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The past few weeks have been terribly busy for me. There were renovations in my house, primarily for safety. If you must know, this household is composed of 3kids, a househelp and yours truly. And with what has been happening here and there, I’m just being cautious for my family. I have to keep them safe, y’know.

Renovations ended but my 2nd child (who has been living with her grandmother for the past months) is now here with us and I have a riot house, literally. It’s hard keeping up with them. They seek too much attention and time. Not that I don’t like spending time with them, but its just too tiring (and annoying) sometimes.

I’m keeping myself sane with books, crocheting, gardening, cooking, errands and whatnots. I need some me time but contrary to what I’ve just said, I’m enjoying my time with the kids while they’re still complete. ^_^

Today was spent in a rather busy tone. I’m not sure if it follows my Catholic beliefs, but I’m pretty sure I am honoring a mother, one of the Ten Commandments given by God, when I do my duties today.

We are having some renovations done on our house. First, was because of security. Then, it turned out, we needed some repairs and a storage room done too.
I am left only with one kid today. The 2 boys are with their grandmother, busy bonding. The first part of the day was spent with silent cries for missing the hubby and my baby boys. The rest was for errands and chores for the “elders”. I am actually enjoying being a full time mom now. I have enough time for the kids (except for the 2nd one, who’s been with her grandmother since the hubby left). I accompany my eldest to a singing workshop 3 times a week. I still take care of the little girl 80-85% of the day. So yes, I am fulfilled. I have a few bouts of loneliness, I won’t deny it. But I am content with what I have. Financial issues here and there, but God has always provided. My family was never really hungry. We have a house to live in. Life is good.
So, where does Good Friday take me? I spend some of it watching television where they feature lives of different people and how God has made a difference in each. I have my own testimony of how God has been really good to me. He may have knocked on my door a few times, just to tell me I have more important things I need to prioritize and he may have done it too to keep my feet on the ground. A humbling and fruitful experience.
I find myself gloomy at times, but at the end of the day, I still remember to let God be God. He has never failed me. I may think otherwise some of the time, but when I assess these days like now, I realize, He has never really forsaken me. I was the one who has forgotten.

With all the day’s reflection, it is a good friday, indeed.

How’d you spend yours?

In the Roman Catholic Church

Day of Fasting

Crucifix prepared for veneration.

The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.

Services on the day

The Latin Rite ordinarily has no celebration of Mass between the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening and the Easter Vigil unless a special exemption is granted for rare solemn or grave occasions by the Vatican or the local bishop. The only sacraments celebrated during this time are Baptism (for those in danger of death), Penance, and Anointing of the Sick.[13] While there is no celebration of the Eucharist, it is distributed to the faithful only in the Service of the Passion of the Lord, but can also be taken at any hour to the sick who are unable to attend this service.[14] During this period crosses, candlesticks, and altar cloths are removed from the altar which remains completely bare.[15] It is also customary to empty the holy waterfonts in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil.[16] Traditionally, no bells are rung on Good Friday or Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil.

The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the afternoon, ideally at three o’clock, but for pastoral reasons a later hour may be chosen.[17] The vestments used are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally).[18] Before 1970, vestments were black except for the Communion part of the rite when violet was used.[19] Before 1955 black was used throughout.[20] If a bishop or abbotcelebrates, he wears a plain mitre (mitra simplex).[21]

Liturgy

Communion from the Blessed Sacramenton Good Friday (Our Lady of Lourdes, Philadelphia).

The liturgy consists of three parts: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.

  • The Liturgy of the Word, consists of the clergy and assisting ministers entering in complete silence, without any singing. They then silently make a full prostration, “[signifying] both the abasement of ‘earthly man,’[22] and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.”[23] Then follows the Collect prayer, and the reading or chanting of Isaiah 52:13-53:12Hebrews 4:14-165:7-9, and the Passionaccount from the Gospel of John, traditionally divided between three deacons,[24] yet often divided between the celebrant and more than one singer or reader. This part of the liturgy concludes with theorationes sollemnes, a series of prayers for the Church, the Pope, the clergy and laity of the Church, those preparing for baptism, the unity of Christians, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Christ, those who do not believe in God, those in public office, those in special need.[25] After each prayer intention, the deacon calls the faithful to kneel for a short period of private prayer; the celebrant then sums up the prayer intention with a Collect-style prayer.
  • The Veneration of the Cross, has a crucifix, not necessarily the one that is normally on or near the altar at other times, solemnly displayed to the congregation and then venerated by them, individually if possible and usually by kissing the wood of the cross, while hymns and the Improperia (“Reproaches”) with the Trisagion hymn are chanted.[26]
  • Holy Communion is done according to a rite based on that of the final part of Mass, beginning with the Our Father, but omitting the ceremony of “Breaking of the Bread” and its related chant, the “Agnus Dei“. The Eucharist, consecrated at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday is distributed at this service.[27] Before the reform of Pope Pius XII, only the priest received Communion in the framework of what was called the “Mass of the Presanctified“, which included the usual Offertory prayers, with the placing of wine in the chalice, but which omitted the Canon of the Mass.[20] The priest and people then depart in silence, and the altar cloth is removed, leaving the altar bare except for the cross and two or four candlesticks.[28]

Stations of the Cross

The Way of the Cross, celebrated at theColosseum in Rome on Good Friday.

Rome: canopy erected at the “Temple of Venus and Rome” during the “Way of the Cross” ceremony.

In addition to the prescribed liturgical service, the Stations of the Cross are often prayed either in the church or outside, and a prayer service may be held from midday to 3.00 p.m., known as theThree Hours’ Agony. In countries such as MaltaItalyPhilippinesPuerto Rico and Spain, processions with statues representing the Passion of Christ are held.

In Rome, since the papacy of His Holiness John Paul II, the heights of the Temple of Venus and Roma and their position opposite the main entrance to the Colosseum have been used to good effect as a public address platform. This may be seen in the photograph below where a red capopy has been erected to shelter the Pope as well as an illuminated cross, on the occasion of the Way of the Cross ceremony. The Pope, either personally or through a representative, leads the faithful through meditations on the stations of the cross while a cross is carried from there to the Colosseum.

In Polish churches, a tableau of Christ’s Tomb is unveiled in the sanctuary. Many of the faithful spend long hours into the night grieving at the Tomb, where it is customary to kiss the wounds on the Lord’s body. A life-size figure of Christ lying in his tomb is widely visited by the faithful, especially on Holy Saturday. The tableaux may include flowers, candles, figures of angels standing watch, and the three crosses atop Mt Calvary, and much more. Each parish strives to come up with the most artistically and religiously evocative arrangement in which the Blessed Sacrament, draped in a filmy veil, is prominently displayed.

Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ

El Greco‘sJesus Carrying the Cross, 1580

The Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus suffered during his Passion on Good Friday. These Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins against Jesus. Some such prayers are provided in the Raccolta Catholic prayer book (approved by a Decree of 1854, and published by the Holy See in 1898) which also includes prayers as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.[29][30][31][32]

In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor on reparations, Pope Pius XI called Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ a duty for Catholics and referred to them as “some sort of compensation to be rendered for the injury” with respect to the sufferings of Jesus.[33]

Pope John Paul II referred to Acts of Reparation as the “unceasing effort to stand beside the endless crosses on which the Son of God continues to be crucified“.[34]

Malta

The Holy Week commemorations reach their peak on Good Friday as the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the passion of Jesus. Solemn celebrations take place in all churches together with processions in different villages around Malta and Gozo. During the celebration, the narrative of the passion is read in some localities. The Adoration of the Cross follows. Good Friday processions take place in BirguBormlaGhaxaqLuqaMostaNaxxarPaolaQormiRabatSengleaVallettaŻebbuġ (Città Rohan) andŻejtun. Processions in Gozo will be in NadurVictoria (St. George and Cathedral), Xaghra and Żebbuġ, Gozo.

The Philippines

In predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, the chanting of the Pasyon, and the staging of theSenakulo, a Passion play. Church bells are not rung and Masses are not celebrated. In some communities, (most notably in the island province of Marinduque or in the San FernandoPampanga), processions include devotees who practise mortification of the flesh. They engage in self-flagellation and sometimes even have themselves crucified as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church.[35]

After three o’clock in the afternoon of Good Friday (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), the faithful are urged to keep a very solemn and prayerful disposition until EasterSunday. Noise and merriment is highly discouraged, while businesses close, and some radio and television stations close down.

Other television networks remain on-air but give way to special religious programming, like movies on the lives of Christ and the Saints or inspirational dramas. Some tie-up with the communications arms of religious orders like the SVD, theJesuits, and the Dominicans to provide telecasts of the day’s rites live from Catholic churches. These events usually include the reading of the Siete Palabrás, the recitation of the Stations of the Cross, and the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.

In Cebu and other Visayan Islands, people usually eat binignit and biko as a form of fasting.

Good Friday Calendar:
2011 = April 22
2012 = April 6
2013 = March 29
2014 = April 18
2015 = April 3

While I may be a part of his audience (not anymore though; has been that way for a few months now), I condemn (for lack of a lighter word) what happened a few days ago, when a child was forced to dance what seems to be a macho or dirty dance. And the fact that this child is actually crying while the audience and Willie continue to laugh and cheer. I found it disgusting and sad. No, I wasn’t there to watch it live. I actually just saw glimpses of it (thank God) from one of TV5s news programs. But what I saw was the issue and that was enough.

Watching it, it was like watching a horror movie where a demon or demonic person laughs his demon laugh while watching someone suffer. That was the exact same feeling, except that it was happening in real life. I sympathize with the boy. How can somebody so young be humiliated in front of national television? Was it really for the ratings? Was it the game of the networks? Was it actually entertaining to watch this kind of thing?

I am a mother. I have been so for the past 9years. I cry when my kids don’t feel well. I empathize with how they’re feeling whether it be sad or happy. I also believe that kids should not be exposed to things such as violence and sex and harshness of life. That I, as a parent, should do all that I could to protect and not exploit. This is what happened that day. All because of money and greed. Of the boy’s family, of the host of the show, of the network it was being aired at.

image of JanJan dancing courtesy of deiniel.com

I love shows. I love watching the television because it entertains me especially when I’m feeling low and lonely. But when these things happen, I can’t help but feel that television is just a devil’s advocate.

Just my two cents. What’s yours?

I have been busy the past few days, thus, no posts. What made me busy, you ask? Well, I started my new online business. I sell clothes, now mostly summer dresses and coverups, since it’s the “in” thing. Then, I also accepted a part time VA job. And a few days ago, the second child (who has been spending his days with his grandma, as soon as dear daddy left), was back at home for a few days. That means, the house is a total RIOT.

I am still in the process of contemplating whether what I’m doing is actually what I really want. I have less time for the baby, less time to read (if I can read, at all), less time for my flower garden (thank God I have good garden soil, the flowers are abundant and the plants thrive), and my bad temper is coming back. I think its because of the sleepless nights and the stress that is slowly taking its toll on me.

So, why do I do this? So I won’t be lonely. But is it all worth it? I’m still confused and thinking.

 

How have you been?

First thing I read on my FB wall today, was about an acid rain scare here in the Philippines. It was said to have been brought about by the recent eruption from a nuclear plant in Japan due to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

Then, a text message from my mother-in-law also saying the same thing came. So I wondered.. is this true at all? I researched and thanks to one of my FB and highschool friends, I was able to locate a website saying that it’s a hoax. And another one from GMA News, saying that it’s not true. Read on :

 

THE CIRCULATING “SCARE” :

BBCNEWS today : JAPAN GOVT. confirms radiation leak at fukushima nuclear plants.Asian countries should take necessary precautions. remain indoors first 24 hrs.close doors n windows. Swab nect skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precaution, radiation may hit philippines at starting 4pm today.please send to all

 

From PinoyTumblr.com

http://www.pinoytumblr.com/post/3849321028/philippine-radiation-threat-is-a-hoax-please-be

Philippine Radiation threat is a hoax. Please be informed.

Text messages have started circulating today posing to be legitimate warnings from BBC News. The message appears as follows:

BBC News: Japan government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors for the first 24 hours. Close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with Betadine where the thyroid area is. Radiation hits the thyroid first. Radiation may hit the Philippines starting 4PM today.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) debunks this as a hoax, assuring the public that the Philippines is safe.

 

From GMA News :

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/215205/nation/pagasa-no-acid-rain-in-phl-from-japan?utm_source=GMANews.TV&utm_medium=twitter

PAGASA: No acid rain in PHL from Japan

State weather forecasters on Monday denied rumors circulating via text messages that there will be “acid rain” in the Philippines supposedly because of radioactive clouds from quake- and tsunami-stricken Japan.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said there was no basis for such claims.

“Yung hangin galing sa Japan papalayo kaya di makakarating sa atin. Hindi totoo ang ulan may kasamang acid,” PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said in an interview on dzBB radio.

(The winds from Japan are moving away from us. It’s not true that these winds contain acid rain.)

An earlier report on dzBB radio said several text messages had been circulating that acid rain may fall on the Philippines because of the looming nuclear emergency in Japan.

Japanese authorities are now scrambling to prevent a meltdown of its nuclear plant in Fukushima, after its cooling systems failed.

DOST: ‘Chernobyl’ scenario may be gone in few days

Earlier on Monday, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo said Monday a “Chernobyl scenario” of radiation clouds from a failed nuclear power plant in quake- and tsunami-devastated Japan may subside in a few days’ time.

Montejo said while they are not discounting a leakage from the nuclear plant in Fukushima, the threat is small and there is “very little” threat to the Philippines.

“There is no immediate threat to the Philippines … (We are) very optimistic in a few days pwede na natin bitawan yan (We are very optimistic in a few days we can declare no threat to the country),” Montejo said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

Montejo also said the National Security Council was to meet later Monday so it can update President Benigno Aquino III on the situation.

He also assured the public the Philippines’ nuclear scientists are monitoring the situation along with the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.

“Lahat na nuclear scientist nakabantay sa radiation (Our nuclear scientists are monitoring the possible radiation),” he said.

Montejo also said one of the supposed nuclear plant explosions was actually a “calibrated vent,” adding the plants had redundant safety precautions in place.

Such safety precautions included containment vessels that would keep radiation from getting out of the plant, he said.

“May redundancy para manigurado. Karamihan na nuclear plant ganoon ang design talaga (There are redundancies in place. Most nuclear plants are built that way),” he said.

Early warning systems

Meanwhile, Montejo said the DOST is now working on putting in place an early warning system for tsunamis, which he said may be completed in two years.

“This can give you five to 15 minutes’ warning but at least magkakaroon tayo ng warning (but at least we can have some sort of warning),” he said in a separate interview on dzXL radio.

He also said they are installing water level monitors so they can determine water levels in various parts of the country in real time.

Tips on coping with radiation emergencies

Do not panic, protect yourself from radiation exposure, stay indoors and close windows, and watch out for emergency information from TV and radio.

These are the four main points of an 11-year-old response plan drawn up by the government for a radiation-related emergency – like possible radiation from a nuclear plant in quake- and tsunami-stricken Japan.

The National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (RADPlan) was approved and signed on Nov. 24, 2000, according to a primer posted on the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.

While the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Sunday there is no immediate emergency yet from the nuclear plant meltdown threat in Japan, it will implement the RADPlan once there is a threat.

“In the event the Philippines will be affected, the NDRRMC will put into action the existing National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (RADPLAN) that covers nuclear emergencies such as this,” the NDRRMC said in a news release on its website on Sunday.

“The RADPLAN establishes an organized emergency response capability for timely, coordinated action of Philippine authorities in a peacetime radiological incident or emergency. Participating agencies such as the PNRI and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) are given authority and responsibilities for coordinating activities of other agencies involved,” the NDRRMC added.

Under the plan, the OCD will coordinate all non-nuclear response activities, while the PNRI will coordinate all nuclear response activities.

It gives the public four basic actions to take in case of a radiation-related emergency:

  • Do not panic. Remain calm.
  • Protect yourself from radiation exposure. Make effective use of the principles of time, distance and shielding:
    Time: Radiation dose is reduced if exposure time to the material is kept at a minimum;
    Distance: Exposure dose is decreased the farther you are from the radiation source;
    Shielding: Thick, heavy and dense materials such as concrete, lead, earth or steel reduces the radiation intensity.
  • Stay indoors and close your windows.
  • Watch out for emergency information from television and radio.

    If one suspects an area may have radioactive substances:

  • Keep time spent near the device to a minimum.
  • Stay as far away as possible from the material and warn other people. Ask authorities’ help to keep people away and to secure the area.
  • Contact the PNRI.

    The PNRI lists four types of radiological emergencies:

  • Emergencies from fixed nuclear or radiation facilities
  • Emergencies occurring in the transport or loss of radioactive materials
  • Emergencies from foreign sources having environmental or health impact on Philippine territories, including the possible entry of contaminated food, scrap metals and other materials
  • Emergencies from nuclear-powered ships
  • Emergencies from re-entry of satellites with nuclear materials as components

    There are three levels of radiological emergencies:

  • Level 1: Alert: A radiation-related accident has occurred in a nuclear-related facility but the event has not directly affected the Philippines and the popularion in particular
  • Level 2: Site Area Emergency: A radiation-related emergency occurred and has been confirmed to affect a specifically defined area in the Philippines, or area within the site boundaries of a nuclear radiation facility
  • Level 3: General Emergency: The radiological emergency has been confirmed to affect wide areas outside the boundaries of the affected facility, or its effect has already been felt. Actual or projected radiation doses are beyond the prescribed limits for members of the public.

    In a national radiological emergency, 12 government departments, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; the Offices of the President and Press Secretary; and Philippine Red Cross will be involved as members of the National Radiological Emergency Response Organization. – VVP, GMA News

  • Thankss to all resources. So, what’s my take? As a mother of 3 young children, I am a known worrier. And to take necessary or UNnecessary precautions, I WILL PLAY IT SAFE and stay indoors for at least 24 hours.

    Take care folks!

    Eventhough it’s been so long

    My love for you keeps going strong

    I remember the things that we used to do

    A kiss in the rain ’til the sun shines through

     

    It’s been 3 weeks … and I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY!!! :'(

    I hate to be the one at the waiting end. I hate that it feels you have transitioned easily… unlike me. I still dream of being at that airport, waiting for you. Or forgetting I even sent you there. How could you forget all that? How can I?

     

    I’m having a bad day today. It’s not a big deal actually but things have not been going my way. I hate it. I’ve lost my bestfriend. I’m alone.

    I suddenly felt frustrated this evening. First because the eldest kid kept on bugging me about his math assignment, which I feel was quite easy. (As I write this, I think that the eldest either feels he needs attention or that he truly does not understand his lessons and need my help.. after all, everyone is different, including learning abilities)

    Second was, the hubby and I could not log in properly and talk over Skype or YM. It was really frustrating. I needed to talk to him about things like I used to. Now it’s all just hellos, how-are-yous, and goodbyes. No more real talk. No real sense. It was all the same. It’s frustrating. He was the only person who could understand me more than anybody else, even myself sometimes. How can I survive a year (or more) without having a decent conversation with my bestfriend? It’s driving me crazy.

    Third was the little things this morning. I had to do the laundry because it feels like the househelp was waiting for me to do it. I didn’t teach her to use the washing machine (automatic) simply because it was too complicated and the first time she tried (without my permission), it was a great fail. Now, it seems she won’t do the laundry manually or even ask me if we can do it. She JUST waits. Sigh. Finances are not too good too. The hubby has just started his work abroad and hasn’t sent his full salary (yet). He was able to send some money a few days ago, but with all the bills and expenses, I highly doubt it will last us until the end of the month. Yes, I’m a worrier. I worry about little things and big things. I believe all mothers are. Another sigh.

    I hope things will feel better tomorrow. I expect it.

    Oft in the tranquil hour of night,
    When stars illume the sky,
    I gaze upon each orb of light,
    And wish that thou wert by.
    ~George Linley

     

    What shall I do with all the days and hours
    That must be counted ere I see thy face?
    How shall I charm the interval that lowers
    Between this time and that sweet time of grace?
    ~Frances Anne Kemble

     

    Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  I miss you like hell. ~Edna St Vincent Millay

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