Empty Nest: Both Fun and Awful

I expected that my wife and I have three more months before we have an empty nest. Our older son Ian, who had been living with us for all 26 years of his life, is getting married in December. Perhaps I was just na├»ve enough to think that he would only move out a few … Continue reading Empty Nest: Both Fun and Awful

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Keeping the ‘Pamanhikan’ custom alive

One could argue that pamanhikan is the climax of the Filipino courtship process. The Tagalog definition is this: pamanhikan png. Paghingi ng pahintulot sa magulang ng babae upang makasal na ang magkasintahan. Literally, the word means that a man and his parents "go up the stairs of the house of the man's girlfriend and her … Continue reading Keeping the ‘Pamanhikan’ custom alive

On the verge of hysteria

The English word 'hysteria' comes from the Greek word hystera, which means "uterus." In ancient times, physicians like Hippocrates and Aretaeus believed that a woman's uterus could move out of place and float within the body. So according to ancient Greek cultural beliefs, this "wandering womb" condition led to several illnesses among women such as … Continue reading On the verge of hysteria

A word spoken at the right moment

Last weekend, a member of our church approached me and said, "Pastor, I appreciate so much the last sermon you preached. It helped broaden my understanding of how God wants me to care for missionaries and to be involved in his mission. Thank you very much. I am saying this to encourage you." For sure, … Continue reading A word spoken at the right moment

The Unmasking of the Uncouth Filipino

Last weekend, a missionary couple left the Philippines for good. After more than 27 years of faithful service, they went home to the US. Their lives and ministry have touched hundreds of Filipinos. They adapted well to our culture and had been quick to apologize for any cultural misstep. Over the years, the wife had … Continue reading The Unmasking of the Uncouth Filipino

Neither “Iglesia” nor “Cristo”

My wife and I hosted some Latino friends recently. These are students from Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Chile, and Bonaire. It was their first time in the Philippines and they observed a lot of similarities between the Latino and Filipino cultures. Naturally, they fell in love with our country and our countrymen. One day, as we … Continue reading Neither “Iglesia” nor “Cristo”

Our Knack for Making Bad Things Worse

I love the Philippines. I love my culture. I thank God for making me a Filipino. However, I want to critique one aspect of our culture. I don't know how and when this started, but I have observed that we, Filipinos, have a knack for making bad things worse. Take the traffic situation in our … Continue reading Our Knack for Making Bad Things Worse