Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Chairperson Mariel Tumang

Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Chairperson Mariel Tumang

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Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Tumang.

For much of the day on June 30, 2019, the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes (BFSK) led by its chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang visited different developing communities of Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City and implemented their special project called Waste Wise for Rice.

The project emphasized the trading in of Eco Bricks for kilograms of rice grain. According to chairperson Tumang, local community residents each hand over to them the Eco Brick(s) (plastic bottle containing wrappings of snack products) and in return the SK gives out a kilogram of rice grain. Tumang and her kagawads (youth councilors) Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre, Stephanie Sebullen worked hard that day.

According to the Facebook page of the BFSK, the SK collected 900 Eco Bricks and they released over 900 kilograms of rice grain. The SK emphasized that their June 30 project was environment-friendly and a good provider of food for the residents. Here in the Philippines, rice is staple food.

Before that special project happened, I got to interview BFSK chairperson Tumang (who is also the Vice President of the Parañaque SK Federation) and here is my exclusive feature of her for you all.

Who is Mariel Tumang?

Mariel Angela Tumang was born in the late 1990s. She recently graduated at the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA with a BS in Accountancy. Her entry into the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes came at a time when the SK got reformed. In short, she and her fellow councilors are pioneers for Barangay BF Homes under the new SK system.

To put things in perspective, the SK or youth council was a decades-old system in Philippine society that, from its 1975 beginning, developed a poor reputation. Critics called the SK a system that politicizes youths, a failure on implementing youth development programs, a breeding ground for corruption and the like. People who don’t believe in the SK stressed that youths are not ready for early public service and that they are better off focusing on their academics. Also it did not help under the original SK system that youth leaders who were not even of legal age (below 18) got to sign contracts between their council and other organizations.

In early 2016, Congress approved Republic Act Number 10742 which was called the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law. It saw some notable changes like raising the age of the council to 18-24 years-old (versus the previous 15-17) and implementing an anti-political dynasty rule.

This brings me back to Tumang and her kagawads.

In the summer of 2018, a team of youth candidates under the umbrella of former Barangay BF Homes chairperson Florencia “Beng” Amurao was formed and Tumang was the candidate for BFSK chairperson. As it was the first SK election in some years, as well as the first-ever election under the reformed SK system, there was hesitation along the way for Tumang.

“Actually, I did not want to join the election because for me, politics is dirty,” Tumang said. “My friends inspired me especially Tita Beng (Amurao). My mother worked for her previously. Tita Beng said she wanted me to be her group’s candidate for SK chairperson and I said that I was still studying and was unsure about the idea of running in the election. After some more talk, I got inspired a lot and decided to run.”

When I asked her if she had thought about uplifting the status of youths of the many communities of Barangay BF Homes as part of her decision to run, she confirmed that it was indeed her intention all along. She also had insight.

“Before entering the SK, I was a student leader and during my days at Masville National High School I was the SSG president. I also received an award for leadership of students when I graduated high school. I was also a Girl Scout and along the way we got trained with leadership skills and values. A lot of my friends told me I have leadership skills,” she said.

In the reformed SK election for Barangay BF Homes, Tumang and her teammates under the Team Amurao banner ran against their counterparts from the group of then Kagawad Paolo Marquez. As the competition between the two teams was intense, the campaigning was, unsurprisingly, very challenging.

“It was really hard for me personally for I was not really an outgoing person. I spent my time mostly at school and at home. We were somewhat known in Masville but not that much in other communities of the barangay,” Tumang recalled. “At the same time, I took summer classes along the way which was a requirement at school. I had to skip some classes just to campaign. When I was able to attend to both (campaign and class), there were days we went house-to-house campaigning in the morning, then I go school in the after and attend campaign meetings in the evening.”

All the pain, the lack of sleep and hard efforts to win the voters’ trust ultimately paid off for Tumang as she defeated her election rival Aira Besana (Team Marquez) for the BFSK chairperson post gathering a total 2,672 votes. The seven SK kagawad posts were split between Team Amurao and Team Marquez candidates.

“I was so glad and I cried when I learned that I won the SK chairperson position. My friends and family really supported me during the COMELEC counting of the votes. It was a nerve-wrecking experience and many of us, including my teammates, stayed at the Phase 1 gym for a very long time without any sleep,” she recalled.

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Tumang (middle) with her BFSK kagawads and a few others on June 30, 2019. (source – Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay Bf Homes Facebook page)

Since taking office as chairperson of the Barangay BF Homes youth council on June 30, 2018, she and her councilors organized several projects and activities on developing youths of the local communities despite the fact that they lacked funds. Along the way, she and her councilors participated in some seminars and out-of-town activities related to youth development and leadership development. Of course, leading the BFSK made life more challenging for her since she was still finishing her studies.

“It’s really difficult,” Tumang remarked on balancing her personal life with academics and SK duty. “There were times I really cried because I could not manage my time. When we started, we lacked direction on what to do so I asked my mother for guidance since she served as a staffer of the barangay before.”

Tumang added that being a student and an elected youth leader forced her to make hard decisions when barangay matters conflicted with her academics. While missing out on class was costly, being absent from a youth council meeting or session would mean getting left behind on the latest developments.

On the aspect of legislation, Tumang serves as the presiding officer of the youth council. She coordinates with the SK secretary over the agenda for each session which is held only once a month. Already some resolutions have been approved by the BFSK most notably their budget which is in the millions of pesos.

As the reformed SK was so new, Tumang and her kagawads started without a real budget at all and had to depend on the barangay’s youth development fund. Along the way, they had to make hard adjustments by learning the processes, learning how to do proper reports, practice of ethics, and more.

As of this year, the BFSK is inching closer to completing the system for the receiving and releasing of funds that are needed to realize their youth development projects. Tumang and her team had visited the banks, coordinated with the barangay and secure several requirements. They were delayed somewhat because of an election ban related to the May 2019 national and local elections.

While there were lots of hassles and challenges, Tumang still is focused on serving the youths of Barangay BF Homes and with what the BFSK has achieved so far. She and her kagawads are striving to do much more to make progressive and positive impact on developing the local youths.

“The feeling is so pleasant whenever I see someone smile as a result of the projects we at the SK have accomplished,” she said with a smile.

Message to the Readers

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Mariel Tumang handing over rice grain to a donor during the Waste Wise for Rice activity on June 30. (source – Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay Bf Homes Facebook page)

“I wish to share to you all that the Sangguniang Kabataan is really a good thing because we can talk to youths who are naturally hesitant to communicate with older people or share their concerns. Youths are always struggling with some sort of personal or social problems of their own as they grow up. From peer pressure, to insecurity, mental problems and suicidal thoughts, the youth are struggling and they need help. We are willing to help them. Here in BF, we are very willing to help implement the very promising programs from Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez designed for the youth. Problematic youths are very welcome to visit barangay hall for assistance and we are very willing to provide it. The BFSK is caring and we aim to develop local youths socially, academically and morally. With seminars, outreach and enlightening group discussions already done, the reformed SK system is truly about nurturing youths and it is no longer limited to organizing sports events.”


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

 

 

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Muntinlupa City Mayor Emphasizes 9-point Development Agenda

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Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi with the 9th City Council in their Inaugural Session on July 1 at Session Hall, People’s Center, Muntinlupa City Hall, Brgy. Putatan. Fresnedi called for the support of new councilors to advance his 9-Point Program of Governance.

On July 1, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reached out to the new members of the City Council calling for their support for his 9-Point Program of Governance during the inaugural session of the legislative body at the Session Hall, People’s Center, Muntinlupa City Hall.

Now on his 3rd and final term, the mayor delivered his response message in the resumption of the City Council sessions led by newly elected Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac. Simundac expressed the Council’s support to compliment initiatives carried by executive departments through local legislation.

Local majority floor leader Coun. Raul Corro said the 9th City Council will be a “Working Council” and committed to uphold professionalism and pro-activeness.

For the next three years, the Fresnedi administration will focus on delivering programs and projects for the following development areas: Health and Wellness, Local History and Culture, Education and Youth, Livelihood and Employment, Peace and Order, Socialized Housing, Good Governance, Economic Development, and Environmental Protection.

Very recently, Mayor Fresnedi was sworn into office and his third term was inaugurated. He was sworn in by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Judge Antonietta Medina on June 28 before his supporters and other guests.

 

 

Beware of Covetousness

In previous times, I discussed that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly in return for their faith and accomplishment of assigned tasks.

As I learned from our pastors during bible study sessions at our church, the Lord truly rewards His faithful followers and He truly wants each and every one to prosper. In His Kingdom, there is indeed kingdom wealth and this clearly shows that there is no lack and no poverty.

For as long as we put God first while we live in the flesh being faithful, we can enjoy riches, the good stuff, the luxuries and other forms of profit plus even more so that we can afford to give to others. As I discussed before, the profit, luxuries and good stuff we enjoy here on Earth is only a fraction of the kingdom wealth that awaits us in Heaven.

While we the faithful enjoy rewards from the Lord, we must never lose track of Him. It is a fact that it is impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. At the same time, we the faithful must be aware of covetousness and its corrupting effects.

In the Holy Bible, covetousness is a sin directed towards the acquisition of more possessions. This means wanting to acquire more things (while living in the flesh) and this is ultimately self-defeating and futile. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him.

Covetousness is clearly emphasized in Luke 12: 15 which states

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

To understand the whole story, Luke 12: 13-21 was about the Parable of the Rich Fool. Our Eternal Savior Jesus was speaking to a crowd when a man said to him “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus asked him who made Him a judge or an arbitrator over him, then he told the crowd about covetousness.

Jesus then spoke a parable to them…the parable of the rich fool. The rich man in the parable wondered what to do with his crops as he no longer had any room left for storage. Then he said he will pull down his barns and build greater so that his crops and goods will be stored. As he was focused on his possessions, he would say to his soul that with many goods laid up to last for many years ahead, take ease, eat, drink and be merry.

Then God said to him: Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? (Luke 12: 20)

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 21)

God called the rich man a fool because he was so short-sighted with his life, he focused only on his wealth and possessions living in the flesh. Clearly that rich fool did not prioritize the Lord and only cared of his own interest. Covetousness will not only lead to a hollow life, it will also lead to greed which itself leads to conflicts, crime, being self-centered and carrying other negative things of life.

The acquiring of more possessions under covetousness is not limited to material things and wealth. To covet also means getting someone and this is made clear in the Ten Commandments. Here’s a scripture for you and the words are from God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20: 17)

And then there is also the coveting of the false god or idols. Long ago, God warned the people of Israel to not covet the gods of other nations. The coveting in this case on the part of the Israelites was about them coveting the freedom to commit sin that other nations had incorporated into their worship of gods or idols of pagan origin. Heed the words of God below…

You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7: 25)

So it is clear. Put the Lord first, be faithful to Him, accomplish the tasks He assigned you with (note: God has a plan for each and every one of us) and then you will enjoy riches and the good life. What could be greater than abundant rewards coming from the Lord Himself? Think about that!

Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Revelations 22: 12)

You don’t put the Lord first, then you are not rich towards God, you will be consumed by covetousness, and you won’t really enjoy your life and even your accumulated wealth. Trust me. There are rich people, in different parts of the world, living a sad and empty life. Covetousness is to think about or desire something so much, you will go to unreasonable measures to get it. To covet tells the Lord that you are not satisfied with what you have been blessed with. This, of course, blinds you of good judgment and what really matters most in your life.

Look at the different societies around the world. Covetousness clearly and negatively affected the lives of people and it is not limited towards the rich. Look at those bank robberies in which the robbers armed themselves, threatened people and even used tactics to break-in, disable security and organize planned getaways with the goal of escaping with a large stack of money or very valuable metals? The sad thing here is that these robbers are determined to harm and kill just for money! Think about that! Armed robbers would disregard other people’s lives for the sake of coveting wealth that they don’t even deserve!

Look at impoverished people who, during night time, go to a small business joint (or a family home), break in through the windows (or through a vacant aircon opening on the wall) then steal whatever valuable items they find inside. I’m talking about trespassing, damaging property and then stealing involved.

And then there are those “crime-less” acts of covetousness that get committed. A person can strive hard to earn money and/or find ways to get discounts all for the sake of buying the most anticipated video games for his gaming console. A person can go as far as exploiting the discounts of a big online sale ordering so many items that are not even needed. Along the way, the people committing covetousness can also harm himself/herself with the next bad thing – overspending!

Covetousness, again, is about desiring something or someone so much, you will take extreme measures to acquire successfully.

Clearly the Lord does not want people to commit crime or commit any bad deeds to gain something. The Lord knows fully well that criminals and other people consumed by covetousness are indeed foolish and sinful. The Lord is watching us all on how we spend or use the blessings He gave us, how we react on what is made available for acquiring within the flawed world system we are living in and what we do with what was acquired.

To really enjoy rewards from the Lord, you need to have faith in Him, repent to Him, prioritize Him and accomplish His assignment for you. This means opportunities to become a Kingdom Investor which I will emphasize in the future.

Clearly, you can enjoy riches, luxuries and the good life that the Lord will bless you with for as long as you prioritize Him and be faithful to Him. Don’t forget to discipline yourself with the money and other forms of blessings you received from the Lord.

What I have discussed with you here is not religion…it is the Biblical Truth. In my old life, there was never a single religious leader who ever warned me about covetousness or how we should handle the blessings we receive from the Lord. Religion did not help me connect to the Lord.

Religion will trap you. Religion will frustrate you. Religion will even corrupt you and lead you to greed and covetousness. The truth from the Holy Bible and having faith in the Lord and worshiping Him directly will set you free. I know! Because I experienced these in my life. I have been saved by Lord Jesus through His Instrument (a very dear friend of mine). Religion in my old life was darkness. As I learned along the way, it is better to be faithful to the Lord than to be religious.

There is more to your personal relationship with God than religion. You also need the Holy Spirit. You need to be born again and become a new creation in Jesus. Those are all true and you will realize it all eventually.

Are you a lost soul right now? Have you been living in darkness? Were you corrupted by covetousness and greed? You can still be saved and you have the power to decide to truly reform yourself! Reform does not happen because of a pretentious idealist who rants a lot on Facebook. Reform truly happens with the Lord and with His Spirit in your heart.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Clean yourself of the religious values that prevented you from connecting to the Lord.

Then pray the simple prayer in one of my past Christianity articles. It’s located at the end of my article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols and you only need to click here.

Remember that the Lord always blesses the faithful abundantly and He really wants us, the faithful ones, to prosper, be happy, be good and be able to give to others. Along the way, we ourselves have responsibilities to handle and we are still responsible over our circumstances just as we receive love and blessings from the Lord.

Resist the devil (whose tools include covetousness, lust, the frustration caused by religion and wickedness) by always being faithful to Jesus whose victory we should always remember.

With faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit in your heart, you can be victorious, prosperous and happy eternally. Also never forget what Jesus said in Revelations 22:  12 in the Holy Bible.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity 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

 

 

 

2019 National & Local Elections: Fresnedi, Simundac and Biazon Win Big in Muntinlupa

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The Commission on Elections proclaimed re-electionist Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (4th from left), along with his running mates Temy Simundac (5th from left) for Vice-Mayor and Ruffy Biazon (right) for Congressman, as winners in the local midterm elections. On Tuesday morning, 16 out 19 candidates from Team Fresnedi were declared winners in the local executive and Sangguniang Panlungsod positions. Fresnedi is serving his third consecutive and last term as Muntinlupa City mayor. The local exec garnered 164,144 votes over his rival mayoralty bet and former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas trailing behind with 52,127 votes. (from Muntinlupa PIO press release)

This past Monday (May 13), over two hundred thousand people around Muntinlupa City  trooped to different venues to cast their votes to select which officials will serve them for the period of mid-2019 to mid-2022.

The result? Landslide victories particularly in the races for Mayor, Vice Mayor and the long Congressional seat of the City.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi won a third consecutive term with landslide victory, along with allies who proved to be strong in the local polls. The mayor defeated his rival former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas by a score of 164,144 votes to 52,127. Do that math, that’s a wide margin of 112,017 votes.

In the race for Vice Mayor, Fresnedi’s running mate Temy Simundac defeated the incumbent Vice Mayor Celso Dioko by a score of 116,825 to 85,889. That’s a difference of almost 31,000 votes! What makes the victory notable was that in the 2016 local election, Vice Mayor Dioko was Fresnedi’s running mate while Simundac was one of the latter’s opponents for the office of Mayor.

For the lone Congressional seat of the City, Congressman Ruffy Biazon got elected easily with 169,756. Far behind him were Paeng Arciaga and Rodolfo Llorca with 36,317 and 2,326 respectively.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) proclaimed Fresnedi (Liberal Party), and his running mates Temy Simundac for Vice-Mayor and Congressman Ruffy Biazon (both under the PDP-Laban), as winners in on the morning of May 14.

COMELEC Muntinlupa Atty. Kimberley Joy T. Alzate – Cu said the board of canvassers canvassed 373 clustered precincts with over 225,226 voters in Muntinlupa City.

Team Fresnedi City Council bets also took the lead in two districts. In District 1, winning councilors under Fresnedi’s team include Atty. Raul Corro, Alexson Diaz, Paty Katy Boncayao, Louie Arciaga, Allan Camilon, and Valentino Niefes. While completing the list were opposition party bets Phanie Teves and Ivee Arciaga.

In District 2, winners under the local exec’s team include Nep Santiago, Marissa Rongavilla, Ryan Bagatsing, Lester Baes, Jun Metong Sevilla, Arlene Hilapo, and Eliot Martinez. Dhes Arevalo was the only member of the opposition party to be proclaimed as winner in District 2.

The Mayor extended his gratitude to the people of Muntinlupa for trusting his administration and vowed to continue to advocate good governance in the city.

Analysis: Was Mayor Fresnedi’s re-election and his team’s dominance surprising? Not at all since the City was honored with several awards reflecting achievements made with public service. Under his administration, Muntinlupa was declared the Most Business-Friendly City in 2017 and 2018; the Most Child-Friendly City in the National Capital Region in 2016 and 2017; the Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018

Through the years, the city has garnered several awards and citations from various governing bodies, including the Most Business-Friendly City Award for 2001, 2002, 2017, and 2018; Most Child-Friendly City in NCR for 2016 and 2017; Green Banner Award and Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018; MERALCO Luminaries Award for 2018; and the Government Efficiency and Resilience Award (3rd Place) in the Regional Competitiveness Summit and Awards for 2017 and 2018 to name some.

Being awarded by credible organizations is a testament of the quality of the public service rendered by the City Government. It really helps not only the city officials but also helps build up the local economy (making it more attractive to investors) and honoring the people of Muntinlupa in return.

Here in the Philippines, national and local elections are held every three years. The democratic exercise has long been a part of Philippine culture. If the incumbents do well with governance, local naturally will prefer to retain them so that the good governance will continue. In situations like these, it is truly difficult for any challenger to overcome the incumbents. Any new challenger can come into arena promising reform but that alone is not good enough to convince people to vote for them. It’s a fact.


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

Trust in God, Disregard those Idols

In this world we live in, it is too easy for us to allow ourselves to be distracted, to be swayed, and even worse, to be lost.

Look around you. People are so attached to their smartphones they spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital stuff it affects them tremendously making them addicted to technology. There is also the constant presence of cable TV news that somehow manipulate viewers to become news junkies (people addicted to the news) and the sad thing is that most people addicted to the news do not realize the fact that corporate media turned journalism into a commodity as they conspired with political forces and some advertisers behind the scenes.

And then there is the wide selection of entertainment from TV to mobiles games, the movie theaters, the radio and the like. There are those entertainment figures who become idols to their respective legions of followers. These are the famous actors, the famous singers, the famous fashion models, the famous media personalities and more. Apart from entertainment figures, there are also varied politicians who, because of democracy, developed their own respective legions of followers (voters) and they themselves become idols.

As if that was not bad enough, there is also religion which comes with the worship of idols (idolatry) along with traditions, rituals and repetitive prayers that actually hinder people from establishing a true relationship with the Lord.

As I mentioned before, I am a geek and I love entertainment. I play video games, I watch movies and read comic books. I also pay attention to some news coverage of political news since it is an undeniable fact that public service affects a lot of people. However, I learned to restrain myself, stop the entertainment addiction, stop being indoctrinated by the news media and focus more on my job and other priorities. I also rejected religion and became Born Again.

One of the top priorities of mine is keeping faith in God and His Son Jesus and constantly learning lessons from the Holy Bible as well as applying those lessons on my daily living. I learned to avoid worshiping idols, both living and the non-living ones (in the form of man-made art). Trust me. When it comes to faith, I felt very relieved by getting rid of those statues and other man-made figures that were never truly worth worshiping. Those objects are not holy! I also stopped worshiping people (both the living and the ones who passed away). At the same time, I am no longer constrained nor hindered by religion. My worship is is direct to God and His Son Jesus and that is how it will always be for me forever more.

Today I would like to discuss Psalm 115 from the Holy Bible and the lesson will be about the futility of idols and the trustworthiness of God.

Let’s start reading Psalm 115 with my explanations.

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,

But to Your name give glory

Because of Your Mercy,

Because of Your truth.

Why should the Gentiles say,

“So where is their God?”

My take: Psalm 115: 1-2 opens with the prioritizing and trusting of God who is the all powerful creator who is not a tyrant but is actually a loving, caring, forgiving and just God who wants His faithful followers to spread His truth to others, to prosper and be happy. As God is in heaven, he cannot be easily seen on Earth by mortals who do not know Him, do not believe in Him and have limited themselves to what they perceive as real while living in the flesh.

But our God is in heaven;

He does whatever He pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Noses they have, but they do not smell;

They have hands, but they do not handle;

Feet they have, but they do not walk;

Nor do they mutter through their throat.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

My take: Psalm 115: 3-8 clearly describes the idols that humans (who don’t believe in God) invent out of nothing (or out of a very false belief) just so that they have something to worship. While God will always be real to His faithful believers, the idols are simply non-existing even though the people who keep on idolizing them live on with the lie that their idols are real, living and responding to them. There definitely is a contrast between the spiritual God who reigns omnisciently and omnipotently, and the man-made idols who are limited to the space of a carved object. In other words, idolatry is absurd, worthless and a terrible waste.

Can these man-made idols perform miracles like God? No! Can these idols send real messages to the people who worship them? No! Can these idols impact people’s lives? Absolutely not and the fact remains is that the people who worship the idols are living a lie and wasting their lives away. An idol is worthless and its followers become worthless as well.

Oh Israel, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD,

He is their help and their shield.

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

The LORD has been mindful of us;

He will bless us;

He will bless the house of Israel;

He will bless the house of Aaron.

He will bless those who fear the LORD,

Both small and great.

My take: Psalm 115: 9-13 emphasizes the fact that God is real and therefore can always be trusted even though He cannot be seen through mortal eyes. He is in heaven, after all. Even though He is far away from, God has always maintained great awareness of His faithful believers and in return for their faith and purity, they will be blessed.

It is also essential to know that fearing the Lord leads to enlightenment. As such other forms of fear – fear of the unknown, fear caused by unrestrained emotions, fear that the worst will happen, fear of hopelessness, fear caused by interventionism, fear caused by brainwashing, fear caused by being self-centered, fear generated by religion and more – should be disregarded. Faith in the Lord is all what a person needs to have in order live better, to be blessed and to prosper. Having fear of the Lord is part of practicing faith in Him.

The non-believers meanwhile will only struggle and experience hardship. These are the people whose souls need saving. (refer to John 3: 3)

May the LORD give you increase more and more,

You and your children.

May you be blessed by the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;

But the earth He has given to the children of men.

The dead do not praise the LORD,

Nor any who go down into silence.

Be we will bless the LORD

From this time forth and forevermore.

Praise the LORD!

My take: Psalm 115: 14-18 emphasizes further that God is loving, caring and will keep blessing faithful believers. In return, faithful believers keep living their lives with purity, maintain an unwavering faith and praise the Lord always.

On earth, people were born in the flesh as naturally flawed beings (lost souls) who have to struggle growing up, figuring out life the hard way while dealing with the unpredictable moves of nature and local society. The struggle, however, can end by believing in God, realizing He is real, praising Him and being faithful to Him. This also means that a person must be born again (refer to John 3: 3) in order to be saved and to see God’s kingdom.

People who were born with lost souls, lived life worshiping idols (or completely ignoring them but still failing to realize God’s existence) and later died without being saved truly end up failing  to see God’s kingdom. That is a very sad outcome indeed and not enough people realize that.

In this world we live in, countless forms of distractions hound us all the time. Among them are the idols, both living and non-living, that people seem to be captivated with. The sad thing about following idols in the modern world is that the followers (of the idols) tend to forget and/or ignore God and His Son Jesus. These people don’t realize they became lost souls.

Worshiping idols is futile. None of those idols will ever come close to the power, the love and care of the Lord. Here’s a passage from Psalm 86: 8.

Among the gods, there is none like You, O Lord;

Nor are there any works like Your works.

The gods mentioned above refers to the idols and myths that pagans refer to as gods. David is not acquiescing to polytheism (refer to 1 Corinthians 8: 5-6)

And then there are these powerful words from God from Exodus 20: 3.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

And then there is the passage of Deuteronomy 5: 7-10 which is connected to the Ten Commandments.

You shall have no other gods before me. 

You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

God is the one true god to worship and very clearly idols are not meant to be worshiped. God’s character demands loyalty while idols are worthless. You worship an idol, then you will be lost! Do you really want to waste your life hailing an idol and ignoring God and His Son Jesus? Do you really want to live as a lost and unsaved soul? You may not realize it but you need direction and you need to be born again. You can start reforming yourself to find your path to Lord Jesus by getting rid of those idols (both living and non-living) and focus on Him.

We should all read the Holy Bible and remember that Jesus came to this world and dwelt among people thousands of years ago. He came and spread the good news of salvation and those who believed in Him received the free gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit received, the faithful believer will understand the Word of God as well as the nature of God, then develop a genuine heart of worship and become a new creation.

This is not about religion at all. Religion itself will frustrate you and prevent you from truly connecting to the Lord. Rather this is about your personal relationship with the Lord. Any person – including you the reader – needs the Holy Spirit, needs to be born again and needs to become a new creation in Jesus.

As such, if you have been idolizing someone or something, you have been living with frustrations and you really want to be reformed deep inside, then immediately you must decide to stop worshiping idols and look up to God and trust in Him! You have the power to decide for yourself and the good news is that it is not too late for you to be saved.

You have the power to willingly reject religion as well as all of its idols, rituals and traditions that prevented you from establishing a true relationship with the Lord. 

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity 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

My Observations: A Candidate’s Birthday Celebration Attended By Many Guests Including A Presidential Consultant

Last night (March 17, 2019) I attended the birthday party of former Barangay BF Homes kagawad Alfred Lazatin who is a candidate running for one of the eight seats in the City Council (for District 2) of Parañaque with the next local election happening this May. The party was held at the covered basketball court in BF NorthWest, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, Philippines.

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Birthday celebrant and City Councilor candidate Alfred Lazatin watches as former City Mayor Jun Bernabe greets one of the many guests during the party in BF NorthWest on March 17.

Lazatin, who served his barangay for over a decade, is now 40-years-old. His wife Cielo is now serving the barangay as an incumbent kagawad.

As this year is an election year for both national and local levels, it is no surprise that the teammates of Lazatin with Team Bernabe-Marquez were also present mingling with the guests and greeting as many people as they could. This includes former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio”Jun” Bernabe (whose birthday party I wrote about), his running mate former Barangay BF Homes chairman Jeremy Marquez, former BF NorthWest president Anthony Vivero plus other teammates including those running for City Council seats of District 1.

The most notable guest present was Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte who not only expressed support for Team Bernabe-Marquez (note: their team is allied with President Rodrigo Duterte) but also delivered a memorable speech concerning the future of Parañaque which in recent times deteriorated when it comes to competing with other cities on varied categories and is no longer in the list of the Top Ten Richest Cities of the Philippines.

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Members of Team Bernabe Marquez and Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte (middle in between Jun Bernabe and Jeremy Marquez) do the Duterte Fist Bump for photographers.

“I met with Mayor (Jun Bernabe) at SM MOA not too long ago and I told him that he should return to power in the city (to improve it for the people),” Duterte said. “The team led by Bernabe and Jeremy Marquez is ready to serve the people of Parañaque for a brighter future. They can’t do it alone and that’s why your participation in the election is needed. The future of Parañaque is at stake.”

The speech ended with a strong applause from the many guests who were present.

The rest of the birthday party saw the guests enjoy the meals and drinks served. Some prizes were raffled off and the lucky winners were seen happy.

For your viewing pleasure, check out the other pictures from the party posted below.

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A guest with birthday celebrant Alfred Lazatin, wife incumbent Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin and former BF NorthWest president Anthony Vivero.
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Birthday party guests getting served with tasty food.

 

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Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez listens to Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte.
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Parañaque City Council Candidate for District 2 Anthony Vivero with Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte and a BF NorthWest resident.
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Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte raises the arm of Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez showing her support for him.
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Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez mingling with some of the guests.
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Team Bernabe-Marquez raise their arms in unity with Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte.

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My Observations: Still No Draft Proposal For Electric Vehicles At Parañaque City (February 21, 2019 update)

I revisited Parañaque City Hall today to find out if there were any breakthroughs with regards to legalizing/legitimizing the use of electric vehicles for public transportation use within the city.

The result of my visit? NO PROGRESS whatsoever! According to my sources there, NOT EVEN A DRAFT PROPOSAL was made nor submitted by any member of the City Council until now (February 21, 2019).

This lack of progress to modernize public transportation in Parañaque is indeed disturbing. The City Government of Muntinlupa approved legislation for electric vehicles for public transportation years ago which explains why electric jeepneys (e-jeep) and electric tricycles (e-trikes) are present within the city and commuters have been riding them. At nearby Las Piñas City, their approval of an electric tricycle ordinance since May 2018 resulted their receiving of a donation of one hundred e-trike units from the Department of Energy and already many of those said units have bee deployed to barangays around the city through the different Tricycle Operators and Drivers Associations (TODAs).

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On November 2018, City Government officials of Las Pinas formally received from the Department of Energy (DOE) one hundred electric tricycle (e-trike) units as a donation and the City’s Electric Tricycle ordinance (approved May 2018) made that possible. (photo source – City of Las Pinas Facebook page)
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A few of the 100 electric tricycles (e-trikes) donated by the DOE to Las Pinas. (photo source – City of Las Pinas Facebook page)

Going back to Parañaque, which was where I grew up in long ago, it is mind boggling that even though the national government has been heavily pushing for public utility vehicles modernization (or PUV Modernization) using technology that is cleaner, safe, more comfortable and less noisy, the City Government under mayor Edwin Olivarez still has not made any moves to legalize e-vehicles as a viable form of public transportation for the commuters. Safe to say, Parañaque is now behind Las Pinas and Muntinlupa on PUV modernization and commuters have no choice but to ride those noisy, unsafe and air-polluting tricycles and jeepneys.

No political will, no legislation and certainly no PUV modernization.

What is very funny is that mayor Olivarez has posed for pictures with electric vehicles more than once! Look at these pictures I found.

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Parañaque’s mayor (7th from left) posing for pictures during the July 2016 launch of the FAILED electric tricycle project of the BF Federation of Homeowner Association, Inc. (BFFHAI), BFCOM and Barangay BF Homes. The project was launched but never went into full operation due to legal and technical problems. Of course, the City had NO ORDINANCE to legitimize such a project. It comes to show that the project handlers failed to do their research on the legality of e-vehicles for public transportation. (photo source – Ecos Efi Facebook page)
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In April 2017, Parañaque’s mayor (seated at the back) rode a solar-electric tricycle of Star 8 during a demonstration at Parañaque City Hall. It was all just a show. (photo source – Mayor Edwin Olivarez Facebook page)

All that posing in front of photographers. Smiling with guests. Looking handsome. Still no breakthrough!

With the next local election happening on May this year, it remains to be seen if the incumbent City Government officials will do anything to improve public transportation for the many commuters of the city. Those commuters have no choice but to endure the high noise and dirty air when traveling within the city.

If you are a concerned citizen and you want reforms to happen, better write formal letters to the City Council members, the City Administrator (Fernando Ding Soriano), the Vice Mayor (Rico Golez) and the Mayor himself.

Watch out for my next electric vehicles update. I got something significant coming.


Thank you for reading. If you found this article to be 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.