April 2015

eastwind journals26 Apr 2015 09:32 am

CARDINAL TAGLE’S evangelism thru art

CARDINAL TAGLE’S evangelism thru art


Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sunday April 26, 2015
Global Pinoy Section, page A8
eastwind journals 159
By Bernie V. Lopez


When 12 artists and we, their supporters, went to Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle for a courtesy visit at his residence, we were tense and hesitant to present our concept of this first-ever Sacred Art Exhibit, because we did not know how he, so busy as he was, would react.


Sacred Art  Exhibit Team with Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

(Left to Right) Gerry Isada, Badz Magsumbol, Pancho Piano, Al Perez, Nemy Miranda, Cardinal Tagle, Vic Cusi (exhibit producer), Bernie Lopez (author), Ton Raymundo, Rudolf Gonzalez, Junjun Capistrano. (Not in photo – Willly Layug, Mario Panis, Cee Cadid, Paeng Pacheco, Jonahmar Salvosa, Danny Santiago.)

He smiled, instantly breaking the ice, and said that evangelization through art was his vision. He said,”In the end, art will save the world.” He cited a comment by Pope Francis that the present predominant culture among the youth is superficiality, and we must start changing that. The young need to achieve depth. Digital propensity is nothing if you do not have a message with an impact.


So, we settled down and became relaxed. We expected to stay only for 30 minutes as he had a busy scheduled, but ended up staying more than an hour. The Cardinal had a way of making us feel at home. And he gave us his precious time, giving many anecdotes. He talked about an artist he met in Rome, Marco Rupnik, SJ, who was considered as the modern-day Michaelangelo.


The Cardinal said Rupnik established an art school which was very different those in Rome or Florence, because he began by imbuing in his art students a sense of silent spirituality, much like a retreat. One cannot start by simply splashing one’s brush based on the moment’s inspiration emerging from the heart, no matter how good one was. The heart must be prepared. It must let the Lord enter his soul and his brush. Only when one has communed with God can a Sacred Art painter actually paint for Him. One never paints for himself. He paints for others. The inspiration is spiritual, not just a matter of skill or technique. We were all in awe, because the art we all knew never had this factor. Sacred Artists, in truth, require spirituality, Cardinal Tagle pointed out.


In a rare dinner with Rupnik, Cardinal Tagle wanted to ask him to train the Filipino youth in Sacred Art, but before he could suggest so, Rupnik said he had a waiting list for the next five years. Instead, it was Rupnik who interviewed Cardinal Tagle about the Philippines, which was the center of global attention a few weeks before, because of the Papal Visit. Rupnik is considering the idea of disaster and super typhoons as Sacred Art subjects.


Willy Layug, one of the 12, donated a statue of what Palo Archbishop John Du called Our Lady of Hope (see photo below). When Pope Francis saw the statue at the Archbishop’s residence, he was in awe and said, “Ah, la Madonna, la Madonna”, touching the statue. Pope Francis, the staunch Marian loyalist, was moved by Willy’s Sacred Art.

Our Lady of Hope at the Palo Cathedral in Tacloban, Leyte. The Virgin is wearing a Filipino dress. The Holy Child is reaching for a weeping child. Sculptor Willy Layug.

Cardinal Tagle agreed instantly to be the guest speaker at the forthcoming Sacred Art Exhibit. He knew some of the twelve, who had been commissioned by the Church many times. There was Willy Layug’s Our Lady of Hope in a Filipino dress. There was Nemiranda’s The Way of Mary rosary shrine, 20 bas relief sculptures on the mysteries of the rosary that run along Ortigas from the EDSA shrine all the way to the Antipolo shrine, a pilgrim’s stations of the rosary. There was Pancho Piano’s numerous stained glass and murals scattered all over the 40-odd churches in Bicol. His obra maestra was the stained glass at the cathedral of Penafrancia. There were many more among the 12 who were commissioned by the Church to do Sacred Art.


Cardinal Tagle cited a moving story of drug addicts turned artists, a ‘life changer’. They instantly exchanged their drug tools with a paint brush. He said it was a momentous 180-degree turn, making Sacred Art a critical instrument for evangelizing wayward youth. He is hoping the 12 artists can pave the way towards training out of school youth and the poor, who cannot afford education, to be catapulted to the community of world-class Filipino Sacred Art. I felt the 12 shift in their seats with excitement, gung ho at the Cardinal’s idea.
The Sacred Art Exhibit


The idea of a Sacred Art Exhibit actually predicted Cardinal Tagle’s vision many months earlier. Vic Cusi, founding President of GreatNation Philippines, is starting programs in sacred art, sacred literature, sacred music. Cusi’s vision was a paradigm shift. He said that in the past, everyone flocked to Europe to see Sacred Art that flourished there since the Middle Ages. His dream is to establish a Filipino Art Renaissance where the Europeans will flock to the Philippines. The starter, the catalyst, is the Sacred Art Exhibit of 12 of the best Filipino artists. Cusi said, “We can easily do this because we have a wealth of world class artists. The Filipino was born with a brush in his hand. Also, we are the only Christian nation in Asia. We have the duty to lead the Sacred Art Renaissance in Asia. We have produced world-class musicians, artists, and writers for Asia.” The 12 artists were mainly selected from members of the Intramuros Visual Arts Philippines (IVAP) through the help of Nemiranda, its founding President.
The exhibit will open on April 29 at 4 pm at the GSIS Museum, which is only on invitation, with Cardinal Tagle cutting the ribbon, giving the opening talk, and giving a quick blessing of the paintings. The media is welcome at the opening, just get your invitation at gistl03@yahoo.com or 63947-2159768. The exhibit is open to the public from April 30 to May 22. The sample paintings shown here speak for themselves. They represent the emerging Filipino Art Renaissance today. They are in alphabetical order by artist’s last name. eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

eastwind journals09 Apr 2015 12:58 am

2 yolanda photos that went viral – yolanda rosaries for leyte-samar

eastwind journals 158
By Bernie Lopez
Permission is granted to re-publish the article with credits.

Originally titled “Baybay (shore) Lady”. Unknown photographer. Borongan, Eastern Samar, Philippines. In case you have not seen it the first time, this photo went viral on the Internet a few days after super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) struck on November 8, 2013. Photo shows a lady in blue, believed to be Mother Mary, with a mammoth storm surge in the background. Note that the umbrella is steady in the storm winds. The anonymous photographer, people reported, said both the lady and the storm surge vanished into thin air after the photo was taken.

Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Photo shows the flood watermark two inches below the Tabernacle, which houses the Holy Eucharist at the Diocese Major Seminary. The watermark is the maximum height of the flood before it recedes.
a great sign appeared in the sky
a woman clothed with the sun
the moon beneath her feet
and on her head a crown of twelve stars
the dragon stood before the woman
about to give birth, to devour her Child
she gave birth to a Son
destined to rule all nations
in utter rage the serpent
waged war against the rest of her offsprings
those bearing witness
to the Son born of her womb
Revelation 11:1-6, 14-17
30,000 Yolanda Rosaries, blest by Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines, were given to survivors of the super-typhoon in Samar and Leyte. The first batch of six sacks or around 15,000 was given out by Archbishop John Du of Palo immediately after the tragedy. The second batch of another 15,000 followed, given out before Holy Week 2015 to the Tacloban-Palo and Borongan dioceses, housing beneficiaries of the Philippine Red Cross and CORDAID, fishing villages around Borongan bay, and the St. Anthony Pilgrim Center in Sulangan, Eastern Samar.


The Papal blessings of the rosaries were arranged by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in Manila and by Palo Archbishop John Du in Tacloban. The Yolanda Rosaries, given out to the poor and to survivors of Yolanda, are considered as a ‘Disaster Game Changer’. The goal is to proliferate Marian devotion to avert future disasters.


In Punta Maria, in Borangan Bay, seven elderly women prayed the rosary everyday in a makeshift chapel. It was in the direct path of super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), yet there were no casualties and storm surge, although a few houses near shore were destroyed. The same case happened in Ando Island, also in Borongan Bay, where women had an active rosary brigade.


The remote coastal village of Sulangan, Eastern Samar, is a pilgrim center for devotees to St. Anthony of Padua. In June, about 10,000 pilgrims converge every year from as far as Cebu, Bohol, Antique, and Bicol to the church, which is noted for miraculous healings of the sick. Also on the direct path of Yolanda, Sulangan had only three casualties, three senior citizens who refused to seek refuge in the church. In nearby towns, including Guiuan, hundreds died from the storm surge. Almost all of the roofs of houses in Sulangan were destroyed but precious lives were saved. Samareños attribute the safety of Sulangan and Borongan from Yolanda to devotion to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Anthony.


In Borongan, this author also interviewed on camera a student, a housewife and a teacher, who had a common story. At the height of Yolanda, they saw a Lady near shore as a storm surge was approaching. The student even run towards the Lady to warn her of the oncoming storm surge. As in the viral photo above, both the Lady and the storm surge vanished. There are many more undocumented stories of how the Lord spared those devout to Him and Our Lady.


The people who helped in the Yolanda Rosary project included Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Vic Cusi of Lions Caloocan City, the Family Rosary Crusade, the RVM sisters, UNILAB, Philippine Airlines, and a few individual donors requesting anonymity.




During the distribution of rosaries, it was noticed that the 30,000 rosaries hardly made a dent. Phase 2 is targeting another 6,000 rosaries for Philippine Red Cross formerly-homeless re-settlers in Eastern Samar (only 200 were given in Phase 1), and 10,000 more for pilgrims in Sulangan for its June 13 festival. Another 30,000 to 50,000 rosaries will hopefully be raised. The target is a rosary in every hand that can pray when new Yolandas threaten the Philippines. The Yolanda Rosary Movement hopes to spread to Cebu, Bohol, Antique, Bicol, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Compostella Valley, scenes of past disasters, and other new places. Right now, a non-stop 24/7 rosary-praying group has been formed in Tacloban City, where Yolanda claimed thousands of victims. The Filipino’s response to disaster is prayer, and the Yolanda Rosary Movement is gathering momentum.


Depending on how many donors can reach out to help, it is hoped that the distribution of Yolanda Rosaries will be a continuing endeavor. For those who want to help, or have questions, send an email to eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
MIRACLE AT HIROSHIMA – The Power of the Rosary
Decades before Yolanda, the power of the rosary was already manifested. The Third Secret of Fatima predicts the possibility of a nuclear holocaust if Man does not change his sinful ways. It cites a Man-made invention which could be an instrument of global cataclysm. At 2:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the very first nuclear bomb of human history exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, ushering in the nuclear age. It was used against a city of innocent civilians rather than a military installation. 100,000 died instantly, and a total of half a million died later of lingering radiation sickness causing cancer in the next few years.


It was at Hiroshima that the power of the rosary against cataclysm was manifested. The Church of Our Lady’s Assumption, run by 8 German Jesuits, was situated 8 blocks or 1 kilometer from ground zero. For a few kilometers, not a single building stood after the blast, except the Jesuit house where they were praying the rosary every day. In fact, they were praying it during the blast. For years, scientists, who conducted hundreds of interviews, could not find a logical explanation. The miracle at Hiroshima is a message that the God of Punishment is also the God of Forgiveness. His anger can be appeased by prayer. The rosary can turn back hurricanes and earthquakes. The rosary can make the Lord change His mind to punish Man. This is the rationale behind the Yolanda Rosaries.


St. Louis de Montfort said the best and fastest way to Jesus is through His Mother, whom He could not refuse at the Wedding at Cana. Mother Mary is ‘the channel of God’s grace to us’. The prayer Memorare goes “… never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided …”.


 In chapter four of his book True Devotion to Mary, St. Montfort writes about the promises of Our Lady to those who pray the rosary –
  • Special protection, as in disasters, as in Hiroshima and Punta Maria;
  • Grace for sanctification and virtue, increased holiness, strong faith vs temptations;
  • “A powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies”;
  • Grace to do good works, to attain God’s abundant mercy, and to avoid worldly vanities;
  • A peaceful death in the grace of the Lord;
  • Safety from misfortunes and accidents;
  • Freedom from despair and depression, from material and spiritual want;
  • Grants for special requests or favors asked for;
  • Assistance from the communion of saints;
  • Increased intimacy with Jesus and Mary;
  • Assurance of salvation, subject to state of grace
Music for gods on planet earth – beatles jazzifiedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxfi0g_5CiM&list=AL94UKMTqg-9BHydUwLTdUelMEpbAQJ5Vh&index=3