Summertime | Inquirer News


/ 06:32 AM April 20, 2012

This week opened with the Feast of the Divine Mercy observed on the first Sunday after Easter, known as Divine Mercy Sunday. This special devotion to the mercy of God emanated from the diary of Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a young Polish nun, who wrote about it in obedience to her spiritual director. Her diary of some 600 pages recorded the revelations she was receiving about God’s mercy.

She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 18, 1993 and then canonized on April 30, 2000 as the first saint of the Great Jubilee Year. The portrait of the Divine Mercy shows Jesus with twin rays of red and gold streaming out from His heart and the prayer at His feet, “Jesus, I Trust in You.” The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is usually prayed or chanted, afternoons at 3 p.m.

How truly we need His Divine Mercy to sustain us through these trying days, weeks, and months of disaster and tragedy, unsettling political developments in a pre-election year, intranational and national conflicts, and searing summer heat and environmental developments. Certainly, no “Summertime when the livin’ is easy,” as the song goes, what with our, and international, finances certainly not at all “easy,” and the current crisis in available jobs, particularly with the influx of this year’s graduates and new professionals.


Meanwhile, let us not deny the youth their summer vacations and outings between school years or after graduation and before their job hunting. Nor envy those better off in life the luxury of socials and out-of-town or -country trips. Surprisingly, many of them are quietly involved in pursuits for the betterment of the less fortunate, so God bless them!


As are a couple of girls’ and women’s groups I am thankful to be involved with. For one, last April 9th, our Cebu Council of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) held our 2012 Annual Council Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Grand Convention Center. It was an impressive gathering of our girls and women in green (in our official uniforms), as well as gentlemen among our board members, members-at-large, and guests.

After a welcome message from executive director Jo An Jayme, council president Amelia de Pio delivered her president’s report with acknowledgement and thanks for fhe council’s successful cooperation and achievements during her triennium of service, after which she turned it over to the new officers and members for the next triennium. This was followed by Council Secretary Anita Abapo’s treasurer’s report.

In an inspirational talk on the “Women’s Role in Nation-Building” by special guest Mrs. Leah Apao, education program supervisor, training and developement division of the Department of Education Region VII, she spoke on the DepEd vision that “by 2030, DepEd would be globally recognized for good governance, developing functionally literate individuals and God-loving Filipinos.” This was particularly relevant since our young Girl Scouts are students in public and private schools in Cebu led and trained by their teachers working with and in cooperation with their DepEd superiors and officials.

This was followed by achievement awards given out for membership, badgework, camping, training, and finance and NES Sales; and the awarding of Outstanding Troop Leader for 2011-2012. Newly elected council board members and officers for 2012- 2015 were then sworn in. Finally, service awards given were bronze, silver, gold, jade, crystal, garnet. Amethyst, pearl, coral and trefoil breast in bronze, silver and gold. It was a truly fruitful and successful past triennium!

Then last April 14th, we held our monthly Women’s Kapihan which I host at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on radio dyLA. Organized by Legal Alternatives for Women (LAW) Center Inc. and Cebu Women’s Newtwork (CWN), we had a very interesting and timely topic for discussion by our panel of CWN officers and board and CWN members: “Sextortion” The term describes “abuse of power or authority or sexual exploitation.” The Urban Dictionary defies it as “the use of guilt, power or knowledge of certain secrecy to force another person into having sex or performing sexual favors.” And loosely defined, it is “the practice of using intimate information to elicit more explicit photos or videos”, or “to coerce the victim into engaging in unwanted sexual acts.” It is not a new law… it is only a term. (Source: “Partners in Law”- CCTN-TV, March 28, 2012.)

Our guest, Judge Jocelyn Po of the Municipal Trial Court of Consolacion cited many cases in her court brought up by women victims now aware of their rights. Panel members involved in women’s rights had much to contribute to the spirited discussion. Chairperson Thelma Chiong, whose activism in women’s rights started after her two daughters were tragic victims, and she secured the conviction of the five young men responsible, and then the Ecleo case which ended in his conviction this week, if in absencia, finally after 10 long years, because he is nowhere to be found. Secretary Portia Dacalos, a UP Cebu guidance counselor who works with young students; Auditor Fe Cabatingan, a DSWD retiree whose work involved many women victims; and board member Elsa Basanes.


Another women’s organization I belong to is Zonta Club of Cebu I whose monthly general meeting we held yesterday. Details on this next week.

On Sunday the 22nd, Earth Day, community, civic, religious, and government groups, and organizations, as well as commercial establishments, will be engaged in various Go Green, Tree Planting and Conserve Energy activities, among others. These, as well as forthcoming historical commemorations and festivals will provide for a colorful report next week.

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Till then, as always, may God continue to bless us, one and all!

TAGS: Divine Mercy

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