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Dear Sir/ Madam:

Greetings from Cuyo Island Palawan!

We, the current PSU – Cuyo Graduate Class 2012 – 2013 have come up with various resolutions and advocates relating to good Public Governance. One is to conduct a “Medical Mission” for a target people this December 19, 2012 (tentative date) or by January 2013.

Regarding this, we are appealing to your foundation, offices and organization. Can you help us on these, as we target about 200 general check ups not to include circumcision, eye consultation and dental services.

We need a Medicine Donation for the mission.

Thank you, God bless and more power.

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Pedro Calungsod also known as Pedro Calonsor (born: 1654 – died: 2 April 1672) was a young Roman Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.

While in Guam, Calungsod preached C

hristianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing both infants, children and adults at the risk and expense of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores’ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.

Calungsod was formally beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that Calungsod will be canonised on 21 October 2012.

Saint Pedro Calungsod also known as Pedro Calonsor (born: 1654 – died: 2 April 1672) was a young Roman Catholic Filipino saint, migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.

While in Guam, Calungsod preached Christianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing both infants, children and adults at the risk and expense of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores‘ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.

Calungsod was formally beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. Calungsod was officially canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on 21 October 2012.

Early years and Missionary work

Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain, the benefactress of the mission to the Ladrones Islands.

Calungsod (spelled Calonsor in Spanish records) was born ca. 1654. Historical records never mentioned his exact place of origin and merely identified him as “Pedro Calonsor, El Visayo“. Historical research identifies Ginatilan in Cebu, Hinunangan and Hinundayan in Southern Leyte, and Molo district in Iloilo as probable places of origin. Loboc in Bohol also makes a claim.  These locations were parts of the “Diocese of Cebu” during the time of Calungsod’s martyrdom.

Few details of his early life prior to missionary work and death are known. It is probable that he received basic education at a Jesuit boarding school, mastering the Catechism and learning to communicate in Spanish. He likely honed his skills in drawing, painting, singing, acting, and carpentry as these were necessary in missionary work. Calungsod would have been expected to have some aptitude in serving in the Tridentine Mass (now known as the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite).

Calungsod, then around 14, was among the exemplary young catechists chosen to accompany the Jesuits in their mission to the Ladrones Islands (Islas de los Ladrones or “Isles of Thieves”). In 1668, Calungsod travelled with Spanish Jesuit missionaries to these islands, renamed the Mariana Islands (Las Islas de Mariana) the year before in honour of both the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Queen Regent of Spain, María Ana of Austria, who funded their voyage. Calungsod and San Vitores went to Guam to catechise the native Chamorros.

Missionary life was difficult as provisions did not arrive regularly, the jungles and terrain was difficult to traverse, and the islands were frequently devastated by typhoons. Despite all these, the mission persevered, and was able to convert a significant number of locals.

Martyrdom

A Chinese named Choco, a criminal from Manila who was exiled in Guam began spreading rumours that the baptismal water used by missionaries was poisonous. As some sickly Chamorro infants who were baptized eventually died, many believed the story and held the missionaries responsible. Choco was readily supported by the macanjas (medicine men) and the urritaos (young males) who despised the missionaries.

In their search for a runaway companion named Esteban, Calungsod and San Vitores came to the village of Tumon, Guam on 2 April 1672. There they learnt that the wife of the village chief Matapang gave birth to a daughter, and they immediately went to baptise the child. Influenced by the calumnies of Choco, the chief strongly opposed; to give Mata’pang some time to calm down, the missionaries gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the tenets of the Catholic religion. They invited Mata’pang to join them, but he shouted back that he was angry with God and was fed up with Christian teachings.

Determined to kill the missionaries, Mata’pang went away and tried to enlist another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian. Hirao initially refused, mindful of the missionaries’ kindness towards the natives, but when Mata’pang branded him a coward, he became piqued and capitulated. Meanwhile, during that brief absence of Mata’pang from his hut, San Vitores and Calungsod baptised the baby girl, with the consent of her Christian mother.

When Mata’pang learnt of his daughter’s baptism, he became even more furious. He violently hurled spears first at Pedro, who was able to dodge the spears. Witnesses claim that Calungsod could have escaped the attack, but did not want to leave San Vitores alone. Those who knew Calungsod personally meanwhile believed that he could have defeated the aggressors with weapons; San Vitores however banned his companions to carry arms. Calungsod was hit in the chest by a spear and he fell to the ground, then Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with machete blow to the head. San Vitores absolved Calungsod before he too was killed.

Mata’pang took San Vitores’ crucifix and pounded it with a stone whilst blaspheming God. Both assassins then denuded the corpses of Calungsod and San Vitroes, tied large stones to their feet, brought them out to sea on their proas and threw them into the water.The Catholic Church considers Calungsod’s martyrdom as committed In Odium Fidei (‘In Hatred of the Faith’), referring to the religious persecution endured by the person in evangelisation.

Beatification

Banner by Filipino artist Rafael del Casal depicting Calungsod during beatification rites in Vatican City, 2000.

A month after the martyrdom of San Vitores and Calungsod, a process for beatification was initiated but only for San Vitores. Political and religious turmoil, however, delayed and halted the process. When Hagåtña was preparing for its 20th anniversary as a diocese in 1981, the 1673 beatification cause of Padre Diego Luís de San Vitores was rediscovered in old manuscripts and revived until San Vitores was finally beatified on 6 October 1985. This gave recognition to Calungsod, paving the way for his own beatification.[13]

In 1980, then-Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal asked permission from the Vatican to initiate the beatification and canonisation cause of Pedro Calungsod. In March 1997, the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the acta of the diocesan beatification process. That same year, Cardinal Vidal appointed Fr Ildebrando Leyson as vice-postulator for the cause, tasked with compiling a Positio Super Martyrio (position regarding the martyrdom) to be scrutinised by the Congregation. The positio, which relied heavily on the documentation of San Vitores’ beatification, was completed in 1999.[14]

Wanting to include young Asian laypersons in his first beatification for the Jubilee Year 2000, John Paul II paid particular attention to the cause of Calungsod. In January 2000, he approved the decree super martyrio (concerning the martyrdom) of Calungsod, setting his beatification for 5 March 2000 at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

Regarding Calungsod’s charitable works and virtuous deeds, Pope John Paul II declared:

…From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr. Diego, but as a “good soldier of Christ” preferred to die at the missionary’s side.

 

Shortly before his scheduled canonisation, a Triduum of masses in honour of Calungsod were celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Augustine, the Church of the Gesù and the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major from 18-20 October. A wooden image of Calungsod approved by and flown in from the Archdiocese of Cebu was displayed for public veneration. Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales presided over the 20 October mass,[16] while Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay led the Philippine delegation along with Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes Arrastia Tuason.

Sainthood

A statue of Calungsod featured in an earlier model.

On 19 December 2011, the Holy See officially approved the miracle qualifying Calungsod for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.[17] The recognised miracle dates from 26 March 2003, when a woman from Leyte who was pronounced clinically dead by accredited physicians two hours after a heart attack was revived when an attending physician invoked Calungsod’s intercession.

Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the declaration ceremony on behalf of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He later revealed that Pope Benedict XVI approved and signed the official promulgation decrees recognising the miracles as authentic and worthy of belief. The College of Cardinals were then sent a dossier on the new saints, and they were asked to indicate their approval. On 18 February 2012, after the Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals, Cardinal Amato formally petitioned Pope Benedict XVI to announce the canonization of the new saints.[21] The Pope set the date for the canonisation on 21 October 2012 (World Mission Sunday), 340 years after Calungsod’s death.[22]

On 21 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Calungsod in Saint Peter’s Square. [1] Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal concelebrated with Pope Benedict XVI at the official canonisation Mass for Calungsod while among the seven new saints canonised, Calungsod was the only one without a first class relic exposed for veneration since his body was thrown into the sea. The cutlass knife, a second-class relic used to hack Calungsod’s head and neck however was retrieved by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal from Guam. During the papal homily, Pope Benedict XVI maintained that Calungsod received the Sacrament of Absolution from Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores before his martyrdom and death.

After Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Calungsod is the second Filipino to be declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Martyrology celebrates Calungsod’s feast along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores every 2 April.[23]

Birthplace issue

Various areas in the Visayan islands make the claim from which Pedro Calungsod was born and raised. An extensive research provided by the census research of Ginatilan, Cebu provided a longstanding record of Calonsor and Calungsod natives from their area, from which a strong claim had the most Calungsod natives originating since Filipino-Spanish era since the late 1700’s. According to the Parish Pastoral Council William Pancho of Ginatilan, Cebu, there is a strong claim that in the mid 1600’s, there were three Calungsod brothers:

  • Valerio Calungsor who migrated to Iloilo
  • Casimiro Calungsor who migrated to Bohol
  • Pablo Calungsor who remained in Ginatilan, Cebu and was the father of Pedro Calungsod.

In a public televised interview with ABS-CBN chief correspondent and newscaster Korina Sanchez, Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal emphasized his dismay that when the original beatification of Pedro Calungsod began in 1980’s, no province except for Ginatilan, Cebu wanted to make a claim on his place of birth. Consequently, when the canonization was approved, Catholic bishops from the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, and Iloilo and various Mindanao provinces wanted to claim Calungsod’s official birthplace.

As a result, Cardinal Vidal ruled that he will not establish a definitive judgment on his birthplace, since Spanish records only indicate the words “Pedro Calonsor, El Visayo” as his native description. Furthermore, he stated that all Visayan provinces were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Cebu during the Filipino-Spanish era.

Iconography

Calungsod is often portrayed clutching a Catechism book, notably the “Doctrina Christiana”. Only known surviving copy by Fray Juan de Plasencia. Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Circa 1590’s.

It is not known exactly what Calungsod looked like, as no contemporary depictions survive. The writer Alcina, who was a contemporary of Pedro Calungsod, described the male Visayan indios of his time as usually more corpulent, better built and somewhat taller than the Tagalogs in Luzon; that their skin was light brown in color; that their faces were usually round and of fine proportions; that their noses were flat; that their eyes and hair were black; that they— especially the youth—wore their hair a little bit long; and that they already started to wear camisas (shirts) and calzones (knee-breeches). Pedro Chirino, S.J., who also worked in the Visayas in the 1590s, similarly described the Visayans as well-built, of pleasing countenance and light-skinned.

Calungsod is often depicted as a teenaged young man wearing a camisa de chino that is sometimes bloodied, and usually dark loose trousers. His most popular attributes are the martyr’s palm pressed to his chest and the Doctrina Christiana. To indicate his missionary status, he is depicted in mid-stride, occasionally also bearing a rosary or crucifix. In some early statues, Calungsod is sometimes shown with a spear and catana (cutlass), the instruments of his death.

In art

The first portraits of Pedro Calungsod were drawings done by award-winning artist, sculptor, and designer Eduardo Castrillo[25] in 1994 for the Heritage of Cebu Monument in Parian. A bronze statue of Calungsod was made and now forms part of the monument. Sculptors Francisco dela Victoria and Vicente Gulane of Cebu and Justino Cagayat Jr. of Paete, Laguna, created statues of Calungsod in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

When the Archdiocese of Manila in 1998 published the pamphlet Pedro Calungsod: Young Visayan “Proto-Martyr” by Jesuit theologian Catalino Arevalo, the 17-year old Ronald Tubid of Oton, Iloilo, was chosen to model for a portrait of Calungsod.[27] This then became the basis for Rafael del Casal’s painting in 1999, which was chosen as the official portrait for Calungsod. The Del Casal portrait is the first to feature a Christogram, the seal of the Society of Jesus with which he was affiliated. The original painting is now enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City.

Several statues of Calungsod were also commissioned for the beatification, with one brought to Rome and blessed by John Paul II. This became the “Pilgrim Image”, now enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestro Padré Jesús de Nazareno of the Society of the Angel of Peace in Cansojong, Talisay City, Cebu. Another image is permanently enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City. Both images also depict Calungsod wearing a white camisa and trousers, with his characteristic palm, a rosary, and a crucifix pressed to his breast. During the novena before his feast day, a replica of the catana used to kill him is set into the arm of the statue.

Images

  • Bronze statue in Plaza Colon, Cebu City

  • Closeup of portrait at Archdiocesan shrine, Cebú

  • Processional Statue, Manila

  • Stained glass window, California, USA

  • Altar of St. James the Apostle Parish Church, Paombong, Bulacan

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – The visit of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the first by a French leader in 65 years, indicated the “deepening relationship” with the Philippines and a sign that France was ready to engage the Philippines as a “vibrant and dynamic partner,” officials said Friday.

Following talks with Ayrault and witnessing the signing of two agreements with France in Malaca?ang Friday night, President Benigno Aquino III said the visit was “an affirmation of how we value the development of a more dynamic and robust partnership” between the two nations.

“This is a partnership that enjoys a firm foundation,” Aquino said, citing the visit of his mother, the late President Corazon C. Aquino, to France in 1989.

Aquino’s late mother was an honored guest during the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989.

Aquino conveyed the Filipino people’s gratitude to France for being one-the first nation-to extend recognition to his mother’s government following the ouster of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos by a people’s uprising that was hailed around the world.

He said France has remained a partner in “upholding democracy and pursuing development.”

Wide-ranging talks

Aquino and Ayrault tackled a wide range of issues, including boosting trade, economic and cultural ties, as well as regional security and the Philippines’ territorial maritime dispute with China.

“On matters of regional and international concerns, especially with regard to maritime territorial disputes, the Philippines and France shared a commitment to peaceful settlement on rules-based approach in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law,” Aquino said.

Both countries agreed to reactivate their “political consultations process,” hoping that it would lead to a more focused and coherent direction to bilateral engagement, the President said.

The visit by Ayrault sent a “strong signal” that French companies are noticing the reforms initiated by the administration and the positive economic developments, he said.

Praise for Aquino

Ayrault said the warm reception was a sign of the “great friendship” between two people. He said his visit was the first by a French head of government, and he was “particularly happy” to be in Manila.

He praised Aquino for his own “struggle” for liberty, freedom and democracy, and vision to bring development to the country, and for his role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“You never gave in, you never gave up,” he said, recalling the 1983 assassination of his father, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., and the death of his mother in 2009.

“You’ve always fought for peaceful settlement of disputes in this region, be it domestically or be it with other countries,” the prime minister added.

Ayrault said he looked forward to a “healthy trade with the Philippines.” He said the Philippine strategy for economic development “builds trust of investors” in the country.

“This is a good time to improve trust and confidence by investors because we do want to restore healthy exchanges, economically speaking and in terms of trade. We would like a healthy balance of trade,” he said.

Grand exhibition

Ayrault pledged a grant from France of $482,204 (20 million pesos) for the study of biomass energy production. The grant will fund a feasibility study on the use of rice straw to generate electricity with a view to installing power stations in rural areas and replicating these in other rice-producing countries of Southeast Asia.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement for the holding of a grand exhibition to be called “Philippines-Art of Exchange” in Paris, to run from April 9 to July 21, 2013, at Mus?e du Quai Branly.

The French prime minister invited Aquino to visit France and open the exhibition.

The Quai Branly Museum is France’s premier museum for indigenous arts and culture, and features the art, cultures and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Philippine foreign affairs officials said the exhibition would place the Philippines on the cultural map of France and draw thousands of foreign visitors and generate wide publicity for the country.

Head of gov’t

The Philippines and Singapore will be the first Asian countries to be visited by Ayrault, who heads the government and the Cabinet of France. President Francois Hollande is France’s head of state.

Ayrault, who was appointed last May, served as mayor of Nantes, France’s sixth largest city, from 1989 to 2012. He led the ruling French Socialist Party in the National Assembly from 1997 to 2012. He is one of the closest advisers to President Hollande.

“It’s the first time that the prime minister [is visiting] the Philippines. And it’s significant in the sense that it sends the signal that there’s a renewed interest in the Philippines after the 1986 People Power Revolution,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

Economic relations between the two countries have been steadily growing since establishing diplomatic relations in 1947. Bilateral trade totaled $1.143 billion in 2011, with French investments reaching 1.145 billion pesos, the officials said.

Ayrault and his 130-member delegation were given arrival honors on the Palace grounds Friday before the two leaders sat down for bilateral talks.

Later in the evening, the President hosted a state dinner for Ayrault and visiting French officials at Rizal Ceremonial Hall.

US$1=41.3 pesos

MANILA — A new cybercrime law in the Philippines that could see people sentenced to 12 years in jail for posting defamatory comments on Facebook or Twitter is generating outrage among netizens and rights groups.

The stated aim of the cybercrime law is to fight online pornography, hacking, identity theft and spamming in the conservative Catholic nation amid police complaints they lack the legal tools to stamp out Internet crime.

However it also includes a blanket provision that puts the country’s criminal libel law into force in cyberspace, except that the penalties for Internet defamation are much tougher compared with old media.

It also allows authorities to collect data from personal user accounts on social media and listen in on voice/video applications, such as Skype, without a warrant.

Teenagers unwarily retweeting or re-posting libelous material on social media could bear the full force of the law, according to Noemi Dado, a prominent Manila blogger who edits a citizen media site called Blog Watch.

“Not everyone is an expert on what constitutes libel. Imagine a mother like me, or teenagers and kids who love to rant. It really hits our freedoms,” Dado told AFP.

Compounding the concerns, those teenagers or anyone else who posts a libelous comment faces a maximum prison term of 12 years and a fine of one million pesos ($24,000).

Meanwhile, newspaper editors and other trained professionals in traditional media face prison terms of just four years and fines of 6,000 pesos.

While harsh criminal libel legislation remains in force in other parts of Asia, Dado said the Philippine law sent the wrong signal in a country that overthrew the military-backed Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship just 26 years ago.

Dado, a lawyer’s wife known in the local online community as the “momblogger”, is among a group of bloggers and other critics of the libel element of the cybercrime law campaigning for it to be repealed.

Brad Adams, Asia director for New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the law was having a chilling effect in the Philippines, which has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of Facebook and Twitter users.

“Anybody using popular social networks or who publishes online is now at risk of a long prison term should a reader — including government officials — bring a libel charge,” Adams said.

About a third of the Philippines’ nearly 100 million people use the Internet, with 96 percent them on Facebook, according to industry figures.

Five petitions claiming the law is unconstitutional have been filed with the Supreme Court.

Senator Teofisto Guingona, the lone opponent when the bill was voted on in the Senate, has filed one of the petitions to the Supreme Court.

“Without a clear definition of the crime of libel and the persons liable, virtually any person can now be charged with a crime — even if you just re-tweet or comment on an online update or blog post,” Guingona told the court.

“The questioned provisions… throw us back to the Dark Ages.”

The five petitions all say the law infringes on freedom of expression, due process, equal protection and privacy of communication.

University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque, who filed one of the petitions, said the Philippines was one of a shrinking number of countries where defamation remained a crime punishable by prison.

Part of the penal code that was drawn up 82 years ago, it goes against the trend in many advanced democracies such as the United States and Britain where defamation is now punished with fines rather than imprisonment, Roque said.

Amid the public backlash, some of the senators who voted for the cybercrime law have started to disassociate themselves from it, even claiming they did not read the provision on libel.

However presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda has defended the cybercrime law.

“The Cybercrime Act sought to attach responsibilities in cyberspace…. freedom of expression is always recognized but freedom of expression is not absolute,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Lacierda said the law could still be refined.

He called for critics to submit their concerns to a government panel that will issue by the end of the year specific definitions of the law, such as who may be prosecuted. — AFP

REPOST: Today, October 2, the Supreme Court sitting en banc is set to hear several petitions for prohibition against the Cybercrime Prevention Law. If the high court junks these petitions and disapproves the request for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the Cybercrime Prevention Law will take effect the following day, forever changing the Internet landscape in the Philippines — possibly even killi ng Internet freedom. As a sign of protest, please take down your profile pictures and cover photos and change it to a simple black image. We also call on website administrators in the Philippines to take down/blacken their websites starting 12 midnight in protest of the looming implementation of the draconian law. There are several plugins available in the net to do so (GIYF). With enough websites participating, we can be a formidable force that can compel the government to think twice. ================================== Our dear Filipino netizens, the government is taking the Internet away from us. It is but just to reclaim it in all ways possible. NETIZENS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

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Come and Visit Cuyo Island Palawan Philippine for the best windsurfing ever in your life. the wind here is nice and cool, this October to February start for hanging amihan and Hanging habagat

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Well… that’s how excited Filipinos are for the Christmas holiday. Being a Catholic country, Philippines have earned the distinction of celebrating the longest and the merriest Christmas season in the world. The suffix “ber” in the months is the signal and it begins today, September 1st!

So… Merry Christmas to our Filipino friends in the Philippines as well as to everyone in the world!