While others watched the world’s most iconic landmarks go dark for one designated hour as part of this year’s celebration of Earth Hour, I, on the other hand, sat in front of a solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) installation to play a bamboo percussion instrument called the tongatong, which was originally used by the people of Kalinga to communicate with spirits during house blessings.Pounding the instrument against the ground created a reverberating drone though the instrument’s open mouth. Its interloping rhythm serving as a pulsating beat that called on people to a perichoretic trance that drew them together to dance in the middle of the circle that we were playing in.
“Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Hungarian Biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine)
Yesterday, I remember Albert, a member of our campaign team and the person who took this photograph, telling me that a lot of folks were terrified of the picture because they thought that was an actual baby floating in the river.
Thank goodness it wasn’t.
Yet, ironically, given the state of fresh water sources here in the Philippines, what’s in the picture might be a reality for most Filipinos who get their drinking water from rivers, reservoirs and other fresh water sources that are impacted by rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters.
The flickering candles illuminate the sullen riot of emotions brought about by grief, fear and solidarity with the plight of the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power.
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I can still fondly remember meeting Pastor Lito, in my early teens when he became my councillor in one of Grace Bible Church's youth camps. Looking back now, I cannot begin to say how blessed I am to have Pastor Lito, as a mentor and friend in my many years as a Christian.
His personal journey of faith for me is always a constant call for a theology that offers honest answers which ring true within the innermost recesses of the heart, mind and soul. He was among those who first encouraged me to pursue further theological education at the Asian Theological Seminary.
Lastly, his life and ministry is an example of theological resilience and pastoral integrity that affirms the centrality of Scripture while at the same time recognizes the need for contextualization. Hearing, the great news of his completion of his MDiv in Pastoral Studies is a blessing that I count as a friend who will always be thankful for his guidance and friendship.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Mark dela Cruz aka Oblong has just released a new EP inspired by the records of Fecal Matter, Japandroids, Weezer, and Eggboy, "FREE TASTE"-- A Collection of 2 new songs and a few killer fillers, all recorded on a 4-track analog recorder. A much edgier-sounding tracks than Oblong's previous ear-candy materials. This is the sound of freaky-ass distorted guitars and steady drum-machine beats, armed with Mark's usual pop-melodic hooks. Raw and lo-fi, short but sweet.
Click here to download the EP for free >>>
The first significant Christian leader in the church of Alexandria is Clement a theologian who also functioned as the head of the noted Catechetical School of Alexandria, he is also best known as the teacher of Origen who would later succeed him when he was forced to flee the persecution of Christians by Septimius Severus.