House Bill 6337: Creation of Shari’a courts in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and major Philippine cities

DAVAO CITY, May 26, 2009 –To help Filipino Muslims resolve their legal conflicts in relation to their distinct personal and family laws, a lawmaker from the 1st District of Sultan Kudarat is urging for the passage of a measure seeking to create shari’a courts in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and areas outside of it.

Cong. Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu, author of House Bill 6337 said that the bill aims to strengthen the shari’a district court system by establishing shari’a courts in areas where there are countless Filipino Muslims.

Mangudadatu added that establishing shari’a courts in the country is mandated under Presidential Decree 1083, although at present shari’a courts are only in limited areas of Mindanao and the ARMM.

He added that due to the limited access of Muslims to shari’a courts the situation also becomes inconvenient and difficult especially in solving personal legal problems.

“There are Muslims’ communities all over the country especially in urban centers. That is why the limited access to shari’a courts make it more difficult for them to avail,” he said.

Under the proposed bill, five judicial districts with one shari’a district court and one judge each shall be created in the provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Isabela City in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.

Apart from that, six special judicial districts, each to have one shari’a district court, shall be established in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Iligan City, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and General Santos City and the ninth shari’a district in Metro Manila among others.

The measure also provides that permanent stations or offices of shari’a district courts shall be created in the ARMM particularly in the first district of Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City, Marawi and Cotabato City. Those permanent offices outside the ARMM shall be put up in Zamboanga City, General Santos City, Metro Manila and Cebu. (Mark S. Ventura)

Source: CBCP News

“No mas amor que el tuyo”: a Filipino song for the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Here is a song in the Philippines for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which I found in my Holy Hour booklet. I think it dated back from the Spanish era, when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. Our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was also a devotee of the Sacred Heart, for he carved a statue of it when he was still a student at the Ateneo de Manila.

I have a copy of song’s chords and melody (sheet music in pdf). I played the song in my guitar to hear how it sounds like.  Beautiful. Simply beautiful.  No wonder Jaime Cardinal Sin cried when it was sung during the funeral mass of Ninoy Aquino at the Manila Cathedral (Ileto 1998, p. 2).  Had the Philippine Revolution did not take place, and the  Spanish language classes removed from the Philippine school curriculum decades ago, “No mas amor que el tuyo” would have inspired more devotion in the hearts of Filipinos.  This is the song of our fathers.  This is the song of Catholic Philippines.

I speak no Spanish, but I think we can understand the lyrics from the Latin roots of English:

No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo

Letra de Manuel Bernabe (see biography below)
Musica del Simeon Resurreccion

No mas amor que el Tuyo
O corazon divino,
El pueblo Filipino,
Te da su corazon.
En templos y en hogares,
Te invoque nuestra lengua,
Tu reinaras sin mengua
De Aparri hasta Jolo.


Ha tiempo que esperamos
Tu imperio en el Oriente,
La fe de Filipinas
Es como el sol ardiente,
como la roca firme,
Inmensa como el mar.
La iniquidad no puede
Ser de estas islas duena
Que izada en nuestros montes,
Tu celestial ensena,
Las puertas de infierno
No prevaleceran.


Here is a Tagalog translation by a team of Jesuits:

Walang higit na pag-ibig

Walang higit na pag-ibig, O Mahal na Puso
Ang bayang Pilipino alay sa puso mo
Sa templo sa tahanan, sambit naming ang ‘Yong ngalan.
Maghari kang tunay sa Aparri hanggang Jolo.
Malaon na naming pangarap paghahari mo sa Silangan
Pananampalataya nami’y ‘singwagas ng araw
Sintatag ng kabundukan sinlawak ng karagatan
Kailanma’y di pabibihag, bayan mo sa kasalanan
Tanghal sa tanang dako ang banal mong sagisag
Ang sumpa ng karimlam di magtatagumpay.

Here is my proposed translation based on the Tagalog translation and my intuitive guess (You may send me a better translation):

There is no greater love than yours

There is no greater love than yours, O Most Sacred Heart,
so we, the Filipino people, offer you our hearts.
In our temples and in our homes, we cry out to you.
May Your kingdom stand firm from Aparri to Jolo.


Long we have hoped for Your empire in the East.
Like the sun burning bright is the faith of the Philippines,
It stands strong like a rock and fills all void like the sea.
Never shall these islands be possessed by sin,
For on our mountains is raised your heavenly sign
And the gates of Hell shall not prevail.


Reynaldo Clemeña Ileto, Filipinos and their revolution: event, discourse, and historiography, 2nd ed. (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998), p. 174. ISBN 9715502946, 9789715502948 (300 pages)

Biography of Manuel Bernabe

Manuel Hernandez Bernabe is a journalist, politician, poet, and speaker Spanish and Latin. He was born on February 17, 1890. He is the son of Timoteo Bernabe at Emilia Hernandez.

In Ateneo de Manila he started to study and finished in the University of Santo Tomas. He was only nine years old when he started to write in verses in Spanish and at fourteen he was already speaking in Latin.

Bernabe is a lyrical poet and his usual subjects are feasts and celebrations, even though he can make a poem out of anything. Rare is his love for poetry.

When Bernabe and Balmori dueled in a poetry contest on the subject El Recuerdo y el Olvido, there was no declared winner since they were both excellent, but from the sound of the claps, Bernabe got more admiration from the audience.

Bernabe wrote a poetry collection entitled “Songs from the Tropics”. He also compiled his other writings in book entitled “Prefil de la Cresta.” Here can be found the translations of “Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam at “prologo” by Claro M. Recto.

Bernabe is also a teacher. he taught Spanish in the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Philippine Law School at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He is also a jornalist in La Democracia at La Vanguardia.

The most prominent poems of Berabe are No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo, El Imposible, Canta Poeta, Castidad, Mi Adios a Ilo-ilo at Espana en Filipinas.

Bernabe is considered as the modern King of Poetry in the Spanish Tongue (in the Philippines)

Translated from Wikipedia.

Dom Gerard Calvet of the Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Madeleine du Barroux: What is a monk?

Under the Provencal skies, faithful to the Rule of St Benedict and the Gregorian liturgy, the monks of the Abbey of Sainte-Madeleine perpetuate the great tradition of western monasticism.

The Father Abbot has given exceptional permission for a camera to enter the enclosure: Mass and offices, manual and intellectual work, community chapter or the reception of guests: we are invited to a veritable retreat. (See French video trailere here .)

What is a monk? What purpose does he serve? What is his daily routine, his life, his ideal? Why do some people decide to consecrate themselves to God? What is the Rule of St Benedict?… By listening to the testimonies of the monks, and even more by sharing their day, we understand the eternal reality of a Benedictine Abbey.

“Monks built Europe, but they did not do so intentionally. Their adventure is primarily interior, its unique motivation is thirst for the absolute, thirst for another world. Before being academies of knowledge and cross-roads of civilisations, monasteries are an obstinate reminder that there is another world, of which this world is but the image, the herald, and the prefiguration.”

Dom Gérard Calvet, founder of the Abbey of Le Barroux.

Source: Fr. George David Byers CPM, SSL, STD at Blogging Lourdes
The Monk’s Hobbit is glad to see real monks in prayer and work in this new Dark Ages. There is still hope for the preservation of all that is good in the Western Civilization.

You may also read  the comments of Fr. Z in  What does the prayer really say?.

Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado’s catechesis on Humanae Vitae: Kissinger Memorandum, Population Commission, and the Reproductive Health Bill

In his series of catechesis on the Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI, Ozamiz Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado, CM outlined the history behind the reproductive health bill :

  1. Henry Kissinger authored in 1965 the National Security Study Memorandum No. 200 mandating the creation and funding of massive population control programs in 13 countries identified as having high population levels and growth rates. The Philippines was one of these 13 countries.
  2. President Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 79 which created the Population Commission to spearhead an aggressive national population control program.  POPCOM was to be the office for the flow of funds from three principal funding agencies: the World Bank, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities and the United States Agency for International Development. The Asian Development Bank subsequently became a significant player.
  3. A National Family Planning Office was created in the Department of Health. Two major private institutions were also created to support the government program: the University Of The Philippines ‘ Population Institute and the Population Center Foundation, which augmented the program with research utilization capability.
  4. As the program moved along, bilateral funding from Japan, Australia, Canada and a few European countries, and project funding from private agencies supplemented the population war chest.
  5. POPCOM evolved to be a powerful mini-Cabinet formed among Trustees representing major government players in population control, namely, Health, Labor, Local Governments, Finance, Social Welfare and Economic Development. The objective of POPCOM is to reduce the growth rate and level of population to what it believed to be manageable, conducive to “sustainable development.” This level and rate were determined by external agencies like the Population Council based in New York.
  6. Present population controversy between the church and the government backed up by International Development/ Funding Agencies.  With this standoff, there was no other way to achieve this in a country whose population was significantly Roman Catholic except to aggressively promote modern artificial family planning methods.  “That is the purpose of the recurring RH Bills.” Dosado concluded.

Source: Wendell Talibong, Ozamiz prelate reiterates stand on RH Bill in RP (Ozamiz City, CPCP News, March 20, 2009). 

Note: I rearranged the material.

Fr. James B. Reuter, S.J. celebrates his 93rd birthday

MANILA, May 23, 2009—The venerable grand old man of Philippine Church and secular media, Magsaysay awardee for journalism, EDSA I hero, Fr. James B. Reuter, SJ, celebrated his 93rd birthday, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital.

This is where he is presently residing, probably till his death, upon retiring from the National Office of Mass Media and the Philippine Federation of Catholic Broadcasters, of which he has been the founding Executive Director and Executive Secretary, respectively.

He resigned and both offices will be closed at the end of this month. Fr. Reuter, a humble man and good religious, could only bow in obedience!

“Tatang,” as close associates call him, was the main celebrant. He had to be helped through the celebration of the Eucharist. His eyes were no longer good and some of the prayers had to be dictated.

His original all-male Glee Club at the Ateneo de Manila was there. Ruben Nunez, the advertising man and Noel Trinidad (minus Subas Herrero, who was also a member of that Glee Club). They sang during the Mass. And they kept singing for him, around him when he was still taking his lunch.

“Tatang” would stop his lunch and would re-live his conducting days. Sr. Sarah, Sr. Aurelie, Tita Cherry, Virgie, Evelyn, Boy, Cecille (his caregiver since the day he needed one) and other former staff at the NOMM were there. His friends, former students, spiritual sons and daughters, admirers were there—close to a hundred.

Former Judge Jose Apolo, one of Fr. Jim’s former basketabll players in the team he coached at the Ateneo de Naga, gifted some of the guests with his book “Quo Vadis, Philippines?”. “Tatang” wrote the introduction. (Fr. Nonie Dolor)

Source: CBCP News

Fr. Peter H. Kolvenbach, S.J. on the Difficulties of Dialogue with Islam

Giacomelli: Let’s go on to another frontline apostolate entrusted to you by the Pope: dialogue with non-Christian religions.  You’ve lived for twenty-fiver years in the Lebanon, you’ve had contact with Moslem believers.  Have you ever tried to hold a dialogue with the followers of Islam?  More Important still, is religious dialogue possible with Moslems?

Kolvenbach: Dialogue is possible, but clarity’s the think.  Dialogues begun by putting confidence in similarities accepted without much discernment can only lead to sentimental and superficial agreements.  If the dialogue is conducted without sincerity, there can be not true meeting of minds betweeen those taking part.  Manipulating Islam to make it a mirror-image of Christinaity impedes true contact and dialogue in depth with living, present-day Islam.  Moslems and Christians proclaim themselves to be children of Abraham, yet we are not in fact brothers in Abraham, but in Christ.  For Islam, Abraham is the first monotheist, while for Christians he is the father of the covenant between God and his people: and inconceivable thing for a Moslem.  Similarly, the Virgin Mary is venerated by Catholic believers and by Moslems.  Yet for Moslems she is only themiracle of God’s omnipotence: God can do anything, so why shouldn/t he be able to turn motherhood into virginity?  Whereas for Christians, Mary is the new creature who, through her free assent, was forechosen to be the Theotokos, the Mother of God.  thus Mary becomes the ikon of the Church, offering an ideal of consecrated virginity which is unthinkable in Islam.  To refuse, because of false sense of charity, to face up to Islam, with all the apparent, insuperble difficulties that acceptance of the truth entails, means taking the risk of depriving Moslems of the path to a true understanding of Christianity.

Giacomelli: We hear a lot about Islamic fundamentalism today, and religious and political agitation in the Arab world is attributed to it.  Should we lookon this fundamentalism as a passing phenomenon?

Kolvenbach: The intolerant and aggressive character of jihad has its source in a theological concept of the will of God.  Islam is faith in God and in his Book.  The Koran is not merely central to Islam: it is its essence.   For Christians, the Incarnate Word is the immediate Word of God, while the Bible is the mediated Word.  For Moslems, in contrast, the Koran as book is the immediate Word of God.  Christians wish the Bible to be translated into every language and spread throught the world; Islam find it hard to accept that the Koran, having been revealed in Arabic by God, can be prayed, read and written inay language other than the one in which god himself revealed it.   Now, the Koran, the essence of Islam, is a law.  Hence the ordinances found in it are divine and, since the explicity will of God are universally binding on everyone, everywhere.  the are definitive, having binding force to the end of time.  To take one example: the Ramadan fast hasn’t altered in thecourse of many hundreds of years.  the notion of renewal, of adaptation or revision, which in Christianty are the fruit of the Spirit, conflicts with the divine character of  every ordinance of Islam.

These points having been made, let me now give you an answer to your question.  What we call Islamic fundamentalism is not a passing phenomenon, nor is it the expression of some individual’s fanaticism: it is Islam as it’s supposed to be Hence the difficulty, for a Middle Eastern government, of opposing the will of God.  christians deeply believe that the Spirit guides the Church, by means of renewal, towards the whole, entire truth of god.  Islam has to follow an immutable datum, since that has been divinely revealed; hence its intolerant, fanatical and fundamentalist aspect, summed up in the unfortunate expression holy war. It’ clear I’m referring to the Islamic religion as sucn; I’m not passing judgement on the individual Moslem, nor on his faith in God, nor on his faithfulness to the Koran.


Peter H. Kolvenbach, S.J., Men of God: Meh for Others: The Jesuits, an Obedient Avant-Guard Confronting the Challenges of the Modern World, interviewed by Renzo Giacomelli, trans. by Alan Neame (Makati, St. Paul Publications, 1990), pp. 108-109.

Obama and the AntiChrist of Soloviev: Pacifist, Ecologist, and Ecumenist

In his March 2007 homily to Pope Benedict XVI and the  leaders of the Roman Curia, Archbishop Biffi said, drawing from the work of the Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev, that the Antichrist will present himself as a pacifist, ecologist, and ecumenist. After his homily, the pope praised the Cardinal for giving a “very accurate diagnosis of our situation today.”

About two years after, last 20 Jan 2009, Barack Obama took oath as the 44th president of the United States of America.  After four months in office, Pres. Obama’s words and actions fit Soloviev’s and Cardinal Biffi’s description of the Antichrist.

Obama before Christ.

When Pres. Obama gave an address at the Georgetown University, he had the symbol IHS, which stands for Christ, covered.  Christ told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  Now, by covering the IHS, Pres. Obama symbolically tells us Christians: “Before Christ was, I am.”  In the beginning was Obama, the word was with Obama, and Obama is God.

Obama the Pacifist

In his campaign speeches, Obama vowed to solve the Middle East peace problem.  Now, a few days ago, Obama invited the the heads of state of Israel, Palestine, and Egypt to the Oval Office to discuss his proposal for peace.  By being born with two races, African and American, Obama believes that he is the best person to negotiate peace between different races, in the same way as Christ, being both God and man, can reconcile man back to God.

Obama the Ecologist

President Obama is the greenest president.  In his campaigns, Obama vowed to use more renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gases, invest in green technology, save more oil, have hybrid cars on the the roads.  In doing so, Obama wants to make a contrast between himself and President George Bush, for Bush did not sign the Kyoto protocol which commits industrialized nations to cutting their carbon dioxide emissions.

Obama the Ecumenist

Last 07 April 2009 in Turkey, Obama said that he wants a broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. He said that the partnership with the Muslim world is critical, not just in rolling back the ideologies that people of all faiths reject, but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people. “I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam.” Obama feels that he is the best person to reconcile the (Christian) West with Islam because he is the president of the leading country of the West and his father and grandfather are Muslims.

But is Obama a Christian?  Since Ronald Reagan signed the National Day of prayer as the first Thursday of May into law, successive presidents have celebrated it publicly until Pres. George Bush.  When the time came for Obama to celebrate it, he said that “Prayer is something that the President does everyday” and he decided against holding a public ceremony.

This is not surprising since last 2007, Obama declared (you tube):

“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us.”  (World Net Daily)