Lito Yap David: Senatorial Candidate of Ang Kapatiran Party

Lito Yap David leading a rally vs the Reproductive Health Bill

Lito Yap David leading a rally vs the Reproductive Health Bill

I made it through the rain

by Lito Yap David

I can only sum up the circumstances of my life through the following lines immortalized by great singer/composer, “I made it through the rain, I kept my world protected … I kept my point of view … and found myself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it through”.

I was born in a “manger” in the slums of Tondo to parents of very modest means – a homemaker and a laborer. I was sickly and seen as a weakling by my neighborhood playmates but still had to work with my mother on her Divisoria sojourn every 4 am of each day before again walking a kilometer or two to attend my primary classes at Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School and later on at the Isabelo delos Reyes Elementary School, both in Tondo. I spent some of my afternoons tending to a small kiosk in front of our house where my mother sold her wares but most of the time went back to school to help out in remedial classes for the lower sections while doing catechisms. I also served in our parish chorale at the Sto. Nino de Tondo and was pretty much active with the Legion of Mary.

For a while then I thought my life would go on in much the same way year in and year out until my mother landed a job in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was there that I spent my intermediate years at the San Fernando Central Elementary School while serving as a member of the Knights of the Altar at the Shrine of our Lady of Lourdes.

I thought of becoming a priest as my beloved grandfather wanted me to be but this never went through to my great frustration as my would be sponsor died three days before my scheduled entry to a seminary in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was indeed a disappointment that to this day I would often wonder, what might have been?

I was given to a life of science and scientific adventures when I landed in a special science program at Jose Abad Santos High School in Binondo, Manila while still maintaining my engagement in church activities and my active involvement with the Student Catholic Action.

I was granted a scholarship at UP Los Banos to pursue a degree in the sciences, an answered prayer since we hardly had the wherewithal for a decent college education. I was left to fend for myself at an early age reminiscent of my juvenile years in Tondo. I must say that I enjoyed my years at the University in the company of brilliant but likewise struggling and financially challenged students. I enjoyed too my days as an activist for causes very close to my heart that placed me among those included in the military’s order of battle at the tender age of 19. Well that was martial law then. I had to struggle to make it through while unmindful of the blessings that God had bestowed on me.

I made a career in government service, first as an academic at UPLB then as a community organizer and later on as a strategic planner at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. My more than a decade of stint at the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives accorded me with the knowledge and experience very few really are fortunate to have. I owe so much to Senator Kit Tatad the kind of intellectual discipline he made sure was rubbed on to his staff and the kind of devotion he had to his Faith that was simply contagious. Senator Sonny Jaworski’s inspiring “never say die” attitude kept us working together which made him one of the most prolific author of new laws during his time in the Senate. I am happy to have served him too.

Through all these, I have experienced how life can be so difficult especially for those of us who were not born in affluent families. I went through poverty. Saw it, ate, slept, lived with and struggled against it, often at the risk of losing what I have established for myself and my family. I always thought that GOD never willed, as I am certain HE never did, to create a world where so many are poor and living in abject situations -inhuman in fact.

That millions and millions of our brethren would live in unjust and iniquitous arrangements was only possible because of the very few who sought to make it so for their benefit and self-aggrandizement. I believe in a caring and loving GOD. The One GOD who is just, wills the best and most prosperous life for everyone. The society we are in is not as GOD contemplated it to be. This is not it!

I feel that I am blessed, as in fact I am. I have been gifted with the faculties to serve as an instrument, as many of us are, to fight and ultimately bring forth a society where GOD’s contemplations are realized and enjoyed by everyone and not just a few. I personally feel, surely as all of us in the Ang Kapatiran Party are, to make it possible and see this through.

I made it through the vicissitudes of life. I resisted many a temptation and kept my values intact. I still have the courage to maintain the idealism of my youth and did not succumb to the pragmatism of current days. I have gained the respect of many of my peers who went through the same challenges in their lives.

I am not a saint, though I pray that I would be one someday, but a sinner and a continuing one, I must emphasize. I am still in a constant struggle, an unceasing one at that as I hold on to the line – “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”.

All these I view as Blessings to which I am very thankful for.

My life’s circumstances, my own story of ceaseless battles, prepared me for this. Yet again, as I have done before, share my blessings, take on the responsibility in another plain in bringing the certainty of a better life for every Filipino.

I am again seeking the people’s mandate and God’s affirmation, for a seat in the hallowed halls of the Senate with the conviction that I shall be the people’s “most loyal servant but God’s first”.

May God Bless us all!

(Note: Thanks to Norman Cabrera of Ang Kapatiran Party for sharing to me this article.)

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19th Century Apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes

Bro. Francis Mary Kalvelage F. F. I., ed., You Will Make This Known to All My People: 19th Century Apparitions in France–Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes (Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, MA USA, 1998), 182 pages.  Imprimatur by Most Rev. Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Bishop of Fall River, Mass., USA, 8 Dec 1998, Feast of Immaculate Conception.  Preface by Fr. John Hardon S.J.

[Note: There is a new edition by Ignatius Press with an additional shrine of Pontmain (Our Lady of Hope).  The new edition is entitled, Marian Shrines of France.  This is available in the F.F.I. Immaculate Mediatrix Online bookstore. Price: $12.50.  (PROD ID: SMS-MSF007, 198 pp, perfect bound, illustrated.)]

This book is a a collection of essays on the three 19th century apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Sallete, Lourdes.  But why France?

In modern times, it seems, France has been more a prodigal daughter of the Church than her “Eldest Daughter.”  The history of Catholicism in France has been a glorious and turbulent one: at times France has been a great defender of the Church and at other times, her greatest adversary.

Christianity arrived there in the middle of the Second Century in the area around what is now the city of Lyons, at that time a part of the Roman province of Gaul.  Its first bishop, Hilary, was martyred but by the middle of the Third Century, there were over 30 bishoprics.  Much of this expansion was due no doubt to the first Saint to be canonized other than a martyr, namely the popular St. Martin of Tours.  When the Vandals and Franks overran the country, the brought with them the Arian heresy, which caused much confusion and falling away from the Faith.  Following the conversion and baptism of King Clovis in 496, the Franks were converted.  But it wasn’t until two centuries later that the Christianization of France was completed.  From that time on virtually every development and important event revolved around the Catholic Church–through the periods of the Carolingians, feudalism, the Middle Ages and monarchies right up to the Eighteenth Century and the French revolution.

It was that revolution and the bloody persecution of the Church that caused a devastating break between church and state and the introduction of the strictly secular state.  This break with the past Christian roots of France was symbolized and made visible in her national flag.  For centuries the French flag had the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field.  They every symbolized the Christian virtue of purity and the Immaculate Virgin in particular, thus uniting Mary and the Church with French patriotism.  The present tricolor was introduced at the time of the French revolution when religion was being exiled from public life.  But love and loyalty to the Church could never by taken away from the hearts of Frenchmen.  Our Lady saw to that.  (pp. 1-2 by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)

The book does not only tell the story of the apparitions, but also provides character sketches of seers, the meaning of the message, the subsequent developments, and the testimonials on the miracles.  Like a diamond cut in a multitude of facets, this book is a gem.

PREFACE

by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

Saints and Marian Shrines are gaining in popularity.  Thus, the series of Marian Saints and Shrines, of which this book is the third, is well-timed.  The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has been criticized for the numerous men and women, clerical and lay, whom he has beatified and canonized in the last two decades, much more than any previous pontiff.  Recently, he announced that there will be many more beatifications and canonizations in celebrating the second millennium of Christianity.  All of this points to the fact that we are living in extraordinary times.  As the saying goes “where evil abounds, good abounds that much more.”  St. Louis de Montfort predicted in his great spiritual classic, True Devotion to Mary, “God will raise up great saints towards the end of time,” and these saints will be noted for their true devotion (total consecration) to the Blessed Mother.

In recent decades there has been a diminution of the cult of the saints.  One has to but look at the number of lives of the saints, books that have been written in the last thirty years, compared to the previous thirty years.  But one can say today that the trend is gradually changing.  The series of books on Marian Saints and Shrines published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, is one indication to that fact.  Ignatius Press, possibly the largest Catholic book distributor in the country, has carried in their catalogues the first two books in this series.  The Guadalupe Handbook and St. Therese, Doctor of the Church.  They have found that there is a growing market for books of this type.

. . .

Thus again, the vital importance of showing Mary’s presence in our times, in particular through her apparitions and her admonitions at Lourdes, La Salette and other Church-approved apparitions.  It is a well-known fact, besides the physical cures at these shrines, there are countless spiritual lepers, or sinners, who have been cleansed and reconciled to God.  So I welcome this latest and third in the series of Marian Saints and Shrines.  May it increase the number of those who are sincerely striving to become Saints.  As Mother Theresa used to say to priests, even at this time of shortage of vocations, “We do not need more priests but holy priests.”  That can apply to all of us.  For the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ is built up by “little people,” the saints, and will triumph ultimately united to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

CONTENTS

Part I.  From a Historical Perspective

  1. The Eldest Daughter of the Church is Marian
  2. Mary, Mother of the Church
  3. The Ballad and the Message

Part II.  Rue du Bac, Paris 1830–Mary’s First Message to the Modern World

  1. Revelation of the Medal called Miraculous
  2. The Triple Mission
  3. Rich Symbolism of the Miraculous
  4. The Conquest of a Rabid Anti-Catholic
  5. The “Bullets” Hit the Mark
  6. The Saint of Silence

Part III.  La Sallete, 1846, The Madonna in Tears Appears as the Reconciler of Sinners

  1. A Mother Weeps for Her Children
  2. How She Touched the Most Hardened Sinners
  3. He Skied Into Mary’s Arms
  4. “. . . The Seventh I Kept for Myself”
  5. A Cautious “Mother” Investigates
  6. Why Believe in Private Revelations
  7. Faithful to Their Mission
  8. What about the Secret?
  9. The Lady Gives a Lesson in Theology
  10. The Ars Incident

Part IV.   Lourdes, 1858, The Immaculate Virgin of the Grotto and Her Sainted Seer

  1. The Lady of the Grotto
  2. The Brave Little Heroine
  3. Lady Poverty Finds a Home
  4. School of Evangelical Penance
  5. The Penetrating Sweetness of that Smile
  6. Pope Pius XII Remembers Lourdes
  7. A Most Astounding Miracle
  8. “I Met a Miracle”
  9. Where the Miraculous Confronts the Science-Skeptics
  10. Interview of Doctor from the International Medical Committee
  11. Human Interest Side of Medical Bureau
  12. Two Novelists Went to Lourdes
  13. The Real Bernadette
  14. He Wrote About Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
  15. The Two Things Go Together
  16. Guardian and Teacher of the Faith
  17. She Pushed Back the Germans
  18. Bernadette Speaks from the Heart

Ordering Information:

The following information is from the book’s last page (This was still in 1998; the website address is still valid):

Special bulk rates are available with 10% to 60% discount depending on the number of books, plus postage.  For ordering books and further information:

Academy of the Immaculate, POB 667, Valatie NY 12184, phone/FAX (518) 758-1584.  E-mail Mimike@pipeline.com.

Quotations on bulk rates shipped directly by the box from the printery, contact:

Friars of the Immaculate, P.O. Box 3003, New Bedford, MA 02740, (508) 984-1856, FAX (508) 996-8296, E-mail ffi@ici.net, http://www.marymediatrix.com.

The FFI website is Immaculate Mediatrix Online (same address as above).  The book may be purchased in their bookstore here.

Here is a tabular list of bookstores for the book “Marian Shrines of France”:

Company Price Type In Stock Delivery
Immaculate Mediatrix Online
$12.50 softcover Yes
The Catholic Company $12.50 softcover Yes 1-2 business days
Family Publications
£ 9.95 (UK) paperback Yes
All Catholic Books
$12.50($9.70) softcover(paperback) Yes
EWTN Religious Catalogue
$13.00 softcover Yes
Freedom Publishing
AUD 25.95 paperback Yes 1-2 business days
Amazon
£ 24.23 to £ 86.20 Used and new books Yes
Leaflet Missal
$13.95 Softcover Yes
The Abbey Shop
£ 9.95 paperback Yes

Updated: 10 Feb 2009