Posts Tagged ‘Manila Observatory’
On the problem of crowd estimation for the Aug. 4, 2012 EDSA prayer rally: an interview for CBCP News
My estimate of the crowd size during the Aug. 4 EDSA Prayer Rally was featured in CBCP News. I was then asked by CBCP News to answer a few follow-up questions. But since I tend to answer in paragraphs and not in sentences, I think my response would not fit into a regular news column. So I’ll post my responses here and CBCP News can simply copy parts of it or repost the whole thing:
1.) Why did you feel you needed to come out with this crowd estimate, considering that other groups had come out with their figures?
After coming from the Aug. 4 EDSA rally, I read in Facebook about the estimates published in newspapers which give figures of 7,000 and 10,000 persons for the rally. My hunch is that newspaper writers have a deadline for sending their articles before 3 pm, so that it can be part of tomorrow’s headlines. Thus, the crowd present during the 5 p.m. mass was not counted. So I made my own estimates and came up with 45,000 to 60,000 persons
2) What is your field of expertise and how long have you been with the Manila Observatory?
My expertise is in theoretical physics, particularly in the use of Clifford (geometric) algebra in many branches of physics: mechanics, optics, and electromagnetics. I am an Assistant Professor of Physics at Ateneo de Manila University. I do my research on ionosphere and magnetosphere at Manila Observatory’s Ionosphere Research Building, now known as ICSWSE (International Center for Space Weather Science and Education) Subcenter. I was with MO since 2008 when I was still writing my Ph.D. dissertation. But I do not speak in behalf of the Ateneo Physics Department or of Manila Observatory. I speak only on my own as a theoretical physicist.
3) Are there other methods of crowd estimation? What limitation could these methods have?
Ideally, there should be a camera at the top of Robinson’s Galleria or aboard a plane or a satellite, so that we can get pictures at different times and determine the exact extent of the crowd in time. Here is a good example of how crowd estimation is done from wired.com:
At President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony, the high-resolution, Earth-orbiting GeoEye-1 satellite took pictures from 423 miles away, and another camera was hanging from a balloon 700 feet off the ground. After examining pictures from both of these sources, researchers put crowd estimates at anywhere from 1 to 2 million.
In the manual method of crowd estimation, you can mark out the areas with similar crowd densities by encircling the areas with a colored pen or by subdividing the areas into a regular grid of square boxes. Areas with similar crowd densities we can refer to as clusters. You can then zoom in to one part of the cluster, count the number of persons per square meter, and multiply this by the area of the cluster. The result is the number of persons per cluster. Then you add all the number of persons in each cluster to get the size of the crowd. The only difficulty is to determine which group of people belongs to in a particular cluster. The more cluster types you use, the more precise your estimate becomes, but it also makes distinguishing one cluster from another more difficult. The fewer clusters you use, the easier it is to distinguish each cluster, but the margin of errors in crowd size estimates would be bigger.
In the computer method of crowd estimation, one way is to get the total area of the black parts and divide it by the average area of each black head in the image. The principle is straightforward and there are computer programs that can do this, depending on the threshold level for the gray scale. But what makes this method difficult is the possibility of counting black shadows and black shirts, too, which would increase the crowd estimate. Furthermore, umbrellas and blondes would make the method useless. There is also the problem image distortion due to perspective (areas closer to the camera appear larger) and camera lens imaging (straight lines becomes curved due to pincushion and barrel distortion). And as your camera goes higher and higher to see the whole crowd, image resolution deteriorates, making it difficult for the computer and even for human crowd estimators to distinguish one person in the crowd from another. To write a computer algorithm for crowd estimation that can handle all these problems is a very difficult challenge.
I am using the manual method. Since I don’t have a picture of an aerial view of the whole crowd, I have to make estimates on the extent of the crowd based on the pictures available, and assume there is only one cluster for the whole crowd for simplicity–an assumption which I think is a valid if you look at the pictures by Anna Cosio in Carlos Palad’s blog, Catholic Position vs the RH Bill. I computed the total estimated area covered by the crowd by dividing the area into strips with the same 17 m width, and added the area of each strip. The I used some rules of thumb in wired.com. I verified these rules by drawing on the floor a square with one meter on each side. I stood inside the square and found that 4 people can fit there with enough elbow room as I saw in the pictures. So I used 4 persons/sq.m. and came up with 60,000 persons. Even if I assume only 3 persons/sq.m., that is still 45,000 persons. I doubt that the crowd density is only 2 persons/sq.m., but even that gives 30,000 persons, which is still three times the estimate of 10,000 in newspapers.
4. Does the Manila Observatory do crowd estimation regularly? When?
No, Manila Observatory as an institution does not do crowd estimation, because its focus is primarily on geophysics and disaster science–earthquakes, typhoons, pollution, and space weather–and how these disasters can be quantified, predicted, mitigated, and avoided to save more lives. Some of my colleagues at the observatory–three of them also my fellow physics faculty in Ateneo–are working on satellite and ground data to map out climate change, rainfall patterns, and land use. But the techniques in satellite and ground data processing can easily be applied to crowd estimation, provided sufficient data such as aerial and street level photos are available. In Ateneo de Manila University, there are undergraduate students who are writing software for monitoring pedestrians and for counting fish fingerlings. There are also researchers working with cameras on toy planes to map out flooded areas. Many of these researchers are members of the Ateneo Innovation Center under Dr. Greg Tangonan, who is also the Director for the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE). In short, there is expertise in Manila Observatory and Ateneo de Manila University to do crowd estimation. It is only a question whether they are interested to do it for street rallies and whether they have the manpower to do the research. The harvest is great but the laborers are few.
As a theoretical physicist, I only do crowd estimation using pen and paper, and the Aug. 4 EDSA Prayer Rally was my first work. I am willing to do crowd estimation regularly as a service for the Church, provided I am given sufficient data consisting of time-stamped pictures in aerial and street level views. The results of the analysis can be published in the web, i.e. in my blog. Other researchers can then challenge the methodology and assumptions, and come up with their estimates using the same or more comprehensive data set. If there are more researchers working on this problem, we can create a Philippine Journal on Crowd Estimation. The results can be applied to any type of crowd–armies of ants, schools of fish, flocks of birds, herds of cattle–even if they would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens or as the sands in the sea. For this is how science is done: a continuous dialogue in search for truth.
5) Do you think your personal convictions affected your scientific work on this particular crowd estimation? Why or why not?
I am a Catholic who loves the Church in the same way as Faramir loves Gondor: “And I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise” (Two Towers, p. 314-315). I read the Bible, the Catechism, the lives and writings of saints, and the history of the Church. I organize Latin masses and promote the rosary. In the case of the RH Bill, and of all other issues such as women ordination, same-sex marriage, and human evolution, I only follow what St. Ignatius of Loyola laid down in his Spiritual Exercises–The Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church:
Rule 1: With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our
minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true
Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our Holy Mother, the hierarchical
Rule 13: To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast
to this principle: What I see as white, I will believe to be black if
the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that
between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his Spouse,
there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the
salvation of our souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord of ours
who gave the ten commandments that our holy Mother Church is guided
But I am also a physicist with a passion for precision as the data allows. My model for a scientist is St. Ignatius who counts the number of times he fell into a particular fault per day by writing dots in a paper and observing how the number of dots decrease as the days go by. St. Ignatius is one great observer of the motions of his soul that the Society of Jesus he founded became one great network of observatories for observing the motions of the world–the oceans and winds, the moon and stars. The Jesuits are the pioneers in many branches of physics because their mission is to go to the frontiers of knowledge and the crossroads of cultures in order to convert the world for Christ. Seismology was dominated Jesuits during its early development and Padre Faura of Manila Observatory made the first prediction of typhoon tracks in the country. As a tribute to their scientific work, 35 lunar craters are named after Jesuits, with one of the largest named after Fr. Christopher Clavius, SJ, the architect of the Gregorian calendar we now use and a scientist who was treated with great respect by Galileo.
As a Jesuit-trained lay physicist, I am married to my profession, so to speak, and I am faithful to my craft. What I write as a physicist, the others can verify even if they are not Catholics. What I compute is to the best of my knowledge using the available data and the time constraint–I have to publish my estimate the next day. More precise estimates require days or weeks of work. I hope somebody can correct me and present a more precise estimate of crowd size during the Aug. Anti-RH Bill rally using more accurate data and better methodology.
If you are supporting Earth Hour, do it for a more edifying purpose: gather the family members, turn off the electric lights, light the candles, and pray the Holy Rosary. Then read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:
“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth— 2* and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—b 3Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.c 4God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day….*”
The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation. The Church for centuries has adopted pagan practices but baptizing them with Christian meaning, in the same way as the Church accepts Gentiles and baptizes them as Christians. We can adopt the secular practice of the Earth Hour and turn it into a Christian practice. The Book of Genesis is the First Reading in the Easter celebration, that is why before Easter Sunday, it is Black Saturday, and on Easter Eve mass, the Church is dark, to symbolize the darkness of sin that covers the entire world.
Then read the Prologue of John in Chapter 1:
“In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.a
2He was in the beginning with God.
3* All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.b
What came to be 4through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;c
5* the light shines in the darkness,d
and the darkness has not overcome it….”
The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation, as Sunday, through the Resurrection of Christ, became the day of the New Creation; the Hour of the New Creation is better designated to the first hour of Easter Sunday. The light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. You see this in the seal of Ateneo de Manila University and Manila Observatory. The light of the world is not the sun but IHS, Christ. It is the Mystery of Incarnation. Gazing at the whole world–the Earth–is one of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius: to see the world as the Holy Trinity sees it. That is why, the Jesuits produced the greatest geographers like Mateo Ricci, because geography is an aid to the Spiritual Exercises. The Holy Trinity sees the world of men engulfed by sin. And so the Holy Trinity decides to send the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, who became flesh in the Person of Christ.
These prayers, readings, and meditations would fill a whole hour. Many indulgences can be obtained here from the praying of the rosary, the 30-minute reading and meditation of the scripture–and more if done in front of the blessed Sacrament in a Holy Hour.
A blessed Hour of Creation to all.
This afternoon I visited Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ at the Jesuit Infirmary in Ateneo de Manila University. It has been more than a month or two since I visited him. I usually give him updates about the Manila Observatory. At 86, he cannot anymore walk. He needs a nurse to drive his wheelchair.
“Hi, Father.” I said as I entered his room.
“Hi, Pope,” he said as he signaled to the nurse to bring me a chair. “I learned about your Latin Mass Society.”
“Yes, Father.” I said. “Fr. Tim Ofrasio is our priest. He is a professor of Liturgy so he knows the old and new rites well.”
“Where do you get your vestments?” asked Fr. Badillo.
“Our sacristan trainor is Bro. Dave of the Liturgical Commission of Cubao. He is still designing our vestments.”
“So do you know the Confiteor, the prayers at the foot of the altar?”
“A little bit, Father. I still have to memorize it.”
And he prayed the Confiteor and I followed him. I know this prayer because I always use my Baronius 1962 missal even when I attend Novus Ordo masses.
“Do you know how to sing?” he asked. And he began to intone the Kyrie, the Sanctus, the Gloria, and the Pater Noster. I joined him in the singing. He is singing the songs in Missa de Angelis which we always use in our Latin masses. I joined the choir before when they practiced these songs. We bought our chant book from Our Lady of Victories, an SSPX church in Cubao, which has excellent resources on the Traditional Latin Mass. (May they be finally reconciled with the Catholic Church soon.)
“When I was young, I was also a sacristan,” said Fr. Badillo. “Whenever there are masses outside the school, we Ateneans always volunteer to serve in the masses, because there are very few who knows how to serve. We have this group called “Sanctuario”. We take turns in serving masses for a priest. We woke up at 4 am, because the priest says mass during that time.”
“Four o’clock in the morning?” I asked.
“Yes, 4 o’clock,” said Fr. Badillo. “Before we were that hard when it comes to serving masses. Now people are becoming soft, lax.”
“In the seminary, we learned about the mass. We were trained in Latin. But when we graduated, we were ordained in Vatican II.”
“So your training was to no avail, Father?” I asked.
“Not really,” he said.
And our conversation drifted to other things: about the ionosphere and magnetosphere project, about NASA and Dr. Lagrosas trip to Palawan, about our friend Genie Lorenzo who is back from a vacation in US, about Dr. Kendra Gotangco Castillo–our Valedictorian and Summa cum Laude–who is back from Purdue University and who now heads Klima Climate Change Center, and about the International Space Weather Conference in Nigeria which I am attending this October.
“Many things are now happening in Manila Observatory, Father.”
“It started when you came,” Fr. Badillo said.
And we both laughed. The first time I went to the Manila Observatory was in 2008. Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ asked me to stay in the Ionosphere Building, the building of Fr. Badillo, to write my dissertation. I lived a monastic life. But Fr. Badillo was not there when I came: he suffered several surgeries years before. The building was still dark and dusty then. Now, it is fully renovated and repainted. But I am still using his desk and his swivel chair.
Before I left, I took his hand to my forehead.
“Father, your skin is now soft unlike before.”
“Soft as woman’s skin.”
And we laughed again.
“How did that happen, Father?”
“Healthy diet. Just health diet.”
Finally, I said goodbye to Fr. Badillo. And he gave me his blessing.
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 22:06:10 +0800
The Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) is an organization of faculty, students, staff, and alumni of Ateneo de Manila University for the promotion of the Latin Mass in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, but with a preferential option for the extraordinary form, in the Ignatian tradition of magis or “more”. Starting this July 2011, ALMS shall sponsor Latin masses at the Ateneo High School once a month. The priest celebrant will be Fr. Timoteo “Tim” Ofrasio, SJ, a professor of Liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies and parish priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Novaliches.
Also, starting this June 2011, ALMS shall sponsor trainings for the sacristan and choir:
- Sacristan training is four Sundays, 9-12 am. Possible venue is Nativity of Our Lady Parish, Maj. Dizon St., Industrial Village, Marikina City. The training shall cover the following topics: (a) history of altar servers, (b) Holy Mass as the highest form of worship,(c) liturgical year, (d) altar vestments and vessels, (e) ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation, (f) ordinary form of the Roman Rite, (g) extraordinary form of the Roman rite, (h) practicum, and (i) commissioning. The training is organized by ALMS and by the Commission on Liturgy of the Diocese of Cubao.
- Choir training is at least an hour a week for the whole year. The training shall cover the following topics: (a) ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation, (b) Gregorian neumes (square notes), (b) ictus and breathing marks, (c) chanting of mass responses, (d) chants for Ordinary Feasts (Missa de Angelis), (e) chants for Feasts of Blessed Virgin (cum Jubilo), (f) chants for Sundays throughout the year, (g) chants for Sundays and Ferias of Advent and Lent, (h) Credo, Pater Noster, and Salve Regina, (i) and chants for Benediction (Tantum Ergo, Te Deum, Anima Christi, O Salutaris Hostia, Pange Lingua, Panis Angelicus). The Gregorian chant trainor will be Mr. Carlos Babiano of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish, Quezon City. The choir training will be held within or close to Ateneo.
The aim of ALMS is to give greater glory to God by making the Latin mass in both ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite available to many, as envisioned by Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium:
- Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. (Art. 36.1)
- The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. (Art 116)
If you wish to know more about the ALMS-sponsored activities, follow us in Facebook: Ateneo Latin Mass Society. Click the “Like” button, so that you can post your comments.
Those interested to join the sacristan and choir training may wish to directly contact the ALMS Coordinator:
Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.
Space Environment Research Center (SERC) Subcenter
Ionosphere Research Building
Tel. No. 426-6001 local 4850
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Nearly a year ago, the ALMS was founded to have the Traditional Latin Mass said in Ateneo de Manila University. So far, we have not succeeded. Our main problem is we cannot find a suitable chapel. I think the Church of the Gesu is good enough for TLM. The problem may be the cost: it is about P 3500 per mass. If this cost is the only thing that keeps us from having a TLM in Ateneo, then I propose the following solution:
I shall pay the P 3500.
We can have one Sunday mass per month. The mass collections can go to the presiding priest. Fifty (50) persons giving P 20 each is already P 1000. If we can have an attendance of 300 persons, the mass collection would be enough to pay for both the priest and the rental of the Church of the Gesu.
I can only give financial support, but this is not enough:
- We need somebody who can be the overall coordinator of ALMS, preferably a student, because we wish the ALMS to be an Ateneo student organization recognized by Ateneo de Manila University. I already have my hands full as undergraduate committee head of the Physics Department and SERC Subcenter coordinator of the Manila Observatory.
- We need volunteers for the choir. Mr. Nikko Vitug, faculty of the English Department, is already offering his services as choir master. Mr. Vitug has a syllabus ready for the Gregorian chant training.
- We need volunteers for the sacristan. Dennis Maturan, Founding Chairman of Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph (EDSSJ), is already offering the services of his group for sacristan training. We only need but ask them. EDSSJ is based in Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Quezon City. I could not be around during Saturdays because I have a offshore class in Angeles University, Pampanga for our M.S. Physics Program. We need a sacristan coordinator for Ateneo.
- We need volunteers who will make sure that the altar vessels and linens are available, and that the sacristans and priests have their vestments. Frank Chow’s TLM community in Canada can help us procure the vestments and linens which we can buy from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches.
- We need volunteers for the promotions. Fr. Lester Maramara, SJ, the Director of the Ateneo College Campus Ministry Office, has given us permission to post TLM announcements in Bulletin Board of the College Chapel.
- We need to find a priest who can say TLM for us. Fr. Tim Ofrasio SJ is now assigned in a parish in Novaliches.
- We need to schedule our first general assembly, preferably mid January. We need to have our first TLM at the Church of the Gesu by February. We need to recruit more students and faculty to join the yahoo group.
I would appreciate your thoughts on these matters. I hope and pray that we can now finally move forward.
Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society
Fr. Jett Villarin visited my office today together with Nino Uy. I was glad to see him.
“How is the hermit doing?” he asked. “I heard you are redesigning the building.”
We talked about the lightning strikes that circled around the building before, the Kyushu University’s new FMCW radar which I am managing, and the renovation of the building that I am preparing to transform it into the Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Resesarch Center) subcenter.
On their way out, Fr. Jett looked at the mango trees across the fields.
“I see many fruits. It was not like that before.”
“Yes, Father.” Nino said. “There are many mangoes this year.”
“Is Nino still there?” Fr. Jett asked.
I thought its a joke, because Nino is beside us.
“Yes, Father.” Nino said.
“Who is Nino?” I asked.
And Fr. Jett narrated his tale:
“We found an aborted fetus there years ago. It was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The mother tried to burn the child to remove all traces. When the guards saw the smoke, they rushed here. The mother was gone. The fetus was half-burnt. The fetus was large, about a foot long. We can already see his genitalia. Kawawa talaga (a pity). We buried him and nicknamed him ‘El Nino’.”
Fr. Jett and Nino said goodbye. They went straight to the Climate Studies Division building.
Fr. Jett is Manila Observatory’s authority in climate change. I heard he once led the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the reason why he is interested in La Nina and El Nino. This is where he got the name for the aborted fetus.
Today, Feb 14, is the Feast of St. Valentine, and I celebrated it by going to a Traditional Latin Mass in Our Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Q.C. A year ago, on Feb 16, my friend and I also went here for a Sunday mass. I can still remember her veil. Time flies fast. She is now with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Cebu for her Aspirancy. Fr. Dan McNamara, S.J., my friend’s confessor and my thesis adviser, chided me that it is already my time to join him for a 10-day retreat this March in Baguio, just as my friend had done. I’ll see if my schedule allows.
My Baronius missal is actually my friend’s missal which she bought in Our Lady of Victories (SSPX) church in Cubao. Of all the things that she has given me, the missal is my dearest treasure. The prayers before and after the mass helps me focus more on the Eucharist, and helps me to be more thankful for the divine condescension. I could not yet regularly pray the morning and evening prayers, but I try my best to make them since the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus and that of our Lady increases ones love to our Lord and Lady. I always use my missal even in Novus Ordo masses. After about four and a half months of using this missal, I can now read and understand the mass and the devotions in Latin. I read the Epistle and the Gospel in Latin and I am surprised that my reading comprehension has increased. Maybe it is because I am familiar with Scriptures so I can easily guess the meanings of the Latin words. I also studied some Latin before by reading a textbook meant for Grade 1 Latin. I only finished one-fourth of it, then I gave up. I wonder what St. Ignatius must have felt when he studied Latin with little boys. Humility is the foundation of knowledge.
After the mass, I saw Carlos Palad on the choir loft. I went up to him. And there I met Jesson who introduced me to Junar, a member of the ALMS Yahoo group, and Dennis Maturan, the founding chairman of Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph. He is also an associate member of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. Dennis is the acolyte who chants the Epistle. He chants well. I also met Shirley Monreal, whose name I only read in the apologia-ph Yahoo group.
We went down and waited for Fr. Jojo to finish blessing some statues and other sacred objects.
Carlos Palad was holding two cds. He told me he downloaded the Orthodox Rite for the Liturgy. He loves this liturgy with eight sacristans doing the censers. He was able to download this before but his house was flooded during Typhoon Ondoy and his cds were destroyed.
We went to the back of the church. I met there Nathalie and others whose name I cannot anymore recall. I also met there Rommel Mendoza (?) who graduated Physics-CE in Ateneo de Manila University, batch ’89. I am B.S. Physics batch 97. We were not able to talk much since Fr. Jojo Zerrudo already came out of the sacristy. And it is him whom I wanted to talk to about some matters.
Fr. Jojo and I talked in one of the rooms facing the sacristy, across a basketball court. We shared experiences on the formation of the Latin Mass Society. He told me that for eight years in Masambong, he only had Dennis Maturan. Now, he has Gerard Cenir as his Liturgical Master of Ceremonies and he has a full sacristan group. Fr. Jojo told me that I can ask Gerard to help train the ALMS sacristans. Fr. Jojo’s choir is from U.P and many of them are members of the U.P. School of Music. The Traditional Latin mass in Sikatuna is indeed blessed.
Fr. Jojo advised me not to make much noise in Ateneo, to start the Traditional Latin Mass not with a bang but with a whimper. I told him I still have to write to the Director of the Manila Observatory, who shall forward my letter to the Father Provincial, because there is no more Jesuit Community at the Manila Observatory. I am still taking my time, crafting my thoughts, and praying for the right words to write to the Director. Fr. Jojo told me that he prefers that ALMS start at the Observatory; the Oratory of St. Ignatius is too close to the Jesuits of the Loyola House of Studies. The ALMS may crack under pressure.
I thanked Fr. Jojo for his advice and we parted.
Meeting with Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag at the Manila Observatory: A discussion on the Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University
(Monk’s Hobbit Update: Mark Bunag is not anymore in communion with the Catholic Church. 18 May 2011)
Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag visited me today at 5:00 p.m. at the Manila Observatory. I accompanied them to my laboratory at the Ionosphere Research Building. And there we talked. It was an informal meeting. We have no formal agenda. We discussed the status of the TLM at the Ateneo. We are still looking for a chapel.
One choice is the Manila Observatory chapel. The Manila Observatory’s Director, Ma’m Toni Loyzaga, told me that she has mentioned the possible use of the chapel for TLM to the Father Provincial during the MO Board of Trustees meeting last Friday. She asked me to write her a formal letter of request and she will forward the letter to the Father Provincial. This is because there is no more Jesuit Rector at the Observatory after the community there was dissolved.
The other choice is the Oratory of St. Ignatius at the Loyola House of studies. Unlike the Manila Observatory chapel which can accommodate only 30 to 50 persons, the Oratory can accommodate 500 persons. But I think this is not impossible to fill in a single TLM mass if we are allowed to hold mass there. There are 34 members in the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. If each member brings two friends, we can already have a hundred. I already talked to several faculty and students and they are interested to join the TLM once it is offered. I still haven’t tapped the Ateneo Alumni network. I heard that in one alumni homecoming (was in 2007), the old alumni requested Traditional Latin Mass and a Jesuit priest said a mass for them.
The college chapel cannot be used because its modern design cannot accommodate a Traditional Latin Mass. For one, there is no space before the altar for the priest and the Blessed Sacrament is bored on the left altar wall.
Mark and Carlos will join Fr. Tim for mass at his private chapel at the Loyola House of Studies on Feb 16 at 6 a.m. They invited me to join them, so that I can meet the other seminarians who are interested in the TLM. We also need to talk with Fr. Tim how we can request the regular use of the Oratory of St. Ignatius for the TLM.
Before they left, I toured Mark and Carlos at the Observatory’s chapel. They saw that the chapel was designed for the TLM. There are still chasubles in good condition. They are excited to have the mass at the Observatory’s chapel.
We are moving heaven and earth just to have the Traditional Latin Mass in the Observatory and in the Ateneo. But at least, as Ma’m Toni told me, “things are moving.”
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“Communication means a sharing together of what you really are. With the stethoscope of love you listen till you hear the heartbeat of the other.”
Monk’s Hobbit Notes: I submitted the following entries, but since most of them are from the Bible, they are not original:
- We proclaim Christ crucified (Praedicamus Christum crucifixum) (1 Cor 1:23)
- Proclaiming the scandal of the cross
- In the beginning was the Word (In principio erat Verbum) (Jn 1:1)
- The Word was God (Deus erat Verbum) (Jn 1:1)
- My word shall not return to me void. (Verbum meum non revertetur ad me vacuum) (Is 55:11)
- Evangelization in the Modern world (Evangelii Nuntiandi) (Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1975)
The Manila Observatory’s tagline, “Lumen de Lumine” or “Light of Light” is from the Nicene Creed.
Dear ALMS members and friends,
We had the General Assembly last Friday, 22 January 2010 at 5:30-7:00 p.m. The venue was Faura 116. These are the members present:
1. Miguel Franco Dimayacyac– Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) ARSA
2. Enrico A. Villacorta– AdMU Student
3. Jesson G. Allerite–Universit y of the Philippines (UP) Student
4. Maricel Obieta–AdMU ASF
5. Joanna Ruiz– AdMU Loyola Schools
6. Bobing Venida–AdMU Economics
7. Mikki Hornilla– AdMU Student
8. Emmanuel Hernandez–AdMU Student
9. R. R. Raneses–AdMU Political Science
10. Niccolo Vitug–AdMU English
11. Moy Timbayan–AdMU Student
12. Quirino Sugon Jr.–AdMU Physics
Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. talked about his life and his experiences in the Traditional Latin Mass. I took notes of his edifying talk. I shall transcribe my notes and try to recall everything that he said. I shall send you the polished form next week.
Fr. Tim asked us if we want we adopt Novus Ordo Lectionary or stick with the lectionary of the Extraordinary Form. (He also asked whether we wish all Latin hymns or mix them with English hymns.) The group decided that we stick with that of the extraordinary form. The readings will be in Latin. Latin-English missals will be provided for the unchanging parts of the mass. The Introit, Propers, and Readings will be provided in Latin and English on adjacent columns, as done in Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) in Sikatuna, Quezon City. (The question on hymns will be answered by the Choir coordinator.)
The proposed date for our first mass will be on Feb 3 (Wed) at 6:00 p.m. It will be a low mass. This is pedagogically sound, since we are still learning the ropes. I shall reserve the Manila Observatory Chapel for us. We can invite friends, but we cannot yet announce it in Ateneo Blueboard. Our first announced mass should be a sung mass with vested servers.
The members were asked to which committee they wish to be part of.
For the Choir, we have Niccolo Vitug as our music director. He is a faculty in the Ateneo English Department. He once played the organ for Missa Cantata. He was also the music director in a Catholic church in California. With Niccolo are R. R. Raneses, Moy Timbayan, Maricel Orieta, Jesson Allerite, and Miguel Dimayacyac. Maricel and Jesson are members of the PLDM choir. Miguel has stacks of Gregorian chant song sheets, his grandmother’ s collection.
For the Sacristan, no one wants to become sacristan. So I volunteered myself to learn the rubrics. But I wish another faculty shall commit himself to do this, so that I could have more time for writing and coordinating.
For Finance, no faculty volunteered, so I shall handle this in the meantime. With me are two students: Enrico Villacorta and Moy Timbayan.
For Publications, the Coordinator is Emmanuel Hernandez, a student. He usually goes to mass with Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. every morning, so he is familiar with the 1962 Missal Lectionary. With him is Joanna Ruiz and Mikki Hornilla. Joanna can help us with the photocopying. Mikki has a camera. The camera is important. The first Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila will be a news in the TLM blogosphere. R. R. Raneses said that he will give us his Ateneo Latin Mass Society blog, http://ateneo- latin-mass- society.blogspot .com, as our official blog. But we do not yet have someone to manage it. So I’ll start the ball rolling. I shall ask Mr. Raneses to make me a contributor to his blog.
We have made a good start. Please remember the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) in your prayers. Almsgiving would also be good. Since we are begging for recognition as an organization, we must also give alms to those who need it most, for the measure with which we measure will in return be measured out to us (c.f. Lk 6:38). And who are the ultimate beggars but the Poor Souls in Purgatory? Please give alms to the Poor Souls by having a mass said for them or remembering them in your prayers, especially the souls of the Jesuit priests who once worked in Ateneo. They repay a hundredfold.
Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society