Month: January 2015

WATCH: PNoy now giving his eulogy at the necrological service at Camp Bagong Diwa

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WATCH: PNoy now giving his eulogy at the necrological service at Camp Bagong Diwa.


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The Pasay City Government, through the Pasay City Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), regularly conducts programmed rescue operations of street children throughout the year within the City and not just for the Papal Visit.

PSWDO Head Rosalinda Orobia said that “the continuous year-long rescue operation are scheduled based on pre-planning and pre-programming of the mission to save children who are born on the streets and children who live in the streets.”

“It is because of this continuous rescue operations within 2014, especially December, that the number of rescued children have markedly decreased.  The rescue operations is a year-round standard activity. It is not because of the Papal Visit,” Orobia stressed.

The PSWDO conducts four (4) rescue operations are every month where children from Pasay temporarily and safely stay at children’s home. This serves as a home for the rescued street children while the Social Development Center located at the MIA that can shelter almost a hundred children is still under renovation.

Children at the center are safely cared for a week or less, and as soon as individual Case Conferences for each child have been conducted with the presence of the parent/s, the Barangay Captain and an assigned social worker, the child will be released to his or her parent/guardian.

Meanwhile, non-Pasay street children are brought to the Nayon ng Kabataan in Mandaluyong and the Haven for Children in Muntinlupa. Both are youth homes under the care and management of the DSWD-National.

Pasay City Administrator Atty. Dennis Acorda said that “the City made it its mission to care for our children. We implement programs and projects specifically for children from birth to education to health care, among others.”

“Street children, for instance, are being rescued from the streets, rigidly undergo counseling together with their parents and are given education and the needed assistance towards their integration to mainstream society,” Atty Acorda said.

Acorda added that “the rescue operations are conducted on a planned and periodic basis throughout the year, not because of the Papal Visit alone.”

Atty. Acorda stressed that the children that were reportedly to be detained during the Papal visit are not from Pasay City and emphasized that “we have no cases of abuse or any related violation among any of our social workers in the City.”


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Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto today thanked all Pasayenos and visitors of the City for their restraint and discipline displayed during the Pope Francis’ five-day Visit to the Philippines.

Mayor Calixto said that “Pasay, the Travel City, was the first and last stop of Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines. The window of the country was first and last gleaned at the Villamor Airbase and Roxas Blvd., both in the City of Pasay.”

The SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay with a maximum seating capacity of 20,000 was also the venue of Pope  Francis’ “Meeting with the Families” held last January 16.

An estimate of almost 4 million people have packed Roxas Blvd, the Edsa Extension towards the MOA globe and the SM Arena parking lot and grounds during the same Papal  activity. There are only three cities in the country that the Holy Father set foot on — Manila, Tacloban and Pasay.

“I am thanking all Pasayenos and the visitors who visited the City to see the Pope for their cooperation and discipline on this five-day historic event,” Mayor Calixto added.

The discipline demonstrated by Pasayenos during the Papal Visit was even  noted by the National Agencies as mentioned by the media.

The Pasay Chief Local Executive also expressed gratitude to all the City Government’s Departments and Offices which have tirelessly provided support to the National Organizing Committee of the Papal Visit including security from the Pasay PNP; traffic management from the Pasay Traffic Management Office, and, quick emergency response from the Pasay Rescue whose seven (7) stations posted along the Papal route have reported to have responded to minor medical cases such as dizziness, among others.

Mayor Calixto also thanked the Pasay Tricycle and Pedicab Franchise Regulatory Office (TPFRO) for being the City’s Central Communications as well as the Pasay Public Information Office for real-time tradititional and social media advisories.

“City Adminstrator Acorda ably organized and operationalized the City’s response to the National Papal Visit Plan. Pasay is more than ready for the coming APEC Summit Meeting  this year as yet again Pasay is in the forefront of this awaited gathering of world leaders in the country” Mayor Calixto stressed.

San Miguel Beermen is the 2014 Philippine Cup Champion

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The San Miguel Beermen won the Game 7 of the Philippine Cup championship, but not without a scare from the Aces. The Beermen were shooting hot from the outside from the start of the game and were up by as much as 23 points in the 2nd quarter.

After the first half the Beermen outscored the Aces 48 to 27 and also out-rebounded them 26 to 14.
At the start of the third quarter, Alaska Aces intensified their defense by putting up a full court press. Abueva started the Aces’ run by 6 consecutive points. At the end of the 3rd the aces were only down by three after a 32 to 14 run.
Which seems to be another amazing comeback from the Aces, Game was tied at 68 in the 6 minute mark of the 4th, and the aces eventually took the lead with less than 6 minutes left of the game.
The Aces were up, 76-72 at the 2 minute and 47 second mark.
Tubid drained a 2 pointer after a missed 3 point shot from Lassiter, giving only Alaska a 2 point lead entering the last 2 minutes of the game.
Sonny Thoss answered, giving Alaska a 4-point lead. Thoss gave up a foul at the other end of the court giving 2 free throws to Chris Lutz with 1:15 seconds left.
Casio missed a 3-pointer giving SMB a chance to tie the game or even take the lead.
Arwind Santos nailed the shot of the game, a 3 pointer which gave the beermen the lead with 43.7 seconds left.
SMB needing a stop, Arwind Santos grabbed a rebound after a missed attempt from Sonny Thoss.
Cabagnot calls SMB’s last time out in 19.9 second mark. Casio fouled Arwind after the inbound. Arwind splits two free throws.
Abueva missed 2 shots, then SMB was slapped with a technical foul after Ronald Tubid called an illegal timeout after the Abueva miss.
Hontiveros was unable to drain the technical free throw.
With 2.8 seconds left in the game, Beermen ahead by two, 80 to 78, a jumpball was called between Fajardo and Abueva after a scrambled inbound from Lutz.
The Beast won the jump and the ball went to Casio’s hand, with Tubid defending, Casio was not able to sink the last shot of the game giving coach Leo Austria’s 1st PBA championship and the Beermen’s 5th All Filipino crown.
The Beermen last won the prestigious cup in 2001.
Arwind Santos was named the Finals MVP finishing the game with 21 points.


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Alaska Aces ties the series with an 87 to 76 win over San Miguel Beermen. Catch Game 7 on Wednesday, January 21 7 pm at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

San Miguel Beermen
Alaska Aces




VERBATIM: Pope Francis’ Homily in Quirino Grandstand (January 18, 2015)

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Here is Pope Francis’ homily in full text during his mass before millions of Filipinos at the Quirino Grandstand. 

A child is born to us, a son is given us ” (Is 9:5). It is a special joy for me to celebrate Santo Niño Sunday with you. The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the scepter, the globe and the cross he continues to remind us of the link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this in today’s Gospel: “ Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Mk 10 :15). The Santo Niño continues to proclaim to us that the light o f God’s grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guiding us in the paths o f peace, right and justice. The Santo Niño also reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world. 


In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: “We are all God’s children”. That is what the Santo Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family. Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon. 

The Apostle tells us that because God chose us, we have been richly blessed! God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Ep h 1:3). These words have a special resonance in the Philippines, for it is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God , a blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.

 God chose and blessed us for a purpose: to be holy and blameless in his sight. He chose us, each of us to be witnesses of his truth and his justice in this world. He created the world as a beautiful garden and asked us to care for it. But through sin, man has disfigured that natural beauty; through sin, man has also destroyed the unity and beauty of our human family, creating social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption.

 Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God’s plan for us is, and always has been, the lie.

 The devil is the father of lies. Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being “modern”, “like everyone else”. He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. 

 We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: to forget at heart that we are children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.

 The Santo Niño also reminds us that this identity must be protected. The Christ Child is the protector of this great country. When he came into the world, his very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus himself needed to be protected. He had an earthly protector: Saint Joseph. He had an earthly family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. So he reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family. Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.  In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, he embraces them and blesses them (Mk 10:16). We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets. 

 It was a frail child, in need of protection, who brought God’s goodness, mercy and justice into the world. He resisted the dishonesty and corruption which are the legacy of sin, and he triumphed over them by the power of his cross. Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to Him, to Jesus who came among us as a child. May he enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace. May the Santo Niño continue to bless the Philippines and to sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world. 

 And please, don’t forget to pray for me! God bless you all!

WATCH: Pope Francis’ Homily in Quirino Grandstand (January 18, 2015)

Pope Francis’ undelivered speech to UST youth encounter (January 18, 2015)

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Below is prepared speech of Pope Francis’ for the “Encounter with the Youth” event at the University of Santo Tomas, Sunday, January 18. He, however, after hearing the question of 12-year old once homeless, Glyzelle Palomar, he decided to deliver an impromptu homily in Spanish which was translated in English by Msgr. Mark Gerard Miles.



Dear young friends,

It is a joy for me to be with you this morning. I greet each of you from the heart, and I thank all those who made this meeting possible. During my visit to the Philippines, I wanted in a particular way to meet with young people, to listen to you and to talk with you. I want to express the love and the hopes of the Church for you. And I want to encourage you, as Christian citizens of this country, to offer yourselves passionately and honestly to the great work of renewing your society and helping to build a better world.

In a special way, I thank the young people who have offered words of welcome to me. They have expressed eloquently, in your name, your concerns and worries, your faith and your hopes. They have spoken of the difficulties and the expectations of the young. Although I cannot respond to each of these issues at length, I know that, together with your pastors and among yourselves, you will prayerfully consider them and make concrete proposals for action in your lives. 

Today I would like to suggest three key areas where you have a significant contribution to make to the life of your country. The first of these is the challenge of integrity. The word “challenge” can be understood in two ways. First, it can be understood negatively, as a temptation to act against your moral convictions, what you know to be true, good and right. Our integrity can be challenged by selfish interest, greed, dishonesty, or the willingness to use other people.

But the word “challenge” can be also understood positively. It can be seen as invitation to courage, a summons to bear prophetic witness to what you believe and hold sacred. In this sense, the challenge of integrity is something which you have to face now, at this time in your lives. It is not something you can put off until you are older or have greater responsibilities. Even now you are challenged to act with honesty and fairness in your dealings with others, young and old alike. Do not avoid the challenge! One of the greatest challenges young people face is learning to love. To love means to take a risk: the risk of rejection, the risk of being taken advantage of, or worse, of taking advantage of another. Do not be afraid to love! But in love, too, maintain your integrity! Here too, be honest and fair!

In the reading we have just heard, Paul tells Timothy: “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” (1 Tim 4:12).

You are called, then, to set a good example of integrity. Naturally, in doing this, you will encounter opposition, negativity, discouragement, and even ridicule. But you have received a gift which enables you to rise above those difficulties. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you nurture this gift by daily prayer and draw strength from sharing in the Eucharist, you will be able to achieve that moral greatness to which Jesus calls you. You will also be a compass to those of your friends who are struggling. I think especially of these young people who are tempted to lose hope, to abandon their high ideals, to drop out of school, or to live from day to day on the streets.

So it is essential not to lose your integrity! Not to compromise your ideals! Not to give in to temptation against goodness, holiness, courage and purity! Rise to the challenge! With Christ, you will be – indeed you already are! – the architects of a renewed and more just Filipino culture.

A second key area where you are called to make a contribution is in showing concern for the environment. This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change. You are called to care for creation not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers of Christ! Respect for the environment means more than simply using cleaner products or recycling what we use. These are important aspects, but not enough. We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation (cf. Gen 1:26-28). As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.

Three months ago, your Bishops addressed these issues in a prophetic Pastoral Letter. They asked everyone to think about the moral dimension of our activities and lifestyles, our consumption and our use of the earth’s resources. Today I ask you to do this in the context of your own lives and your commitment to the building up of Christ’s kingdom. Dear young people, the just use and stewardship of the earth’s resources is an urgent task, and you have an important contribution to make. You are the future of the Philippines. Be concerned about what is happening to your beautiful land!

A final area in which you can make a contribution is one dear to all of us. It is care for the poor. We are Christians. We are members of God’s family. No matter how much or how little we have individually, each one of us is called to personally reach out and serve our brothers and sisters in need. There is always someone near us in need, materially, emotionally, spiritually. The greatest gift we can give to them is our friendship, our concern, our tenderness, our love for Jesus. To receive Jesus is to have everything; to give him is to give the greatest gift of all.

Many of you know what it is to be poor. But many of you have also experienced something of the blessedness that Jesus promised to “the poor in spirit” (cf Mt 5:3). Here I would say a word of encouragement and gratitude to those of you who choose to follow our Lord in his poverty through a vocation to the priesthood and the religious life; by drawing on that poverty you will enrich many. But to all of you, especially those who can do more and give more, I ask: Please, do more! Please, give more! When you give of your time, your talents and your resources to the many people who struggle and who live on the margins, you make a difference. It is a difference that is so desperately needed, and one for which you will be richly rewarded by the Lord. For, as he has said: “you will have treasure in heaven” (Mk 10:21).

Twenty years ago, in this very place, Saint John Paul II said that the world needs “a new kind of young person” – one committed to the highest ideals and eager to build the civilization of love. Be those young persons! Never lose your idealism! Be joyful witnesses to God’s love and the beautiful plan he has for us, for this country and for the world in which we live. Please pray for me. God bless you all!