Archive for September, 2008

This email is being circulated among Filipinos living abroad. It is a plea, a reminder, an encouragement for all of us to not lose hope about our country’s future and recovery from the despicable state it is in now. I want to rant and rave about the quality of leaders we have but I won’t because in keeping with the message of this piece, I want to encourage each one as well.

With God, everything is possible and I believe that whatever is happening in the Philippines right now has not escaped His attention. He is just waiting for all of us to cry out to Him for and on behalf of our land.

Read on…


by Father James Reuter, S.J.

By her own admission, GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) rightfully assessed that over the last decades; our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors.’ Forty years ago, we were only second to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore , Hong Kong , Malaysia , and Thailand . Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is.

1. A population of 160 Million;

2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will
live below the poverty line;

3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when
Marcos fled, and US$53B today);

4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam , but against
Bangladesh ;

5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia , if not in the world (we’re
already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International) .

The signs are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence. It is not for lack of effort. We’ve seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups & people’s organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds.

But not even two people’s revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.

We need a force far greater than our collective efforts, as a people, can ever hope to muster. It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm. It’s time to claim GOD’s promise of healing of the land for His people. It’s time to gather GOD’s people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.

Is prayer really the answer? Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I’d like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.

England ‘s ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers.

The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today – a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.

In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.

Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling & seeking of GOD through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows.. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity. YES, we believe prayer can make a difference. It’s our only hope.

Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation. We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to fwd this email to your close friends and relatives.

This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.

We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it’s time to try prayer power. GOD never fails. Is there hope? YES! We can rely on God’s promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land. By GOD’s grace, we may yet see a better future for our children.

‘If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.'(2 Chronicles 7:14).

If you care for your children and grandchildren, PLEASE pass this on…
Let’s not just abandon the Philippines.


I must say that I was rebuked and humbled by this email. I almost gave up praying for the Philippines. I felt so far away from its strife and poverty already. It seemed so unreal to me now. I don’t even read the news online as there is nothing worth reading anyway.

But thanks to Father Reuter, I am now convinced to go back to my knees for my country. I also encourage each one of you, if you are a Filipino and care for it, please spend a few minutes of your day to pray regularly for our land:

  • That our leaders will be given wisdom on how to rule and that they will choose to do right at all times.
  • That our people will turn away from their wicked ways.
  • That nature will be kind to our farmers and fishermen.
  • That the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding prevail at all times across the country.
  • That the Lord will put a stop to corruption in all sectors, areas and aspects of life.
  • And, that the Lord will have mercy on all of us.

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Maritz (Part VI)

It is nice to start this inspiring story from Part I and be led by the links through all the other parts.

Our story on Maritz’ life is coming to a close now. We have seen her soar to new heights when she first attempted to fulfill her dream to be a singer and in the process help her family. She succeeded in that aspect.

Then we talked about how she met her sailor-Prince Charming whom she met in Bangkok, Thailand. Her life with him started out with not a few challenges but she managed to rise above them and emerged a better, more adjusted and more mature woman. As a side note, I’d like to clarify that Maritz’ husband is actually a businessman involved in shipping, and that sailing is just one passion of his. He is the President of his sailing club.

Her phenomenal breakthrough from sadness bordering depression in a foreign land where she could not speak the language, came when she decided to take matters into her own hands and enrolled in an intensive German course. Then, she landed her first office job which she still holds until today – some good 13 years since that fateful day that she was hired.

If you think that was it, wait til I tell you about her “other job”. Yes, Maritz did not totally abandon her first love, her singing, I mean. After “finding her feet” in Hamburg, when she finally learned the language, her world opened up to other possibilities aside from her job. Her ever-supportive husband introduced her to some key people who gave her access to the stage once again – the stage where she lived and thrived for two years after graduating from college, the stage that promised her a brighter future and gave her a means to send her sisters to school, the stage in which her Prince Charming first saw her and watched her for nights on end even before she ever heard of his existence. It was to this stage that her hubby brought her once again.

A promotional poster for Maritz' band

A promotional poster for Maritz

So now, Maritz performs in gigs with her band on weekends wherever there is an opportunity for them to do so, while keeping a day job in a travel agency on weekdays. She is quite popular in Hamburg, she modestly and shyly admits, but a friend of hers says ecstatically that she is quite famous there, and that this friend beams with pride to be counted as one of Maritz’ close amigas.

When her popularity started to rise in Hamburg, she guested in TV shows. One time, she was featured in a newspaper called Die Welt (The World), along with nine other foreigners who made a name in their respective fields in Germany. This newspaper is published nationwide and also reaches circulation in Austria and Switzerland.

Her music also made a name for her among the Filipino community in Hamburg. Two years ago, they celebrated the 50-year anniversary of Philippine-German diplomatic relations. Maritz hosted the ceremonies which five to six thousand Pinoys attended. For Maritz, that was one memorable event of her life, a high point if you like.

Maritz states that with all these experiences she’s been through, she believes that without fear, there would be no courage at all. She felt how it was to be afraid facing an uncertain future the first time that she arrived in Germany. But she conquered that fear and emerged victorious.

She further says, “I guess there’s a price for everything and for me, that price is our being childless. But I really can’t complain. I have a husband who supports me to the fullest, he is my shelter.”

Maritz in her kitchen

Maritz in her kitchen

Yes, the couple is childless by choice. People who voluntarily opt not to have kids are more commonly called child-free in these parts of the world. Maritz followed her dreams and her husband was with her all the way. But she thinks that if she had children, she would not have gained the lifestyle that she has now. It was a mutual decision between the couple. My only comment is that, it’s a shame no one will inherit her good singing voice.

But she insists she has her family back in the Philippines and her nieces and nephews. Her youngest sister is now a Dentist privately practicing in their town. Hers is the only dental clinic there, actually. The other sister she helped put through school is currently with her in Germany, pursuing her Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Hamburg. Maritz secretly hopes her sister decides to stay there for good.

So there goes another inspiring story of one kababayan who managed to help improve her lot in life and that of her family by sheer guts, talent and determination. I hope to see you here again as we look into the life of Tatay Vistan (that’s how I call him), a kababayan living in London at the moment. His is a unique story again, and one that brings to mind just how long we Filipinos have been in this mass exodus to greener pastures.

The house Maritz shares with her husband

The house Maritz shares with her husband

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