“Never ignore a person who loves you, cares for you, and misses you, because one day, you might wake up and realize you lost the moon while counting the stars.”—Unified Soul
This week of my birthday was a hectic blur of loving greetings from friends and family. And two blessed days of prayers and bonding with my Mission Angels family and our spiritual mentor, Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD in Bella Vista.
We, Ditas Lerma and her son Francis, Lalin Basilio, Nits and Dik Trofeo, Nene Bartolome went up for a mini-retreat with Fr. Jerry. We had a family rosary, reflections, and a mass. The next day Chito Basilio joined us and Fr. Jerry again celebrated Ash Wednesday mass and heard our confessions.
We also planned our traditional Family Recollection at the Meralco Theater on Palm Sunday, April 9, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme will be “That All May be One” and will have inspirational music from the Oasis of Love, Cocoy Laurel and Friends, The Angelos third Gen led by founder George Tagle, (it’s a classic pop group and Aliw Hall of Famer) the SVD choir, sharers, and a special guest homilist priest. Books by Fr. Jerry and Fr. Fernando Suarez will be sold for the missions at the entrance before and after the recollection. Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. And PTV-4 will broadcast the entire recollection live starting at 9 a.m. Entrance is free. Gates open at 7 p.m. And there will be confessions before the recollection.
Fr. Jerry also took us down Ligaya Drive to Talisay to Palm Ridge to see the spot where he envisions a spiritual sanctuary for priests and lay people can rise on a donated property. He blessed the slope where the sanctuary will rise and we all pray his vision will be realized.
“If the Lord wills it, it will materialize.” Fr. Jerry said to us.
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PAGCOR’s new chairman Andrea “Didi” Domingo does not gamble but she now knows the ins and outs of the complex gaming industry. After receiving the appointment from President Duterte (totally unexpected, Didi assured us) to head the third biggest revenue-generating agency of government, she researched, read books, asked questions, and researched some more into the intricacies of how PAGCOR operates and earns money for government.
Her marching order was simple and direct—“Follow the law.” The mandate for the former Pampanga congresswoman, head of the Public Estates Authority and Bureau of Immigration was not surprising, she noted, knowing of Duterte’s aversion to corruption. Having been out of government for a long time (her personal integrity intact), she had to get into the mindset of being a public servant again.
When she comes home at night she studies more papers from her office. PAGCOR’s mandate to remit the right amount of taxes to the government, contribute to the PSC, help the poor, do their corporate undertakings like feeding school children, building schools, now include compensating those who were jailed without due process and found not guilty.
Andrea happily told our Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel forum that PAGCOR contributed some R55 billion a whooping 16.72 increase from last year. And she intends to make sure that these funds go to projects that enrich people’s lives. She also talked about implementing more strictly the rules that cover gambling addiction—from teaching their casino staff to spot those who are already hopelessly addicted and to ban them from the premises, to heeding information from their families.
She has abandoned painting for now, but hopes she can go back to it later, and also her cherished antiques stores in Intramuros. But she still manages to de-stress with ballroom dancing at least twice a week with her husband in Pampanga. (mb.com.ph)