Philippine President Manny Pacquiao?

After retiring from boxing, the famous incumbent Senator Manny Pacquiao officially filed his candidacy running for President of the Philippines in the next national election which will happen on May 9, 2022.

That’s right, readers! The iconic Manny Pacquiao (AKA the People’s Champion, PacMan and Pambansang Kamao) is aiming higher once again and the challenge is more tremendous as the Presidency is the most attractive post of power in the nation which concerns both political stakeholders and the masses of Filipinos in general. His climb from poverty to prosperity is very well known and often his boxing matches broadcast all over the Philippines attracted lots of viewers from their homes, the public viewing venues and on the local community spots.

While there have been reports of politics-related division over his run for President (click here, here and here), Pacquiao is not a political newcomer as he served his constituents in Sarangani Province for six years as their Representative in the House of Representatives, and he has been serving as Senator of the Philippines since mid-2016.

More important than politics is Pacquiao’s deep faith in the Lord. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article of Charismanews.com (citing varied sources)…

Raised Roman Catholic, Manny strayed from the church as he rose to fame in his boxing career. “I went to church on Sunday, but from Monday through Saturday I was in the bar drinking,” he told CBN. “I was gambling. Careless words came out of my mouth. I committed adultery. I didn’t care.”

But one day he read a letter that gripped his heart. “I received a letter from my mother saying my sister stopped going to school because I stopped sending them the money. I cried, blaming myself for spending all the money on alcohol.”

That same night in 2011, not long after his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, God visited Manny in a powerful dream. “I heard the voice of God in my dream. His voice was 10 times louder than thunder. He said to me, “My child, my child, why have you gone astray?” he recounted to CBN.

In the dream, which unfolded in a beautiful forest amid flowers, he also saw two angels, according to an interview with The Blaze. “When I heard the voice of God I felt like I died. … I was in the middle of the forest and I was kneeling and praying with my face on the ground and then I saw a light, a very white light and I heard the voice.”

He said the angels had “white, long, big wings” and said that God revealed to him “about the end of time.”

“I felt I was melting when I heard the voice of God. It was the turning point in my life. God spoke to me and he told me what He wanted me to do and I had to follow (Him).”

For a while, Manny tried to ignore the dream. But one day he felt compelled to pick up the Bible and begin reading it for himself. “I forgot about that dream, but when I started reading the Bible, the first verse I read said that God talked to a man through dreams. I realized, wow, my dream was real,” he told CBN.

As a result of the power of God’s Word, the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and the compelling dream, Manny surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

“I’m happy because I found the right way, salvation, born again,” he told The Blaze. “We are required to be born again, all of us. Christ said unless we are born again we cannot enter the kingdom of God. So it’s very important to me. Jesus Christ said: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ There is no other way. The only way is through Jesus.”

“When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior, you have eternal life.”   

God has a purpose for Pacquiao

Going back to his candidacy for President, Pacquiao revealed in an exclusive interview with CBN News that God has a purpose for him and mentioned that he is to provide not only inspiration to the Filipinos but also to help them and fight for them. He also shared his observations about corruption and injustice in the Philippines. Pay close attention to the excerpt from the CBN News article below…

“I just heard the final bell,” were the words of the great boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao as he announced his retirement from his phenomenal boxing career. Over four decades, he became the only boxer to win 12 world titles in eight different divisions.

He thanked the boxing world for getting him and his family out of poverty and for inspiring many people.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Saturday he no longer intends on running for vice president in next year’s elections and plans on retiring from politics when his term ends.

Pacquiao, who is currently a senator in the Philippines, has announced his candidacy for next year’s presidential elections.

He spoke with CBN News about his decision and what compelled him to run for the presidency.

“I want to focus on a bigger fight in life which is serving the people, fighting against corruption and injustice,” Pacquiao said.

Part of that corruption deals with $200 million in unaccounted-for aid that was meant to fight the pandemic. Pacquiao has questioned four government agencies for alleged misuse.

“I saw the situation of this country is really bad. People are suffering. What I saw is hopeless. Our people deserve a better future,” Pacquiao said.

“I always believe God has a purpose for me. He raised me from nothing into something for a purpose. Not only giving inspiration to the people, but to help them and fight for them,” he said.

What is his answer to people who say this is going to be very difficult as he fights against corrupt people who are in power?

“One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 41:10, ‘Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Only to God (do) we have fear. I believe He will uphold me with His righteous right hand,” he said.

The above article ended quoting Pacquiao who said that glorifying God in our daily lives is the most import thing. That I personally agree with! In relation to Pacquiao’s mention of Isaiah 41:10 from the Holy Bible, posted below are a few translations of the said holy scripture.

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.

    Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God.

    I will infuse you with my strength

    and help you in every situation.

    I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (TPT)

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMPC)

For more references about Manny Pacquiao’s faith in the Lord and his dedication to God’s Word, watch the following videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your opinion right now about Manny Pacquiao’s candidacy for the Presidency of the Philippines? Does Pacquiao inspire you to come to Lord Jesus and follow the Word of God? Is boxing still the first thing you think about when Pacquiao’s name gets mentioned? Have you prayed to the Lord for guidance with regards to the May 2022 national and local elections which can impact the direction of the entire Philippines?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Wonder Woman #20 (1988)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

It’s the second week of March already. That means we are slowly but surely inching closer to the March 30, 2021 scheduled releases of Wonder Woman 1984 on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD! If you have not yet ordered a copy of the sequel starring Gal Gadot as the Queen of Superheroes, you can do so now if you want to. I already ordered my copy. You can also read my retro review of the 2017 Wonder Woman movie.

On to literature! Last time, the George Perez-led story not only saw the end of Diana’s visit of Greece, it also fully presented to readers what was back then the modern portrayal of Circe (DC Comics’ own take on the false Greek goddess) who proved to be at the time the most sinister and most powerful supervillain Wonder Woman faced. Wonder Woman #19 also showed the Queen of Superheroes in her most vulnerable state.

Now that Diana and her friends have returned to America, we can find out what happens next in this look back at Wonder Woman #20, published by DC Comics in 1988 with a story written and illustrated by George Perez based on an idea by Carol Flynn. Bob McLeod was in charge of the finishes.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the City of Boston at night. Three Chinese men are running away from something until Wonder Woman confronts them. One of the men fires several bullets at her but each bullet got blocked by her using her tremendous reflexes and braces. After Wonder Woman disarms the gunman, another Chinese man tries attacking her with sharp weapons only to be defeated easily. The other Chinese man tries to run away but gets caught by Wonder Woman who uses her lasso. In reaction to his question, Wonder Woman demands answers.

Elsewhere, investigators are searching for clues and details inside a lady’s modern looking office. Lying on the floor is the dead body of a victim and according to the investigator’s report, she had been dead for a few hours. The victim is none other than Myndi Mayer, a highly successful publicist who made a career out of the media and celebrities. Wonder Woman happened to be her most recent, high-profile client. Mayer was involved in the Wonder Woman fair.

Based on their findings, Myndi Mayer looked like she didn’t go without a fight. A bloody letter opener was found in her hand and her purse was found next to her body emptied. Traces of white powder were found on her desk. Mayer’s secretary Christine Fenton was visited by the investigators who told her about the death of her boss. She did not express any surprise and told them that it was only a matter of time before Mayer’s end came. Christine added that she warned Mayer about a certain man.

The investigators then show Christine the sketch of man based on the description of an eyewitness. She expressed surprise as she recognizes him…

Quality

Wonder Woman takes part in the search for truth.

Wow! This is one dark Wonder Woman story to read and I can say that it is a very inspired work written by George Perez based on an idea by Carol Flynn. This is not your typical story of showing the Queen of Superheroes fighting someone evil or saving people from disaster. This is a murder mystery that is laced with corporate intrigue, crime, legal wrangling and the everlasting struggle to determine the truth.

Myndi Mayer’s death really set of a series of events and revelations that are no less striking. Considering the many details about law, crime, investigations and corporate intrigue, the in-depth writing here indicates that George Perez did a lot of researching and found ways to tell a very cohesive story with Wonder Woman playing a role. I should state that as of this writing, this particular story comes close to becoming realistic and reflective of 1980s life. This is top-notch writing by Perez!

When it comes to characterization, Myndi Mayer was deeply portrayed to be in deep trouble both personally and professionally. Of all the Wonder Woman comics of the post-Crisis era of DC Comics I’ve read so far, this one clearly defines Mayer and goes beyond her usual appearance as a prolific publicist.

On Wonder Woman, as mentioned earlier, she does not get to fight a super villain. Rather she takes part in the search for truth and tries her best to solve the mystery even though she is not even fully familiar with the way law and order works in the world of man. In some ways, her approach to literally putting pieces of the puzzle into place and approaching people in different places reminds me somewhat of Batman’s detective work but without the vigilante approach.

Conclusion

This page about the murder investigation at the scene of the crime has some Watchmen vibes to it.

I can say that Wonder Woman #20 (1988) is not only a great comic book to read but also one of the most unique stories about the Queen of Superheroes ever published. By this time, George Perez has proven himself to be very prolific in storytelling on top of his great ability to draw art. I should state I love the way the story was structured and the way it ended delivered both impact and intrigue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #20 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $41.

Overall, Wonder Woman #20 (1988) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

The 7th death anniversary of Antonio P. Antonio

It has been seven years since prominent BF Homes resident and business tycoon Antonio P. Antonio died as a result of a tragedy that happened at his family’s home. It all happened on September 11, 2013 when Antonio (referred to as Tonton by his friends and associates) was shot several times by his son Nelson after their private meeting at Villa Antonio and, after a desperate attempt to get him treated at Asian Hospital in Alabang, passed away at age 63. Antonio has been buried at Everest Hills Memorial Park in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City, where friends and family members pay their respect to him each whenever his death anniversary passes.

His son, the suspect Nelson, is still being tried in court in Parañaque City for the charge of parricide. The trial has yet to conclude.

His other children – Xialen, Vladimir and Lenin to name a few – have taken over the family business left behind.

Prominent in BF Homes and overseas

The late Antonio P. Antonio.

The late Antonio P. Antonio was well established with many community leaders and personalities in BF Homes subdivision (which itself is part of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas). Apart from being highly successful in the world of business, Antonio served as a director as well as president of the old federation United BF Homeowners Association, Inc. (UBFHAI).

Over in Japan, Antonio P. Antonio has his own OHAKA tombstone in a cemetery in Odawara. This is in relation to his being honored by his Japanese business associates who trusted and believe in him very much. He is the only GAIJIN or foreigner to have a tombstone in the mentioned cemetery and it is a high honor for the Japan to do to a friend.

Remembering the father

On behalf of the family, Xialen Antonio shared some insights about their father and how the family turned out over the past seven years.

“I can only say that life hasn’t been easy without our father, his demise simply put us in a chaotic life. Eventually, life paved the way on how we can deal with our loss. Our lifestyle has changed dramatically and it only made us humble before the LORD,” Xialen stated.

When asked what she missed the most from her father, she pointed to his presence, his sense of calm, and protection towards adversities. Xialen’s siblings simply adapted ways to build resilience especially in trying times. The tragedy, unsurprisingly, compelled them to adjust themselves and live on.

Justice pursued

As mentioned earlier, justice for the father is being pursued by Xialen and her family. The parricide trial of Nelson Antonio is continues to be held at Branch 257 of the Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC). The status of the trial is as follows…

“We are down to the cross examination of our last witness which will happen very soon. We can never be confident until we finish this trial and there are still obstacles in fighting for the Justice of APA. But then I have put our faith in our justice system, the local government, the police, the media and with the help of the community that put focus and attention to this case,” Xialen stated.

What led to the trial

When tragedy struck on September 11, 2013, Antonio P. Antonio was seen wounded and bleeding shortly after the shooting. His son Vladimir and their driver rushed him to the Asian Hospital in Alabang in an attempt to save his life. Before passing away, the former UBFHAI president told Vladimir that it was Nelson who shot him with a gun.

Back in BF Homes, suspect Nelson arrived at the Philippine National Police (PNP) sub-station along Elsie Gatches street, Parañaque City to surrender himself. Based on the written Investigation Report at the Las Piñas City PNP signed by three officers (SPO2 Edmund Alfonso, PO2 Christian C. Yanga and PO2 Mark Billy S. Carbonell), Nelson’s arrest from the Parañaque PNP sub-station was confirmed. This meant sending a Las Pinas police team to fetch the suspect at the Parañaque sub-station. What was noticeable, however, was that the report had no indication of the recovery of the firearm that was used in killing the father.

Because of the fact that the Antonio residence occupied the border of the cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas, there was confusion with regards to jurisdiction. In fact, police officers from both cities visited the site of incident. Suspect Nelson was turned over to the police of Las Piñas. A release order dated September 27, 2013 was issued by Las Pinas City Prosecutor Zelica Longcob due to the lack of jurisdiction.

After much struggle over the issue of jurisdiction, the case for parricide was tossed back to legal system in Parañaque, specifically at Branch Number 257 of the local Regional Trial Court. On February 27, 2014, Branch 257 Judge Roland G. How issued a Warrant of Arrest for Nelson who was charged with parricide (Criminal Case Number 14-0222). By the time the order was made, the suspect was already overseas. According to flight records, Nelson left December 28, 2013 for Singapore.

On February 16, 2018, Nelson Antonio was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This was the result of a particular overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who saw an investigative report on television (aired December 2017) which exposed the suspect. The OFW recognized Nelson and contacted the Philippine police attache to arrest him. Eventually an international arrest warrant (the Interpol Red Notice) was issued by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) which alerted the police force in the UAE.

Escorted by law enforcers, Nelson Antonio arrived here in the Philippines on April 30, 2018.

Xialen’s message to the readers

“Our family would like to seek the support from our community to help us fight for Justice for APA. We want to be the living example of how we can attain TRUE JUSTICE during these unprecedented times. May we request everyone to pray for this and let this be a community standard of a wonderful collaboration among all sectors that are involved.”

An official portrait of the late Antonio P. Antonio.

For more updates, follow Justice for APA at https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforAPA

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Christian Music Appreciation: Goodness of God

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade to everyone reading this! We are now living in the twenty-twenties (2020s) and for as long as we keep faith in the Lord, He will guide us, love us and take care of us. Keep the faith in the Lord always, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now. Whatever decision you make in your life, never drift away from the Lord who is generous to offer us opportunities or options that we could use to move forward in life. Before making a decision, keep declaring Jesus as your Lord, Savior, Healer and Victory with a lot of heart. Your decision, by the way, is needed to authorize Heaven here on Earth.

For this new decade’s first Christian Music Appreciation (CMA), I chose the song Goodness of God written by Jenn Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Ben Fielding and Brian Johnson. The song was performed by Bethel Music.

Let’s start with the song and its lyrics now.

Lyrics:

Verse 1

I love You Lord

Oh Your mercy never fails me

All my days

I’ve been held in Your hands

From the moment that I wake up

Until I lay my head

I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus

All my life You have been faithful

All my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2

I love Your voice

You have led me through the fire

In darkest nights

You are close like no other

I’ve known You as a father

I’ve known You as a friend

I have lived in the goodness of God

Bridge

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

The song is about God our Heavenly Father being faithful, loving and caring for us (His children who willingly became faithful to Him). In other words, this song examines the personal relationship between the faithful Christian and God. It is a relationship that is strictly off-limits to everyone else and there is no room for intervention by another person (including the most misguided, self-righteous person blinded by religion, rituals, idolatry and traditions).

More on the title and subject matter of the song, God’s goodness is not only about His generosity but also His enduring generous attitude towards his faithful children. As I learned in church, God is not a tyrant (He punishes the wicked) and in fact He is gentle and caring, and He has plans for His faithful children to prosper. Of course, we the children of God who have been saved must keep on persevering with living in holiness under Him. The blessings from the Lord will come but that does not mean we can be lazy and just wait for blessings to land on us. We still have decisions to make and personal circumstances to handle on our own. As mentioned earlier, keep faith in the Lord, pray to Him and read His Word (the Holy Bible) before making decisions. When things are done properly with our Christianity, God’s goodness will manifest.

God’s goodness is emphasized in the Holy Bible and her are some scriptures for you.

The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 145: 9 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16: 34 (NKJV)

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.”

Mark 10: 18 (NKJV)

Psalm 145: 9 and 1 Chronicles 16: 34 show that God is full of goodness and mercy. What we Christians can at least do is remain faithful and dedicated to Him, thank Him in return, and give back (tithing) in return.

Mark 10: 18 emphasizes that true goodness is the prerogative of God. However, the man called Jesus “Good Teacher”. If Jesus was only a teacher, then He did not deserve to be called “good”. On the other hand, if He was indeed good, then He was God. The lesson here is that Lord Jesus directed the man to pay attention to God who is the Heavenly Father, the Creator, the Source and the ultimate standard of goodness!

The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1: 7 (NKJV)

As mentioned earlier, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now, always keep faith in the Lord. This means keep on trusting Him and endure with Him. God is undeniably the stronghold for those who trust in Him. Because He knows His faithful children who remain trusting and faithful to Him, God will NOT abandon them! This is a powerful look at God’s goodness.

He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Psalm 33: 5 (NKJV)

Psalm 33: 5 emphasizes that God’s goodness also refers to unfailing love, lovingkindness, mercy and steadfast covenant love. As we the saved Christians live in a very screwed-up world (read: anti-Semitism, Marxism, liberalism, socialism, idolatry, religion, sacraments, murder, crime, abortion, theft, corruption, secularism, atheism and the like), we must persevere living in holiness under the Lord, remain faithful to Him, preaching His Word to others and finish our respective efforts to meet God’s High Call. Our Heavenly Father loves the righteous and He is a just creator!

In closing this, and going back to the song Goodness of God, I encourage you to check out Bethel Music’s album Victory which carries the song. You can check out the album by clicking here.

Goodness of God is more than just a great Christian praise and worship song. It is a very lively reminder about our Heavenly Father’s goodness which cannot be matched by others. All the more reason to stay faithful to Him!

Remember, you don’t really need religion and unbelief. You need faith in the Lord and once that has been established (by repenting, submitting to Him and becoming born again), His goodness will manifest in your life.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com