Yesterday, I placed second during an extemporaneous speech contest sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as part of their National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration. Much love to my classmates who were present during the contest despite classes being suspended at our school until August 6.
Classes were abruptly suspended at noon on Tuesday. Turns out two students at my school have tested positive for the dreaded (but rarely deadly) AH1N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as swine flu. (Or, if you go to my school, Ahini.) More people are being closely monitored, say my classmates. I really don’t know much about the news—I wasn’t in school this week. Last Monday I spent my afternoon and evening at the Butuan Sports Complex, taking part in the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s 95th anniversary celebrations, while Tuesday was spent practicing for the extemporaneous speech contest.
So… 95 years.
As much as possible I try not to talk about my religion or religious beliefs online. It’s hard to talk about one religion without offending (or putting in an awkward light) another. But allow me to make an exception in this post.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo on Monday celebrated its 95th founding anniversary. (“Founding” meaning being officially registered with the Philippine government.) The Church marked the occasion by holding massive Grand Anniversary Celebrations all around the country. Here in Agusan del Norte, 80,000 brethren and guests from neighboring regions and provinces flocked to the Butuan City Sports Complex to participate in the celebrations.
Since 1914, the INC has grown exponentially, reaching at least 90 countries and territories around the world, and with a membership consisting of more than 100 nationalities. More than one million church officers—brethren who hold and perform duties within the Church—help the Church Administration take care of the Church as a whole and strengthen its members’ spiritual lives. Estimates say the Church has anywhere from three to ten million adherents worldwide.
The Church and its faithful owe the success and glory it has continuously achieved and enjoyed to the Almighty Father, and to the Lord Jesus Christ who we believe heads the Church. Thus, on the occasion of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s 95th Founding Anniversary, we say: praise be unto God!
Gloria Arroyo delivered her ninth (I hesitate to say last) State of the Nation Address before Congress on Monday. I wasn’t at home to watch the SONA, but I’ve skimmed through transcripts of the speech online, and from what little I’ve read (and from what I know about the Lady in the Palace) I think it’s safe to assume it contained nothing of substance. Distinguished pundit Manolo Quezon summed up the SONA in three short and bitter sentences: “Don’t count me out.”, “Cha-Cha is a go.”, and “We will mobilize versus certain presidential candidates.”a
I think the majority of Filipinos have gotten tired of this (possibly illegitimate) administration, and with our democracy being trampled six ways from Sunday, we can’t afford to watch unresponsively any longer. It’s time to stop pussyfooting (heh). Either we act or democracy dies.
The UPCAT is this Saturday and I’m nervous, to say the least. This could possibly be one of the most important examinations I will ever take in my entire life, and this could possibly one that I will blow.
I’ve already developed a contingency plan. If I pass the UPCAT, I erupt into a heap of joyous yelping. If I don’t… OK, I was kidding—the contingency plan isn’t as “developed” as I’d want… yet.
We’re doing a dry run at the review center this Friday. I’ll try to sneak in some reviewing tomorrow, but definitely no more poring over test booklets on Friday. I need to chillax before the test.