Nobody put a gun to her head and ordered her not to eat during the fasting season of Ramadan. It was our son’s nanny’s choice to eat less than nothing after sunset and before sunrise. Maybe she felt compelled to because her religion tells her to. Maybe she believed that her God told her too.

But how is that MY problem?

Abandoning common knowledge of daily dietary needs, she ventured to this so-called spiritual endeavour knowing the risks of getting gastro-intestinal problems that one may get from digesting nothing for a period of time. There is a fridge of uncooked food and a cupboard snacks at home. She could have easily cooked something or taken some snack and ate some to avoid getting into the scenario that her digestive organs digest nothing – and makes her sick. (I know she does treat it as a hotel bar and eat off from my own stash of snacks because my chocolate bars are fewer than they were.) You know, sneak one in. Chug a mug of Milo when the other helper is not looking.

But she chose not to because of religious reasons. Her religious reasons.

This morning she’s wearing this jacket she always wears when she claims to be sick of something and this pained look on her face that could land her a job asking for loose change in the streets of Dago. She didn’t take care of my three-year old son and the other helper had to fill in for her. She excused herself in the afternoon to see some doctor. And now she comes back here today after a trip to some clinic, holding an enveloped note in Bahasa that she should rest for two days along with a bill that she implies I should pay.

How is this MY problem again?

What if I practiced a certain religion, a Filipinized Roman Catholic religion, where I believe that I should flagellate myself and get myself crucified on Good Friday? Should I charge medical bills for these self-inflicted injuries on my employers because I got hurt on a spiritual Jackass-like stunt? I have nothing against puasa. You wanna fast? Go ahead. But if you get gas, hyperacidity, stomachilitis or whatever fasting-related diseases, don’t put in on my account – because I didn’t put a gun on your head. Some guys in a desert hundreds of years ago did.

Being the Son of God, Jesus had super powers. He once changed water into wine in a wedding feast, walked on water, mutiplied fish and bread by thousands, raised Lazarus from the dead and healed a lot of ailing people. But all these he did for the benefit of others, not for himself. You must begin to wonder if he ever used it for selfish reasons. He was not being selfish when, instead of staying dead, he resurrected himself on the third day. That was all part of the Father’s plans.

This passage tells us that instance when he did abuse his super powers. Also it reveals Jesus’ temper. You know that thing about money changers in the temple? There’s good reason to be pissed there. The people were defiling his temple by hawking their wares in his temple -which was supposed to be a of prayer. That’s tantamount to wearing your shoes when entering a mosque. 

Actually, on the day before that thrashing thing, he had exhibited some violent behavior. So even before he saw the commercial activity in the temple, he was already upset about something. And what was that?

12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. -Mark 11:12-14

It was not fig season, but apparently he is too famished to think straight. He can’t multiply the fruit like he did with the loaves of bread and fish since mutliplying zero will give you a product of zero. He knew his math. So what did he do? He cursed the tree into being barren. That’s like burning a McDonald’s because it’s not the season for Twister Fries. Couldn’t he have just magically make the fig tree bear fruits? He can defy physics by walking on water, can’t he defy biology as well?

Thorns on the head, thousands of lashes, dragging a heavy wooden cross and getting crucified he can handle. But not getting fig at a time when it’s not fig season, he can’t? He once fasted for forty days and forty nights. What’s with the guy?

Clearly he’s power tripping.

So he’s into figs, right? While fasting and meditating for forty days and forty nights, Satan tempted him with riches: treasures, castles and power on Earth, but he didn’t give in. If only Satan knew Jesus was into figs, he could have dangled a fig at the end of the stick on a cliff.   

By the way, the disciples heard him curse the tree. The next day, they see the tree and they were flabbergasted that the tree has withered and died. You can imagine the disciples whispering about how powerful he was and how much of a jackass he could be when pissed.

They might have wondered if they will suffer the same fate when asked for a piece of bread next time. He lost his temper. He exhibited some villain-like tantrum when things didn’t go his way. How different is the guy from Darth Vader who when disappointed delivers an invisible chokehold on his sotrm trooper?

In a way you can say that this might affect his relationship with his disciples. He realized this and tried to do something about it. How does he recover from such vulgar display of power tripping then?

He uses that withered tree that he cursed to teach a new lesson. He uses this to imply how much doubts and how little faith they have.

 

 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

 22“Have[a] faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”[b]Mark 11:20-25.

Peter was stating the fact that the tree Jesus cursed whithered. He wasn’t implying anything. In fact he might even be praising him for his power to make trees wither since it did not manifest on the instant he cursed it. He might be saying to the others that they should see that he indeed cursed the tree to barrenness.

How does Jesus answer? He tells them to have faith in God and goes on to talk about flinging oneself to the sea and how prayers actually work if you truly wish for it. Then he proceeeds to give Peter the power to forgive sins in this world. The Catholic Church would later interpret this verse and use it as basis for the powers of the priests to forgive sins if sinners will confess their sins to them inside a big box.

All this priestly powers because of some whithered tree Jesus cursed.

 

25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Then they move to Jerusalem again where he shows off his debating skills.

 Jesus is known as a well-mannered individual as a whole. He insisted on turning the other cheek, encouraged his snobbish disciples to allow children to come and listen to him and preached about sitting on the humblest seat when invited to a dinner. He is also known as a great motivational speaker who electrified the crowd without resorting to foul language. Or may he did…

There was a time he was pissed in the bible. He sees some entrepreneurial action going on in his temple. He thrashes the place. He overturns tables and flings animal products, but over all he kept his tongue in check. In Jesus Christ Superstar he just sings in falsetto “My temple should be a house of prayer/ But you have made it to a den of thieves/ Get out!/ Get out!”

 

Another instance that one would think he may have used a not-so-wholesome language would be that one of the last seven words where an exasperated Jesus asked in a mildly questioning manner, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” It would sound like he doesn’t want to be crucified anymore and he questions God’s will. It may sound defiant and he seems to be doubting God’s love there. But still it is nothing you would consider as something to bleeped. Given all the things he had to endure in the movie in Passion of the Christ, that sentence would rather sound very polite as opposed to what most of us will say when we bump our head on a table while picking up a fork we dropped on the floor.  

 

While it can be inferred that Jesus chose his words well and used a kind of language most of our parents would applaud since he is the Son of God, who would have thought that at some time he sounded just like a regular construction worker? 

Jesus was preaching about the cost of being a disciple. He talks about how much commitment is needed to become one. He illustrates this idea by saying that a man who plans to construct a building should estimate first and check whether he has enough materials to complete it.

It can be sensed though that Jesus is might have gotten up from the wrong side of the bed that day when he proceeds to use war to explain his idea further. He tells them that those who go to war need to estimate if they have enough soldiers against their enemies. He may be hinting on sending a scout on a quick horse. Normally, he would use grapes and lost coins in his parables, but he seems to border on something violent that day.

Then he resorts to foul language to hammer the idea on disciples-to-be who happen to be in the area. Bear in mind that when this was said at their time the more popular word we use for this bodily waste was not yet in use.

 34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
      “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” -Luke 14:34-35

If we translate it to modern lingo it would sound something like this:

34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for a pile of shit; it is thrown out.

It is neither fit for the soil nor for pile of a crap!

“Yeah, the commitment you are showing now is greatly appreciated, but what good would it be once it fades and it is gone? It’s so useless it is worth less than a pile of shit,”  Jesus Christ.

Why did Jesus use ‘pile of shit’ or ‘pile of crap’ instead of ‘pile of garbage’? It still means the same thing -a pile of useless things. I don’t know maybe it’s because was stressed out at that time because he had a long day. In that same chapter he had debated with some pharisees and talked of a parable of a great banquet. The parable may have been an improv and it took its toll on him.  

Or maybe this is where his carpenter roots come in. Remember he grew up with a carpenter foster father and maybe that’s the way Joseph talks to his kid at home.

I haven’t written for a while. I just learned that Alfredo Lim ,mayor of Manila, has ordered – again – the banning of buses from Cavite from entering Manila. I was looknig for pictures, when I stumbled upon a very important bit of news. By important, I mean, something or another bad thing about Manila’s Dirty Harry. It appears that the mayor is too busy checking provincial bus routes to see his son getting involved in a life of drugs. His son was caught peddling shabu. I can’t even find the right words to point out the irony here. Here’s a man who spearheaded a spraypaint-the-house-of-drug-addicts campaign some time while chief of DILG and here’s his son… how much is a can of spray paint now? P 300? Should I start spraying the front door now? Fuck the spray paint. I’ll be glad to go to their house on weekends to render a “Drug Addict/ Pusher” mural on a point 1 red technical pen in pointillism. Ang I will allow them to choose which font type and size I will render this?

You know what, Lim? If you weren’t too tight-assed on video games, maybe your son could have learned a thing or two about drugs from these video games.

It was released in arcades and NES in the 80s I think. As a narc agent, Lim’s son can fight evil drug guys with an array of guns and a choice between wearing red or blue sleevless attire and red or blue helmet.  I am sure the arm muscles would appeal even to macho guy Alfredo Lim as well.

  

Why this will appeal to Lim and his son

One of the best features is that even Alfredo himself can join as a second player. It has a two-players mode so it is a gurantees family bonding. They can just flip a coin to figure out who’s going to wear red or blue.

I’m sure Alfie’s background can help him breeze through baddies after baddies till they reach the final boss fight against Mr. Big.

They can even have some fun making gigantic donuts for the narcotics department.

Or if they do not go for 80s nostalgia, they can play this updated and more gritty version of the game released in 2005. See how more badass the cops are compared to the two sleeveless-attire-clad cops in the original version? See how the sidewards-way of holding the guns give them more street cred? Now they don’t have to flip coins on who plays the red guy or the blue guy. They have a choice of which skin color they want.

Why this new version will appeal to Lim and his son

Finding that the old video game version was too preachy and didn’t really offer choice (or simply they want to cash in on the GTAtrend), the new version, allows cops to keep drugs they seize for evidence or to be used for trippin’ (The ommission of the ‘g’ is to make it sound more cool.)  Want to know how it feels like being on LSD or marijuana? You don’t need to actually take one in real life. It is simulated in the game. One could hear voices and see hellish images while trippin’ on LSD. A player can feel the effects of weed when time slows down after taking a toke. 

This gives a player a choice between good and evil and teaches them on the consequences of drug use. Once a cop uses too much drugs, this appears on screen and the game is over.  

So instead of actually going through real drug addiction in the flesh, he would have just gone through a game over where a second chance at life is given by loading on a save point.

Why this will appeal to Lim and his son

Alfredo Lim is not a stranger to movies. His life inspired a stupid action movie in the 90s which stars Eddie Garcia. This video game was inspired by the 1983 De Palma remake of the movie with the same title. So if he approved of turning his life into a movie, he should not have any qualms about playing a game that was based on a movie, right? How is a movie different from a video game? It’s the same storyline, it’s just that movie heroes don’t die battling underlings. But with save points and game cheats, that can be remedied.

So it might not be like Narc where one has a chocie to be a good or bad cop, but still it has its appeal. It does not ‘teach’ a lesson  strictly speaking, but it diverts one from actually wanting to lead a life of drugs. Here Lim’s son can pretend to rise above the drug syndicate and fulfill his lust for drug power without actually selling shabu in darkly-lit streets. It can all take place in the virtual world of video game. Yup, and he can even pretend to like Al Pacino, instead of looking like some stressed out cook from a Chinese takeout.  

And here’s another video game based on the movie Hard Boiled. Just in case you don’t know what Hard Boiled is, just search for the most number of screen deaths in a movie and this will appear as top 5.

Why this will appeal to Lim and his son

One, it’s also based on a movie. Two, Lim’ and his son do not need to flip a coin to choose skin color since the main character is Chinese. They play Tequilla (Chow Yun Fat) an HK agent who battles a drug syndicate. While the killing spree might make squeamish Lim squeam on the body count, it still sells the idea that good triumphs over bad and that drug pushers are punished with bullets instead of spraypainted grafitti on their houses.

 

It’s about a man’s revenge against junkies who killed his wife and new born daughter. He goes on different levels killing junkies, etc.

Why this will appeal to Lim and his son

While I’m sure allusions to Norse mythology will be lost on theses two’s heads, it will appeal to them because it involves family.

I can go on and on on a list of video games that Lim easily dismisses as violent, but what’s the point? He’s son is already caught. To do so would mean going back in time through a time machine. Here’s the point, Lim. Instead of studying bus routes, spend some time playing video games with your other children so they don’t end up in drugs an/ or prostitution. Maybe you’ll not have a lot of kids in jail.

 

Do you feel like your company is short-changing you by blocking internet porn sites? Do you feel like slashing your wrists everytime the word ‘BLOCKED’ appears when you try to move your way into sites like:

  • porn.com
  • teennudies.com
  • boobs.com
  • preggoplayground.com
  • literotica.com
  • naughtypinay.com
  • pinoyscandals.com
  • etc?

We need porn during office hours, but the superstructure is preventing us from doing so.  

So you feel you are entitled to porn during office hours, right? Especially when they make you work overtime. Or when your third cup of coffee fails and you feel like jolting yourself awake at 1 or 2 pm. Or when you’re too nervous to face your class for the first time and a seasoned co-teacher advised you to imagine your students in the nude to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach. Or you just can’t watch porn because your wife finds watching inanimate objects used for intercourse too disgusting.  

I know you can justify and rationalize why you need porn during office hours. Whatever your reasons are, I’m sure they’re as valid as the ones stated above. Let me share the solution. Now, you don’t need to settle for Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! to get your fix.

Yup, that’s like battling world hunger with a bag of peas.

You know what?I found a way around the fucking system!

These site blockers work in a system where your computer techies encode porn words in a system that blocks the sites that contain such words. What most people try is to randomly find  slangs synonymous to porn-related words and add ‘.com’ in the end.

Example: slut.com, whore.com, pinay.com, pussy.com, dickshaft.com, meatholster.com, salamihider.com, old_in_out_in_out.com, etc.

Now if your techies are as good as the ones where I work, you will content yourself to photos about prostitution in wikipedia.com, like these I found at 1.30 pm yesterday.

You might as well resort to dropping the mousepad-on-the-floor-and-picking-it-up-gimmick in the hopes that you will catch a glimpse of that co-worker who wears real short skirts as you lower your head.

I’m drowning here and you’re only describing the waters!

Remember this: They encode such words in ENGLISH! So the way around this system is to randomly type pornlike words in a different language! A few sessions in my Spanish class has taught me words synonymous to women like, mujer or mujeres, chica or chicas, hija or hijas. Use these words. I also found out that using the plural form always work.

Por ejemplos:

Instead of encoding chicks.com type chicas.com! By the way, chick.com isn’t a porn site. It’s a conservative Christian publication of some Jack or Jess Chick that publish anti-gay literature like this.  

So, instead of:

Or try something else,like cewek.com instead of whore.com. That’s Bahasa Indonesia, by the way. By the way, this is random and does not guarantee there is a porn site with a name like that. I tried Por El Revista, as For Him Magazine, but it didn’t work.

Great thinking, Mr. Cunning Linguist, but I don’t speak Mexican!

Look for one and have him translate words for you.  Can’t find a Juan, a Jose, a Pedro, etc? Try spanishdict.com. Now, that’s with a ‘t’, not a ‘k’. Either it gets blocked again or you end up being mistaken for a homo who has the hots for some Latino heat.  

 “Why can’t I worship the Lord my way, like praying like hell in my deathbed?” Homer to Marge while entering the church late in The Simpsons Movie.

Homer may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but this is one instant that I would say he is a genius. You see, he just stumbled upon the biggest loophole in the Christian religion. And he does so without outside help. This is what an epiphany is and not that one induced by some Inuit throat singing.

If you’ll believe what priests and pastors tell you, then attaining salvation would mean doing things their way -dressing up in clothes you would not normally wear and attending boring masses, Sunday schools, bible studies, enduring boring and phony people at fellowship, actually reading the thick bible —and giving donations you wish you’d spend buying pirated DVDs. 

While reading the bible can be fun, there’s one passage you might wish to highlight with a yellow marker. 

I’ll tell you who the smartest man in the bible is. Roman Catholic tradition refers to him as Dimas. You know, that criminal guy at the right side of Christ in his crucifixion.

From left to right: Dimas (he’s at Jesus’s right), Jesus and Hestas.

This is how it is described in Luke 23:39-43:

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

 40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]

 43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

Smooooth, Dimas. Here you are with no way out. You’re nailed on the cross with two others. You’re certain that you’ll die, right? There’s no escaping crucifixion on your own. What hurt would it do you if you at least pretend to care, to revere the other guy, who you’re not so sure if he’s the messiah or just another wannabe Willem Defoe built crosses for in The Last Temptation of the Christ? Nothing, right? So, why don’t you throw in your apples in that basket and hope that he was actually the on prophesied for centuries?  

If Dimas was the smartest, the dumbest one in the bible would be (yup it’s open to debate, actually)  the one on Jesus’s left, Hestas.  

How stupid was that guy when he challenged the ‘messiah’ and told him, “Aren’t you the messiah? Why don’t you save yourself and us?” For him to say that, he could’ve meant either of the two:

1. He was insulting the man because he didn’t actually believed that he was one.

Now, what good would that do him? What purpose would it have served to insult a man on the cross who, however remote the possibility was, could have been the messiah? What, to make himself feel like some bully or something? What was he thinking?

“Oh maybe the Romans will laugh and they’ll let me off because I’m cool?” Was he trying to win their hearts with that put down? Did he consider that maybe the Roman soldiers didn’t speak Jew.

Jesus must be saying, “Let’s see how you enjoy hell, bitch.”

2. Or, maybe, he did believe he was the messiah.

But, is that the kind of tone you’d use to a ‘messiah’? Especially on that occasion? If that wasn’t stupid, you’d have invent a new word. You see a man who you think might be the messiah. You see that he’s lost buckets of blood. He’s been egged on by King Herod to perform magic tricks. He wanted to turn him into a toad or at least give him the finger, but that doesn’t go well with his  savior thing. It’s against the objectives of his mission. And here you are criminal nailed on the cross because you deserved every second of it and you demand things from him that he wouldn’t do to a king?

Jesus in front of Herpd in Jesus Christ Superstar

Now, let’s go back to Dimas. Dimas has just showed us the way, people. We can actually live the same life we have now. He actually led a more rotten life that you have. He’s a criminal, so I guess he had led a life of booze, women, stealing stuff, lying here and there, cheating, etc. Yo9u know life modern day rappers, without a record label and album.

What I’m saying is, if a criminal who sucked up to Jesus in the last minute can actually be told that at that moment he is in paradise with Jesus, real paradise mind you, not the one you get when you smoke a joint with a friend, what more if you’ll pray like hell in your deathbed? That’s sure entry to heaven, I’m telling you.

I’m sure, your priests and pastors will tell you that attaining salvation is not easy. It’s because they don’t want to lose revenues. Do you actually believe that they cared for your soul even before they have met you? You’re just a faceless human being who at one point of his life he may have wished dead because you were ahead of him in line when he was getting his driver’s license at the Land Transportation Office.

 

What I offer you is this church. A church built, not on fear, guilt and donations, but on a solid bible verse (no, not John 3:16)–The Church of Dimas. Live your life the way you want. Watch basketball and cartoons. Then, pray like hell in your deathbed when the times comes. 

All Saints’ Day is near. While the western wolrd gears up for Halloween, we, Filipinos get ready for All Saints’. This is the time of the year, we go to the cemetery and do some major cleaning, pretend to remember grandpaernts who died while we were three years old by snacking and lighting candles on their tombs.

Last All Saints’ Day, I was in Indonesia and I missed the Philippines. I went to their cemetery and found the following odd tombs. So let me present to you some of them.

Here’s a photo of their cemetery. There no gates. So if you’re drunk one night you might stumble in it, like Michael Jackson in Thriller. This is a Christian cemetery, by the way, so you can’t say, “Oh it’s weird because it’s Islamic”.

Having plants in the middle is a common thing in their tombs. Take note of the tiles and the gradient color. I don’t know if it’s a flower box or it is bathroom floor.

I don’t know what the plant suggests in a tomb. Maybe it means there’s life after death. But this one, you have to admit, overdoes it.

Maybe they need a teenager to mow it.

Born… Dead… Instead of ‘Died’. Maybe, this is Body Count’s inspiration for the title of their album.

“I want pink, Ma.”

 You don’t have to be a genius to figure out this guy’ job when he was still living.

 I just don’t get the idea behind this design.

The tiles again. this time with Winnie Fag on it.  

You’re evil if you laughed at this one. It’s a child’s. You’re going to hell for laughing at child’s grave.