After all, #LoveWins

This is my take on Manny Pacquiao’s statement on LGBT and the response of notable personalities in our country regarding the issue. I will write this in English and Tagalog, to express myself fully, but I will try to write this just in English. (I will try. HAHA!)

Pacquiao’s statement is clearly a shot to the LGBT community in general and the response for me is normal. It is normal to make a statement out of their belief and it is for me normal to defend if you are offended. What went wrong? It opened a can of worms. It opened a lot of discussions and arguments that leads to all negative and positive responses based on their own personal opinion and everyone else is now either on Manny’s side or the LGBT side. Shouldn’t we just pick between #TeamIronMan or #TeamCap? It makes us, Filipinos, divided with one issue and I even saw on twitter friends unfriending friends in facebook because they are pro-Manny. Isn’t it ironic that we are trying to defend a community here and human rights but we are not uniting? As said in a movie, “The time we finish fighting for each other, that is the time we lose our humanity…”

But let all get things straight. Why the statement is strong: He called (not directly) the LGBT community: “Masahol pa sa hayop”. The statement goes like, wala kang makikitang hayop na nag aano na lalaki sa lalaki tapos babae sa babae, eh kung tao pa kaya, eh di mas masahol pa sa hayop. Why is it so strong? People got offended. LGBT Community got offended and supporters. The reaction was from Vice Ganda, and clearly a statement not just from him, it is reflecting the reaction in their community.

The issue did not end by Manny apologizing and Vice accepting the apology, rather the issue grew bigger and now this is my take as a Catholic, a servant leader, and as an individual. If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and you are seeking for God, as Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Who are we really to judge? The thing about same-sex marriage is that it will lead to different sins. For me, being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender is NOT A SIN. Everyone will be attracted to the same sex at some point in their lives. However, getting in to unity with them, becoming one with the same gender is a different thing. The statement that it is a human right violation would be stupid. Education is a human right so is healthcare, so why are there still people lacking education and is dying because they are not properly taken care of. Back to the topic, If it is a human right, then give it to them. Isn’t it that easy? IT IS A RIGHT. However, marriage rites should not be given. I am not condemning homosexuals, to be honest, they are one of the best people I met, they are the most true. What I don’t like is homosexual acts.

And I will boldly say this, I am against same-sex marriage and I am against Manny Pacquiao as a senator, we do not need a senator that only gives a fuck to the government 4 times a year and in those times, what does he do? Sit. I am not saying that I am anti-LGBT, I am fully with them through the battle of equality and ironic as it is but not for same-sex marriage. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.

Is this the issue that will divide us Filipinos?

Now the challenge for me, and for all of us, is to love. Love even if we do not agree with the opinion of others. Love without reservations. Love even if it means defending your own faith. Love the fullest. Love the hardest. Love should never fail. After all #LoveWins.

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Is it only on Ash Wednesdays?

I tried to be early for the last mass for Ash Wednesday, and yes, I was early but not early to have my own seat. It was like there is some sort of concert and everybody wanted to be in the front or is trying to get a glimpse of what is happening. I was standing. Trying to have a great place to stand, it struck me. Why all of a sudden, there is a massive crowd here at our parish? Why? I too, has a simple answer to my own question: It’s Ash Wednesday. Then another question came to my mind. Why now? It is a question that gave me several realization as I listen to the readings and participate in the Mass.

It came to me that very moment that: One, there are so many Catholic students in the campus and second, they still know or at least participate in this kind of event as a Catholic.

As my eyes wander and see different faces for the first time while I am standing and listening to the sermon, I was just in awe of the number of young people hearing the mass. I have this crazy idea of imagining them raising their hands in worship, then that idea struck me again.

There are many youths that need God and they need God now. Why is that it is so difficult for us, servant leaders, and members of a charismatic community to share God’s word to them? Why is is that it is so difficult that when we conduct youth camps, we expect twenty young people but only five will come but when I was there, standing, there are many youths that know their faith, they just probably need to strengthen it so that there will come a time that churches will be filled not just in Ash Wednesdays or Dawn Masses.

It is a challenge for us, for me, as servant leaders that at some point in time, in the near future, all youths will be raising their hands in worship, kneeling and bowing down before Christ. The fact that there are times that out parish can be filled by such crowd even just this Ash Wednesday, there is hope. There is hope that someday churches will be filled by young people everyday.