Saturday, December 27, 2008

By Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio


We'll have a New Year and a new president in America next year, 2009. Is it really true what somebody said that normally we like anything new? Like a new car, a new house, a new pair of shoes, or a new suit.

Well, I think it depends on the quality of the new item. Let's talk about Barack Obama, the incoming new president of the United States.
Obama is new but has not been tested before as a chief executive of a large entity such as a country, a state, or a city. It remains to be seen what would his new approach in governance of the richest country in the world, the United States of America.

The multi-ethnic profile of Obama's cabinet based on the racial origin of his announced nominees, some Blacks, some Latinos, and some Asians, is a good sign. I would say that his admiration for Abraham Lincoln as his model president has something to do with it.

Obama's decision to retain President Bush's secretary of defense is also a reflection of his good judgment. His selection of former Army General Eric Shinseki to head the Veterans Affairs department is another thing worth to be appreciated to indicate his fairness and sensitivity to a most qualified leader.

Now comes the scandal involving Governor Blagogevich of Illinois, ardent political supporter in his home state. He is accused of selling Obama's Senate seat, perhaps to the highest bidder.

How well or bad President-elect Obama would handle this sticky problem is anybody's guess.

I welcome Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren, author of the book, PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, considered the biggest best seller of all time, to give the invocation during his inauguration next month.

He really needs the prayer of a man of faith to help his infant presidency guide the fate of the American people in these troubled times when the Devil seems to be very active in sowing evil.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


By Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio


Christmas always brings memories to me , especially my child hood days. It must the gifts being showered to children by parents, brothers and sisters, other relatives and friends every Christmas season I know because I was once a child.

Why are the children the most favored recipient of Christmas gifts?

It was Baby Jesus, the Child King, who received the most precious gifts ever from the Three Wise Men from the East, as told in the New Testament. Guided by a beautiful shining star in the evening, the Three Kings finally found the object of their long search, a baby in a manger who was born King of Kings to a virgin maiden, Mary, especially chosen by the Holy Spirit.

So we see Baby Jesus on the faces of those beautiful children with pure faith who received our gifts. And we Christians do it in celebration of Almighty God's greatest gift to sinful mankind doomed to hell – Jesus our Lord and Savior.

During this Christmas Season 2008, let's refocus our sight on the poor children living on the dirty streets of Manila, and other impoverished cities of the world and showered them with things they need to survive for " they are the Kingdom of Heaven."


Friday, December 12, 2008

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


True champions of this world give glory to God in Heaven for their victories. Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxing champion, who technically knocked out Oscar de la Hoya from East Los Angeles, one of the greatest boxers of all time, now belong to that special class of champions. He told the media after the fight that he owes his victory to God his Creator.

Arrogance is never the hallmark of a Christian. Humility is the sign of Christianity - Christ crucified at the cross after being extremely humiliated by His enemies. Victory is the reward of humility - Christ Resurrection that defeated the power of Death. Truly it is hard to be a Christian but the gift of being such is fulfilling.

Majority of Filipinos are Christians, yet they are suffering from poverty, sickness, and humiliation. Despite their extreme hardships, they can still smile and even offer help of any kind to anybody in distress. What an exemplary national trait of a people that seem to be doomed. Do you know of another class of people who underwent a series of struggles to survive as a nation saved from becoming obliterated from the face of the earth at the hands of a mad dictator?

There are reasons to wonder at the mysterious way God loves His people. The philosophical mind definitely will question God’s master plan. But who are these hapless mortals to spew doubt about God’s love to His creation? They will surely die without any hope of any kind such as the hope of eternal life for God’s believers.

The incoming Obama Administration that campaigned primarily on offering material goods to the American people and freedom to kill an unborn baby, recognize homosexuality and lesbianism as legitimate lifestyle, and to totally ban God in public schools is worth watching. Is it another example of God’s permissive Will demonstrated in the Old Testament when He let Satan do harm to Job, a faithful servant of God? However, it may be a big challenge to so-called conservative Christians and Jews to raise their moral standards like doing what they preach so to speak .

Remember what my former Muslim classmate at the University of the Philippines once told me: Show me a good Christian and I’ll be one.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Boxing may be compared to chess rather than to politics. In politics, the politician needs money and support from a major political party machine to promote his candidacy to win votes. A boxer needs to be strong physically and mentally, skillful with boxing techniques, and exceptionally fast with his whole body using a great deal of reflexes in order to knock out his opponent. Comparing the Pacquiao – De la Hoya fight on Dec. 6th to the recent presidential contest between Obama and McCain is ridiculous.

A boxer may apply some of the mating techniques of famous chess masters to win by knockout. Some world heavyweight boxing champions like Dr. Vitaly Klitschko of Ukraine and Britiain’s Lennox Lewis study chess strategy and tactics and use them during championship fights.

As a Filipino American born in the Philippines, I want Manny Pacquiao to win this fight with the greatest Mexican American boxer, Oscar De la Hoya. However, from an objective assessment of their different fighting skills and other assets, De la Hoya has a definite advantage due to his height(4 inches over), length of his fighting arms(six inches over), and his methodical fighting techniques.

Both Pacquiao and De la Hoya have shown to be equally strong. But they use different moves during the first rounds. Pacquiao seems to be more of a tactical fighter going for the jugular a la Mike Tyson. He is more of a brawler letting off with his lightning fast punches all over his opponent. One good solid hit with a Pacquiao punch would knock out his opponent. If he misses a lot of such punches, then he would be the one under attack. Such is a tactical player like Pacquiao.

De la Hoya, on the other hand, makes use of his equally lightning fast jabs in the early rounds against his opponent. The intent is to weaken his opponent’s defenses in the same manner a chess champion would deploy his pawns. He waits for the right position to hit his opponent hard for a knockout or to mate the king as in a chess game.

At any rate, I will choose not to bet on either boxer though my heart goes to my “kababayan” Pacquiao. Also, I, too, am a tactical fighter in chess or in politics or even in romance.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

By Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio


Looking at the frowning former Philippine Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe de Venecia during the methodical slaughter of the Gloria Arroyo Impeachment Complaint filed by his son, Joey, is a perfect case of a role reversal. When de Venecia was Speaker, he was credited to have led the killing of previous impeachment complaints against the same respondent by the notoriously well-financed legislative hacks, presumably including himself. He should be familiar with the character of his colleagues in the majority that no amount of appeal to conscience can work. Anyway the hearing was worth the publicity to wake up the "no hear, no tell, no talk" Filipino people. But as history will tell us, money or gold, the god of this world, still reigns supreme.

With the impending financial collapse of major businesses and banking institutions worldwide caused by greed and corruption , he or she who has the money controls the world regardless whether the money belongs to the people. If the government which is the agency entrusted by the people to use their money for the benefit of the many such as in a representative system of government, steal or misappropriate public funds to benefit the public officers for their selfish interest, then the time for change is the solution. What must be changed are the violators the public trust, and not the constitution. That is usually done through honest and clean elections in order to avoid a resort to a violent revolution. It's just that simple and it's applicable to the Philippine situation in the wake of the recent American presidential elections.
Democracy is still the best form of government where there exists a mechanism of check and balance among the three branches of power: executive, legislative, and judicial. The reason for such provision is to prevent dictatorship of anyone or combination of two of the three power centers. If such mechanism fails, greed and corruption follows. And the people's sovereignty is in danger. When the people asserts its sovereignty, a bloody revolution is inevitable at the expense of precious human lives. Nobody wants this kind of situation but the "desperados."
The only solution I see that has worked in several political settings worldwide is the role of clean and honest elections to preserve democracy in the Philippines. That time is scheduled to happen in 2010 in the Philippines. So any attempt to disrupt the schedule is treasonous in substance. Let's now watch out for the traitors.
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