KC’s Project Libreng Gupit (Free Haircut)

June 14, 2009

I submitted this project report to my council’s Worthy Grand Knight, SK Feliciano ‘Loloy’ Jabian. I am proud of this project. This is among those projects that I have pioneered in our council. I hope the council would continue with such in the coming Columbian Years. read on….
Project Libreng Gupit (Project Free Haircut)

By: SK Raymond Gerard G. de Leon
Deputy Grand Knight & Program Director
Tambo Council 6167

On May 30, 2009, with just two (2) days to go before the schoolchildren start a new school year (June 1, 2009), it is customary as it is traditional for these schoolchildren to start it with new clothes, new books, new school materials, new shoes and many more. Part of this tradition is that they want to start the school year with fresh haircut. The Knights of Columbus Tambo Council 6167, through its Community Committee, thought of offering schoolchildren of the community, especially the less fortunate ones, free haircut right before they start trooping back to school.

We started at 7 o’clock in the morning and until we closed the project at 1 in the afternoon, a total of one hundred twenty (120) back-to-school children male and female aged 4 to 16 years old, benefited with our Project Libreng Gupit.

We enlisted the help of four barbers/haircutters namely Mr Ed “Mama Ed” Zara, Mr Reynaldo (Cookie) Manansala, Mr Renato “Irene” dela Cruz and Mr Webster “Web” Norillo.

Mr. Ed Zara in action with an incoming grade one pupil.  On the background, Mr. Renato dela Cruz with an incoming first year High School student.

Mr. Ed Zara in action with an incoming grade one pupil. On the background, Mr. Renato dela Cruz with an incoming first year High School student.

Mr Webster Norillo with an incoming Grade 5 pupil with queued schoolchildren looks on.  On the left foreground is Mr Reynaldo Manansala.

Mr Webster Norillo with an incoming Grade 5 pupil with queued schoolchildren looks on. On the left foreground is Mr Reynaldo Manansala.

Talk about dedication to his craft…. Mr Webster Norillo perform a “back-to-back” haircut…. Literally.

Talk about dedication to his craft…. Mr Webster Norillo perform a “back-to-back” haircut…. Literally.

A hundred and twenty incoming school children benefited from our Project Libreng Gupit.

A hundred and twenty incoming school children benefited from our Project Libreng Gupit.

Members of Knights of Columbus Tambo Council 6167 manned the Registration table as well as provided auxiliary support during Project Libreng Gupit.

Members of Knights of Columbus Tambo Council 6167 manned the Registration table as well as provided auxiliary support during Project Libreng Gupit.


We Choose Life

June 6, 2009

We have been noticed……

My report to the Knights of Columbus website, via Knights in Action, rendered fruitful results.  The report I submitted, (I also published a copy of which to this blog) bears a picture of us prior to the march and was chosen by the editorial staff of “Knightline” magazine as the picture that symbolizes the march as a whole.

I got several text messages confirming that they have seen this copy of the magazine.

View it from this link and please do find the picture on page 2.

Then I also got feedback that the same picture and report was published in the May 2009 issue of monthly published “Columbia Magazine”.

Check it out on page 7 from this link.

I also got text messages from brother knights from the assembly about this article. Oh well, I am glad I have found the right way (finally) to report our council’s projects.

Reflection on ‘PAIN’

June 6, 2009

I have watched the movie “G.I. Jane” (1997) more than twice.  I caught it either on HBO or Star Movies.  

In that movie, Command Master Chief John James Urgayle (played by Viggo Mortensen) teases his wards of US Navy SEALS into quitting as he inflict pain.  To which he said:

“Pain is your friend, your ally, it will tell you when you are seriously injured, it will keep you awake and angry, and remind you to finish the job and get the hell home. But you know the best thing about pain?….It lets you know you’re not dead yet!”

But what about the pain that we feel when we lose a loved one?  The pain of being heart-broken? 

I continue with the Reflections of Fr. Arboleda.  Here he argues that pain is part of life.  It is a reminder to us of God’s presence and life without pain, isn’t life at all.

Read on…..



Pain is one of those things that remind us always that all men are equal.  The young and the old suffer pain. The rich and the poor are visited by it.  The great and the humble are not spared by pain.  The great can rationalize over it but the humble knows how to bear it.  Indeed, there is no human being who is a stranger to pain.


There are those who suffer pain in their bodies.  There are those who suffer pain in their hearts.  And there are those who suffer it in their minds.  Pain is one experience that shouts to our ears how human, how vulnerable and mortal, and how much in need we are of others.  Pain, strangely, is one of those that mark our humanity.  It is one of those things that make people ever so lovable.


I surely do not wish that anyone should suffer pain of any kind.  Much less would I want to inflict it with malice on anybody.  But when it comes, both as sign of our humanity and as a signal warning us of our illusions, pain has to be welcomed.


Down to brass tacks, pain is a very demanding but generous customer.  When it comes, it does not leave us alone.  It claims for our attention and taxes our very person.  But if all the time it was there, we were patient, attentive and generous, it purifies us and makes us better persons.  Any person who knows how to suffer pain emerges from the suffering purified, even-tempered and a thousand times more compassionate.


There are times and moments when we have to savor loneliness and listen to what thoughts it brings to our mind, for such thoughts usually come from our innermost selves.  We sometimes reject them because they reveal the truth to us or are painful to face.  Moments of loneliness can be turned to moments of solitude with ourselves and with God.  We all need these moments for we cannot go on forever escaping from our own selves.


Many young men and women do not fine themselves because they hardly allow themselves a moment to be positively and creatively lonely.


It is sad that in spite of the advances of medicine, pain still belongs to our human vocabulary.  What is worse is that we have built the illusion that our world must become painless.


If we are wiling to embrace life for what it is, we should be willing to welcome pain, too, for life without pain isn’t life at all.  Pain is very much a part of life.  And God has not taken away pain in order that we may not forget Him and the Kingdom He promised us.  In fact, the greatest illusion a man can ever have is to believe that in this life, he can be perfectly happy.


Life on earth is but the beginning of life and pain is but a passage towards the fullness of life, which will come only when we are delivered of this life where we are imprisoned in matter, limited in our movements and bound in time and place.


Even as we live, we are being delivered unto life.  Just as there is pain when a woman gives birth to a child, so there will be pain even as this earth delivers us unto true life.  Pain is part of our deliverance.  If we welcome pain we shall be delivered unto life, God’s life.

Reflection on ‘Joy’

May 8, 2009

Joy.  The burst of enlightenment.  The feeling you experience when someone, something makes the sun shine on your day.  I continue on sharing here the reflections of Fr. Arboleda in St Paul Publications “Prayers for Busy People”.

Here, Fr. Arboleda speaks that ‘Joy’ is God’s gift of life.  You wouldn’t feel that burst of enlightenment without God making you experience life.  Let us feel loved by our Creator, whenever we feel “joy”.  Read on…..



Joy is one of the most elusive of all human experiences.  You can’t catch it when you want it and you lose it even when you are already touching it with your fingertips.  But when you give up chasing it, it alights on your head, like a butterfly, and changes the world for you; the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the drab colorful and the workday special.  And you are taken aback, always in surprise, because joy comes when you least expect it.


Joy can come from many sources.  And most of where it comes from are ordinary and simple.  Joy can come from a smile, a kind word, the sunrise after a nightlong rain, a flower that blooms from a plant you’ve cared for, a long-lost friend met in a busy thoroughfare, a good meal, a moment of recognition.  Sometimes it also comes from silence.  But joy comes, it does come.


The only condition – and this is the most difficult to arrange – is that you yourself must be ready to welcome joy.  You must never lose your sense of wonderment and awe, your capacity for surprise and playfulness.  Joy does not come to those who have turned stiff not to those who have remained but superficial.  Joy comes when we are most childlike.


Joy comes to everyone: but it can fill us only by the amount of space we give it in our hearts.  Strangely, our hearts have been created by God not just with the capacity for joy; God has put in them also the longing and the yearning for joy.  Yes, the human heart is ever longing to be filled with joy.


The joke, however, is that when we focus our attention on the absence of joy in our hearts and if we spend our energies to fill that absence, we never will be truly joyful.  On the contrary, our awareness of the absence of joy even intensifies.  The least joyful persons are really those who spend a great deal of time and energy seeking joy.  They drive themselves chasing joy but joy is always a step ahead of them, so near and yet so far.


Joy is, first of all, a gift of life itself.  There is harmony in life.  Such harmony made earthly paradise what it was.  It is harmony of things, of all living beings where each has a place under the sun.


To anyone who seeks to restore such harmony to life, life pays joy in exchange.  It is enough to remember great persons and many others like them who may not be as famous, who have given or are giving their lives in order that social justice be established, exploitation stopped, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick cured.  Doubtless, these people never lived easy lives; but one could easily see in their eyes the sparkle of inner joy.


Joy is a gift of God.  There are many things in life that cannot be appeased by things material.  There are many things in the human heart that, humanly speaking, cannot be erased.  Can a man who has betrayed his friend or wife be ever at peace?  Can a sinner be ever joyful as long as he lives in guilt?


Joy is God’s gift because joy is what comes when our guilt is taken away.  And only God can forgive our sins and can take away our guilt.

Reflection on ‘Love’

March 25, 2009

I continue with the Reflection series of Fr. Arboleda.  This time, a reflection on ‘Love’.  We hear several cliches such as “Love conquers all”, “Love is blind” and so on.  This time, Fr. Arboleda equates ‘love’ with ‘goodness’.  To truly love something or someone is for the goodness in us to share with the goodness of another.  Love would strive in us not to hurt the one we love.  Perhaps we could only say ‘I love you’ when our own ‘goodness’ is willing to overlook the external beauty and see only the internal goodness of the one we love.


The Bible says that man has been created in God’s image and likeness.  What in man corresponds most to God’s being is his capacity to love.  And we resemble God most by the manner we love.

Love, unfortunately, has become one of the most misunderstood and confused words in any language.  Some want it to mean nothing more than the attraction between the sexes.  Others want it to mean mo more than desire and its satisfaction.  And when others speak of it, it seems that love and sex are synonymous.  It’s all so sad because love understood as any of these is hardly love.  It is confused: the wrapper is taken for the content.

Love is really like life.  It is so vast in its meaning, so varied in its expressions and so rich in its manifestations that one has to be fully alive in order to understand love fully.  As someone wrote: The best definition of love is a loving person.

If love is that capacity which makes us resemble God most, then we have to affirm as well that the measure by which we can test our loving is God Himself.

God created everything not because he had to, but because, in His boundless love, He so willed that even His creature, man, should have a share in His Godhood, not by force but by free response of love.  Man is free precisely because freedom is the necessary condition for loving.

Jesus became God’s Word of love to all men.  He came to heal the brokenhearted, to free the prisoners, to restore the sick to health, to forgive all sins.

St. Paul beautifully points out to us that Jesus expressed the greatest manifestation of God’s love: Though He was in the form of God, He emptied Himself and took the form of a slave… obediently accepting even death, death on the cross.  Jesus lowered Himselft to the lowest known state so that He could raise us to God.  In His love of His Father and of us, He sent the Spirit to dwell among us, to enliven us and to be the love that binds us together in one family of God.

The measure of love, then, is not what our hearts dictate or what our desires lead us to.  Love is very much greater than what I now can feel.  It is much more than the urges I feel within.  Love is, above all, the goodness that is within me that I must share with the goodness of other persons in communion that is stronger than death.

 In this sense, love includes the goodness of a man seeking the goodness of a woman, the goodness of a parent toward his or her child, the goodness of a friend seeking the goodness of another.  Love never dies because goodness never dies.


Walk for Life

March 25, 2009



Members of Paranaque delegation. Members of Padre Pedro M. Dandan Assembly of the fourth degree ACN 0991 pose for a picture before we started walking.


Posing with the State Ceremonials Director, SK Paulino Oblea

Posing with the State Ceremonials Director, SK Paulino Oblea

In response to the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for all Catholics to unite and show our stand on the infamous bill in Philippine Congress, the Reproductive Health Bill 5043, the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines held a tri-State (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Territorial Jurisdictions) Simultaneous “Walk for Life”.  Tambo Council No. 6167 together with other councils in Padre Pedro M. Dandan Assembly of the fourth degree (ACN 0991) and disctricts (P23, 24, 25 and 26) have sent delegates to form the Diocese of Paranaque congregation of the said event held on 21 March 2009. 


 The event started with a Holy Mass, presided by Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao and State Chaplain of Luzon Terrotorial Jurisdiction, at the san Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila followed by the “Walk for Life” march towards Liwasang Bonicafio where a short program was held.

 In the program, the guest speakers were Mayor Alfredo Lim of the City of Manila, Dra Acosta (a former senior officer of the Department of Health), Luzon Deputy Alonso Tan, a read message from Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, Monsignor Pedro Quitorio and Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco.

We choose life and We defend life.

We choose life and We defend life.

TYC Choir in Action

December 23, 2008

Simbang Gabi, also known as Dawn Masses, Misa de Gallo, is an original Filipino Tradition. We wake up very early in the morning, for nine straight days before Christmas (thats December 16 to 24) and offer novena and sacrifice of completing the nine mornings, to offer thanks and prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of Christ through his birthday.

Our choir, the TYC choir, was scheduled to sing on December 16 and December 22.

These are the photographs of us singing during those two days.

Christ the King

December 23, 2008

Every year, the Sunday before the first week of Advent, (which marks the end of the Roman Misal Liturgical Year) we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.

In our parish, St. Joseph Parish, Tambo, Paranaque, we cap this feast celebration with a procession honoring the Christ the King.  A high mass after the procession is celebrated at six in the evening.

The organizations I actively participate in; The Knights of Columbus Tambo Council 6167 in which I am the Deputy Grand Knight, and the Tambo Youth Circle Choir, took part in this celebration.

Feast on the pictures taken……

Parish Living Rosary

November 2, 2008

As a member of the Knights of Columbus and officer of both in the local council (as Worthy Deputy Grand Knight) and in the Assembly of the Fourth Degree (as Faithful Pilot), I am involved in organizing two “Living Rosaries”, one for our parish (with the project spearheaded by our local council as endorsed to the Parish Pastoral Council) and the other for the Assembly of the Fourth Degree (with all the ten (10) constituting councils of this assembly in attendance).

As a Catholic, we firmly believe in the power of the rosary and that the promises made by the Blessed Virgin Mary would be fulfilled for as long as there are Catholics praying for her intercession.

Let me share with you my report on the Parish Living Rosary first.


The Parish Living Rosary

(A project spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus

for and in behalf of St Joseph Parish)


Prepared by:

SK Raymond Gerard G. de Leon

        Deputy Grand Knight

        Knights of Columbus

        Tambo Council 6167



The Knights of Columbus Tambo Council 6167, in cooperation with the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council of St Joseph Parish, hosted a Parish Living Rosary together with the Six Lay Commissions of the Parish Pastoral Council last 29 October 2008.


The Living Rosary is the culmination of month long celebration of the October Rosary Month.  The council had been leading the community praying of the rosary every Wednesday evening after the novena and mass, in observance of the rosary month.  Our Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Joseph Landero concelebrated the Eucharistic Celebration with Rev Fr. Terence de Castro after the Living Rosary.  The parishioners were treated to a free Sacrificial Dinner of chicken porridge, sponsored in part by the Knights of Columbus, after the mass.


Knights of Columbus participation:


  1. Preparation of the tarpaulin printout
  2. Actual participation in the Living Rosary as part of the Commission on Human Promotions
  3. Provided the Honor Guards to make the celebration more colorful and meaningful.
  4. Major sponsor of the Sacrificial Dinner


Tarpaulin of the Living Rosary provided by K of C Tambo Council.

The Commission on Youth provided colorful paper flowers that were pinned to each bead in the picture.



Honor Guards posted at the foot of the tarpaulin.

The Games

September 25, 2008

‘Tis the season.  The championship season.  This week, both the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Philippines) (NCAA) seniors basketball crowns are up for grabs this week.  The UAAP Championship crown is being contested by archrivals Ateneo de Manila University ‘Blue Eagles’ and the De La Salle University ‘Green Archers’.  The NCAA crown is being disputed by the San Beda College’s ‘Red Lions’ and the Jose Rizal University’s ‘Heavy Bombers’.  The UAAP draws bigger crowd than the NCAA not just during the championship, but also during elimination round games.

Every college boys and girls from the schools whose basketball teams are seeing action in each leagues’ finals are literally scampering for that valuable ticket/s not only jist against their schoolmates, but with their school’s alumni as well.  All for what?   To enjoy the games live, at the venue. 

I think everybody would agree, the spirit of cheering for your own school amid your fellow basketball fan and schoolmate / alumni is at its highest level when you are all there, at the venue.  Cheering at every ball possession.  Booing the rivals when they have the ball, trying each and every gimik when an opponent is at the free throw line, and most of all, shouting your tonsils out and exchanging high-fives (even with a complete strager from your school who just so happened to be seated next to you) when one of your players did a spectacular move, a three-point shot or three-point-play.

I had my share of watching the games for my alma mater’s senior basketball team, the Mapua Cardinals, seeing action at the NCAA.  When I was a young college boy, the team made it to the finals, twice.  Nowadays, if I have the time, I try to watch them live as well, now that I am a part-time lecturer at that institution.  Nothing beats the feeling of watching a game, moreso a championship game of your alma mater’s team, live.

In this morning’s paper, I read an article where former NCAA Commissioner and Philippine baseball legend, Mr. Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codinera, father of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players Harmon, Jerry and Pat Codinera, opined that there is nothing wrong with scalping.  He argues that scalping is, just like any other commodity, governed by one fundamental law of Economics, the Law of Supply and Demand.

“There’s nothing wrong with scalping as long as these tickets were not stilen, these people have the right to sell them.  It’s the simple law of supply and demand.  As long as there are buyers, there will be sellers” says Mr. Codinera.

I think he has a point.

What makes scalping illegal is when thers is a syndicated effort to limit the availability of tickets to the buying public, therby creating shortage of supply to an enormous demand resulting to an extra high price for it .  Simply put, when the ticket supplier, deliberately limits the ticket in the market and releases a big chunk to the black market for profit.  A PhP 350 ticket (read it correctly, a three-hundred and fifty peso worth of ticket) commands a whopping PhP 13,000 (you read it correctly, THIRTEEN THOUSAND PESOS big ones) for a game that I assume would last for only 2 hours.  What a business……

Police and other authorities were able to apprehend at least two scalpers on site.  Good.  In fact, Very Good.  But I think, they should go further.  They should go after the person behind this.  The one that limits the availability of tickets on fair market.

Who could be behind this?

The league? The venue ticket seller?