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“Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.” — Steven Weinberg, American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics


In a lot of other instances, I have had some significant issues about “god” but nothing about it in the present discussion. My concern is about religion and it is religion in the institutional sense with all its rituals, man-made administrative hierarchy and power structures (which I don´t think the so-called “Jesus Christ” of the four gospels of the christian bible’s new testament could have approved of had he been around or perhaps better said, had he been real), and the dos and don’ts in church policy that favor more the clergy than the lay, among others. Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is one excellent historical background (in novel form) to get acquainted with how evil institutional religion has been. When Marx said, “Religion is the opium of the masses,” his reference point was the kind of “christian religion” Europe (Germany in particular) had during his time.

Religion as we understand it in the institutional sense is different from religion as something inherent in the homo sapiens sapiens being also homo religiosus with the natural impulse that drives her/him in normal circumstances to locate her/his existence in the context of ultimate reality. The human being that is not only conscious but also conscious of her/his consciousness is endowed with a metaphysical sense that is both critical and appreciative. With this metaphysical sense, s/he asks the questions: 1) Why am I here? 2) What must I do? and 3) What can I hope for? While making sense of these questions and while in the process of searching for the so-called ultimate reality to respond to these questions, s/he also treads the religious path. Getting unilaterally inclined to solely focus on this path leads to the formation and institutionalization of religion. However, not necessarily getting too engrossed with religiosity leads to a better direction which enhances human spirituality.

Institutional religion contradicts in a lot of ways the essence of the “Jesus-Christ-on-earth narrative (or myth, if you will)” in the christian bible’s new testament which never endeavored to organize and institutionalize a religion but to saturate/flood the homo religiosus with the virtues of that “Jesus-Christ-on-earth narrative (or myth, if you will)” and in the process elevate her/his “humanity” to a higher level of spirituality thereby putting an end to the metaphysical questions as s/he finds the answers to them in the context of ultimate reality. In other words, the spirituality inaugurated by the “Jesus-Christ-on-earth narrative (or myth, if you will)” is the anti-thesis of institutional religion.

Preceding christianity is the institutionalized jewish religion which petrified that spirituality. In certain new testament gospel instances “Jesus Christ” re-liquified that spirituality by liberating it from being boxed in an institutionalized religion. In such a reliquification, we find the significance of the “Jesus-Christ-on-earth narrative (or myth, if you will)”. The ultimate reality is always present because it is the ground of being–the cosmic foundation–whose nature is noumenal (to use Kant´s terminology for the unknowable “being-in-itself”) and can only be phenomenal (knowable) in the human states of affairs via experienced spirituality.

Spirituality needs to be re-liquified to let it flow freely in the lives of people. In many instances, institutionalized religion has hindered the free flow of spirituality that promotes justice, upholds human dignity, strengthens compassion and loves life.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 20 January 2018


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1. In Europe, it was the Russian military prowess that finally ended the Second World War by completely defeating and devastating Nazi Germany. The other members of the Allied Forces–US & UK–were just too scared to get into the fray and thus simply watched on the sideline while Russian soldiers were dying on the battlefields. In other words, had it not been because of the sacrifices of the intrepid Russians, Nazi Germany wouldn’t have been brought down to its knees.

2. But in peace time, US and UK along with their modern-day allies in western Europe have continually been in a conspiratorial scheme to destroy Russia.

3. In an insane turn of events, US and UK are even supporting neo-Nazi government nowadays just to advance its perennial agenda of overpowering and crushing Russia.

4. Along with this insanity, Zionist Israel–which has always been an ally of imperialist US–is now a loyal supporter of the latter’s program to back up neo-Nazi governments like the one in Ukraine. In fact, Zionist Israel is openly supporting neo-Nazism and it is obviously witnessed in an official alliance forged between the Nazi Petro Poroshenko and the Zionist Benyamin Netanyahu.

5. In toto, Zionism and Nazism can go together with the single objective of defeating and crushing Russia. It only proves to us once and for all that Zionist Israel is shameless (the strong term we use in Spanish is SINVERGÜENZA) considering the fact that Russia sacrificed millions of its people to demolish Nazi Germany which had murdered millions of Jews during the Second World War.


(c) 31 December 2017

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Community is “common” “unity” . . . In the context of the Philippines, we see localities which we superficially call “communities”. But strictly they are not because in practically all instances, family interest surpasses and even supersedes “community” interest. People give more importance to the family than to the “community” and in a lot of cases, family interest doesn’t sit well with “community” interest and vice versa.

People mind a dangerous situation in a barangay not because the whole barangay is in trouble but because their families will be in trouble. There are so many unsolved crimes in a “community” because people don’t want to testify as witnesses in the court. Why? Because they’re afraid that their families would get into a big problem. And that is true. But since there is no community, nobody tells someone that her/his family will not be in trouble because the community will protect her/his family. This proves to us that, generally, Filipinos don’t care about the community because there is just no community to care about. They’d rather care about their respective families because they are more real than community.

We see group actions* in the Philippines not because people are pulled together by a common commitment but either because there is a strong leader (usually a warlord) who “commands” them to organize or there is a “magnetizing” factor (like something with a “showbiz” level of strength) that spontaneously pulls them together. But since a group action is not grounded on a principled commitment, at the end of the day, the group disintegrates and the action finally gets insignificant. The EDSA people (not people’s) power uprising was a clear case in point


* The term “group actions” used in the present context is NOT in relation to actions effected by progressive political movements which are of course grounded on principled commitments. That is basically the reason why their actions are solid and significant. In the context of the post, I meant “group actions” that are barangay-based.

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I took not only “the path less travelled”*
But also the thorny trail uphill “where angels fear to tread”.¨**
I never went the easy way of “god pleasers” and “silent followers”
For I wasn’t cut out to please nor to be a follower.
Others have achieved the highest desires of their hearts like in a fairy tale
Which usually ends with the clause, “and they lived happily ever after.”
They are the ones who have enjoyed the good life in comfort and recreation
Right smack at the gilded center of “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
I’m not where they are because I chose to do things the hard way.
I chose this life because in doing so, I knew I would be true to myself.
I haven’t changed–and won’t ever change–this commitment
As I’m still –and will always be–true to myself.
* with apologies to Robert Frost
** with apologies to E.M. Forster

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Revolution or Reform?


What the Philippines needs is a REAL revolution, not the circuitous and belabored reformist program the present government advocates and implements trying to mix together “water” and “oil”. But if one looks closely at what has been going on, this government takes a lot of tactical efforts to pacify and neutralize the left while the fascist AFP and PNP continue to perpetrate their old oppressive and terror operations against the people of the Philippines, more particularly the poor segment of the population.

On the one hand, the central government projects the image of an enthusiastic advocate of peace negotiations with the left. However, on the other hand, the AFP and the PNP are totally desynchronized from the central government’s plan of action as the latter relentlessly pursue their own terror agenda against the left and the poor as well.

Now, they are using Operation Tokhang–originally conceived for the war on illegal drugs–to terrorize those whom they suspect as members and sympathizers of leftist movements. What is scary here is the trajectory of this operation which is highly probable to get nasty and result to the summary execution (read: extra judicial killing) of leftist activists after smacking on their faces the fabricated accusation that they are drug addicts, drug pushers or even drug lords.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 4 December 2016

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It’s one’s word against another’s. One is convinced of what s/he believes in as the other likewise is. One says, “Move on” whereas the other says, “No way, there are still a lot to settle even at this point in time. We can’t just move on.” So be it. The first has her/his own reason; the other has hers/his. The issue remains controversial and will most likely perennially remain so because the debate will never ever stop.

But here is where the “glitch” is: Why do we get furious as others tell us to move on when we have determined once and for all that we don’t because we can’t, so we won’t? In other words, this issue is in our hands; it is our own decision and not theirs. They want to move on, so let them. We don’t want to move on and what they tell us is nothing . . . nonsense . . . not a thing for us to get serious about. The point here is, even if we tell them about the truth, they will still move on. None can prevent them from doing so as none can prevent us from not moving on.

It’s a waste of time and energy to present to them what we have always believed to be the truth. They don’t care. Giving them the tragic lessons of the past with all the articles, books, graphic presentations, photos, extant news items, etc. will never have any significant effect on them as these things never had in the past. Those who have chosen to be blind will never see the light for the power of brainwashing is lasting, even permanent.

About the Supreme Court’s decision, nobody can avert that, much less in a fragmented society like the Philippines. The only power that can effect it is a united majority with a strong political will. Unfortunately, we don’t have–in fact, we’ve never had–it in the Philippines.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 9 November 2016

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The President of the Philippines is an honest man. He sincerely loves the Filipino people. His passion to rid his country of criminals is genuine and commendable. His zeal to boost the economy of the nation is authentic. His tenacity to establish a strong government is outstanding. At this early point in time of his administration, we should exercise more patience and give him enough space as he balances his way towards a more stable stage of his journey as a leader of a nation struggling to transcend the miseries of its past.

The road to victory is arduous but getting into this worthy undertaking is a heroic act driven by the immeasurable intensity of an intransingent spirit. Many of us have made up our minds to follow suit, so to speak, and engage in the newfangled struggle. We’ve seen the light of hope and decided to travel along the path that it’s leading us to pursue.

Yet, at this very point of the journey, it’s getting more and more apparent that some seemingly insurmountable obstacles are persistently hindering the flow of productive, beneficial and constructive events originally geared towards the full fruition of certain ideals of national significance. As events continually develop, it becomes much clearer to us that the ghost of the abominable past has kept on haunting every nook and cranny of Philippine society. The surge of crimes both in the city and the countryside continues unabated despite the fact that its eradication is the present government’s centerpiece.

In the final analysis, we are faced with the undeniable reality that these crimes are perpetrated by the very agencies of government tasked to vigorously act on them with unequalled persistence. One thing is therefore incontrovertible: the President of the Philippines himself DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL over these agencies called the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). There are certain dynamics and mechanics of the old system still exerting seemingly indestructible influence over the new government and have unceasingly been operating to perpetuate the culture of crime and in the process undermine the government until its ultimate destruction is achieved.

 (c) Ruel F. Pepa, 8 November 2016

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