlarge itself. Nothing could be denied since the film had the exact date and time of when the sins were done--even the minutes and seconds were recorded! He also said the sins he confessed to a priest felt lighter compared to the sins he did not confess.

After reviewing the film of his life, Jesus then sent Stanley back to earth with a mission and that was to spread the word of His Divine Mercy. He told Stanley that He would be communicating with him very often. In this dream-like state, Stanley could see, touch and even embrace Christ. Stanley was also asked to obey his authorities (Cardinal Vidal and Msgr. Cris Garcia, his spiritual director) who instructed him to write down the messages he would receive every time there was an encounter with Jesus. Msgr. Cris Garcia who had been endowed with the gift of internal locution was made aware of each encounter simultaneously by Jesus Himself; he in turn would confirm the messages with Cardinal Vidal. To date there have been 31 encounters with our Lord since 1993.

Jesus’ main message is simple: the doors of His Mercy are still wide open to penitent sinners. Souls should not hesitate to come back to Him even if their “sins be as plentiful as the stars in the sky”. If people refuse to pass through the doors of His Mercy, they have to pass through the doors of His Justice after the period of time He allots. He is also asking us to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy unceasingly, receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist often and celebrate the Mass regularly. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a powerful tool against hell for a dying soul: if prayed for a dying soul, God will see the soul through the wounds of His Son instead of through that person’s sins. If a repentant sinner prays the Chaplet for himself even just once, God will also be merciful to him because Jesus says that He will stand between the sinner and His Father upon that person’s death. Furthermore, Jesus promises that on the Feast of the Divine Mercy (the first Sunday after Easter) “the soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishments”. Church officials say that the graces one receives during Divine Mercy Sunday is similar to the graces obtained during baptism.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Fr. Armand's 7 Last Words -- Awesome Homily!

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I've always been a follower/fan of Fr. Armand (SDB, Salesian) who delivers awesome homilies -- touches your heart & soul at the same time funny, full of anecdotes and alot of references to funny expressions in the commercials. I really missed his homilies during the 8pm Sunday mass in Don Bosco ever since he left his parish duties about a year or so ago. So when I hear the announcement last Sunday that he will be giving the 7 last words today, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be the best 7 last words that I would have ever listened to. No doubt, Fr. Armand does not fail to amaze us with his excellent funny delivery (for 2 hours) and I learned alot of things. I would like to share with you my reflections/insights on Jesus' 7 last words:

1. Loneliness is the biggest suffering of Jesus and the 7 last words teaches us, how He finally triumphs over it. Contrary to Mel Gibson's depiction of the Passion of Christ, the biggest suffering of Jesus is not the physical torture He suffered or being nailed on the cross; but, being alone through out His crucifixion. Judas betrayed Him, all His disciples abandoned him when He was arrested, and Peter denied him 3 times. This must have been very painful inside specially getting through it without your trusted friends or family.

2. Reflect. Pray. Find your inner strength. God, the Father, loves us so much that sometimes, He would prolong our agony -- a little more that we can bear, so that we would find time to pray, listen and communicate with God. In the process, we would find the solution within ourselves and realize that God already gave us enough strenght through the Holy Spirit and He won't be giving us trials that we can't bear. This process might be longer than you would expect but He would send us the gift of our friends and family to help us through the ordeal. When Jesus said "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me", He was not complaining but actually praying (psalm 22) to find that inner strength to overcome his loneliness on the cross.

3. To give life, you must die. When Jesus said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit", He was offering His life to God proclaiming that He was able to fulfill God's will and save us from our sins by dying on the cross. This really touched me specially now that I want to change to a more healthy, pious lifestyle. I realized that changing for the better is not only about cultivating new habits but more importantly dying and burying your old self. You must say goodbye to your old habits in order to say hello to the new and better ones. Lastly, it is important that you strive to be a lifegiver to other people through encouragement, positive outlook in life, and touching people's heart.

Antonsig


The 7 Last Words
"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do"
"I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise"
"Woman behold your son, Son, behold your mother"
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"
"I Thirst"
"It is finished"
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"

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