All Souls’ Day is ancient Aztec ‘Feast of the Dead’

CONTRARY to what most people think, the way we practice All Souls’ Day, which has come to be called “Undas” only in recent years, wasn’t a creation of Catholicism nor is it a practice among Catholics all over the world.

Only Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil — and in less intense forms, a few other Latin American countries — celebrate the Day of the Dead in the way we know it; that is, one day of the year when people go to the cemeteries to honor their dead. “Todos Los Santos” to us, this was an import from Hispanic Mexico, the reproduction here of its Dia de los Muertos.

Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter in the privacy of their homes with their families. Why would they commemorate their dead, who obviously passed away at different days of the year on one particular day when everyone does so and undertake this in one crowded place with strangers — crowds — all around them; thus, diminishing the solemnity of commemorating their loved ones?

The absurdity of the practice has become so obvious as our population has swelled, and more and more die, so more and more people visit their dear departed in cemeteries, which obviously have not grown in size, creating mammoth crowds in these places on November 1 that risk people’s safety.

This isn’t a scene here but in Mexico. Photo: Wikipedia.
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Coalition of accusers and accused, of the unprincipled

IT’s incontrovertibly an indication of its desperation that the opposition, led by its fake vice president, Leni Robredo, has fielded 11 senatorial candidates whose commonality is that most have been accused by, or are the accuser of, each other of some crime or misconduct.

Just by joining this band, the candidates are announcing to the world that they will drop their principles in a heartbeat for the sake of their egos, which a Senate post inflates. How could former vice president Jojo Binay be with a band that includes Antonio Trillanes 4th, who accused him of plunder and continuously announced he would be thrown to jail before the Aquino 3rd administration ends? In the first place, how the heck did he get the idea that Filipinos want two Binays in the Senate?

Not just unprincipled but, well, stupid. What value would Robredo and her running mate Kiko Pangilinan give to their candidacies? Why, they can’t even give their band a name to tell voters what they stand for or why they are banding together. The Finks? “Labing-isa, kanya-kanya?”

Do they think that the “Le-Ki” tandem would have any funds to throw at them? If they’ll have anything left over, they’ll set it aside for their retirement funds, which, given the odds of their winning, is really their motive for running.

And it is so obvious even at this early stage of the election cycle that the usual big-business contributors aren’t wont to fund losers. The Lopezes, the only oligarch that would move heaven and earth to prevent a Duterte 2 administration, have been practically bankrupted by the closure of their ABS-CBN network and their efforts to keep it alive via cyberspace.

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Exploiting arbitration ruling, Malaysia claims most of our Kalayaan Island Group

WHAT did former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, his Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and his solicitor general Florin Hilbay do when they brought the arbitration suit against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013?

They shot themselves in the foot. Correct that, they shot the Philippines in the foot.

Two of the major provisions of the arbitration award handed down in 2016 for that case emboldened Malaysia to claim that its continental shelf would include most of our territory called the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), which the strongman Ferdinand Marcos had created by decree in 1978.

On Dec. 12, 2019, Malaysia submitted to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UN CLCS) a claim that its continental shelf extended beyond 200 nautical miles in the northern part of the South China Sea. The northern outer limits of Malaysia’s submission, as its accompanying map and its geographical coordinates show, are even 100 to 150 kilometers north of our KIG. (Lime and red lines in figure accompanying this column.)

Malaysian expansionism: it will eat up the Kalayaan Island Group and EEZ part. Image by author using Google Earth Pro
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Yellows silent on Malaysian grab of PH territory

THE Yellows keep ranting that President Duterte hasn’t continued to quarrel with the superpower China to assert our sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone — ignorant of, or rejecting the fact that not just China, but Vietnam and Taiwan are claiming not just rights but sovereignty over those areas our EEZ encompasses. Thus, as Duterte succinctly put it, “China is claiming it. We are claiming it.”

The hypocrisy — or ignorance, feigned or not — of former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and their resource person former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio, is obvious in the fact that while they have been livid, or pretended to be livid, over China’s alleged aggressiveness in the South China Sea, they have been inexplicably quiet in their hundreds of statements — even in Carpio’s book — over the brazen grab by Malaysia of Philippine territory.

And I’m not referring to Sabah.

Two presidents — Corazon Aquino and Joseph Estrada — could do nothing to stop the seizure of four reefs in our sovereign territory, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and an island in our EEZ by Malaysia, which at that time was, so to speak, in our weight class.

Malaysia’s seizure of PH territories: Celerio (Swallow) Reef in 1986, which is within our EEZ, Antonio Luna (Ardasier) Reef in April 1986, Mariveles Reef in November 1986, Pawikan (Investigator) Shoal and Gabriela Silang (Erica) Reef in April 1999. PREPARED BY AUTHOR USING NAMRIA OFFICIAL MAP
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