Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ondoy and Climate Change

I have been watching and following the news lately about Typhoon Ondoy aftermath. The pictures and videos of the extent of devastation speak for itself and we got the message very clearly. Nature is fighting back and we are no match against her awesome power and fury. The typhoon is lashing our neighboring country Vietnam as I am typing this post and there were already reports of casualties.

The loss to human life and property is staggering to say the least - more than 200 people left dead and still counting plus billions of pesos of damage to school buildings, infrastructures, homes, and crops.

The typhoon that hit us was not exactly a super typhoon. I actually thought it was just one of those typhoons that regularly visit us during this time of year, but what it lacked in strength it made up in the amount of water dumped - almost a month's worth of rain poured in continuously in a span of six hours or so. There is really something abnormal here. Of course, we cannot discount the fact that our not so efficient drainage system also contributed to the flooding.


I feel sad to all those who fell victim to this calamity. I live in a city that is almost synonymous to the word 'flood' and yet we did not figure in the news and we are immensely grateful for that. We were spared. Across the street from where I live, the waters only reached ankle deep and quickly subsided as soon as the rain ceased, thanks in part to the flood control systems in place.

Of course, some places were not as lucky.

We have never experienced a typhoon of such magnitude in terms of devastation in living memory, and according to experts it is only a foretaste of things to come. Imagine a storm packing winds of more than 200 mph and dumping that much water continuously in a span of 24 hours. And imagine typhoons of such ferocity visiting us 20 times or more yearly.

That is how worse things can get if we do not do something now.

Now, the word 'climate change' is becoming a concrete reality for us all. It's no longer a shady theory formulated by scientists or a propaganda by some politicians to advance their interests. Climate change is definitely man-made and I think it is real. Ultimately, the climate is not to blame; it's us.

After the Ondoy aftermath, the weather specialists are keeping their eye on another storm brewing in the Pacific Ocean and is set to visit our country still reeling from the destruction anytime this week.

I hope we have learned our lessons in disaster preparedness by now.

In the meantime, I just want to share this documentary made by a scientific organization called the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on climate change.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Helplines for Typhoon Ondoy Victims

We have been hit again by yet another devastating typhoon (Ondoy) and many people are still trapped in their homes. Here is a list of important helplines you can call in times of crisis courtesy of Jomar Hilario's blog. You can also visit this site for the post typhoon aftermath. Please feel free to repost and pass these contact numbers around.

Philippine National Red Cross

Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross. They can arrange for donation pick-up.

METROBANK Port Area BranchPeso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2Type of Acct. : SAVINGSSwift Code: MBTC PH MM

BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS Port Area BranchPeso Acct.: 4991-0010-99Type of Account: CURRENT

BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS UN BranchDollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94Type of Account: SAVINGSSwift Code: BOPI PH MM

(Note: For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

For Credit Cards: Please fax the following info to +632.404.09.79 and +632.527.0575: Name of card member, billing address, contact nos. (phone & mobile), credit card no., expiration date, CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits at the back of the credit card), billing address, amount to be donated. For online donations you may also visit our website at

Most urgent needs:
Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable water

Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and laundry soap

Red Cross Mobile Donations - Red Cross Load Donations – Right now the easiest way to make donations from the seat of your chair is via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. To donate, text RED and send to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart). You can donate 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 300 pesos.
TxtPower – now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal.

Rescue Operations

1. National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) (+632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9115061, +632-9122665) Help hotlines: (+65 734-2118, 734-2120) ndcchelpdesk@
2. Philippine Coast Guard (+632-5276136)
3. Air Force (+63908-1126976, +632-8535023)
4. Metro Manila Development Authority (136)
5. Marikina City Rescue (+632-6462436, +632-6462423, +632920-9072902)
6. Pasig Rescue Emergency Number (+632-6310099)
7. Quezon City Rescue (161)
8. San Juan City Hall Command Post (+632-4681697)
9. Bureau of Fire Protection Region III (Central Luzon) Hotline: (+63245-9634376)
10. Senator Dick Gordon (+639178997898, +63938-444BOYS, +632-9342118, +632-4338528)
11. Senator Manny Villar (+639174226800. +639172414864, +639276751981)

Foreign Aid

Friends in the US and Canada who wish to help in the rescue/relief operations, you may donate through the American Red Cross. CALL 1-800-435-7669. Donate through the Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations or Pinoys abroad they can donate through TXTPOWER'S PAYPAL! hQtKH

Civil Society/ Media

1. Philippine National Red Cross (143, +632-5270000)
2. Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter operations center hotline: (+632-6350922, +632-6347824)
3. Go to GMA Facebook page & post complete addresses and names of people in need of immediate help.
4. ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline: (+632-4163641)
5. Jam 88.3: (+632- 6318803) or SMS at JAM (space) 883 (space) your message to 2968
6. GMA Kapuso Helpline: (+632-9811950- 59)

All calls for help, please help us by filling out information here at the Rescue InfoHub Center.
Sahana Disaster Management System needs IT volunteers. http://sahana. Emailsahana@kahelos. org.

Rubber Boat, 4×4 Trucks, Chopper Requests

1. NCRPO (+632-8383203, +632-8383354)
2. Private citizens who would like to lend their motor boats for rescue please call emergency nos: +632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9122665, +632-9115061)
3. You can also text (+632917-4226800 or +632927-6751981) for rescue dump trucks.
4. For those who are able to lend 4×4 trucks for rescue: Please send truck to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment, Tel No. (+632920-9072902) .
5. Petron & San Miguel Corporation are lending choppers for rescue operations, call/text: (+632917-8140655) ask for Lydia Ragasa

Power Supply

* Meralco (+63917-5592824, 16211, +63920-9292824) If you want service cut off to your area to prevent fires and electrocution.

Relief Aid and Donations

URGENT: —————————————————————————————————————
Donations of heavy duty flashlights needed for rescue operations in Cainta area. Contact Cielo at (+632918-8824356)

Businesses/ Commercial Establishments

1. Aranaz Stores in Rockwell & Greenbelt is accepting donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy
2. Binalot at Greenbelt 1, call Tetchie Bundalian at (+632922-8573277)
3. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be accepting canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies (no cash) in all our branches on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy starting today until Friday. Your generosity wi…ll be much appreciated during this difficult time for our brothersand sisters in need.
4. Luca stores (Rockwell, Shang-rila, Eastwood, or GA towers): Send your old clothes & donations (no cash pls).
5. Manor Superclub, Eastwood City will accept goods and other emergency items starting Sunday at 10 am.
6. Ministop IBARRA (Espana cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc Manila) is also accepting relief goods, Food (non-perishable goods only) Clothing, Medicines, Beds, Pillows, Blankets, Emergency Supplies to help Typhoon Ondoy victims.
7. Moonshine boutique in Rockwell also accepting relief good to help Ondoy victims in Marikina and Cainta.
8. Papemelroti stores in 91 Roces Ave. / Ali Mall Cubao / SM City North EDSA / SM Fairview / SM Megamall / Glorietta 3 in Makati / SM Centerpoint / SM Southmall are accepting relief goods (canned goods / milk / bottled water / clothes – NO CASH pls.)
9. PowerPlant Mall accepting donations for ABS-CBN foundation. Dropoff at admin office, P1 level.
10. R.O.X. – Recreational Outdoor eXchange is accepting donation for relief good for Typhoon Ondoy victims. You can bring it in the store located in B1 building Bonifacio High St., Tel. No. (+632-8564638/ 39)
11. Team Manila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (Canned Goods, Ready-to-drink Milk,Bottled Water and Clothes) for distribution by Veritas.
12. Whitespace 2314 Chino Roces Ave Ext as a Makati drop-off for relief goods.
13. All 7-Eleven corporate stores.

Government/ Civil Society/ Movements

1. Victory Fort is opening its doors to those affected by the typhoon. Call 813-FORT.
2. ABS-CBN through Banco de Oro account number 56300-20111 account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation
3. Akbayan’s taking donations, call 433-69-33/433- 68-31 to donate or volunteer.
4. Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC): Relief goods for typhoon victims being accepted at 72-A Times St., West Triangle, QC. Tel (+632-9299820/ 22)
5. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan is accepting donations @ AGS Bldg Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo. Contact Vina Vargas at (+632917-8081247)
6. Luzon Relief: Donations can be brought to RENAISSANCE FITNESS CENTER, 2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City starting MONDAY (Sept.28) / 9am – 7pm Contact Person: Warren Habaluyas (+632929-8713488) or email at luzonrelief@
7. Miriam Quiambao drop off point: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood, or messagehttp://www.twitter. com/miriamq for more details.
8. Move for Chiz is asking for volunteers and donations at Bay Park Tent, along Roxas Blvd., beside Max Restaurant and Diamond Hotel in Manila, or at Gilas Minipark at Unang Hakbang St., Gilas Q.C.
9. NoyMar relief Operations: Clare Amador (+639285205508) or Jana Vicente at +639285205499) . Drop off for relief donations is at Balay Expo Center across Farmers Market Cubao.
10. Operation Rainbow (Zac Faelnar Camara) at Ayala Alabang Village needs Canned Goods, Ready-To-Eat Food, Bottled Water, Ready-To-Drink Milk/ Juice, Clothing, Blankets, contact (+632-4687991)
11. Philippine Army Gym inside Fort Bonifacio or GHQ Gym in Camp Aguinaldo are now distributing donations for Ondoy Victims.
12. Philippine National Red Cross‘ different ways to Donate.
13. Red Cross Load Donations: Right now the easiest way to make donations from the seat of your chair is via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. Text: RED AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)
14. Relief Efforts for Pasig at Valle Verde 1 Village Park, contact (+632916-4945000, +632917-5273616)
15. Sagip Kapamilya hotlines (+632-4132667, +632-4160387) #13 Examiner St. West Triangle, QC. and Scout Mayoran, cor. Morato, near Alex III.
16. Tulong Bayan hotlines for donations and volunteers are (+632908-6579998) Marilyn, (+632939-3633436) Jenn (+632-9137122, +632-9136254 & +632-9133306) .
17. TXTPower now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal 3GvuN
18. World Vision partners with Phil Coast Guard and kind individuals for relief distribution to 3k families. Call (+632-3747618 local 242) or text (+632917-8623209) to help.
19. Worldvision Foundation is also accepting donations/volunteer s to pack relief goods in QC. For $-donations, BPI:USDacct #4254-0050-08

Religious/ Schools & Universities

1. Assumption College San Lorenzo is now accepting donations. Please drop them off at the AC guardhouse.
2. Ateneo de Manila University is now accepting donations for the victims of Ondoy. Donations can be dropped at MVP Lobby. For those stranded/those who need help: To all students who need help or know of people who need help. Please text the name, location, and contact number to (+6329088877166) . ATENEO, which is now an open shelter, accepts refugees. Call (+632917-8952792)
3. Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge (+632-5639298, +632-5639308)
4. CFC Center Ortigas is now open for donations in cash or kind. Call (+632-7270682 to 87) or text (+632922-2542819)
5. Hillsborough Village Chapel – Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.
6. La Salle Greenhills for Greenhills/Mandaluy ong/San Juan Area, if you want to help out with the rescue and relief operations, you can drop off your donations (clothes, food, etc..) at LSGH Gate 2 or volunteer from 9am to receive, sort, repack the donations.
7. Our Lady of Pentecost Parish (+632-4342397, +632-9290665) per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
8. Playschool International in Better Living is open to receive relief goods. Feel free to drop it there for your convenience. No Cash Pls.
9. Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Cor EDSA (+632-9257931- 40)
10. Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah, a disaster response arm of the Jesuits, is accepting donations. Please drop it off sa Ateneo Cervini Dorm.
11. Katipunan Avenue. Contact Erica Paredes at (+632917-4741930) — they need bread, packed juice, sandwich filling (tuna, chicken, anything) You can help her make them, deliver the sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute! Call for more details.
12. Xavier School in San Juan is now accepting donations, please bring to Multipurpose Center (MPC).
13. Bo Sanchez's Kerygma Family is accepting cash donations. Visit this site for more details.

Private Citizens

1. MAKATI: 5729 Calasanz St., Olympia Makati City or call for pick up at (+632-5017405 or +632-7290530) c/o Omel Santos
2. SOUTH: Accepting relief goods in SOUTH AREA. Please contact Anne at (+632915-2854240)

People Tracker (using your phones, get your friends and family to turn on their finderservice for you)

* FINDERSERVICE. For Smart, text “wis ” to 386.
* FINDERSERVICE. For Globe, text “find to 7000.

Medical Reminder: For all those who’ve come into contact with floodwater, please take your leptospirosis prophylaxis ASAP: 2 capsules doxycycline 100mg. Single dose. Just once. Take with food and avoid taking with dairy products. DO NOT GIVE to children or pregnant women, or those who are allergic. For children and pregnant women, look for alternates via your family doctor. Thanks!

Let us all continue to pray for the victims of the typhoon and do everything we can to help.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

News & Commentaries

1. Benedict XVI One of the Smartest Popes in History, Former Vatican Spokesman Says [weblink]

2. Pope: Don't Pass the Buck on Climate Issue [weblink]

3. The Importance of Self-Criticism and Humility (Biblical Reflection for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time [weblink]

4. Youth Groups to Promote Pro-life Way of Life [weblink]

5. Meeting After Pro-Homosexual ELCA Decisions Could Reorganize American Lutheranism [weblink]

6. Scott Lively Extols Masculine Christianity [weblink]

7. Obama's Homosexual "Safe School Czar" Tells God "Screw You, Buddy" in Memoir [weblink]

8. The Insanity of Same-Sex Parenting [weblink]

9. Gay Activists Push Films in California Schools [weblink]

10. Dan Brown and the Masons (with YouTube video) [weblink]


"The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it." - Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer for Generational Healing

This prayer was given to us by Fr. Ed Fugoso during our Psychogenetics Retreat last month.

Prayer for Generational Healing

Heavenly Father, I come before you, in the blessed name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I thank you for sending Jesus by whose holy blood and precious sacrifice I can be set free from the brokenness, sinful attitudes, and negative patterns of my ancestry. I thank you Father that you have called me to be free from all bondage in the name of Jesus, and I praise you that, in Christ, I shall be set free.

And now, Lord Jesus, gently reveal to me in the power of the Holy Spirit those ways in which I may be living out my ancestor's sin patterns. All of these sin patterns, known and unknown to me, in my life and in the lives of my ancestors I acknowledge them all before you, Father. I confess to you the evil inclinations, compulsions, and bad habits that have influenced us. I ask you to forgive me and all my ancestors for all these sins. In the name of Jesus and by His holy blood, set me free in You forever, Holy Father. Empty my soul of sin, and fill it with the holiness of Jesus.

Father, I ask for your forgiveness and cleansing of my family and me. Please cut me free from all curses or ill effects caused by ancestors' sins. If any evil spirits have gained entry into my life on account of my ancestors' sin, I bind them in the name of Jesus Christ and command them to leave me and go to Jesus Christ now! Thank you, Father, for the freedom that is mine through Jesus. I praise you now and forever. Amen!

I claim the Lord Jesus Christ as my true inheritance and I thank you, Father, for the most wonderful gift of your Holy Son. I bless you Jesus, that You have come to show me my true roots, which are within the very heart of God the Father. I praise you Holy Trinity, those whom the Son sets free are free indeed.

Hallelujah! Amen!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meditations From Carmel

A million thanks to one of the sisters in our community for sending me the link to this wonderful treasure trove of Carmelite meditations on prayer. If you are tired already of reading my posts (which I hope you're not) and are looking for something refreshing, this one is for you.

Meditations from Carmel are short audio meditations in mp3 format which are meant to lead a soul into prayer. The meditations are taken directly from the writings of the Church Doctors of Prayer and Masters of the Spiritual Life like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese of Lisieux as well as many other Carmelites you may not have known before!

You can download the mp3 files to your computer and load them up to your iPod or mp3 player. Below are some of the samples you can find on the Meditations from Carmel website:

St. John of the Cross

1. Ascent of Mt. Carmel
2. Sayings of Light and Love

St. Teresa of Avila

1. The Book of Her Life
2. The Way of Perfection
3. Interior Castle
4. Degrees of Infused Prayer
5. Spiritual Testimonies

St. Therese of Lisieux

1. Prayers and Meditations
2. Act of Oblation to Merciful Love
3. Baptism
4. Interior Lights
5. Infinite Beauty
6. Refresh Me
7. Mountain of Love
8. Story of a Soul
9. Love Breeds Love
10. Prayer to Obtain Humility

I hope that these prayer tools will help us deepen our own prayer life. To obtain the complete list, please click the links provided above. To access and download Catholic mp3 audios, videos, and podcasts on a variety of topics including same-sex attraction, visit

Sunday, September 20, 2009

News & Commentaries

1. Pope Offers Test To See If God Is Within [weblink]

2. Epidemiologist: Pope Is Right About Condoms [weblink]

3. Immigration: Making Catholicity Tangible [weblink]

4. CBCP Raises Fears Over RH Bill 'Railroad' [weblink]

5. Conservative Californians Protest Harvey Milk Observance [weblink]

6. Defending DOMA, and Marriage [weblink]

7. Stop HR 2262: Homosexual Agenda Advances Under 'Safe Schools' Banner [weblink]

8. TV's 'Newlywed Game' Features First Gay Couple [weblink]

9. Over 200 California Schools Have Signed Up For Homosexual Curriculum [weblink]

10. Leaked Document Outlines Radical Sex Group's Plan to "Change the Way Americans Think about Sex" [weblink]

11. Florida High School Officials Going To Court For Praying [weblink]
Watch this video:


"Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action." - Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Josefino Forum: Verbum Dei

This is a forwarded e-mail.

Greetings of Peace!

The San Jose Major Seminary Academic Committee will be hosting a Theological Forum on October 4, 2009.

The forum will be opened to seminarians, religious and lay audience as well. This is to promote academic excellence of soon to be priests and those working in the Lord’s vineyard. We strongly suggest that you encourage your parish workers, through the Parish Pastoral Council to attend the event.

May we then ask your reverence to help us promote the forum through the posting of our posters on your bulletin boards and announcing it during your masses. This will greatly help us in our task of evengelization.

The details are as follow:

Reflections on the Word of God (Revelation, Church and Mission).

With Bishops Chito Tagle, Ambo David and Ted Bacani
Synthesis by Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ

With the Special Participations of
His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales
Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ (Ateneo President)

Eucharistic Celebration at 4pm to be presided by
Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco

Oct. 4, 2009, 8am-5pm, Henry Lee Irwin, SJ Theater, Ateneo de Manila University.
Tickets are available at 1,000 and 500. With Special discount for religious and seminarians.

For Ticket Inquiries, call San Jose Seminary, Ateneo de Manila at 4266091 and look for Mark Reyes or Sir-Lien Hugh Tadeo.

Praying for Your Reverend’s health and ministry.

Hail San Jose!

In Opus Ministerii,

Mark Anthony Reyes (sgd.)
4th Year Theologian

Sir-Lien Hugh Tadeo (sgd.)
1st Year Theologian

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Is That?

Thanks to Bro. J for forwarding the link to this video. It's a short Greek film about a father, his son, and a sparrow. My dad is very much like the father in this video and I oftentimes like the son. This reminds me too of our recent Psychogenetics retreat.

Right now, I'm in a point in my life where I have to be extra patient and understanding towards my father. Communicating with him is difficult because his mind is not as lucid as before. He is becoming increasingly dependent on us though he is not totally disabled. Basically, my mom and I (being the eldest) are taking over the big responsibility of caring for him, but it is really not the issue here. The thing is that he can be very difficult and exasperating to deal with at times because of his attitude problem. It makes me wonder now who is the father and who is the son. My mom literally assumes the role of the head of the family and I don't think that is good. I guess I really need to look for a role model somewhere else. The best that I can do is to pray for him and show him respect and compassion.

In all fairness to my dad, he made a lot of sacrifices for me especially when I was young, and for that I will forever be grateful to him.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

News & Commentaries

1. Pope: Lovers of Christ Must Love His Cross [weblink]

2. House Moves to Fast Track Debates on RH Bill [weblink]

3. US Bishops Applaud Obama's Abortion Promise [weblink]

4. Priest Wins Against Iron Chef [weblink]

5. Uruguay to Allow Homosexuals to Adopt [weblink]

6. Christian Soap Actress Patricia Mauceri Fired Because She Objected to Pro-Homosexual Story Line [weblink]

7. Knight: New ENDA Bill 'Turns Private Sin Into a Public Right' [weblink]

8. Sex Ed Gone Wild: Canadian Mag Covers Trend Toward "Pleasure-Based" Sex Ed in Schools [weblink]

9. Toronto Homosexualists Push to Host $10 Million "World Pride" Event in 2014 [weblink]

10. Catholic Church in State of Maine Steps Up Fight Against Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill [weblink]



"When women begin to dress immodestly, and men to make fun of religion, it is the beginning of the end." - Seneca

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Manila Book Fair

Attention book lovers!

What: The 30th Manila International Book Fair: Words Without Borders

When: September 16-20, 2009 (10 am to 8 p.m.)

Where: Exhibit Halls 1-4, SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Organized by: Primetrade Asia, Inc.

Partner Organizations:
* Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc.
* Book Development Association of the Philippines
* Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc.
* Publishers' Representatives Organization of the Philippines

For more information on the exhibitors and special events, visit their website at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SSA Issues

This post is an excerpt from The Origins and Healing of Homosexual Attractions by Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons specifically dealing with issues of fear, mistrust, and excessive sense of responsibility.

Fear and Mistrust

Fear of vulnerability to heterosexual relationships is another important factor in the development of homosexual attractions. This inability to feel safe loving someone of the opposite sex is usually unconscious and originates most often from traumatic experiences within the home. In males this may be a consequence of having a mother who was overly controlling, excessively needy or dependent, angry and critical, unaffectionate and cold, narcissistic and insensitive, very mistrustful, and addicted or ill. In females the fear of trusting males in a loving relationship may arise from having a father who was very angry, rejecting and distant, insensitive toward the mother, abusive, harsh, selfish, addicted, or unloving. Today, abandonment pain by the father from divorce is one of the major sources of male mistrust in females who develop an unconscious dread of being hurt as they saw their mothers wounded by their fathers. Subsequently, such females for a period of time may only feel safe being comforted in love by another female.

Diane was a young architect whose father was an angry alcoholic. She had witnessed years of emotional and physical abuse toward her mother by him. In her early adolescence she was attracted to males and went out with them, but found herself much more comfortable with females during her college years. She came to realize that she had a very powerful fear of being hurt like her mother if she made a commitment to a man. Diane was not fully satisfied emotionally, physically or spiritually in her homosexual relationships. She recognized in therapy that her father controlled her relationships with men and decided to work to break his domination over her relationships.

Pete’s mother was a very sarcastic woman who was the daughter of an alcoholic father. He rarely saw his mother show any affection to his father and she was regularly critical of him. Pete came to understand that her compulsive need to be in control in the home stemmed from the fear and powerlessness she had experienced in her own family background as a result of her father’s drinking and the chaos that surrounded it. Pete found her control to be suffocating and, subsequently, did his best to keep her at a distance. Since she was his foundation for relationships with females, Pete did not feel comfortable being emotionally close to the girls he found attractive. He feared that if he became vulnerable they would be as insensitive as his mother was to his father and to him. His homosexual temptations developed because of his fear of trusting in female love and his need for affection from someone whom he could trust.

Mistrust can also develop as a result of living in a home with frequent conflict and fighting between parents. Since this relationship is the model or basis for the child’s view of a heterosexual loving relationship, a marriage marred by turmoil and pain can lead to a son’s or daughter’s developing a fear of becoming vulnerable to those of the opposite sex. This fear can lead some to retreat into homosexual relationships. A similar dynamic is sometimes present after divorce, when many adults have a fear of being hurt by those of the opposite sex and withdraw into a homosexual relationship. It should be noted, too, that the epidemic of divorce in our culture is resulting in a significant fear of commitment to heterosexual relationships among young adults.

Mistrust and fear of complete commitment to one person are extremely common in those with homosexual attractions. Rampant promiscuity with fidelity to no one is one of the most striking manifestations of such a fear of commitment. According to Dr. William Foege, director of the Centers for Disease Control, the average AIDS victim has had sixty sexual partners in the past twelve months.[3] Spiritually, this mistrust shows itself in Catholics as a mistrust of the Lord and of God the Father as a loving father or Mary as a loving mother.

Attempts to Flee from an Excessive Sense of Responsibility

Some people attempt to escape from excessive pressures and burdens by engaging in homosexual activities in which there is no commitment, obligation, or responsibility. Married men sometimes struggle with intense insecurity after experiencing the stress of a negative boss, a lack of success in work, or a sense of overwhelming anxiety from financial worries. Then they began to view their wives and children as burdens and difficulties rather than as gifts from God. They engage in homosexual behavior in an attempt to flee from their stress and to feel more lovable and special.

A lack of balance in life, along with perfectionistic thinking, regularly leads to a feeling of excessive responsibility. This conflict interferes with the ability to be quiet and to receive the gift of love that is available from family and friends and even more from the Lord, the Father, the Spirit and Mary.

Jim was a pleasant married father of two children. He enjoyed his work; however, it was extremely demanding and pressured. His wife, Jean, also had a busy, stressful career. In the evenings in addition to caring for their children, both of them spent time on their careers with the result that they had little time for each other. Under such stress, Jim began to visit adult book stores near his work and there engage in anonymous homosexual acts. These actions were followed by tormenting guilt because he felt that he had betrayed his wife and children as well as God.

When a husband is emotionally distant or absent from a family, the wife may feel an intense loneliness and, subsequently, become emotionally dependent upon a son. Often she will discuss with him concerns and worries that would normally be shared with her spouse. While most males in such a family home enjoy the relationship with their mothers when young, unconsciously they begin worrying excessively and feeling overly responsible for her. Later, an unconscious view of female love as burdensome and draining may develop.

Ralph was the oldest of three children and grew up in a home in which his father had great difficulty communicating his love. His father’s need to distance others was the result of the alcoholism of both of his parents. This man’s childhood wounds resulted in an inability to give himself because he did not feel safe and relaxed in loving relationships. Subsequently, Ralph’s mother was extremely unhappy in her marriage and divorced when Ralph was twelve. He recalled feeling that as a result of the divorce, he had become the little man of the home and was responsible for his mother and his younger brothers.

When Ralph was thirteen, he had a crush on a girl in his class. He was confused, however, because he had no desire to be physically affectionate with her, nor did he feel sexually aroused. He continued to be puzzled by his limited desires and although he did not want to be attracted to men, he experienced his first homosexual desires when fifteen. Ralph entered therapy in his mid-twenties. He had never engaged in homosexual behavior and hoped that he would be able to overcome his homosexual temptations and marry someday.

Early in his treatment Ralph realized that he had felt overly responsible for his mother’s happiness for many years and that this had taken a very high toll on him. The pressures had resulted in an unconscious fear of intimacy with females. Under the tension of these conflicts, homosexual relationships felt appealing because they appeared to be free of excessive responsibility and accountability. His growing insight into his fears of commitment to female love were liberating and filled him with hope for his future.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On Trust

This post is in response to a request by a sister in our community. She asked me to look for articles about fear and mistrust. What I found instead is about trust, although it does tackle the topic of mistrust as well.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight [or direct your paths]." - Proverbs 3:5-6

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Will you please write a daily on trust?"

Lack of trust is caused by fear. And fear comes in many shapes and sizes. Some fears are healthy. Others are crippling. We rightly fear driving through a red traffic light or driving down the freeway—the wrong way. Major fears and seemingly unfounded ones almost always have their roots in a past fearful experience.

I used to be terrified of public speaking and this, according to what I have read, is a common fear. I was scared to death that when I got up to speak, I'd run out of things to say and make a fool of myself. This was heightened because of my insecurity. In younger days it took me several years to get up enough courage to ask for a date because I was afraid of rejection—another common fear.

An even bigger fear for me was being afraid to love. "How could this be?" you ask. "How could anyone be afraid of the very thing we all need the most?"

The love I was afraid of was not that of friends, but the love between a man and a woman. I was usually attracted to gals who weren't interested in me (romantically that is). This kept me safe. And as long as I was just a good friend with the woman who is now my wife, I was fine and felt safe. But once Joy started loving me, I freaked out—big time! I panicked a blue streak and wanted to run for my life.

Fortunately I knew it was my problem. But had I not thought so highly of Joy, I would have run from love—again. I also knew that if I didn't get help to overcome my fear, I could spend the rest of my life running from love. It took me a long time to see this.

My fear of love and inability to trust had deep roots in early childhood. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. I had an absentee father (emotionally speaking) and never felt that he loved me. My mother set me up to be the "little husband" in the family and I felt over-leaned on and smothered. And I also had an aunt that killed her own baby and apparently attempted to kill, or at least hurt, me when I was a baby. (She committed suicide.) I also lost a little sister to whom I was very much attached. She died when I was only five. So in my childish mind I had come to believe that if you love me, you will leave me, reject me, smother me, or you may even try to kill me.

This deeply buried fear I brought unconsciously into my adult life and spent most of my life running from love. It was this fear that got triggered when Joy started loving me. (By way of interest, some years ago a psychological test showed that I had a buried terror. At the time, I had no idea what it was.)

Many adults who were abused, abandoned, neglected, or felt rejected in childhood also struggle with similar or related debilitating fears.

So you ask, "How did I overcome? How did I learn to trust?"

Yesterday we talked about fears that cause us to lack trust. Today I want to share how I faced and overcame my deeply buried fear (terror) and learned to trust and love again. (To read yesterday's Daily Encounter, go to and click on Encounter Archives in the left column). Today we want to discuss how to overcome fear/s and learn how to trust.

First, I acknowledged the fact that my fear was my problem. Had I blamed anyone else for it, I would have lost the greatest human love I've ever known.

Second, I was determined that, with God's help, I wouldn't allow my fear to control me. And, by the way, if we don't acknowledge our fear and "own" it, it will control us one way or another—usually unconsciously, such as being very angry and defensive when we are afraid, setting ourselves up to fail, looking for love in the wrong places, and avoiding many good opportunities, etc., etc.

Third, I asked God to help me get to the root cause/s of my fear and lead me to the help I needed to overcome it. Every day I committed and trusted my life and way to God, and I often quoted the psalm of David who, when King Saul was hunting him down to kill him, said, "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Fourth, I shared my struggles with my closest friends whom I knew wouldn't tell me to just "get over it" or tell me that I wasn't trusting God or offer various other bits of over-simplistic, insensitive and useless, unsolicited advice.

Fifth, I got into two years of very intensive counseling with in-depth therapy. It wasn't easy (in fact it was very challenging), but with God's help, the professional counseling, and the loving support of understanding friends, I made it just fine.

Because I never learned to trust as a child, I had to learn it as an adult. As I stepped out of my comfort zone, admitted my problem to God, to supporting friends, and a helpful counselor, and found that they loved and accepted me anyhow, little by little I learned to trust and love.

Fears are real. I know. The apostle Paul did too, otherwise why would God have sent an angel to him when he was in prison to tell him to "fear not?" He knew he wasn't going to get out alive and was undoubtedly scared to death even though he was also trusting God.

According to one Bible scholar, there are 350 "fear nots" in the Bible—one for every day of the year. Obviously God understands our struggle with fear and lack of trust.

I think it was General George Washington who said to his soldiers when they had to cross the Potomac River with their rifles and battle gear in hand, "Trust God but keep your powder dry!" In other words, acknowledge and own your fears. Trust God and accept responsibility and seek the help you need to overcome them. The only people that God or anyone else can help are those who admit and say, "I have a problem. I need help."

(Credits: ActsWeb.Org)

Mary, Star of the Morning

How can we, in a concrete way, give more emphasis and warmth to the Feast of the Nativity of Mary which we celebrate on 8th September in our calendars but not sufficiently in our Christian life?

First and foremost, Christians who are able to should share in the Eucharist which the Church celebrates on the birthday of their heavenly Mother and bring others along with them.

Let us be penetrated by this prayer that the liturgy puts on our lips on that day:

"Lord, may Your Church, renewed in this holy Eucharist, be filled with joy at the birth of the Virgin Mary, who brought the dawn of hope and salvation to the world."

At family level, the feast should be prepared and celebrated in the heart of our Christian families.

The picture of the Nativity of Mary could be placed in the family 'prayer corner'. More and more of our Christian families are making room for a prayer corner in their homes.

When we celebrate the birth of Mary in this way we transpose to the supernatural plane the feeling of filial gratitude that inspired the creation of Mother's Day which is becoming more and more popular nowadays.

So, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary is a Feast of hope for the renewal of the Church. It inaugurates the plan of the Holy Trinity for the salvation and happinesss of humanity.

(Source: CatholicHawaii.Org)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

News & Commentaries

1. Pope Applauds St. Augustine TV Miniseries [weblink]

2. Bishops Optimistic for Pope's RP Visit [weblink]

3. Why Parents Don't Trust Obama [weblink]

4. Homosexual, Bisexual Men 50 Times More Likely to Have HIV: CDC [weblink]

5. Ben & Jerry's' 'Hubby Hubby' Ice Cream Celebrates Vermont's 'Same-Sex Marriages' [weblink]

6. Ted Kennedy Played Crucial Role in Blocking Massachusetts Vote on Marriage Amendment [weblink]

7. D.C. Archbishop Joins Black Pastors in Same-Sex "Marriage" Fight [weblink]

8. Voter Referenda on Same-Sex 'Marriage' on Nov. Ballot in Washington and Maine [weblink]

9. Controversial U.K. Mayor Cuts Gay Pride Funding, Pledges End to Political Correctness in Government [weblink]

10. Family Attacked for Too Many Children: "Thrilled" to be Preparing for Baby Number 19 [weblink]

Watch the trailer of Lux Vide Miniseries, "Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire," on the life of St. Augustine of Hippo.

Quote for the week:

"What do you possess if you possess not God?" - St. Augustine

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Psychogenetics-Gestalt Therapy Primer

This post about Psychogenetics and Gestalt Therapy is for the benefit of those who maybe interested to undergo this retreat under the guidance of Fr. Ed Fugoso, SVD. Included here are some basic information and the actual brochure/pamphlet of the Psychogenetics program.

Have you experienced the heartbreak of a failed relationship? Do you long to transform an unfulfilling relationship, or hope to ensure that your marriage lasts? Do you hesitate to commit or fear yet another failure? Do you suffer from present marital/family relationships?

If you belong to a religious community do you have problems in community life?

You can now learn the key in improving your relationships at home and/or in workplace and cease to become victims of the negative imprints learned from childhood.

Dear Friends,

This is to invite you to join the many appreciative and enlightened participants of Psychogenetics Retreat Weekends which I facilitate regularly since December 2004. The retreat weekends are being held regularly at SVD Retreat House inside Divine Word Seminary compound, Tagaytay City.

Psychogenetics is a scientific approach to understanding the influence of our parents and ancestors in our adult-adult relationships. It was developed in 1992 by Anne Teachworth, founder of Gestalt Institute of New Orleans. The retreat is a psycho-spiritual experience that will help participants to discover how under stress we regress to the child that we were and how we can eventually cut-off ourselves from negative trans- generational patterns that are not helpful in our adult-adult relationships.

Single participants will be helped in choosing correctly their marital life partners and not just automatically fall for the person who will not be good for them. Through the History of Family Origin Test (also called Selection Test) they will know BEFORE and NOT AFTER how their partners will behave after marriage. Religious, priests, nuns, and those in formation or rehabilitation will be helped in improving their self-awareness towards improving relationships in community life.

For couples who have been suffering in their present marital relationships the retreat will help them stop committing the same mistakes of their parents' unhappy and troublesome relationship. For separated spouses they will understand the psychogenetic reason outside the issues of conflict that made separation inevitable. For other singles or couples they may discover new ways to improve their current relationship. The Word of God will further help participants see the "ups" and "downs" of their life's journey.


This retreat is open for singles (at least 18 years old), religious, married, divorced, separated, with annulled marriage or simply abandoned. Discover your own trans-generational patterns and start new patterns of behavior that will help you establish better kind of relationships.

Cost of retreat weekend per person is P1, 500 inclusive of 5 meals, 2 snacks, and overnight lodging. A regular group of participants ranges from 15-30 persons. Special dates and discounted cost can be arranged for groups and communities of more than 30 persons. Retreats in provinces will cost P10,000 plus cost of round trip plane fare for the facilitator.

You can easily confirm your participation by sending your complete name and chosen date to my celphone number (0917-541-4330) or email address: edfugoso2002@

Until there is a better way later to make reservation we ask retreat participants in Manila & Tagaytay to deposit retreat fee to a particular bank account that will be sent to you via text message.

The retreat sessions begin on a Saturday 9 AM after breakfast which is served at 8-8.30AM. Retreat ends on Sunday noon after the 11 AM closing Mass. Sometimes for non-availability of SVD Retreat House other venues will be indicated to you upon initial communication with me.

If you are called to this kind of retreat "God will make a way". Rest assured that this is not a New Age thing as others may suspect it to be.


Fr. Ed Fugoso, SVD/Retreat/Healing Ministry



8.00- Breakfast
8.30- Room assignments
9.00 - Getting to know you
9.30- Lectio Divina- The Road to Emmaus
10.30- Small Group Sharing
11.00- Principles of Psychogenetics
12.00 - LUNCH/Siesta
2.30PM Selection Test/History of Family Origin Inventory
3.00 Principles of Gestalt Therapy
4.00 Snacks
4.30 Open Forum
5.15 Reimprinting/ Star Trek Model
6.00 Gestalt Therapy / Role Play
6.30 Open Forum
7.00 Dinner
8.15 Holy Hour/ Sacrament of Reconciliation


6.30AM Lauds
7.00 Breakfast
8.15 Imagination Activity/Journey Into Childhood
9.00 Understanding Our Parents�Dance With Father�
10.00 Snacks
10.15 Empty Chair Technique/Sharing of GSPF
11.00 Closing Mass
12.00 LUNCH/Picture Taking/GOODBYE

*Attire during the retreat is informal and comfortable. You can wear sandals or slippers during the sessions.


1. To SVD Retreat House and Arnoldus Zentrum:

a) From South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) take Sta. Rosa EXIT and upon reaching Tagaytay Ridge and market turn RIGHT towards Tagaytay Rotonda. After passing road signs of Dominican House of Prayer, Cellar Mansions and before Estancia Hotel turn RIGHT to WELCOME

San Jose Baranggay Road
. Go down that winding road and to your left is big walled property of Divine Word Seminary compound after passing San Pablo Seminary at your left and and SVD Postulancy to your right.

b) From Baclaran going to Tagaytay through

Aguinaldo Highway turn left to SVD Road before reaching Pink Sister's Convent and Tagaytay Rotonda. Notice the store Amira's Buco Tarts and tricycles on the left road corner. About half a kilometer away on your right is Divine Word Seminary compound. Ask seminary gate guard for direction.

Retreat Description

For too long the current basis for couple or parenting counseling has been the belief that a couple's problems stem from the unfinished business with one of their parents. Instead we find that the problem often lies with the parents's troubled relationship with each other.

This retreat will demonstrate the effects of unconsciously imprinted patterns and teach us how the couple's problems as husband-wife and parents are often an internalized template of the unfinished relationship business between their own parents and siblings from their own family of origin. Psychogenetics retreat is based on Anne Teachworth's book, Why We Pick the Mates We Do. The History of Family Origin Inventory also called Selection Test is an easy way to quickly identify hidden interactional problems. Learn what brings couples together in the first place, and what keeps them together now.

Participants will:

1. Be challenged to understand one's PAST & PRESENT situation and relationships in the light of the gospel.

2. Learn the definition and principles of Psychogenetics and Gestalt and its use in psychotherapy with couples, families and religious communities.

3. Learn what the Selection Test is, how to interpret it and design treatment plans that create future relationship success.

4. Be able to identify the hidden problems at the core of relationships and how to correct them.

5. Learn how to predict the landmines that will occur in a relationship BEFORE the couple marries instead of AFTER.

6. Learn the controlling impact of the Inner Couple Imprint on your children's adult-adult relationships.

7. Learn the value of rewriting and role playing your parents' relationship first as it was, and then as you wanted it to be.

8. Experience the healing satisfaction that occurs in you when you role play your childhood parents at peace with each other.

The Retreat Master

Fr. Ed Fugoso, SVD is a member of an international missionary religious congregation Society of the Divine Word. He was ordained at the Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City in 1983 and worked for seven years as a missionary in Ecuador, South America. His Philosophy and Theology seminary formation provided a good background for special biblical trainings at Nemi, Rome (1987) and Jerusalem, Israel (2006). His Gestalt Therapy training was at U.P.-Diliman under German professor Hans Lenard from 1999-2002, and Psychogenetics at Gestalt Institute of New Orleans under Anne Teachworth from 2003-2004. He is presently based at the SVD Retreat House, Tagaytay City and works full time in counseling and facilitating Psychogenetics Retreat.

His Professor:

Anne Teachworth, M.A, CPC., DAPA, received her fellowship from the Gestalt Institute of Houston in 1977 and founded the Gestalt Institute of New Orleans, Inc. Anne has presented workshops for the general public and therapists all over the United States, Canada and Europe.

For over 25 years, she has trained and supervised hundreds in the art, theory, skills and ethics of counseling. She has sponsored and co-led Gestalt workshops in New York City with one of her teachers, the late Laura Perls, co-developer of Gestalt Therapy.

For the past twenty-six years, Anne has maintained a full-time private practice in New Orleans and a part-time practice on the road with her out of town workshops and conferences. For her seminar-workshops and speaking engagements this year 2007 in New York , New Jersey , San Francisco , Austin , Texas and Rome please log on to her site Gestalt Institute of New Orleans.

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you've always gotten." - Anne Teachworth, developed Psychogenetics and founder of Gestalt Institute of New Orleans

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reflections on Psychogenetics Retreat (1)

I am now sitting and typing in front of my computer as I try to recall the events that took place in our two-day Psychogenetics Retreat in Tagaytay last August 22-23, 2009. I still have a hangover of the retreat and I will try my best to write down my experiences and realizations in words. And oh yes I took a lot of pictures too and perhaps I can upload some here to make things real and vivid to me. Don't worry no faces will be uploaded here, only the lush greeneries and trees around the SVD vicinity which to me conjures a perfect picture of calm and serenity amidst life's storms. The picture above is the building where the retreat took place.

Early that Saturday morning, August 22, on my way to our meeting place at McDonalds EDSA Taft, there was a heavy downpour and the sky was gloomy. I was caught in the rain and got a little drenched. What a way to start the day I thought to myself. I wondered if the retreat would still push through until one by one my fellow Courage brothers and sisters started to show up. We left the meeting place way behind the scheduled departure time and boarded our bus going to Tagaytay. Inside the bus, I had a chit-chat with my "old" friend beside me whom I invited to attend this retreat. He was quite reluctant and didn't know what to expect and I reassured him that I didn't come prepared either as this is my first time to attend such retreat. We talked about many things - both trivial and personal. It was close to one and a half to two hours' travel (I guess) and we arrived at the retreat house with the sun shining upon us as if to welcome us.

Upon alighting the bus, a tricycle took us on a short bumpy ride going inside the retreat house where Bro. Rollie was already waiting for us. On arrival we were assigned each our own room and I want you to see my room:

How neat and organized can I get! After the room assignments, we had a hearty breakfast meal while waiting for others to arrive.

Getting To Know You

When all got settled down, Fr. Ed gave a brief introduction of himself. I must say that Fr. Ed really knows what he is talking about. He's got an impressive credential up his sleeve and I don't know anyone around who has the credibility and competence to offer this kind of retreat. I feel blessed for the opportunity to be part of this. Next, it was our turn to introduce ourselves. This thing always reminds me of first day in class - standing up and mouthing a short impromptu introduction of your name, where you live, what you do, and oh the status of your love life too! Don't bother. It's complicated. We did have at least 5 non-Courage fellow retreatants in the room and so it was nice to hear everyone talk about a little of themselves, even from those whom you think you already know. It kinda served as an ice breaker before we began the seminar proper. We were 23 more or less.

On The Road to Emmaus

The talk began with a reading from Luke 24 13-35 and it's about the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. This part of the talk is called Lectio Divina. Fr. Ed literally explained everything here using the three elements in analyzing the Word, namely the characters in the story, the setting, and the feelings. The questions he left us were: What is my Jerusalem? What is my Emmaus? Where am I now in my journey? The message for all of us is it is important to know where we are at in our journey, and so after this short discourse we were grouped into 3s to talk among ourselves how the Bible reading applies to us. I liked this part because I was able to share my feelings and listen to others as well.

Lunch time came and we had our "siestas", but I did not stay inside my room; instead, I walked around the vicinity admiring the lush greeneries and tall pine trees that make the perfect ambience for a retreat. I was in the mood for a little contemplation and of course picture taking. I really appreciated the peace and quiet that surrounds me because I love nature. Here are some of the pics I took:

What Is Psychogenetics?

Psychogenetics is a scientific approach to understanding the influence of our parents and ancestors in our adult relationship. We in essence are products of genetics and our environment (nature and nurture). I won't elaborate in detail what Fr. Ed discussed about psychogenetics, but I would like to mention these nuggets of information I took down in order for us to better understand the subject matter:

1. We are a combination of physical traits and personality traits.

2. We absorbed everything that our parents were in their relationship.

3. Attitudes and beliefs, whether positive or negative, are "imprints" lodged in our subconscious mind.

4. We inherit our personality and behavior from our parents; one is dominant, the other is recessive.

5. We are greatly influenced by the way we have witnessed our parents relate to one another.

From the facts stated above, we can arrive at the conclusion that parental influence especially during our formative years (0-10) does have a significant impact on our lives now as adults. People who have had a dysfunctional family are more likely to repeat this pattern in their adult relationships. But the good news according to Fr. Ed is that we "can" do something to change this setup. We are not helpless victims of our circumstances.

Fr. Ed also briefly touched on the common causes of same-sex attraction. Again, I won't enumerate them here, but I just want to mention one particular cause of interest:

"Resultant teasing by peers."

I don't know about you, but I experienced this when I was a kid. I was teased because I was clumsy, weak, sensitive, and "different". I had experienced bullying while growing up and so all the more I distanced myself from people I perceived as threatening, mostly guys. These things flashed back in my memory and so now I am beginning to understand why. I hope to make a separate post on this in the future.

Going back to Psychogenetics, it is important to take note of these facts as well:

+/- transgenerational patterns manifest themselves more clearly in adult behavior especially under stress. When we are stressed, we regress to the child that we were. We act, react, make decisions according to our INNER ADULT (father or mother).

This is where Fr. Ed handed out a Family of Origin Inventory Form for us to discover our Inner Child, Inner Adult, Inner Mate, Inner Parent, and Inner Couple. This is a very enlightening exercise. After doing this activity, we were still discussing this amongst ourselves while having our merienda break. Many realizations and issues came to the fore and surprises as well. It was an exercise in self-discovery and many other realizations followed after this. I suggest you attend the retreat to find out what I'm talking about.

One realization that I also gained from this exercise is that Psychogenetics can be applied to other areas of life like economics for example. Some people find it hard to succeed in life and according to Fr. Ed one reason for this is that he or she has no "model of success" in his or her own family, but again there is a way out of this. Interesting.

Nighttime Activities

Before dinner time, we had a practical application of the principles of Psychogenetics through role playing and the "empty chair technique". Fr. Ed demonstrated this to us by asking one volunteer to speak up about his family issues. One of the brothers volunteered for this activity and he got the chance to be processed by Father. What I learned from this activity is that it is hard to confront our family issues and to replace the "negative imprints" with positive ones. Yes it is not easy but if you have the willingness and self-determination to make things happen, a gradual transformation is very possible.

Dinner time came after this activity.

The last activity for the day was adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We sang songs, we confessed our sins, and offered heartfelt prayers for each and everyone and our loved ones - a special moment reserved for the Lord.

It's crying time.

During this great moment of silence, I begged the Lord for pardon for my many shortcomings especially towards my parents. I made a promise to Him that I shall rise up everytime I fall. I thanked him for the special grace of that moment with my brothers and sisters who like me have also shared and lifted up their burdens and wounds for healing. I think it was the first time I cried in front of the group albeit inside a dark room lighted only by six candles. Nevertheless, I felt great and light afterwards.

After this, we went outside the building and gathered around a small bonfire. Some of us burned personal stuff that reminds us of our bad experiences and sinful past. I didn't throw anything though, but I think it is a liberating experience. Majority of us did not go back to our rooms; instead, we went "somewhere" else to have more bonding activities. This reminded me of my Living Waters experience last year. It was fun!

I took advantage of this time to talk with a "special" friend about personal issues and I'm glad we have settled it once and for all - to separate the whole truth, the half truth, and outright lies circulating around. Ha! I guess you cannot cover lies with petty lies for so long. They will find a way to arrive. It is always better to be truthful and honest.

I slept past 2:30 a.m. in my cold and dark room. Actually, I didn't feel like sleeping yet. I wanted to room hop but I had to sleep because we're just four hours away from our first activity in the morning around 6:30 a.m.

About Gestalt Therapy

I just want to jot down a few notes about Gestalt Therapy:

1. Gestalt therapy deals with WHAT is happening instead of SHOULD BE, COULD BE, WILL BE or WAS. It focuses more on the PROCESS (what is happening) than the CONTENT (what is being discussed).

2. HOW and not WHY is the goal of Gestalt especially for adults.

3. Gestalt gives "awareness" rather than "advice", "choices in life" rather than "chances".

4. Main objectives are self-awareness and taking personal responsibility for all your actions/happiness.

The Morning After

After breakfast we had a brief talk and Fr. Ed introduced us to another exercise called Journey to Childhood in which he asked us to go back in our childhood days and recall the events through guided visual meditation. Some of us narrated their experience and what they saw in front of the class. It was a wonderful time of self-discovery and greater self-awareness.

During this time also, Fr. Ed projected some slides that made us remember our fathers. I was crying buckets of tears in my seat especially when the song Dance With My Father was played. It is a song by the late Luther Vandross and it actually speaks about a child's longing for his deceased father and his love for his mother. I cried not because I long for my dad (he is still alive), but it suddenly hit me that one day it may be all too late for me if I don't start caring for him now, no matter how awkward or difficult it might be for me.

After this, an invited couple spoke to us on how Psychogenetics has helped them deal with their marital issues and family life. Great testimonial. A celebration of the Mass concluded our retreat. Towards the end of the Mass, when we were all singing the classic song If We Hold On Together, I was again fighting back the tears. I'm such a cry baby I know but I knew that at that moment, our bond as brothers and sisters in the group became stronger than ever before. I felt it. Everyone was joyful, not just happy. It was a very successful retreat! Everybody felt loved. There was a renewed sense of hope and brotherhood amongst us. I knew a lasting memory was created. Lunch time followed and a lot of picture taking.

I never wanted to leave the place. I wanted to stay longer, maybe for a week. I wanted to hold on to the euphoria, but I guess some good things never last...

But before I let you go, I want to introduce you to Miggy, our very playful, adorable, and huggable companion during our entire stay.

One Final Note.

Our parents are not perfect. If they have not treated you right, it's because they are wounded too just like you and me. While there is still time, show them love and affection. If you're not ready yet, at least show them respect. That is something every child owes his parents.

Maybe they are just waiting for us to embrace them. Don't waste another moment. Kiss your mom. Embrace your dad. Talk to them. Spend more time with them. Show them care.

Love is a choice. Don't miss the opportunity.

It's all that really matters in the end.