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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?

Work

September 19, 2008

Continuing on my series of Reflections.  Again from the Reflections of Fr. Andres Arboleda, as printed on thebook “PRESENCE; Prayers for Busy People”.

In here, Fr Arboleda speaks about how should our attitude should be about work, and not just to look at it on the financial gains it gives us.  Read on…….

WORK

 

People speak of work in terms of gain, salary or pay alone.  In short, in terms of money.  Of course, work is one of the ways man earns his keep; but there is much more in it than earning a living. There is something in work which makes man like God.  There must be something in it which is more than mere toil or sweat.

 

Work has not to be taken as something opposite to play because, truly, work without the creating and liberating element which play provides can only be unpleasant, boring and, at the same time, depersonalizing.  No human being will remain human if he is either treated no more than an element of production or the extension of the machine he uses..  And no human being would appreciate and enjoy work if his attitude towards it is reduced to what he gets from it.

 

When Adam and Eve were created, they were placed in a vast playground – the Garden of Eden.  It was only when they turned away from God that they had to work.  By the sweat of your face, God told Adam, shall you get bread to eat.  From the beginning, work was supposed to be liberating, creative activity through which man found joy in being God’s co-creator, like Adam before sinning, having the capacity to subdue the earth and exercise minion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on earth.

 

Perhaps the time would come when men would no longer be driven by greed and lust for possessions when they work, or when men would look for work as not just a manner of earning money but a manner of affirming their dignity as God’s co-creators.

Total Reproductive Health Bill

August 4, 2008

The author, third from left, during the Humanae Vitae Pro-Life Rally at the University of Santo Tomas, in Sampaloc Manila.  Our organization, the Knights of Columbus supported the call of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines in denouncing the infamous bill.

 The recent news has placed the Philippine Government, specifically, the House of Representatives as they file a bill in Congress aptly titled “Total Reproductive Health Bill”.  I came across the following opinion write-up of Atty Jose Sison in the Philippine Star.

I am surprised to read from such an opinion from a man whom we knew back in the 80’s as a television personality (I believe he still does have until today, with his son, another lawyer, Atty Joepet Sison) behind the show “Ipaglaban Mo”.

He wrote exactly the way I feel, thus, needless to say, I share with his opinion 100%.

You may wish to follow this link http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=20080731110&type=2 or you might just wish to read it below.

Contraception and abortion
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away) By Jose C. Sison
Friday, August 1, 2008

The debate on the population control bills is getting uglier. The proponents of the measures and their supporters continue to wear blinders and refuse to see the real issues. Or they purposely go around them to show the alleged fallacy of the Catholic Church stand even to the extent of sowing dissension between the clergy and the laity.

There is no quarrel that the Reproductive Health Bill does not legalize abortion. The Church does not oppose the bill because it supposedly legalizes abortion. The Church opposes the bill because it makes available the use of any and all forms of artificial contraceptives.

In its common connotation, contraceptive is any device or substance that inhibits or prevents fertilization or the fusion of the sperm or male cell with the female ovum to form a new individual. In essence it controls birth artificially or it interferes with the natural process of bringing human life into this world after a sexual intercourse between man and a woman. This is where the first moral issue arises.

The moral issue here is whether a man and a woman should engage in sexual intercourse merely for sexual pleasure or mainly for procreation which is the means of cooperating with God in creating another human being. The Church stand from my little knowledge of Catechism is that sexual intercourse is a marital act that has two functions: the biological or procreative function and the spiritual or unitive function. These two aspects of the marital act cannot be separated. If one deliberately nullifies the life oriented process of the conjugal act, one destroys its essential power to signify union.

Thus the Catechism states that “Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes” (2351).  “Any act of contraception, be it by pills, condoms, withdrawal, or ligation is always wrong, and if this is done with full knowledge and full consent, it is always a mortal sin. Every marriage act must be open to the transmission of human life” (2366).

The more important moral issue which may even have legal implication is the connection between contraception and abortion. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the following contraceptives have already been medically proven to directly cause abortion: Depoprovera, RU 486, Intra-Uterine Device, Norplant and the Morning-After-Pill (Please see Project Abortifacients, Human Life International, June 1991). This is a claim that has never been denied or disproven by the proponents of the bill and their supporters. Yet the proposed bill will make them available to women. So it is quite clear that even if the bill still considers abortion as illegal and a punishable criminal act, it is nevertheless promoting abortion. In effect, the bill is promoting or abetting an act which it considers illegal. There is no free will or freedom of choice involved here. Such freedom definitely does extend to opting for something illegal.

The bigger truth is that this link between contraceptive and abortion is not limited to contraceptives that directly cause abortion but to all contraceptives, including condoms. If all kinds of contraceptives are easily available, men and women who still find a need to refrain from engaging in sexual intercourse for fear of having children is easily led to believe that there is no more such need since there are already adequate means that allow them to engage in the act without fear of having children. Hence when these contraceptives fail and the unwanted child comes, the only recourse is abortion.

This is not a theory or a mere assumption. It is happening in most countries that have legalized contraceptives. In Canada, the birth control pill was legalized in 1969. The following year, statistics reported 11,152 abortions. Today it is already 106,418 abortions: a tenfold increase in abortion since 1970 during a period of unprecedented contraceptive use (Natalie Hudson, The Contraception Misconception). In the US this reality is best described by its Supreme Court itself in the case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey that upheld the ruling in Roe vs. Wade: “In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social development, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance of the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail”.

In the same article, Contraception Misconception, the following observation has been made: “Contraception has historically been promoted as a means of women’s emancipation, yet ironically it has led to a much greater objectification of women.  Women’s bodies have become a testing ground for pharmaceutical companies to reap profits from the myth that the natural consequences of sex can be avoided; women are put out of touch with their bodies as their fertility cycles become chemically controlled; and contraception can also be used to hide the evidence of abuse that is sometimes perpetrated among young or marginalized women.”   

In opposing these reproductive health bills the Church is therefore merely performing its duty of reminding the faithful about these doctrines of faith. Nobody is being deprived of their free will. Everybody is free to accept or reject these teachings. But those who reject them must also respect the moves of the Church and its clergy to safeguard the integrity of its tenets like taking a stand against these bills or issuing reminders on who may be denied the sacraments such as the Holy Eucharist or Matrimony.