This past October, Barangay BF Homes sent a request to the City Government of Parañaque to review the permits they issued to business establishments operating in their local community that built illegal structures and initiated construction projects along the sidewalks.
Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez confirmed this development to me in relation to an October 1, 2019 letter that they received (on October 3) from developer BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI).
In that letter, BFHI Vice President for Production Engr. Fernando Javier told the barangay captain that most business establishments in the local community have built illegal structures along the sidewalks which are intended for public use.
The memorandum circular, signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, stated:
Relatedly, local chief executives are hereby directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. Prudence must also be observed in placing street signs and signages to avoid exacerbating problems on obstructions. Moreover, local sanggunians are enjoined to revisit ordinances and similar legislative measures to ensure responsiveness to this presidential directive and consistency with related laws and policies.
For strategic implementation of this Circular, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), cities and municipalities shall prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction.
To put things in perspective, varied city governments around the country implemented road clearing operations on roads and sidewalks.
But going into the Barangay BF Homes community, which by the way is huge, BFHI not only urged captain Paolo Marquez to act (the developer will report the matter to the DILG and the Office of the President if no significant results are realized), but they also wrote twice to the Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay BF Homes council) on November 2018 about clearing obstructions along sidewalks. BFHI reminded Marquez that the Barangay BF Homes Council claimed it will refer their demand (note: in response to the November 2018 letters) to the City Legal Office and, so far, the developer has not received any updates from the barangay.
With regards to Barangay BF Homes responding to the October 1, 2019 letter of BFHI, captain Marquez told me that they will see developments first before issuing a response to the developer. So far the barangay has yet to see an official response from the City Government whom they requested to review all permits that were issued to business establishments (including those that built illegal structures on sidewalks). It also remains to be seen if the City Government under mayor Edwin Olivarez will actually revoke the business permits of businesses found guilty of obstruction in accordance to the DILG’s July 29, 2019 memorandum circular.
Back to captain Marquez, he also mentioned that the barangay itself initiated street clearing operations back in August. To conduct clearing operations on Aguirre Avenue (which is a very long road all of which occupies the jurisdiction of Paranaque City), the barangay will have to engage with a private stakeholder first.
To put things in perspective, BF Homes, Inc. NEVER donated the roads and sidewalks to any local government unit (LGU) or homeowners association (HOA) which explains why they have the right to complain about illegal structures on the sidewalks. The BF Homes community, by the way, also stretches into the cities of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.
Back to the barangay, there recently was a reform of the Parañaque system of processing business permits in which the barangay no longer processes applications for business clearances (clearly, they no longer issue the said clearances) and that business owners who wish to renew permits can go straight to City Hall, specifically at the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO). Under the old system, business owners had to apply for a biz clearance at the barangay and secure it first (because it was a requirement back then) before proceeding to BPLO of the City.
Future updates on this ongoing development concerning the BF Homes community will be posted here once they happen.
In my old life, I used to be fond of celebrating Halloween. Having been Born Again, I realized my true purpose in life under God the Father and His Son Jesus. That being said, I realized how wrong it is to celebrate which is essentially evil and unholy for any Christian (including those who practice idolatry which itself is sinful). Halloween will take Christians away from the Lord and that alone is reason enough to reject it.
Halloween’s origin is Celtic by nature and it is connected with observing the sacrifices to gods under the Druidic culture. There is also Samhain, a dark lord who sends out evil souls to attack humans can only save themselves by disguising themselves with the images of those very evil souls.
Sounds familiar? It is because there are these modern day Halloween practices that are linked to the evil rites and superstitions of Halloween. In the modern world where Halloween gets celebrated, people (including many children) go out and around their local communities wearing costumes of horror figures like zombies, demons, monsters and pop culture-related villains (examples: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers). These costumed Halloween participants, looking horrific, would visit any household that offers candy for trick-or-treat. Wearing “non-horror” costumes like superhero attire or fantasy attire (example: dressed like a princess) does NOT reduce the evil that comes with Halloween. There is no such thing as an innocent way of celebrating Halloween.
And then there are those multimedia-related ways of celebrating Halloween like watching horror movies back to back or playing video games that carry strong horror themes. There is also the business aspect of Halloween as food retailers promote the season by linking it with selling candy and chocolate (clearly to take advantage of families or groups that intend to give away the sweets during trick-or-treat Halloween celebrations in the local communities).
Halloween trick-or-treat here in the Philippines even made its way to local government units. In October of 2016 and 2017, the City Government of Parañaque organized trick-or-treat at City Hall which attracted kids wearing costumes (including horror and superhero attire) who visited varied offices that give away candy. During those times, the City Government even organized special events at the nearby city sports complex celebrating Halloween which I find rather disturbing.
In my old life, I enjoyed celebrating Halloween and I used to ignore the claims that it was unholy and evil. While I never went out for trick-or-treat as a kid, I helped out in giving candy to costumed visitors. I also hiked around the local area photographing the Halloween activities flocked by participants, and then uploading those pics online for social media users to view. I also took time celebrating Halloween by watching horror movies.
Looking back, I honestly admit that celebrating Halloween was indeed wrong. Now that I’m a saved soul and a dedicated Christian with a living relationship with the Lord, I declare that Halloween is wrong, unholy and evil. Halloween is a popular tool used by Satan to take people away from God and Jesus. Halloween definitely should be rejected always and we Christians must always be with God. Let me discuss the following points.
“Is it okay for a Christian to celebrate Halloween?”
The answer is a definite NO. Let’s take a look at the Holy Scripture below.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons
1 Corinthians 10: 21 (NKJV)
And now the Amplified version.
You cannot drink [both] the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons. You cannot share in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons [thereby becoming partners with them].
1 Corinthians 10: 21 (AMP)
Very clearly, there is no room to worship both the Lord and evil. If you want to be with the side of God and Jesus, you really need to purify yourself and free yourself from whatever form of evil thrown at you by Satan. Satan is a loser indeed, however he still exists because Adam gave him dominion (read about Adam’s Rebellion) and as long as he exists, he will do anything to take you away from God, to prevent you from worshiping the Lord and will use anything (including religion and idolatry) to prevent you from making progress with the Lord. Halloween is one of Satan’s weapons against Christianity. Halloween is also a long-time tool of the enemy to embrace evil.
If you sinned by celebrating Halloween and committing other sinful acts in your past, you can still be saved (note: you need to be born again to be saved. Heed the words of Jesus in John 3: 3) because God is merciful and you need to be willing to repent, submit to Him and dedicate yourself to Him with an established personal relationship with Him.
Be aware that goodness comes from God and evil comes from Satan. It’s as clear as night and day. If you are a saved soul, then it is clear you should stand with God and His Son Jesus. Being dedicated to the Lord will spare you from evil, and that takes willingness and decisiveness from your end.
Learn from this Holy Scripture.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2: 1-10 (NKJV)
Each and every one of us was created to be loyal, faithful, loving and dedicated towards our Heavenly Father God and His Son Lord Jesus even as we were granted the freedom to think, act and decide. Even before we were even made, God established a plan for each and every one of us. Worshiping Satan, embracing evil, celebrating Halloween and living a life full sin and wickedness are obviously NOT part of God’s plan for us all.
By realizing the true purpose of your existence under God, you will realize that it is your destiny to be saved and to be faithful (not religious) to the Lord. Satan used a whole lot of tools to prevent God’s creations from being with Him. Satan used not only Halloween but also religion, idolatry, money, power, destruction, secularism, atheism, agnosticism, entertainment and a whole batch of other tools to bring Christians down and make evil stronger.
Going back to Halloween, that celebration of evil includes witchcraft which is an abomination! In our world, it is too easy for people to go out wearing costumes to look like witches and this alone spreads the influence of evil around. There are also filmmakers and other creative people out there who made witchcraft look cool or even a good custom to practice. The 1996 Hollywood movie The Craft is one such example of spreading Satan’s influence to the public and I personally recommend to you readers to avoid watching that movie (note: destroy whatever physical or digital copies you have of it) at all. Witchcraft and related stuff like sorcery, necromancy and magic are abominations as written in the Holy Bible. Read the Holy Scripture below.
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”
Deuteronomy 18: 9-12
Those abominations that look good in entertainment media are all made to deceive you and prevent you from achieving progress and purity with the Lord. From time to time, there are media reports about real life people who practice witchcraft, sorcery and other unholy customs that make this world a terrible place under the eyes of God. That is, obviously, very unfortunate because it proves how screwed up our physical world really is.
Even appearances can add to the influence of evil. You think going out in local community Halloween celebrations dressed as a witch, or as a magician or as a sorcerer (or even cosplaying as Marvel’s Doctor Strange) is okay with the Lord for as long as you don’t practice witchcraft and the like? Wrong! Imagery or appearances of evil spread evil and deceives others. Such imagery also will influence people to embrace idolatry which itself is a sin. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God!
Rejecting Halloween Effectively
You might be wondering: how are we Christians supposed to reject Halloween and its evil effectively?
First, we must realize our purpose as Christians from the following Holy Scripture.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world.
1 John 4: 4 (NKJV)
And the Amplified version…
Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].
1 John 4: 4 (AMP)
With that Holy Scripture in two versions, it is clear that as children of God, we are victorious for we believe in the victory of Jesus over Satan. With God on our side, nothing is impossible and we have the power to reject fear, reject evil and reject Satan ultimately. It is by faith in the Lord, not religion and not idolatry, that Christians are special and holy. Stronger than Satan too.
With God on our side, Halloween’s global popularity can be wiped away and its influence of evil on others can be removed and be replaced with the goodness and the biblical truth emphasizing the holiness and victory of Jesus.
If you are looking for practical ways to reject Halloween (and Satan), I would suggest the following:
Instead of watching horror movies or anything that carries the influence of evil, go watch YouTube videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs like the following below.
Instead of going out on Halloween trick-or-treat, pray to the Lord in your room with the door shut (refer to Matthew 6: 6 in the Holy Bible) and be aware that in this way, the Lord is in a secret place and when He sees in secret, you will be rewarded openly. If your church is open or has a holy activity at the same time as Halloween is being held on October 31, make an effort to go to church with the Lord in mind.
Instead of looking at evil images or reading materials that are related to Halloween, better read the Holy Bible or a Christian book.
By now, it is clear that as Christians we must always maintain strong faith, trust and dedication to God and His Son Jesus. It also means we must be pure in holiness and there definitely is no room for us to accommodate evil in all its forms. As such, Halloween must be rejected always and its evil presence only means we must persevere more to meet God’s high call. We are all God’s creations and He made plans for each and every one of us even before we were even created. Obviously we were NOT created to worship nor magnify evil at all! We are destined to be saved (be born again) and live in holiness following Jesus. We pray to Him, serve Him, thank Him and dedicate ourselves to Him for the rest of our time.
Let me end this with one more Holy Scripture.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Between one hundred eighty to two hundred people participated in the Bingo Socials fund-raising event of the Century Club of Tahanan which was held on October 12 at the covered court in Tahanan Village, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City. The numbers were confirmed to me by Century Club’s president Florencia Umali who spearheaded the organizing of the games.
I personally looked around and took pictures for this article you are reading. Fortunately for me, I arrived just before City Councilor Tess de Asis delivered a short speech to the participants and the spectators. De Asis, who is best known in the City Government for her enduring legacy on local education and is now serving her third and final term, contributed to the prizes.
Apart from the councilor, Umali confirmed to me that Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Vice Mayor Rico Golez and Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez respectively donated to the cash prizes of the event. Congresswoman Joy Tambunting donate a mobile phone while City Councilors Wahoo Sotto, Giovanni Esplana, Bong Benzon, Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza, Binky Favis and Jean Yllana donated in kind resulting multiple prizes for winners.
Meanwhile, the Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA) and Martin Guzman of Village Cafe gave gift certificates to the event.
The participants were greeted personally by Councilors Sotto, Benzon and Congressman Eric Olivarez when they respectively visited the event. Olivarez even performed a dance to amuse the participants.
Umali told me that her club not only managed to raise some funds but also witnessed the happiness the participants had playing the bingo games and the smiles on the faces of very fortunate individuals who won cash prizes or raffle prizes. She added that the Bingo Socials proved to be effective in helping members of the local community get to know the new homeowners and, at the same time, promote camaraderie between them.
Ultimately the Bingo Socials brought the residents together which fit in nicely with Tahanan Village’s legacy of being one of the most neighbor-friendly villages not only in Barangay BF Homes but in South Metro Manila as a whole. The fact that several public officials of the city contributed to the prizes and made guest appearances showed that Century Club is a highly credible private club of senior citizens to them. Just a few months ago, no less than Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque (OSCA-PQUE) officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco attended Century Club’s general meeting and made notable announcements.
Congratulations to Century Club for an event nicely pulled off!
Hi everyone! It’s me again with another Barangay BF Homes community and South Metro Manila update for you all.
If you like playing bingo games and want to win a prize or two, then Tahanan Village in Parañaque City is your next destination as the Bingo Socials will be held there on October 12 at 5PM. The precise venue is the covered court of the village which is just a short walk away from the clubhouse of the Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA).
Organized by the Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. (CCTI), the Bingo Socials is a fund-raising event that will support the club’s upcoming projects.
According to Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. president Florencia Umali, tickets are currently available and still for sale. Tickets are priced at P50 each while the block-out tickets are sold at P100 each.
“We have ten games and two block-out (blackout) for the grand prize,” she said. Umali stressed that details about the prizes will be announced soon as they are still finalizing them.
For those of you who are living outside of Tahanan Village, here is the good news – non-residents (visitors) are welcome to enter the village, buy tickets and play in the Bingo Socials. If you are a non-resident driving a vehicle that does not have a Tahanan Village sticker, you just have to tell the village gate guard you will play in the bingo, then leave your ID card so that you can enter.
If you have inquiries or you intend to buy tickets and play in the bingo, contact CCTI president Florencia Umali now at mobile phone number 0920-9046732.
For the newcomers reading this, Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. is a private club of senior citizens who live inside Tahanan Village. The club is recognized by the the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque).
On the afternoon of September 24, the City Government of Las Piñas posted via its official Facebook page its response to a report they received from people living at Ohanan Place in Barangay Almanza Uno regarding a key area (located beside the condominium) described as a massive dengue mosquito breeding ground.
The said area is a construction site.
As a result, Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar issued orders to the City Health Office and the City Engineering Office to address the Ohana residents’ concern.
The City Health Office responded saying it has conducted an inspection (jointly done with Barangay Almanza Uno personnel) of the construction site which has stagnant water and, so far, a negative result for mosquito larvae was found.
The contractor of the construction site, who remains unidentified as of this writing, was asked by the City Health Office to clean the site. The City Engineering Office, which also organized its own inspection, asked the contractor to pump out the stagnant water immediately.
To put things in perspective, stagnant bodies of water serve as breeding spots for dengue mosquitoes. If left unchecked, those mosquitoes can multiply, fly around, bite and infect people and cause dengue fever.
Going back to the City Government, Mayor Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery requested their citizens to report immediately to the City Health Office or to their respective Barangays what could be possible spots in their local communities that may be breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes. It was announced that local health centers are equipped with dengue testing kits for free to the residents.
Meanwhile, people who are already infected with dengue virus and are sick should consider using papaya leaf juice. Of course, consult with a doctor first or a medical expert who is experienced with papaya leaf juice as a cure.
The City Government of Parañaque declared on September 23 a state of calamity as already over 1,700 dengue cases have been recorded in the city from January 1 to September 14.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
Watch out for more South Metro Manila updates here.
However, if you are a reader based in South Metro Manila and you want to expose a possible dengue mosquito breeding ground or create awareness about dealing with dengue fever, please contact me via mobile phone at 0905-3350831 or send me an email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com
Specifically, Senator Go presented Senate Bill Number 391 (SB 391) otherwise titled the Magna Carta for Barangays. He stated that there is a lack of regular salaries for barangay officials who have a lot of duties and responsibilities in their respective communities. This prompted him to make better compensation and benefits a reality for them.
If SB 391 ever gets approved, the head of the barangay (captain/chairperson), the barangay kagawads (the barangay council), the Sangguniang Kabataan head (SK chairperson), the barangay secretary and the barangay treasurer will be entitled to salaries, emoluments, allowances (example: transportation allowance), the 13th month pay and other benefits.
“It’s a relief to us in terms of benefits,” Barangay BF Homes captain Marquez said to me. “However, they first must look into amending the local government code in general since some important provisions are quite outdated already in terms of barangay administration and governance in general.”
For BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang, Go’s move was good news not only for her but for many others in the barangay. Whether SB 391 will pass or not, she confirmed to me that she and the SK kagawads will focus on organizing and accomplishing projects and activities not only this year but also next year. Public service fulfillment is the priority for Tumang and the BFSK. In recent times, the BFSK organized the local Linggo ng Kabataan event as well as a seminar.
Going back to the Philippine Senate, SB 391 outlines the basic priorities in each barangay that include regular supply of clean/potable water, public transportation availability, barangay halls, etc.
If anything comes up regarding this development, it will be posted here.
On the afternoon of September 14 at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City, a seminar focused on the top of suicide awareness was organized by the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) for fifty local youth (aged 15 to 30) who attended.
John Santos, who serves as the head of Information Technology (IT) at Paranaque City Hall, conducted a lecture about suicide awareness and engaged with the attendees directly. BFSK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang and SK Kagawads Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre and Stephanie Sebullen were present to closely observe the lecture.
Early on, Santos mentioned factors that contribute to leading young people into thinking and even losing their lives by means of suicide such as peer pressure, broken hearts (due to the end of a romantic relationship with someone), confusion, fear, depression and the like. The resource speaker recalled during his youthful days when he had one friend who tried to take his own life but he ended up in the hospital due to a miscalculated attempt. That friend of his made a personal decision for suicide due to a heartbreak over an ended relationship and, as such, he did not go to his family for guidance.
“Real life incidents of suicide that happened from my past motivate me to speak out and help prevent youth suicide from happening,” Santos said.
Santos added that running away from the family and the community will not solve personal problems at all. He also advised attendees to be cautious when talking to troubled young people who are already leaning towards suicide as a final option of their lives. Even jokes or lighthearted words can push the troubled one to proceed with suicide.
With regards to the wide popularity of social media, Santos shared that he noticed that the youth are very expressive on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. At the same time, the vast amount of information, images and videos that the youth are exposed to make them vulnerable to being distracted and being influenced. Bad influence online can worsen the suicide situation.
“This seminar related to mental health awareness is our latest project in our effort to prevent youth suicide from happening as well as to keep suicide off the minds of our constituents,” BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang said.
Before the seminar was conducted, the BFSK organized the Zumbarangay which was a series of physical exercise (with stretching) that include dancing to music. Pretty much the same people who exercised attended the seminar.
Before the Zumbarangay started, BFSK chairperson Tumang announced local events happening such as the Satellite Voters’ Registration process (to be done by COMELEC) on September 21 at the Pergola Mall, a seminar on pregnancy and HIV/AIDS on September 28 and the 3rd quarter Waste-for-Rice activity on September 29. Tumang announced that 400 kilograms of rice grain has been released throughout the local communities via the Waste-for-Rice project.
The Zumbarangay and the seminar were special projects of the BFSK supported by Barangay BF Homes captain Paolo Marquez.