November 2014

eastwind journals28 Nov 2014 02:30 am

queen of alcoholics / preparing for the papal visit

Preparing for the Papal Visit
eastwind journals 141


By Bernie V. Lopez


Preparing for the Papal Visit
everyone is in a frenzy
dwelling in complex details
the danger is
we sometimes forget the big picture
which little children
may remind us about
that what is in our hearts
is more important than
all the fuss about external concerns
the global media, the politics, the limelight
pope francis is focused in visiting
the yolanda survivors
he knows full well his mission
he wants us to pray the rosary
to turn to Our Lady of Fatima
precursor of global cataclysms
he wants us to strengthen our marian devotion
to avert the next disasters to come
when the bohol-cebu earthquakes came
he dispatched the statue of Our Lady of Fatima
to the philippines for a reason
for we are at the center of it all
more super-typhoons are predicted by PAGASA
and he wants us to prepare spiritually
for more apocalyptic events to come
for him, nothing else matters more
that is why he is visiting us
the only catholic nation in asia
the center of marian devotion
in the eastern hemisphere


Anecdote 26
Queen of Alcoholics


Author’s note. Some of you may have read this rerun before. This is an excerpt from an upcoming book Ten Wisdoms of the Lord’s Prayer, co-authored by Bernie V. Lopez and Vic Cusi.


to defy the light
and wallow in darkness
to let the wind
carry you to nowhere
is a kind of wisdom


Changing the world in the toughest places is tough for some but easy for others. It is just a matter of having the ‘talent’ to deal with the situation. It so happened that Tess was an expert on this.


The Bowery in New York City was where homeless alcoholics wrapped in towels sleep in the icy sidewalk in winter. Deep in this hell-hole was a tiny heaven-hole, a soup kitchen giving free hot soup and bread. For Bowery residents, this spelled the difference between life – surviving for one more winter, and death – freezing from hunger.


It was a bizarre venue for zombies. Many talked to themselves. A few got up a table and made speeches, ignored by everyone. Once, the soup kettle tilted over due to a brawl and many had no food that day. An elderly man was knifed by an elderly lady for making a pass.


Tess, a big fat Irish ex-alcoholic of a woman, came in to become a volunteer. As a newcomer, she felt nervous. Raul was a trouble maker. He was drunk. He came up to Tess.


RAUL – Hello there big tits. You’re looking grand tonight. How’s about a little kiss. (Tess smiled, ignored the sleazy remark, and turned away).
RAUL – (In a loud voice). Hey, what’s the matter, lady? I can really give you a good banging, I promise. (Onlookers gave a giggle).
TESS – Move on, Raul.


Every night, Raul would harass Tess with sleazy talk, and everyone would laugh. Tess would take it all with a smile. One night, her Irish temper just came out. She went up to him and gave him a KO punch. Everyone was silent, shocked. Several toughies stood up and headed towards Tess. This must be his friends, Tess thought. She wanted to run, but decided to stand her ground. The toughies were not after her. They were after the guy she KO’d. The KO punch of Tess gave them the signal that it was about time this blabbermouth was done for. They mauled the guy to the delight of the screaming crowd. Tess had to intervene before Raul would be hospitalized.


TESS – Thanks, guys. You didn’t have to intervene. One punch was enough.
GUY – No, we should thank you. We were just waiting for someone from the house to break the ice. You were doing us the favor.
TESS – Glad to have accommodated you. He deserves it.
GUY – He was really asking for it.


Tess went up to Raul, picked him up (she was strong enough to do it), and without a word, helped him to a chair. From then on, everyone loved her. Tess was the only woman volunteer who stayed for a long time. Others could not stand the sexual harassments. Tess had her way with men. Once, when someone touched her breast, she just gave him a hard slap, smiled, and told him to move on. It never happened again. Someone made lewd remarks. She said aloud, “God bless you, Charlie. Move on.” She took time to memorize every name. Charlie bowed his head in shame. It never happened again. As an ex-alcoholic, Tess knew that even zombies had a bit of an angel in them. You just have to let it come out.


A syndicate was cornering the soup by forcing others out of the line. Then they would go back for several servings. No one dared tell the volunteers. But from the corner of her eye, Tess saw the whole thing. She identified the syndicate members easily. One day she met all of them. She got a burly policeman beside her. She read the list of their names and gave it to the policeman.


TESS – You see those four people there huddled at the corner? They haven’t had their meal. Hey, Jack, you know why?
JACK – How should I know? Maybe you should bring in more soup. Not enough. (One of them giggled softly).
TESS – Don’t get wise with me, Jack. They haven’t eaten because you guys cornered the soup.
JACK – Too bad for them. They should learn to fight for their rights.
TESS – I’m fighting for their rights. Wanna do something about it? (She approaches Jack face to face, nose to nose).
JACK – I can’t fight a woman.
TESS – I am giving you permission to do so. Just imagine I’m a man. (To the policeman). Officer, can I ask you a favor? Would you mind not intervening?
POLICEMAN – If you say so Ma’am. I heard how you KO’d Raul, who’s much bigger. I reckon this guy won’t give much of a fight.
RAUL – I’m willing to bet $2 for Tess. Any takers? (The crowd, which became bigger now, was silent.)
TESS – Next time you corner the soup, you’re out of here, I mean forever. Clear? (No answer). Okay, clear out and God bless you. (No answer.) I said “God bless you,” Jack.
JACK – God bless you, Tess.
TESS – You have to mean it.
JACK – I mean it.


Tess embraced Jack. Everyone screamed. The syndicate vanished. It never happened again. On the way to the kitchen, Tess always met residents outside in the snow who would offer her a swig of whisky. She never refused, although she knew it was dangerous for an ex-alcoholic to take even a drop. Thus, everyone considered her as one of them.


Realizing the kitchen was inducing violence and indifference, Tess devised the partner system. One can eat one’s soup only after one has served a partner. One’s partner would be waiting at the table like a king. One can serve one’s self only after, and must eat with the partner. Next day, the server became the one served. Partners were rotated until everyone partnered with everyone else. There were a few quarrels for those who hated their partners. Tess said a quarrel meant no soup for the two. So they started learning not to hate each other, which was a pretty tall order for some.


TESS – (To all the guys) In the absence of hate, there is only love.


Once, Tess came in in tears, saying she had just been mugged. That evening, when everyone had left, she found a paper bag with her name. It was full of nickels, dimes and quarters. There was a note – “to the queen of our kitchen.” Tears fell on the kitchen floor. In this hell hole, one found semblances of love. They loved Tess.


In no time, the kitchen became a home for bonding and sharing of derelicts. Violence waned and residents no longer behaved like zombies. They came not just for the soup but for the company. The noise became louder at lunch time. This was how the hell-hole became a heaven-hole, a spiritual transformation never before seen in the Bowery.
one candle light can pierce the darkness
and infect other candles
until there is nothing but blinding light
there is a piece of heaven in every hell
a tiny angel in every bum
you just have to let it come out
sometimes the secret in instilling love
is to first induce the absence of hate
then everything just falls into place


eastwind journals24 Nov 2014 09:24 am

ISIS – Islamic ‘NATO’ / foreshadowing of new age

2. The foreshadowing of the new age
pass to friends  
Battlecry for the oppressed, depressed and lonely.
Don’t worry, be happy. Bobby McFerrin (30 million hits)
eastwind journals 140


By Bernie Lopez
Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification.
Disclaimer – the views in this article are those of the author’s alone.


ISIS is not just a powerful ragtag cross-border army in the Middle East. It has grown spiritually planet-wide to become a potential Islamic Treaty Organization (ITO), a Islamic version of NATO. Everywhere, it is gaining ground rapidly through Western media coverages. In the blink of an eye, there are silent ISIS loyalists (not necessarily fighters) in every nook of the Earth – Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Africa, and other developing nations. It has become ‘the enemy within” in the US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia, and other developed nations.


It is the rallying point for Muslims, oppressed, disenchanted, or relatives of the massacred. ISIS lives in the hearts of millions of Muslims today. ISIS represents the total radicalization of Muslims on a global scale, who are departing from their non-violent, conservative, or sectarian form. It is a wildfire that promises to scorch the Earth. ISIS is the precursor of Armageddon, the Apocalyptic foreshadowing of the four horsemen. In the Old Testament, God has allowed the Israelites to be overwhelmed by its enemies, such as in the Babylonian exiles. He can easily do it again against Christians and Jews.


In the ISIS view, evident from beheadings of non-Muslims, and execution of those who refuse to convert to Islam, it is a religious war against Christians and Jews put together. This perspective is what makes it scary. It is the revival of the ancient war between Saracens and the Crusaders, only a hundred times bigger. For the Muslims, there are two kinds of realms, Dar Ul Haq (territories at war), which is widening rapidly, and Dar Ul Islam (territories in peace), which is receding rapidly.


ISIS does not necessarily represent all Islamic communities. ISIS is Sunni-based and is opposed by the weaker, less united, less coordinated Shiites. The Shiites are the majority, but the Sunnis are richer and more powerful. Iran is the game changer, the formidable Persian Shiites who are not scattered, who are well-armed, who have plenty of oil and gas that the West drools over. The US-UK-Israel triumvirate is using ISIS to defeat Shiite Iran via Turkey (Source – Inquirer Article). With China and Russia behind Iran, this almost impossible feat is perhaps possible only through a nuclear war. To the West, Iran has to be toppled down. To the East, Iran can never be surrendered to the West.


The birth of ISIS is an American doing. The mutilation of Iraq and Afghanistan have catalyzed ISIS. All the accumulated anger over massacres of both civilians and soldiers is now manifested in ISIS. And remember the Muslims know Iraq was a war over oil, not WMDs, and Afghanistan a retaliation against the mastermind of 9/11.


Many small Islamic nations are too sectarian to join an Islamic version of NATO. But we are getting there. If America finally invades and conquers Iran, not only will the terror incidents in the US, NSA or no NSA, increase ten-fold, but many Islamic nations may polarize towards ITO (Islam Treaty Organization). The enemy within will triple in size. Terror threats will destroy the very fabric of American society all the way to the grassroots, even if terror attempts fail. The very fear of terror will consume the American homeland. For every victory abroad, there will be a hundred tears in the homeland.


The foreshadowing of the new age


From the pastoral constitution
on the Church in the modern world
of the Second Vatican Council


let the heavens be glad
and let the earth rejoice
break forth, o mountains
into singing, for the Lord will come
abundant blessings of peace
and justice in his days shall thrive
and he will have compassion on his afflicted


We do not know the time when earth and humanity will reach their completion, nor do we know the way in which the universe will be transformed. The world as we see it, disfigured by sin, is passing away. But we are sure that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth. In this new earth righteousness is to make its home, and happiness will satisfy, and more than satisfy, all the yearnings for peace that arise in human hearts. On that day, when death is conquered, the sons of God will be raised up in Christ; what was sown as something weak and perishable will be clothed in incorruption. Love and the fruits of love will remain, and the whole of creation, made by God for man, will be set free from the frustration that enslaves it.


We are warned indeed that a man gains nothing if he wins the whole world at the cost of himself. Yet our hope in a new earth should not weaken, but rather stimulate our concern for developing this earth, for on it there is growing up the body of a new human family, a body even now able to provide some foreshadowing of the new age. Hence, though earthly progress is to be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ’s kingdom, yet in so far as it can help toward the better ordering of human society it is of great importance to the kingdom of God.


The blessings of human dignity, brotherly communion and freedom – all the good fruits on earth of man’s co-operation with nature in the Spirit of the Lord and according to his command – will be found again in the world to come, but purified of all stain, resplendent and transfigured, when Christ hands over to the Father an eternal and everlasting kingdom: “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” On this earth the kingdom is already present in sign; when the Lord comes it will reach its completion.


eastwind journals14 Nov 2014 03:17 am

Lumad Killings Make BBL Absurd / Ban Beluga Imports

eastwind journals 139


By Bernie Lopez
Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification.
Disclaimer – the views in this article are those of the author alone.


Lumad Leader Assassinated
BBL will induce land conflict rather than peace
In a recent Inquirer article, the Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation predicted that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will dislocated about 123,000 Lumads within the ARMM.


It seems it is now happening even before the BBL is promulgated, with the assassination of a Teduray leader. Kagawad Melencio Ramugon of Sitio Bahar, Barangay Ufi, Timanan, Maguindanao was shot in the head and died instantly Friday, November14, near the Episcopal Church-School in Dalican, Maguindanao. Alim Bandara, former Supreme Timuay (chieftain) of the Teduray and the Lambangian, said that they are gathering more information on the cause of the shooting.
As reported by the Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation, largest Lumad organization, with eight million members Mindanao-wide.


In violation of Republic Act 9147
Moving arctic whales into tropical waters is like cooking them in a broth. Of the ten belugas imported by a Taiwan aquarium in 2002, only two survive today.
The Manila Ocean Park, owned by the Chinese Oceanis Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of China Oceanis Inc. in Singapore, has an aquarium behind the Luneta Grandstand. The Earth Island Institute Philippines reports that they have received information from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that the park plans to import two Beluga arctic whales, an endangered species, captured in the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River area in east Russia, and now awaiting shipment from a marine park in South Korea.


The import of Belugas is a violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of the Philippines, where Section 6 requires the approval of the DA Secretary, and bans the import of endangered species. The DA Secretary is being petitioned by a Ban-Beluga-Imports campaign to reject the Manila Ocean Park application.


For this reason, the US National Marine Fisheries Service denied Beluga imports into the US. Imports would also encourage more poaching of Belugas. This critical situation is confirmed by studies by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the US Marine Mammal Experts from the Humane Society. The Philippines is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which requires that trade must not result in the depletion or extinction of species.



in our darkest hours
in the storms we have to endure
the Lord is saying to each one of us
‘just hang in there, kid,
 I am with you always all the way’
I have waited
waited for the Lord
He stooped towards me
and heard my cry
He drew me out of the pit
and out of the mud
He raised me on a rock
and held firm my steps
He put a new song on my lips
a hymn of  praise to our God
many shall look in awe
and trust in Him


psalm 40:2-4
I send My justice
like soft rain from the sky
to quench the parched earth
and bring salvation to all


Isaiah 45:8
For healing, visit
or email


Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry10 Nov 2014 02:03 am

filipinos in japan – true stories / BBL will displace lumads in ARMM

eastwind journals 138
By Bernie Lopez, columnist Philippine Daily Inquirer
Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification.
Disclaimer – the views in this article are those of the author’s alone.


FILIPINOS IN JAPAN True Stories – inquirer

Three heart-rending true stories of Filipinos in Japan.


In an exclusive interview, Jimid Mansayagan, Chair of the Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation (LMPF), which has about 8-million members Mindanao-wide, expresses concern that the Bangsamo Basic Law (BBL) would result in the displacement of 3 Lumad groups numbering 123,000* within the ARMM. (* according to the Institute for Autonomy and Governance or IAG.)


The LMPF plea is for the BBL to respect the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and to recognize the inalienable rights of Lumads. The BBL has no such provisions. The fear of the LMPF is – once the ARMM becomes a ‘territory’ of the Bangsamoro Government, what happens to the ancestral domain of three largest Lumad groups in ARMM – the Tendurays, Lambangians, and Dulangan Manobos, consisting of13 ethnic groups in 80 barangays of 12 municipalities, identified as the ‘ARMM Core Territory’.


The ARMM has a population of 3.9 million as of 2014 (NCSO projection, actual is 3.2 million as of 2010). Its complex demographics, a mix of many ethnic groups, is elusive because NCSO has no ethnic breakdown of Muslims, Christians, and Lumads. The number of Lumads is estimated at 500,000 by the IP DEV Project, which constitute a sizable 12.8%, needing recognition by the BBL as a key player.


In spite of many dialogues between the LMPF and Peace Panel Chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, no action is being taken. Both sides of the Panel, the government and the MILF, are ignoring the Lumad pleas. The verbal assurances from MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim that the Bangsamoro Government and the MILF will not oppress the Lumads, are useless. (Minda News Aug. 8, 2014) It must be put into the law to be effective. LMPF wrote President Aquino, but no audience, no reply.


In the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro of January 13, 2013, the LMPF Governing Council asserts, “It is unthinkable that by averring the inherent, inalienable and collective rights to territory and governance as distinct peoples is perceived as against those that should be given to the Bangsamoro, or demanding it from the Bangsamoro. People to people relationship shall depend on tradition and the principle of mutual respect and co-existence. We are neither requesting special treatment nor seeking attention, but only reminding all parties concerned of rights already granted by law.” The Lumads are not envious of the tons of goodies the Government will heap upon Bangsamoro. They just want their inalienable rights respected.




The basic flaw in the concept of autonomy is it induces separatism, and discourages co-existence. Communities are separate and distinct, instead of integrated and whole. The Christian majority, if discouraged to enter Muslim ‘territory’, can actually induce wars. There must be free movement of people.


The motive of government to grant autonomy is to discourage rebellion, which is not good for its image. Ironically, autonomy, if it induces conflicts, will make the government image worse. Autonomy induces special treatment and jealousy.




President Aquino has been fast-tracking the peace process because he wants that under his legacy before he steps down, the image motive. Unfortunately, fast-tracking will make the BBL a useless, inadequate, irrelevant, and dangerous law, a blunder that may actually induce war. The present BBL is a knee-jerk papogi (PR) move of Malacanang, whose effects are dangerously unknown.




Former Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza says the BBL is inherently unconstitutional. LMPF says the BBL contradicts the IPRA, and IPRA itself is a peace agreement. Last October 14, 2008, the Supreme Court rendered as unconstitutional the deal between the Government and the MILF. Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales ruled that the Peace Panel Chair ‘committed grave abuse of discretion’ by failing to conduct consultation as mandated by EO 3, RA 7160, and RA 8371. The ‘furtive process’ was branded as ‘whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary, and despotic’. (Wikipedia). The BBL may have the same fate when brought to the Supreme Court.




The Lumads have reason to fear dislocation from ancestral lands. A Norwegian Refugee Council Report says when the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that a peace agreement giving the MILF control over 700 areas in Southern Mindanao was unconstitutional, fighting broke out which displaced 700,000 Christians, Lumads, and Muslims. This is how peace talks bring war.


Can BBL funds and arms end up with terror groups?


The BBL should pass through three critical processes. First is an updated population survey in proposed BBL areas complete with ethnic delineations. The BBL has added a lot of new areas. Second is a referendum to see if the people, even the Muslims, really want BBL governance. Will the minority Christians and Lumads accept BBL governance? If they don’t and the BBL is forced down their throat, will there be a resurrection of the Ilagas?


Third is an in-depth study by a commission on the complex ramifications of the BBL. Todate, there is no such study. In August 6, 2008, Senators accused Malacanang of failing to make MILF cut ties with terror networks such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf (now also ISIS). Will Bangsamoro funds and arms end up in the hands of terror groups.




Lumad ancestral lands have been shrinking rapidly in the last decade, under extreme pressures from powerful forces, agribusiness and mining multinationals in partnership with locals, which bring in the military to protect themselves from the NPA. Big-time farming and mining attract wars. Pro-AFP Lumads end up fighting pro-NPA Lumads. They are the pawns who are massacred. The massacres of Lumads is appalling, especially in Caraga, Region XIII, Agusan Norte/Sur, Surigao Norte/Sur, Davao Norte, and Compostella Valley. The Lumads have nowhere to go. They are the dying pure ethnic Filipinos who may become extinct soon.


By Bernie Lopez, Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer
See Inquirer version of this article –


the more you take
the less you have
the poorer you are
the more you give
the more you have
the richer you are




peace is not inherent to our spirit
it has to be acquired
we must work hard for it


from the book – wings and wanderlust


life is an opportunity, benefit from it
life is beauty, admire it
life is a dream, realize it
life is a challenge, meet it
life is a duty, complete it
life is a game, play it
life is a promise, fulfill it
life is sorrow, overcome it
life is a song, sing it
life is a struggle, accept it
life is a tragedy, confront it
life is an adventure, dare it
life is luck, make it
life is life, fight for it

Mother Teresa



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