Jesus Loves the Little Children

I grew up learning Bible stories and the teachings of Christ through Sunday School. It was there that I first experienced being taught to make heart-shaped cards to give my parents for Valentine’s Day.

Sunday couldn’t come too soon because on that day we get to go to school in the Seminary and yet have fun. We learn songs. We draw, color, cut, paste, and do lots of creative things.

It’s almost like every other afternoon spent with friends in some grounds or corner of the compound. Except we’d be wearing our Sunday best.

Every Sunday at around 8 or 830 AM, all the kids would head to their respective classrooms, while our parents or older siblings proceed to the chapel. We all meet again later, during Communion. And then after Mass, the community gathers for coffee at the Common Room. Sometimes, the Sunday School kids would mount a performance.

Fun times.

All those memories came back to me after seeing this short video.

Thank you indeed for all the support given to the ECP’s Sunday School programs. Though their own experiences may be different, I’m pretty sure that when these kids are as old as I am now, they will look back to these times with fondness.

Then I remembered too, that at some point I thought about volunteering for the children’s ministry of the Church. So why haven’t I? It would honor Auntie Leesah’s memory to do it (ask any Seminary kid of my generation and their Sunday School memories will not be complete without her). It would also be a way to give back to the Church who has given us so much.

I don’t even go to church regularly. Sad to say, but the only times I’ve been at church lately, is to attend a memorial mass for friends or loved ones who died. So I won’t make a promise today that soon I’ll be back on track, attending Mass, and volunteering for Sunday School. No I won’t make a promise I’ll break. But I am reminding myself today. Reminding myself that I’ve been looking for something new to be passionate about. I’ll never know if this is it all along if I don’t give it a try.

Did you have Sunday School at your church? What was it like?


When my grandfather was dying, also during the wake, and then for prayers after that, we naturally spent a lot of time singing hymns. Oh I love singing hymns. It’s one of the things I love about our church. Hymns.

Singing hymns gets me through things. A lot of times when you spend time contemplating you have the tendency to either be filled with gratefulness, or be overwhelmed with sadness.  A death in the family is undoubtedly a sad time. But singing hymns during the wake makes all the difference.

In these photos you’ll see three groups singing hymns for Papa – the teenagers with their Aunties (2nd row), the oldies (grandmothers), and the little ones.


Photo Jan 22, 2 37 54 AMPhoto Jan 22, 4 11 12 AM

So what got me thinking about hymns anyway? The Pioneer Woman posted an audio clip of her son singing my grandfather’s favorite song, Oh, what a beautiful morning. That post reminded me of when she posted a video of her son practicing As the Deer. Listen to both. Smile

A Statement of the ECP Council of Bishops seeking the release of the Morong 43

I’d like to share a statement released by our Council of Bishops regarding the Morong 43. I think my mom drafted this 🙂
Freedom for the 43 Health Workers

A month ago, some 300 elements of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police forcibly took into custody forty-three health workers from the rest house of Dr. Melecia Velmonte, a renowned and respected infectious disease specialist, a consultant at the Philippine General Hospital and a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. For a few days, they were denied visits of relatives and friends until after the intervention of the Commission on Human Rights. It is our understanding that the group was at the resort attending a health skills training sponsored by the Council for Health and Development (CHD), a non-government organization. Most of the participants were members of the CHD and of the Community Medicine Development Foundation (Commed), also a non-government organization. Amongst those arrested, we are specifically concerned over the conditions of Dr. Alex Montes, a member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and a former coordinator of their health ministries, and of Ms. Angela Dolorico, an Episcopalian who hails from Sagada, Mountain Province where most of our congregations are.

While the legality of their arrest is now being questioned in court, the 43 health workers have alleged that they have been abused physically and mentally and their basic rights deprived of them. We are aware that the Commission on Human Rights has intervened and has scheduled a hearing on these allegations on March 18th. We are also aware, however, of how the poor and the marginalized have long suffered from the lack of accessible health care services. It is non-government organizations that have filled-in this gap and who have engaged in the training of community health workers who work directly with communities in providing health education and care in far-flung communities or even in urban poor communities.

Health care and healing, which is the main concern of those in any form of medical practice, is a service that Jesus Christ Himself performed. It was, in a sense, a constant part of his teaching and preaching. In most cases, when we speak of miracles, it is usually in reference to an incident or occasion where healing is performed on one who had been regarded to be inflicted with an incurable disease. In fact, healing is one of the first services that the Episcopal Church established when it started its mission in the Philippines.

But the church’s concern goes beyond the healing of the sick and of those in discomfort. Jeremiah 33:6 says “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”(NIV) Indeed, here are the 43 health workers now themselves in a situation that requires healing – the healing of a nation that continues to allow the desecration of the rights of its people.

It is for this reason what we appeal to the authorities for the immediate release of these health workers. There is no place for injustice in any society, especially when such injustice is inflicted on those who seek to serve the least of our brethren.

For the Council of Bishops
Episcopal Church in the Philippines

Prime Bishop

Fairview Episcopal Resurrection Church (FERC)

I have so many photos to edit, and to share, and many stories I’d like to tell. There’s also the boyfriend’s blog that also needs updating. My Photo blog, and the new photography blog that I haven’t even started cooking up. Yet today, I’ll sidetrack all of those projects to post about FERC.

It would be best if you viewed the videos prepared by its members, because they own this story, and they are sharing it with everyone. Once upon a time, we were part of this congregation too, since we attended Church there while we lived in Fairview. My parents still sometimes go out there.

I share this with you today too because they’re story is so inspiring. It is a story of how a Church is a community of people. And how no Church can stand without the support of its people. That seems to be the story of our Church, The Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

Many of the faces you see in the videos are our friends and relatives. A lot of them I grew up playing with, or calling auntie or uncle.

Where am I in all these?

I still don’t know.

Celebrating Life and Family on All Souls’ Day

Sunday was All Souls’ Day.  On this day, as well as November 1st, Filipinos remember the faithfully departed and flock to cemeteries and columbariums to spend the day with their family and friends. 

It has often been wondered why the living seem to always feast during this festival for the dead. Some people don’t understand the need for a celebration

In truth, I didn’t fully appreciate it either, until recently. 

Since as far back as I could remember, my family and I would go to Caloocan to my paternal grandmother’s house in on November 1st so my Dad could visit his dad’s grave. The next day, we would all go with the rest of the family on my mom’s side, along with other families in our community, to South Cemetery to pray at my older brother’s grave.

My dad never really brought me to the cemetery where my grandfather was buried – it was always packed full of people and it would have been easy to lose kids amidst the chaos that the cemetery was on November 1st. When his remains were moved to my grandmother’s gravesite, I was already in highschool then, that was the only time that I was really able to say I visited his grave. 

The visits to the South Cemetery were always solemn. Since the plot where my older brother (who died when he was just eleven days old) is buried in is leased by the Church, his neighbors there are also other Church members (some of whom are probably distant relatives of ours). We would always have a priest along with us for those visits. The priest would lead the prayers, and we would sing a hymn or two. Some of the families (and probably my Lola too) would bring cold water/juice and light snacks that we all could partake of before we leave and head back home. 

It was an outing definitely, a commemoration of life. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: