by Akiko John Domingo
'Judgment Day', 'The Time of Great Purification', 'The Shift of the Ages', 'The Time of Trial on Earth', and 'Armageddon' are just some of the distinctions the world used to label the 'end of days'.
As many as the designations of this universe to 'The Quickening' were the assumptions on when the said event will happen.
Different explanations, various interpretations, and sundry justifications were executed and established concerning the asserted series of events; however, none have been approved nor assented.
The Mayans and their Calendar
The Mayans, without a doubt, can be recounted as one of the world's 'unequivocal reckoners' because of their globally known feats on the fields of arts, architecture, mathematics, and other sciences. They built different monuments, shrines, mementos and pyramids with ceremonious viewpoints and solemn estimations. But do their reverential ledging of chronicles and details be able to surmise and presume the exact day of 'Apocalypse?'
The Mayans discerned 'dates' as complex ethereal cycles. As a fact, each of their days had its monopolize guardian spectre, hence, the Mayan Calendar was pious and reverent in disposition.
On 21 December 2012, the Mayan Calendar will officially halt. On this period, the Mayan majestic cycle of evolution and development will reach its ending point. They believe that the said date will lead to a hitmost ‘incorporeal’ arousal of the Earth.
As we are cresting in the direction of this certain date, they apprehended, changes will happen and it will continue until the Day of the Apocalypse.
The 'Popol Vuh'
The 'Popol Vuh' is the consolidated compilation of the creation history of the 'K'iche Maya' of the Colonial Era. Harmonizing to this, we are dwelling in the 'fourth world'.
The conversed account described the gods who created the first three worlds yet all was unsuccessful, heeded by a very triumphant fourth world, in which the mankind was disposed.
In the 'Maya Long Count', the yester world concluded after 5,125 years. The zero date of the Long Count marks the end of the third world and the start of the fourth world.Thus, the fourth world will end after 5,125 years, identical to the third world, and that will be on the Mayan date188.8.131.52.0 or the 21 December 2012.
The Planet Nibiru
Planet Nibiru, or Planet X, is associated with doomsday because others believe that it will either shun or collide with Earth by 2012. At first, this conception initially foretells doomsday on May 2003, but zealots trashed it after the planet eschew without any damage to Earth.
The Galactic Alignment
Other people proposed that the Earth will be destroyed by a 'multi-planet alignment.' But experts said that there will be no conjunction on 21 December 2012. As a fact, 'multiplanet alignment' already happened in both 2000 and 2010, nevertheless, it did not affect our beloved planet.
The Prophecy of the Popes
Saint Malachy, a 12th-century bishop from Ireland was invoked by Pope Innocent II to Rome. While there, the saint gistedly encountered a mirage of future popes. He mentioned the current Pope's chosen name- Benedict XVI. Surprisingly, the 111th Pope in history is Benedict XVI and the 111th Pope according to Saint Malachy is also Benedict XVI.
The question now is: Will it be Pope Benedict XVI, the second to the last Pope, whose death will beacon the 112th Pope- Peter the Roman?
There are so many other guesses and theories that pertains to 21 December 2012 as the doomsday. But Christians and other people who believe in Christ as his one and only Redeemer must remember what is written: "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”
by Arriane Mae Tristan
The media has been a very useful tool to easily disseminate news to the public. It can inform large number of people through print (newspapers) which contains recent events from page to page, the broadcast (television) which delivers information daily and shows a breaking-news-reportage whenever unexpected happenings occur, plus the bonus of having the online media (internet) at our sides where we can get an oh-so-quick updates with just one click. But the PJR Reports once stated that media sometimes get biased and unfair, and it has its own flaws despite of its natural strengths.
The media’s coverage concerning the killing of the Italian priest Fausto Tenorio, Ramgen Bautista (son of former Senator Revilla SR.) and Ricky Pempengco (father of singer Charice) was one of the manifestations of the press being ‘unneutral’ when covering high-profile crimes by focusing on more sensational events. Tenorio’s murder gradually fades out of the scene when the news about Bautista and Pempengco broke out.
It only shows that the nation’s fourth estate plays an important role when it comes to resolving cases, and being unfair and biased was a quite mistake then.
The press has the ability to monitor an essential topic. For that matter, gaining media’s attention swift up the investigations and the steps that will surely help the progress of a specific issue just like what happened to the murder cases of Bautista and Pempengco, not knowing that Tenorio’s case was being abandoned. The priest’s slain case remained unsolved when the coverage capturing his story stopped as it focus to the sudden death of Ramgen and Ricky which had already a lot of exposures in print, broadcast and online media.
Tales of the Italian priest’s goodness made it through the pages of the newspapers, but the real reason behind the killing and the identity of the killers was not fully elaborated, while the photos and videos of a crying Magsaysay and of Charice and her mother, conquers both print and broadcast media for days.
In this field, there’s no room for biased news, so the press have to make more efforts to set their eyes neutral; it’s the media’s work to cover a certain news that has erupted and inform the public for the updates, but still, it’s a must for them to be equal and impartial.
by Kattryn Erryc Sayo
Having been controlled by different races, the modern Filipinos are undoubtedly a blend of different cultures. Being under the power and influence of different foreign invaders, Filipinos came out with varied set of values in the modern world.
Troubling Changes Through Time
Nowadays, Filipinos are still easily influenced by different races and culture. Even without the presence of colonization and invasion, Filipinos’ way of life can still be manipulated. This has been apparent as a result of today’s modern living. Because of the great impact within the realms of modern technology, people from every part of the world are highly connected from one another. With just a click on the television, a browse on books and magazines, or a click on the internet, a Filipino’s manners are at risk of being changed.
One good example of the effects of modernization to a Pinoy’s manner is the attitude of being liberated. Because of obsession for foreign beauty and issues, many Filipinos seemed to be inclined to foreign values and way of living and one of these is the concept of being aggressive and liberated. In the past, if a woman and man hold each other’s hand, they should get married; but in today’s reality, a man or woman can hold hands, kiss and hug with whomever they want without the need for marriage. In the past, a woman should not let her body be seen by other people; but now, even young Filipinos do the opposite and are sometimes involved in disgracing pictures and videos. In the past, being an unmarried pregnant woman is a huge humiliation; but now, it is just an ordinary scenario.
One more distinction is a Filipino’s social life. At the present time, Filipinos are likely to be more predisposed to modern technology. Before, people hang out together; mingling is one form of leisure. Now, there are social networking websites that people became contented even without seeing each other, and instead of socializing, they satisfy themselves by just playing online games, etc.
Another alteration in the Filipino traits is the use of violence and sense of disrespect. Yes, violence and disrespect were already there in the past, but not like now that it came to the point wherein even the youth engage in immoral affairs. In the past, children obey their parents, people obey the laws. Today, children became rebellious and are even suspects in crimes.
Seeing the Light
Not all changes are bad. If there are negative changes rooting from the past, there are also positive effects that ware brought about by these changes.
Remember when Filipinos were obstructed to have freedom under the authority of colonizers? That was one thing to prove that Filipinos weren’t able to do what they want; their rights were trashed. Another thing is that families are awfully strict that desires and yearnings were not easy to attain. But nowadays, almost all Filipinos are very fortunate to experience 100% liberty. Right and privileges are always valued, and they can do things whenever and wherever they want to. Yet, this freedom always causes both positive and negative results to occur. Still, many Filipinos, particularly the youth, don’t know that culpability always comes with freedom.
An important issue related to this is gender equality. Dating back from the past, men takes superiority while women lives in mediocrity. All rights and privileges are mostly enjoyed by men. Even a high-class women weren't allowed full advantage when it comes to living. But in today's time, men and women share equal rights and dignity.
A Filipino will always be a Filipino
These changes in Filipino traits are not considered as a sweeping statement. It does not necessarily mean that all Filipinos do the same negative things. These are merely an observation of the differences and transformations that happened over the years.
Changes may have been mostly from positive to negative, but those changes will never be permanent. Those are just mere influences acquired through time. As always, a Filipino’s original morals and principles will never be ignored and forgotten. Filipinos will always be known for warm hospitality, close family ties, love for freedom, bravery, humility and hard-work.
In these days wherein modernization claims superiority over traditionalism, one can surely differentiate a Filipino from the past and a Filipino in the present times. But despite the changes in assets and characteristics, traits from the past still exist in in the heart of every Filipino.
by Kattryn Erryc Sayo
The Philippines is one of the richest and most wonderful when it comes to natural environment. It has been famous for its clean rivers, clear ocean waters and green forests and mountains. But as time goes by, the once nature-wealthy country has been gradually suffering from environmental degradation- rivers turn black, seas and oceans become pool of garbage, and forests and mountains run out of resources. It may still be acceptable if the devastations are caused by natural catastrophes, but reality speaks it all: humans are the ones responsible for these disheartening destructions in nature.
Pilgrimage for a Cause
Sierra Madre is one of the highly-devastated natural areas in the country. Because of continuous deforestation and mining, the place, which major purpose is to prevent serious damages from natural calamities, has become the reason for more critical wreckages. This has become evident during the surge of typhoon Ondoy in the year 2009, wherein the big floods came from the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Because of that alarming incident, a group named Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance thought of a way on how to prevent further nature destructions. There came out Ang Paglalakbay ng Krus ng Sierra Madre, PADYAK (Pagpapanumbalik sA Dating KaaYusAn ng Kalikasan). The non-government project aims to: stimulate the consciousness of Filipinos about the hazardous effects of the destruction of Sierra Madre; to ignite our love for the environment and be aware that environment is life; to motivate people to take action in saving and protecting our nature; and to enliven our spirits and carry on God’s mission of promoting love and life.
Fr. Pete Montallana, the chairperson of the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance shared how the pilgrimage began,“Umisip kami ng paraan kung papaano mapapalalim ang awareness ng tao tungkol sa environment, lalo na sa Sierra Madre na tuluy-tuloy ang pagkasira. Ang naisip namin ay i-pilgrimage ang krus ng Sierra Madre, na pattern doon sa atingJubilee cross. Alam naman natin na Sierra Madre ang dahilan kung bakit grabe ang Ondoy, sa bundok kasi nanggagaling ‘yong baha. Dahil rin sa Ondoy kaya naisip namin ang proyektong ito, to commemorate ‘yong mga namatay.”
Ms. Tessie Calayag, a member of the Diocese of Malolos Diocesan Environment and Ecology Program, shared the history of the cross, “Nung 1960’s nagsimulang masalanta ang Sierra Madre. Sa panahong ding ‘yon sinimulang gawin ‘yong krus.‘Yong ating cross ay gawa sa pira-pirasong kahoy mula sa nasalantang puno, na pinagdugtong-dugtong ng ating mga katutubong Ifugao.”
Journey of the Cross
The plan had been put into action for the first time just this year. Every time the cross arrives at a new destination, a mass and a lecture are conducted. Starting from the archdiocese of Tuguegarao, and travelling from one diocese to another, the Sierra Madre cross had made its way in the province of Bulacan. On June 25, the cross arrived at the parish of San Miguel, Poblacion; on June 28, it reached the parish of Sta. Monica in Angat; and on June 30, the cross entered the Diocese of Malolos.
According to Fr. Pete Montallana, the journey of the cross had generated positive results. He said, “Hindi na natatakot ang mga tao to make a stand for the environment. Marami ang nalilinawan na kailangan nating pangalagaan ang kalikasan. In fact sa Nueva Ecija, may nahuling nagmimina na walang papeles. Hindi na natatakot ang mga tao na umaksyon.”
Fr. Pete desires for the continuance of this pilgrimage. “I think we have to continue kasi hindi naman natitigil ang pagkasira ng Sierra Madre hanggang ngayon eh,” he said.
Stand Up For Nature
In these days that ecological damages are rampant in the country, many Filipinos are still not aware of the severe condition of the environment. Though others are conscious, they do not put even a little concern or effort to prevent further destructions.
Lloyd Christopher Rendon, a cyclist who joined the pilgrimage, shared, “Palagi kaming sumasali sa mga environmental events, support na rin namin ito para sa pagpigil sa patuloy na pagwasak sa ating environment.”
Ms. Tessie Calayag shared an environmental project as a stand up for nature. “Sa September 26 magkakaroon ngTree Planting sa Sierra Madre. Aim naming makapagtanim ng 10,000 seedlings. Lahat maaring sumali,” she said.
The recovery of Sierra Madre and the entire environment is in the hands of the people. The self-centered destroyers must stop, and the defenders should stand up and act. Just like what Fr. Pete said in his lecture, “Hindi lamang sa DENRnakasalalay ang kalikasan. Kailangan pati tayo ay makisangkot.”
Taking responsibility in nature is not just for a meantime, it requires lifetime persistence. It’s not like acting now and forgetting about it tomorrow. It must be an everyday duty. “Kung tayo ay magtatanim, aalagaan natin. Hindi ‘yong magtatanim nga tayo pero pababayaan naman, wala ring mangyayari,” said Mr. Elizardo Alberto of PENRO Bulacan.
There is a need for understanding and reformation of attitudes and concern towards the protection of environment. People must always keep in mind that nature is a very important factor in our lives. Imagine a world without it, how can people survive?
“Ang pagtatanggol sa kalikasan ay pagtatanggol ng buhay. Kapag pinabayaan natin ang kalikasan, pinabayaan din natin ang buhay,” Fr. Pete said.