Reading the Bible inside a Jeepney: Celebrating Colonized Peoples' capacity to beat swords into ploughshares, to transform weapons of mass destruction into instruments of mass celebration: mortar shells into church bells, teargas canisters to flower pots, rifle barrels into flutes... U.S. Army Jeeps into Public Utility Jeepneys.
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Jose Rizal is not buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.
Nor is Antonio Luna. Not Claro M. Recto. Nor Gabriela and Diego Silang. Not Macli-ing Dulag!
Nobody really knows where lie the bodies of thousands of Filipinos—heroes and heroines—who offered their lives fighting against the Spaniards, the Americans, and the Japanese.
Nobody really knows where lie the bodies of countless students, church workers, laborers, farmers, fisher-folk, comrades—heroes and heroines—who disappeared during the Marcos Regime. And the countless more who have disappeared during the Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo, and Aquino regimes.
Philippine soil from the Cordilleras to Mount Apo is nourished by the blood of fallen sisters and brothers in unmarked, mass, shallow graves. Just like Andres Bonifacio, the First President of the Philippines, who at 34 was executed with his brother, Procopio, and whose bodies were robbed of garments and then thrown naked into a hastily dug grave.
Heroines and heroes, all of them. And each of them are alive. In our collective memories. In our hearts. In the visions of justice, peace, land, and liberation for all that they shared with us.
Marcos, on the other hand, is no hero. A hero’s burial does not make one a hero. Never has. Never will.
Thank you very much for all your generous support. Maraming salamat po!
In its first week the book was #1 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism and #11 in the 100 Bestselling Books in New Testament Criticism. After 30 days the book was #2 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism. And #5 in Hot New Releases in Jesus, Gospels, and Acts.
During its Holy Week Sale last March 22-26, the book went back to #1 in New Testament Criticism, #4 in Biblical History and Culture, and #7 in Jesus, the Gospels, and Acts.
If I said Jesus has cancer. Or diabetes. Or asthma. No one will give a fuss.
I have, in the past, argued that Jesus might have been gay, a woman, a Palestinian, and an African.
But most of us have problems when we hear that Jesus has AIDS. Because we have been socialized to identify AIDS with promiscuity, with illicit drug use, with divine punishment, with sin. And the Jesus many of us worship cannot be promiscuous, will not touch or even be in the same room with weed, and, of course, is a perpetual virgin, and sinless.
What is the international symbol for HIV AIDS prevention?
When you turn the red symbol on its side, what does the symbol represent?
My dear friends, the world has AIDS. Close to 40 million of our sisters and brothers are living with HIV. About 1% of all our sisters and brothers, aged 15 to 49, are living with HIV.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, 35 million of our sisters and brothers have died. One million last year.
This is the reality of
our world today. There is no room. No room for refugees. No room for Lumads.
No room for the Rohingya. No room for Palestinians. No room for PLHA. No room for LGBTQi. No room for the
Other. Sadly, nothing has changed. The first Christmas. We combine Matthew’s
and Luke’s narratives. We re-enact it almost every December in our school plays
and in our church pageants. St. Francis started the tradition in the 1200s. In
our re-enactments, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary find no room in any inn. No
one is ready and willing to welcome the couple. Eventually, they find shelter
among animals, in a manger, where Jesus is born. Soon, visitors arrive: angels,
shepherds, even the Little Drummer Boy in some of our plays, and then the magi
bringing gifts. Incidentally, in one TV spot I saw abroad, one of the magi
brings the Baby Jesus the newest Android Smartphone. In artwork going around in our social
networks, the Wise Men are blocked by Israel’s Apartheid Wall. Mary a…