Latest Stories


Life and death

All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days passed in relative peace this year. For Catholics, the work for gaining plenary indulgences for the souls of their loved ones through a visit to the cemetery to pray for them continues until Nov. 8.

Death is a daily reality that calls us to reflect some more these days.

Just last week, the death toll in the Oct. 15 Visayas quake rose to 222 according to the latest official count. Most of those who perished were from Bohol province.

Aftershocks persist, reminding authorities and everyone else of the need to be better prepared for tremors.

Drop, take cover and hold must be a standard exercise outside official drills.

Let’s not pass up the chance to be disaster-prepared.

Anticipated to be a super typhoon, Yolanda is expected to hit the Philippines tomorrow or on Friday. We need to prepare not just with prayers but with practical provisions and connectivity to rescue groups.

Nature provided a typhoon preview, so to speak with the damage that a tornado wreaked on Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities Monday night.

We can only heed Mother Earth as she uses her natural, forceful ways to remind us of the preciousness and frailty of our lives.

At the same time, let us remember what Archbishop Palma said of earthquakes is true of other natural calamities.

“We don’t subscribe to ideas that God wants to inflict punishment on us through earthquakes,” said Palma, outgoing president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“This is an imperfect world and there are events and factors that are beyond human understanding.”

Two from the government died of illness on Halloween and All Saints’ Day, respectively: the former chief justice Andres Narvasa and director Rene Burt Llanto of the Department of Science and Technology in Central Visayas.

Narvasa sealed his place in history when he acted as counsel in the Agrava Commission that probed the assassination of the late senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’Aquino Jr., Llanto was known as a dedicated public official who nurtured colleagues and subordinates.

Death is a robber, coming in seemingly natural guises to take away people close to us, or who have done society much good. Death can be savage: 4,900 perished in the flash flood that struck Ormoc City in Leyte province 22 years ago.

Our Filipino sense of faith reaches into the great beyond and encourages us to do our best to work and help and serve in this life, in the hope that we will meet again those who have gone before us, when our turn comes. To paraphrase Rabindranath Tagore, death comes, not to extinguish the light, but to put out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: All Saints Day , All Souls’ Days , editorial , opinion

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace