"sometimes your loyalties are put to question when the ones you love are made to experience of the unjustness of the institution you serve..."

The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

I do not know of any person who doesn't like the Smashing Pumpkins and I mean who wouldn't?

I mean they're absolutely brilliant who else but the Pumpkins could get away with disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their 'alternative rock' contemporaries, instead the group pursued a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, even electronica.

But what's also amazing about them is that the band is also a juxtaposition of front man Billy Corgan's grand musical ambitions as articulated with cathartic lyrics that have shaped the band's albums and songs. In fact, former bassist Melissa Auf der Maur once commented: "Everyone knows Billy doesn't need too many people to make a Pumpkins record."

That being said I would like now revisit the best audio introduction to The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which is a double album that they released back when I was in Junior High, the album was praised by critics for its ambition and scope. But to be totally honest I never owned a copy of this record I got the chance to listen to it when my classmate Jarme bought it at a Radio City branch in SM North Edsa's Annex Building, which I later borrowed for about 6 months or so.

Through the Veil: Karl Barth Should Be Allowed a Place in ‘Doctrine of Scripture’ Discussions

I have recently stumbled upon this blog from a more conservative Christian sighting the importance of Barth (especially his view on God's sovereignty) in deeper discourse about the Doctrine of Scripture. Below is an excerpt from the blog entry:

This view of God and the sovereignty of God is what drives Barth’s theology. Such a high view of God is indeed refreshing in this time of scholarship where individuality leads many a well-meaning preacher to deduce for himself the meaning from the text instead of letting the text reveal God to him.
Click this link to read the entire article: Karl Barth Should Be Allowed a Place in ‘Doctrine of Scripture’ Discussions

The Sex Pistols: Filthy Lucre Live

I must admit that I still feel guilty for acquiring this record as this tape was bought with money that was supposed to have been used to purchase my high school Citizens' Army Training uniform. I originally bought this out of interest for the punk anthem Anarchy in the UK whose tune was quite elusive to me back then when I was still getting deeper with my fascination to punk rock and the landmark bands that have colored its history, with The Pistols being counted as one of the more famous bands in the genre. The album was recorded live at London's Finsbury Park on June 23, 1996 during the band's Filthy Lucre Tour.

What I like about Chuck Norris

There are no races, only countries of people Chuck Norris has beaten to different shades of black and blue.

Chuck Norris doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.

Chuck Norris CAN believe it's not butter.

A picture is worth a thousand words. A Chuck Norris is worth 1 billion words.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

When Chuck Norris talks, everybody listens. And dies.

When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Chuck Norris kills a ninja, he uses every part.

Chuck Norris doesnt shave; he kicks himself in the face. The only thing that can cut Chuck Norris is Chuck Norris.

For some, the left testicle is larger than the right one. For Chuck Norris, each testicle is larger than the other one.

Chuck Norris invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.

In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.

Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

The show Survivor had the original premise of putting people on an island with Chuck Norris. There were no survivors, and nobody is brave enough to go to the island to retrieve the footage.

The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked one of the corners off.

When Chuck Norris is in a crowded area, he doesn't walk around people. He walks through them.

Chuck Norris once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.

Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is Pain.

There is no chin under Chuck Norris' Beard. There is only another fist.

The leading causes of death in the United States are: 1. Heart Disease 2. Chuck Norris 3. Cancer.

If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, "Two seconds 'til." After you ask, "Two seconds 'til what?" he roundhouse kicks you in the face.

The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris' fist.

What was going through the minds of all of Chuck Norris' victims before they died? His shoe.

Someone once videotaped Chuck Norris getting pissed off. It was called Walker: Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool Chuck Norris once and he will roundhouse you in the face.

Chuck Norris has two speeds: Walk and Kill.

Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on a true story: Chuck Norris once swallowed a turtle whole, and when he crapped it out, the turtle was six feet tall and had learned karate.

Chuck Norris doesn't shower, he only takes blood baths.

Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris eats beef jerky and craps gunpowder. Then, he uses that gunpowder to make a bullet, which he uses to kill a cow and make more beef jerky. Some people refer to this as the "Circle of Life."

Chuck Norris doesn't step on toes. Chuck Norris steps on necks.

Ninjas want to grow up to be just like Chuck Norris. But usually they grow up just to be killed by Chuck Norris.

The last thing you hear before Chuck Norris gives you a roundhouse kick? No one knows because dead men tell no tales.

When Chuck Norris was denied an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's because it was 10:35, he roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a Wendy's.

Once you go Norris, you are physically unable to go back.

Chuck Norris once pulled out a single hair from his beard and skewered three men through the heart with it.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.


Henri Nouwen on the radical message of the Gospel

This is the great movement from "you shall not" to "you may." We may care for the poor, the sick, and the dying, and meet God there. Instead of a distant God, whom we must please by not doing evil things, Jesus reveals to us a God who is as close to us as the poorest person is.

I keep marveling at the radicality as well as the simplicity of Jesus’ message. He breaks right through all the questions about what to do in order not to offend God and place the poor in front of us, saying, "This is me...love me." How radical and how simple!

Henri Nouwen, Our Secord Birth: Christian reflections on death and new life p.124

The Cross and the Trinity

After my confinement from the hospital I was required by my doctor to go on a one week rest period at home, and while doing so I resolved to finish a book within the week, and the book that I sought to finish was The 7 Secrets of a Happy Home – Insights based on Jesus’ Seven Last Words by a Filipino Methodist pastor named Joey Umali and reflecting on Matthew 27:46 he wrote:

God’s abandonment of His Son Jesus on the cross has been the central focus of theologians from Luther until modern times. According to modern-day theologian J. Moltman, "The cross is the event of God’s love in which the Son suffers abandonment by the Father, the Father suffers the death of the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the powerful love which spans the gulf between Father and Son and so reaches godforsaken humanity."

- Joey Umali, The 7 Secrets of a Happy Home – Insights based on Jesus’ Seven Last Words p.55

memento mori

Below is the words of a Never Forget The Cause (its an electronica collaboration that I'm doing with Ten Derillo and Jen Tuazon) song entitled Memento Mori (Latin for the phrase: 'remember that you must die') at present it is still in the works all I need to do is have Ten (a.k.a. Ellen Degenerate) sing the stanza parts

Life is a banquet and death is the buffet
Life is but a cycle of waking, walking and dying
Life is like a day you wake up, work and then die in slumber

Life is a banquet and death is the buffet
Remember that you must die

Life is but a cycle of waking, walking and dying
Life is like a day you wake up, work and then die in slumber

Life is a banquet and death is the buffet
Remember that you must die

Waking, walking and dying
Wake up, work and then die in your slumber

Life is a banquet and death is the buffet
Remember that you must die

Death rides on a coal-black horse
He wears an invisible cap...
Death can step along smiling with the dancers
He drums hard and he drums soft
Die, die, die you must

Life sucks we'll all die sooner or later

Life is a banquet and death is the buffet
Hopefully this song will be finished before the year ends... in the meantime you can listen and download some of Never Forget The Cause's songs in myspace by clicking this link

A second look at The Lord's Supper

I cannot help at times but feel uncomfortable with how Communion is viewed at church and at the larger Evangelical community.

Below is an account of the traditional Reformed position on the Lord's Supper which is held fast by most evangelicals:

In the Lord's Supper we are said to receive Christ and the benefits of His redemption to our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace. As our natural food imparts life and strength to our bodies, so this sacrament is one of the divinely appointed means to strengthen the principle of life in the soul of the believer and to confirm his faith in the promises of the gospel. By partaking of the bread and wine, the symbols of Christ's body and blood given for us, we are united to Him as our head, our life. He then works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure. He works in us according to the laws of our nature in the production of everything that is good, so that it is from Him that all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works proceed. It is not, therefore, we that live, but Christ that liveth in us.

What our Lord said to the apostles He says in the most impressive manner in this ordinance to every believing communicant: 'This is my body, broken for you... this is my blood shed for you.' These words when received by faith fill the heart with joy, confidence, gratitude, love, and devotion, so that the believer rises from the Lord's table refreshed by the infusion of a new life.

The efficacy of this sacrament, according to the Reformed doctrine, is not to be referred to any virtue in the ordinance itself, whether in its elements or actions; much less to any virtue in the administrator; nor to the mere power of the truths which it signifies; nor to the inherent divine power in the word or promise by which it is attended; nor to the real presence of the material body and blood of Christ (i.e., of the body born of the Virgin), whether by the way of transubstatination, consubstantiaition. or impanation; but only to the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that receive the sacrament of His body and blood.

To summarize the Reformed position: The Lord's Supper is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ as a memorial of His death wherein, under the symbols of bread and wine, His body as broken and His blood as shed for the remission of sins are signified and, by the power of the Holy Ghost. sealed and applied to believers. Thereby their union with Christ and their mutual fellowship are set forth and confirmed, their faith strengthened, and their souls nourished unto eternal life.

In this sacrament Christ is present not bodily, but spiritually - not in the sense of local nearness, but of efficacious operation. His people receive Him not with the mouth, but by faith; they do not receive His flesh and blood as material particles, but His body as broken and His blood as shed. The union thus signified and effected is not a corporeal union, not a mixture of substances, but a spiritual and mystical union due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The efficacy of this sacrament as a means of grace is not in the signs, nor in the service, nor in the minister, nor in the word, but in the attending influence of the Holy Ghost. 1

But somehow I feel as though as there is no communal element whenever we would administer this ordinance or Sacrament (if you may), this act was first instituted in the form of a dinner in celebration of the Passover, it was administered to an assemblage of men of whom (except Judas Iscariot) would become the first Christians to belong to the church. Rowan Williams tells of how: “the sacrament of the Eucharist as a the regular renewal of this charismatic identity is again primarily a witness to the divine invitation into the place where Christ stands, into Christ’s relation with the Father, opened to us by the paschal event, by his cross and resurrection.2

Also I believe that the Communion or the Eucharist should be looked at in the context of the Church as part of its communal witness to the world which is done be the communal act of worship that believers in a community of faith carries out our Divine affinity with God that was made possible through the Resurrection of Jesus, thus the Christian community is united as it gathers around the risen Lord and participates in his life; and the life of the community. 3

As Richard Lischer puts it:

“The church exists for the world, but it renews its identity when it gathers for worship. It speaks in the world, but it learns its ‘distinctive talk’ when its members come together around word and sacrament. Worship is often misconceived as a series of special ceremonies which are intended for the edification of the individual believer. Yet baptism is not an episode of private initiation but an action involving the entire church. Confession is not a formula for personal remorse but a moment in the ongoing mutual admonition and absolution of the brothers and sisters. Eucharist is not a ritual following the sermon from which one may excuse oneself, but the community’s meal with the risen Lord. Doxology is not a hymn to be sung but a life to be lived. Preaching is not a virtuoso performance but the language of the church that accompanies the laborious formation of a new people.”4

Perhaps the confusion lies at the fact that for most modern churches fail to look at communion “by virtue of the church’s inclusion in the totus Christus, the base-practices of the church (Baptism, Eucharist, the preached Word) which were instituted by Christ in his incarnation reveal and embody the eschatological telos of the final communio. The sacramental practices of the church participate in the christic and pneumatic dynamism of the immanent triune life which is the telos of the world in Christ.”5

Henri Nouwen in his last years wrote:

“The Eucharist indeed makes us church – ecclesia – which means people called away from slavery to freedom. Yes, we are family, we are friends, we are business associates. But more than that we are people of God journeying together to our home, the place where Jesus went to prepare a place for us.

There is much to enjoy in life, but unless it can be enjoyed as a foretaste of what we will see and hear in the house of God, our mortality will easily make all pleasure vain, transitory, and even empty.”6

Perhaps there is a great need for modern Churches to look at their ordinances in light of the proper Biblical context of their institution by Christ. Moreover we ought to look at it in light of being a community gathered around the reality of the risen Lord whom we look forward to His glorious appearing, also we should look at it as a Divine mystery upon which the Reformer John Calvin regarded as a visible sign of an invisible reality saying that he would rather experience the reality of the Supper than understand it. 7


1Hodge ,Charles An Overview of The Lord's Supper http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/etc/printer-friendly.asp?ID=367

2Williams, Rowan - Why Study the Past? p. 83.

3Myers, Benjamin - Theology for beginners (17): Church http://faith-theology.blogspot.com/2006/09/theology-for-beginners-17-church.html

4Lischer, Richard A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel p. 78-79.


6 Nouwen, Henri - Our Secord Birth: Christian reflections on death and new life p.25


What is an evangelical?

We have often referred to ourselves as 'born-again' Christians, which is one of the basic elements that can be described as evangelical Christianity is that it is a theological movement, tradition, and system of beliefs, most closely associated with Protestant Christianity, which identifies with the Gospel where most adherents consider belief in the need for personal conversion (or being "born again"), some expression of the gospel through evangelism.

But is this definition enough to explain what evangelical Christianity is? I have often been burdened by the fact that we who profess to be born-again are often deficient in terms of giving a well grounded characterization of our theological standpoint as evangelicals.

I have often struggled with the definition of what an evangelical Christian is basically since I was young in the faith I have often come to a dismay of using the more common connotation 'born again' Christian, which in a way I believe falls short of what a Christian is by definition. Also because it falls short of what theological standpoint a Christian who professes to be a born again is.

I was reading about Anglican Theology on the internet right now, and have come across the evangelical wing of the Church of England and names like George Carey, J.I. Packer and N.T. Wright are mentioned but there is one more familiar name that's mentioned there it is John Stott whom I deeply admire basically for his book Basic Christianity which I was blessed enough to have read a few years back. In a 2006 interview by Tim Stafford of Christianity Today he gave this very insightful explanation about what an evangelical is:

"An evangelical is a plain, ordinary Christian. We stand in the mainstream of historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity. So we can recite the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed without crossing our fingers. We believe in God the Father and in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit.

Having said that, there are two particular things we like to emphasize: the concern for authority on the one hand and salvation on the other.

For evangelical people, our authority is the God who has spoken supremely in Jesus Christ. And that is equally true of redemption or salvation. God has acted in and through Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners.

I think it's necessary for evangelicals to add that what God has said in Christ and in the biblical witness to Christ, and what God has done in and through Christ, are both, to use the Greek word, hapax—meaning once and for all. There is a finality about God's word in Christ, and there is a finality about God's work in Christ. To imagine that we could add a word to his word, or add a work to his work, is extremely derogatory to the unique glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

- John R.W. Stott
Evangelism Plus: John Stott reflects on where we've been and where we're going, Christianity Today October 2006

Perhaps this insight from John Stott would be a good starting point in our reflection about what our expression of the Christian faith stands for.

Click here to read the entire interview at Christianity Today

What is The Church anyway?

“The Church is the pilgrim people of God. It is on the move–hastening to the ends of the earth to beseech all men to be reconciled to God, and hastening to the end of time to meet its Lord who will gather all into one. Therefore the nature of the Church is never to be finally defined in static terms, but only in terms of that to which it is going. It cannot be understood rightly except in a perspective which is at once missionary and eschatological, and only in that perspective can the deadlock of our present ecumenical debate be resolved.”

– Lesslie Newbigin, Household of God

of righteous empire, manifest destiny and Christian ethics

William Rankin's insight on his 90s book Cracking the Monolith, gives such prophetic insight about the present situation with American foreign policy and the false doctrine of righteous empire.

“But there is a need for caution against our own assumptions and willfulness in thinking we know the precise will of God. The best we can hope for is an indication based upon Scripture study, scrutiny of the Christian heritage, and the insights of Christian community.”

- WilliamW.Rankin, Cracking the Monolith p.141

notes from Disturbia

I was watching the movie Disturbia the other day and after having been cramped up at home for a few days already I cannot help but feel affinity with Kale Brecht, the central character in the movie played by Shia LeBeouf.

He’s on house arrest, for assaulting his teacher.

I on the other hand feel like I am also on house arrest because I'm advised by the doctor to take a week off and rest in order to recover from my recent bout with dengue fever. It has almost been a week now that I am staying at home with my parents eating, taking afternoon naps and watching DVD, with the occasional follow-up visits to the doctor, (just this afternoon I had blood extracted from me so that the doctors could determine if I have already fully recovered).

Like Kale I also feel limited, helpless I long for freedom, but the irony of it all is that while I am here at home spending time with my family I long to go out and the only place that I can go to right now if indeed I could choose to go out is to go to work.

Sadly, I don't want to come back to work right now. I'm jaded with whatever it is that's taken hold of my precious work at Greenpeace, sometimes I feel as though it has lost its soul, it's hardly the organization that I became a part of 3 years ago, and I welcomed the idea of getting sick because it meant that I could get away with doing web work, for the meantime. Maybe I'm just exhausted with work, or maybe with life in general.

I've been through a lot lately, for starters a couple of weeks ago I cried my heart out because Jeanie's going to be gone for a year. I had just finished preaching to the youth congregation of Grace Bible Church. I have gone to what I feel is an unfruitful trip to Indonesia. I cannot help but feel pain whenever I'd see how unfairly treated my friends at Greenpeace's fundraising department are not getting the same benefits that I am getting for my tenure of work for the organization. I am still agonizing whether I should take up a course in theology. And right now I am still somewhat sick and tired of the fact that I do not have a clue as to what it is that I want to do with my life.

If only life was as simple as that of a movie, like in Disturbia everything went back to how it is, by the time that the next door serial killer has been done with. I'm going back to work on Monday, again I'd be off to Greenpeace cyberspace, off with the accumulated paper work that needs to be filed, the unread emails aching to be replied to and the thought that again I am back to work, regretting that I have not really exerted much of any 'quality time' with my family during my short tenure here at home.

The only consolation that I could get is that with easy access to the net means a more efficient way of getting in touch with Jeanie who's at the moment studying Communication Culture at Maastricht.

Perhaps this is just a phase that in God’s time will build up character and reap a harvest of blessing on my part. But as for now I feel cold and still exhausted...

A deeper look at the Incarnation

Bonhoeffer is probably my favorite theologian these days and the statement below is an example of why:
In Jesus Christ we have faith in the incarnate, crucified and risen God. In the incarnation we learn of the love of God for His creation; in the crucifixion we learn of the judgment of God upon all flesh; and in the resurrection we learn of God’s will for a new world. There could be no greater error than to tear these elements apart; for each of them comprises the whole.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics

Some thoughts on prayer

This was a devotion was given on the night before Jeanie Derillo departed for her studies in Maastricht

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

Prayer is universal because it speaks to some basic human need. As Thomas Merton puts it, “Prayer is an expression of who we are… we are a living incompleteness. We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment.” In prayer we break silence, and sometimes those words flow out of our deepest parts. [1]

Paul in his letter to the Philippians exhorted them to pray.

It is quite amazing that everything about this endeavor came about as a result of earnest prayer. From the application to the acceptance to the handling of the paper work needed up to providing for the finances needed, we cannot think of no other way that all of this would’ve turned about if not for God’s grace and what we did on our part was merely ask it in Christ’s name.

We pray because we want to thank someone or something for the beautiful glories of life, and also because we feel small and helpless and sometimes afraid. We pray for forgiveness, for strength, for contact with the One who is, for assurance that we are not alone. We pray because we can’t help it…[2]

The passage tells us not to be anxious about anything in prayer. After all, we are God’s children upon whom we call ‘Abba Father’.

We pray because God answers prayer. Whether God says: “yes”; “no” or “wait”, these answers causes us all the more to pray, because as our Divine Parent, God wants us to continue to talk to Him, to speak our hearts and minds and to seek His will as we give Him our hopes and dreams.

And right now as the dawn would usher in a new day for Jen in a new world it is comforting to know that what binds us all is that in we can all boldly approach God’s throne of grace in prayer.


[1] Yancey, Philip – Prayer: Does it make any difference? P.13

[2] Ibid

Several things to do in the absence of Jen

I realized that I will be spending almost a year alone, without Jeanie.

Here are some things that I’ve thought of doing just to pre-occupy my attention from the lingering loneliness of her absence:

  1. Kill Boy Abunda – This is a no brainer, this fag has gone way to far in telling people how they ought to live their lives it’s time for his appointment with the Grim Reaper.
  2. Tell Kris Aquino that nobody gives a crap about her and her opinions – Perhaps this would require me to join her crappy game shows just so I could give her and her idiot opinions my 10 cents worth.
  3. Strangle Bamboo with a microphone cord – I’ve had enough of rock stars like this moron, (I mean isn’t Axl Rose, Fred Durst or Jon Bon Jovi enough?!). As a musician I’d like to reveal to the world that rock isn’t about being cool on stage while holding a microphone, it’s about playing an instrument on stage and about writing songs. In his case he lacks both, good thing once upon a time Rico Blanco had the right mind to fire him from Rivermaya (which by the way is the best example of a poser rip-off band).
  4. ‘Fire’ Donald Trump – I hate this asshole. His hairpiece is a monstrosity and common having to copyright everything related to him is downright cheapskate. Perhaps I ought to join The Apprentice and introduce him to my fist and his hairpiece to the garbage and then I’ll rip-off his catchphrase: “you’re fired”. Serves him right for being the capitalist scum that he is.

Crawling from the wreckage…

Jeanie is gone.

I remember closing the taxi door with tears dripping down my eyes, knowing that for a year there will be a void in my heart because its better half would be somewhere in the Netherlands.

I cried.

I was lonely.

Up to this point in time I’m still missing her.

Thankfully, technology has enabled me to hear her voice again.

It’s something that helps me keep my sanity…

A good quote from Reinhold Niebuhr

It is quite amazing what books you might come across whenever you'd rummage through a used book sale. This is a good one which is also quite cheap considering that this is no longer in print and not to mention this edition is from the 60s.

But what's more special about this is that I've found something insightful with how Reinhold Niebuhr converses about Christian ethics and the Sovereign will of God and Western Civilization.
"We on the other as all "God-fearing" men of all ages, are never safe against the temptation of claiming God too simply as the sanctifier of whatever we most fervently desire. Even the most "Christian" civilization and the most pious church must be reminded that the true God can be known only where there is some awareness of a contradiction between divine and human purposes, even on the highest level of human aspirations."

- Reinhold Niebuhr
The Irony of American History