Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter is a Christian festival when Jesus Christ’s return to life is celebrated on a Sunday in March or April, thus the coined term Easter Sunday.

As we all know, Christ had risen from the dead on the 3rd day after His crucifixion. It gives us this pondering thought that there’ll always be hope after the darkness of despair. It’s a celebration of life itself,a new beginning which would be timely in terms of a new season called spring. A period of renewal indeed.

Other Easter items that came up probably were products of  the western world . One would be called the Easter egg. It’s made of chocolate and shaped into that of an egg that is given as a present at Easter. In some countries, Easter eggs are hidden and the children would then start looking for them. In other parts of the world, they would use hard-boiled eggs and paint the eggshells in all kinds of colors and designs before hiding them for the Easter egg hunt. Another would be the Easter bunny, an unofficial ambassador of the Easter spirit, IMO.

Easter Sunday is a happy day and we celebrate it the best way we can, affirming our relationship with God, our fellowmen and ourselves as God’s children.

Happy Easter, everbody!

Joyeux Pacques, mon ami!


Good Friday is the day on which Christians remember Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. It’s the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Observance of fasting and shunning “hot” meat(beef,pork,chicken) on this day is being practiced except if one’s infirmed or pregnant for example. You’re allowed only 1 full meal on that day but if you can’t do it, it should be replaced with acts of charity. Seafood is allowed to be partaken on this day as well. At times, we also give up any pleasurable activity for that day as part of self-sacrifice and atonement considering that Christ gave up His life for us for the sake of redemption.

No merrymaking like loud noise and music for example are allowed. Most stores are closed on this solemn except for essential services like the police , fire dept  and hospital/medical services.

Churches are open on this day though  regular church services are limited. For sure, there will be a ritual called Stations of the Cross wherein the priest would go from 1 end of the church to another stopping at each mural depicting Jesus Christ’s trip to his crucifixion. If one wants to get married on Good Friday, one will be allowed to but without church music and to keep the wedding ceremony and entourage simple in light of this auspicious day.

Good Friday makes us reflect on  Christ’s suffering and death on the cross as well as all our efforts to lead a Christian life. We acknowledge our limitations as human beings and to strengthen our resolve to  improve our lives as best as we all can, not forgetting to ask God for help if necessary, knowing that He is always there for us all.


Passover is also known as the Feast of the Unleavened Bread(“matzo’ or flatbread) which was hurriedly baked and eaten by the Jews after their hasty departure from Egypt. Also known as the Feast of the Seder, it’s a Jewish festival that begins in March/April and lasts for 7/8 days.

Passover came about when the Angel of Death would pass over the Israelite slaves’ homes after seeing lamb blood smeared  on their respective doors as previously instructed by Moses, thus sparing their lives especially their firstborns. This occurred on the 10th day, a new  plague which would be #10 (all firstborns living in Egypt will die) and afterwards, the Pharaoh( himself who lost his own firstborn due to  this 10th plague) had set the Israelites free to leave Egypt with Moses for the Promised Land.

To all our Jewish brothers and sisters, may you all observe Passover,remembering how your ancestors took the chance to flee from the shackles of slavery and taste everlasting freedom.


Eversince Pope Francis’ historic conclave vote last 3/13/13 inside the Sistine Chapel, there was 1 incident that mystified a lot of viewers(including moi) during that momentous day—the day of the 5th conclave vote that finally produced a pope.

There was a seagull(not a cardinal, no pun intended) that constantly perched on top of the chimney which was hoisted on the Sistine Chapel’s roof so that black/white smoke would come out from it. That seagull appeared to be keeping watch while the  5th conclave voting and deliberations were going on inside the Sistine Chapel.It became known as the Sistine Seagull and instantly had a Twitter account as if one would think that it had the inside scoop inside the Sistine Chapel.We probably will never know what it heard as if it could even speak to us humans at all. Like the other cardinals, that seagull also took the vow of secrecy.

I just thought that perhaps the seagull is a signal from Mother Nature that whoever would become the new pope will be an advocate for animals. In my 3-14-13 blog about Pope Francis I, I mentioned that Cardinal Bergoglio took the papal name Pope Francis since St. Francis of Assisi was an advocate for the poor. I also mentioned in that blog that St. Francis is the patron saint for animals. Coincidence or fate?

If that Sistine Seagull was instead a white dove, I might start associating it with the Holy Spirit since in my catechism lessons, the Holy Spirit is symbolized as a white dove. As if I would be thinking that the Holy Spirit is providing literally inspiration to the cardinals by appearing as a dove on the chimney top.

Food for thought indeed!



After my recent blog(3-14-13) on Pope Francis I, I noticed all the recent media coverage about Pope Francis’ easygoing manner in approaching people as if he’s at the same level as them. He appears independent-minded in deciding how he acts with people and on how he goes about performing his papal duties.. He comes across as your local friendly pastor. His Vatican security staff must be experiencing anxiety attacks and ulcers in trying to balance a fine line between protecting him from unsavory ,dangerous people and allowing him to socialize with the laity. He draws big crowds wherever he goes largely because of his magnetic yet humble persona.

In light of this, he has become known as the People’s Pope,essentially a people person.

His recent and formal  investiture as the pope as witnessed by the entire world holds hope that he’ll be able to draw back disillusioned Catholics and perhaps invite new Catholics.

Hopefully, he’ll be able to solve the problems of the Roman Catholic Church that he inherited. It definitely won’t be easy but something has to start somewhere at least.

He’ll need our prayers as well since he constantly tells us to do so.


Here in my neck of the woods, they always say that a final winter blizzard will occur on or around St. Patrick’s Day. This year, the first day of spring occurs on March 20 but mon ami, you wouldn’t know when all the salt trucks, snow ploughs and shovels make their presence, anticipating hopefully Father Winter’s swan song.

The meteorologist predicted 2-3 days of heavy snow and winds and then it’ll turn into flurries. Talk about transition weather! March is really a messy month but April is too. I usually notice that once May comes around, the weather starts to improve significantly.

Well, I gotta go ‘coz very soon, I’ll have to buckle up for the blizzard and afterwards, the shoveling begins!

Au revoir!


Time and time again,folks, we have been told that tampering with another person’s mail is considered a felony. This usually involves paper mail but nowadays, if someone had sent you erroneously  an email message( meant for someone else), there’s usually a disclaimer at the bottom of the page on your computer screen advising you how to deal with it whether by forwarding it, contacting the sender but definitely, to keep a vow of silence and not tattle about someone else’ email message. Therefore, tampering with other’s email would be considered a felony too, I think.

Whether you open another person’s paper mail  or destroy it and not forward it properly, it deprives the rightful recipient of the importance of such mail. Now if the recipient has already moved out, it’s best to just slash the person’s name, write something like “moved’,”no  longer here”, whatever and it’ll be returned to the sender. Our paid postage already covers the cost for both forwarding and returning mail as the case may be.

Bear in mind the golden rule”Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you”.

If you want people to respect your mail, respect theirs too.

However if there are still people who don’t follow mail etiquette, then they’re really stupid as well as inconsiderate. As the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid.

You’ll just hope that mail  karma will creep up on them and then they’ll really learn to respect the sanctity of mail.Same goes with those tampering other people’s emails.

That’s my 2 cents’ on this matter!


It’s St. Patrick’s Day once again on this date March 17. It’s considered as Ireland’s unofficial national holiday. St. Patrick as the legend goes, had chased all snakes off Ireland known casually as the Emerald Isle.

For yours truly who isn’t Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is a day when the color green is seen in big numbers whether on the clothes you wear , the fancy hats or the green coloring seen on your food or beer.

For good luck, one hopes to get a four-leaf clover.(Shamrocks anyone?) I doubt you’ll see leprechauns in green attire around who hopefully will lead you to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Irish breakfasts are huge . They’re full of cured meat like blood sausage,bacon, bangers(Irish sausage) for ex. , together with eggs ,baked beans, mushrooms and Irish soda bread. Served with Irish tea and orange juice, one  might just skip lunch for that day after consuming this huge meal.

There’s a lot of  libation around for which St. Patrick’s Day is known.

There’s even a St. Patrick’s Day parade as well.

St. Patrick’s day is a happy time to celebrate being Irish, but even if you’re not Irish, do join in the fun!

Our Irish friends wouldn’t mind at all. The more the merrier as they say.

By the way, I did a 10-1–12 blog on Oktoberfest–the German version of St. Patrick’s Day. With a few cultural differences, our German friends’ intent to party on with family and friends is the same as with our Irish friends.

And that’s not a bunch of malarkey that I’m saying just now,mind you!

Salut, mon ami!


On March 13,2013, 76 year old  Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Non-European as well as South American pope after the 5th vote in the recent papal conclave which ran for 2 days. This makes him the 266th pope and Pope Benedict XVI’s successor after Pope Benedict XVI’s historic resignation last month. (My 2/19/13 blog had already discussed this papal resignation)

He took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, a well-beloved saint known for humility, simplicity and helping the poor. He’s also known as the patron saint for animals which is why on St. Francis’ feast day, people would bring their beloved pets to church to have them blessed by their pastors.

Some say that since he’s a Jesuit and the first Jesuit pope at that,that he took the name Francis from St. Francis Xavier, a known Jesuit.

Considering the news streaming out that he had lived a life of simplicity and humility throughout his religious work in Argentina, the name Francis indeed appears fitting for him.

Whatever, it’s a new moment in the Roman Catholic Church . Considering that the greatest number of Roman Catholics comes from Latin America, electing a pope from that side of the world makes a lot of sense.

Pope Francis I was also known as a social advocate  for the poor and wasn’t afraid to spar with the Argentinian government regarding gay marriage and contraceptive use,both issues that he’s against of but would respect people who adhere to them nevertheless.

In the days to come, we will see how he runs the Roman Catholic Church especially how his views on religious matters would affect his decision-making.

Habemus papam! (We have a pope!)

May God bless him!

Being a Catholic myself, it has been a proud day indeed!


In spite of the advent of electronic telecommunications like e-mail,chatting on line, texting by smartphone, etc., we still have paper mail (aka snail mail) since they’re still the cheapest means to send a letter or an advertisement flyer from a business organization.

The post office has had its days and is now  in stiff competition with private couriers like UPS,Fedex,DHL,Purolator,etc. in offering parcel services especially in light of this new era of online shopping. Considering that the volume of paper mail has diminished nowadays, definitely, it’s important for the post office to get diverse in their business strategies.

I heard about the United States Postal Service  for example ,even planning to release USPS inspired clothing line to help boost their revenue.

I wonder what  Benjamin Franklin, the 1st U.S. postmaster general would say about this?

Whatever happens, paper mail will still stay because it still has its relevancy even in modern times. There are certain things that paper mail can offer versus electronic mail(e-mail as we know it) like delivering documents containing sensitive/private information for example.

Another  thing is that we get to actually touch and see what we receive in the mail. An added bonus would be meeting your friendly postman if you do get the chance to see him bring your mail to you. That’s the personal touch for you,courtesy of  your local post office.( Even the courier drivers provide the same service with a smile if you happen to be at home when they deliver that parcel to you.)