Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oops, Wrong Church Service!

Imelda Marcos on a wheelchair is pictured after attending a memorial mass in Metro Manila on February 24, 2016. Reuters photo

Imelda Marcos, former Philippine First Lady and now an Ilocos Norte representative attended a morning Mass Wednesday which, unknown to her, was intended to remember the victims of the martial law regime of her late husband, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish – popularly known as Baclaran Church, in Parañaque City in Metro Manila – was followed by a short program for the victims of torture and killings during Marcos’ repressive rule, said Nardy Sabino, secretary general of Promotion of Church People’s Response, an ecumenical group which sponsored it.

Ric Malasa, an aide to Marcos, told AFP a member of her staff had whispered to her they had turned up at the wrong venue. But he added Marcos replied: “It’s fine. We’re all praying to the same God”.

Human rights groups say tens of thousands of people were jailed and tortured during Ferdinand Marcos’ 20-year military-backed rule, which ended in a bloodless popular revolt that chased the family into US exile 30 years ago on Wednesday.

The current authorities now estimate the family plundered $10 billion (RM42.1 billion) from state coffers, which allowed the flamboyant first lady to live a jet setting lifestyle in which she amassed hundreds of pairs of shoes as well as jewelry and pieces of art.

This sounds so familiar, more so if you replace ‘shoes’ with ‘handbags’!

But mass-goers, many of them campaigners for the rights of people who suffered imprisonment and torture during the Marcos regime, showed no sign of disrespect to the widow at the service, according to Carlito Latorre, a lay missionary.

“One of the victims, a man, shared how he lost his sense of hearing from the torture,” Latorre told AFP.

“The priest said martial law must not be repeated and its lessons must not be forgotten,” Latorre said, and then adding that Marcos left abruptly after the homily.

Today, three in every four Filipinos are satisfied with the way democracy works, a Social Weather Stations survey that was conducted from December 05 to 08, 2015 showed. When asked face-to-face, 76 percent of 1,200 adult respondents nationwide expressed satisfaction with the country’s democracy.

The survey also showed that 58 percent prefer democracy than any other form of government.

On Thursday, in the fifth minute, Liverpool’s James Milner scored a penalty – after Dominik Kohr's handball – and thereby, securing a 1-0 second-leg victory over Augsburg at Anfield. The Reds are now in the Europa League last sixteen. What a relief!

And yesterday, I was in Bangsar for the Liquid Gold Advanced Toastmasters meeting. Fourteen of us comprising eight members and six guests were present.

Note: Gerard Peter and guest from BIB, Bin Li are not in this photo as they had to leave early 

I delivered my CC#2 speech titled “Anyhow”. I believe I did alright but as my evaluator, Cyril Jonas rightly put it, the bar must be raised higher for me. After all, this is my thirty-fourth round of the Competent Communication manual. Sigh. The pressure mounts.

Expectedly, it had been a good meeting!

One member sang praises that the food was awesome and that we should make a return visit! Check out what we ordered:

My first beer was a Schwarzer, i.e. a Weissbier with Cola. But of course!


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