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TIMESMAN | “Eat meat..,” Pope says

AN afterthought on Saint Valentine’s Day celebration! It’s unfair to Saint Valentine, the Roman saint that inspired Valentine’s Day, if I will not admit that it’s no longer in my vocabulary to celebrate lovers’ day after the death of my beloved wife Virgie 10 years ago.

What is there to celebrate when I remained single since her demise? I let the heart day pass by like an ordinary day, no text messages and personal greetings of love to lovers and friends who observed Valentine’s Day the past decades.

Nasanay na akong matulog mag-isa sa madilim at malamig na gabi in my room after spending the day as a pensioner and retiree in the house doing nothing 24/7 but eat, eat, and then eat… Sit in front of the television set to listen to our comedians in Congress.

Frankly, I really enjoyed seeing our politicians of today acting like comedians in their barong and suits. Eat Bulaga should hire them. We can’t blame ex-president Digong after-all when he called Congress “Bulok”.

At kapag nagsawa na sa kanilang antic, I switched to Netflix movies or YouTube for music. Madalas, if Jin Lorenz is in town, we go out for short dinner either at popular Swiss, Chinese, Japanese or Pinoy cuisines in our district.

I did not look for a partner now, not because my children were opposed to it as I’m “too old” kuno for that at 74 then, but because I realized that after 46 years as a married man and now 10 years living alone with just happy memories of her, seeking another companion for pleasure is no longer in mind. I fulfilled my dreams of a lifetime and is an accomplished father to my family, anyway.

Pope Frances in his Lenten Season message included “pleasure” as among those we should enjoy aside from eating meat and drink during the observance. In my understanding, the word means (without malice) things that couples are doing in bed!

Age, I didn’t consider it a disadvantage if I ignored my children and instead listened to my heart. As we all know age is only in number. Italian actor Al Pacino is a living example of being mahilig who admitted in public that he fathered a child of a non showbiz 28-year-old partner although he is now 83.
Maswerteng bata, may daddy na, may lolo pa!


Catholic men, women, and children in the country like ours were told to refrain from eating meat during the Lenten Season in which many among us blindly practiced since time immemorial. Those who did not listen committed sins, they say.

But in a recent message of Pope Francis for the Lenten Season, the pope contradicted the old-age belief by telling the people:

“Eat whatever you want to eat. The sacrifice is not in the heart but in the stomach. They refrain from eating meat, but don’t talk to their siblings or relatives, don’t visit their parents or bother them to attend to them. Don’t share food with the needy, forbid children to see their father, forbid grandparents to see their grandchildren, criticize other people’s lives, beat their wife, etc…”
Our elders also made us believe that during this weeklong observance that the “Christ is suffering and died on the Cross” we must refrain from eating food, drink and pleasure, and worse, even taking a bath on Black Friday.

But Pope Francis said “A good barbeque or beef stew won’t make you a bad person, just like a fish fillet won’t turn you a saint. Better seek a better relationship with God. Let’s be less arrogant and more humble at heart.”

Imagine my readers. Since the beginning many of us listened and were forced to believe what the church dogma on the don’ts and do’s in Lenten Season. But now no less than the Holy Father corrected what they told us not to do and said “The sacrifice is not in the heart but in the stomach.”

Dahil sa ganitong pabago-bagong ginagawa ng tao sa mga salita ng Diyos, marami ang humihiwalay sa dating paniniwala at nagtayo ng sariling religious organizations not for spiritual gain but for financial interest. One of them is this controversial pastor now in hiding to save his neck.
Beginning this day, I will no longer argue with my non Catholic kasambahay who was prohibited by her church from eating pork but eats dinuguan just the same.

“Sir, mahirap lang po ako at kahit bawal kakainin ko basta’t hindi lamang magutom,” she said.
My kasambahay speaks of Pope Francis’ words.


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