Sunday, December 23, 2007

The CHRISTmas Message

Merry CHRISTMAS to all, and my wishes for God's blessings to you and your loved ones in the coming New Year. As you all may have noticed, in honor of the season celebrating Jesus' birth, I have tried to be still and refrain myself from making any offensive entries. I have even delayed the conclusion of the What's In A Name essay. I'm saddened to note that the other side seems to feel no qualms about it. Here at the blog, I am guessing (with profound sadness) that it will be business as usual for us after the new year.

I bid you all to take this time to remember what CHRISTmas is truly is about, and honor the birth of He who gave his life for all of us. CHRISTmas is that much too short span of time when I try even harder to be that ideal person that I would like to be, every day of the year, and every year of my life. In following Jesus Christ's example, let us practice honesty, forgiveness, restraint, peace, understanding, and most of all, LOVE. No bible passages, no readings, no gospel quotes; just that simple message that I believe God would like us all to embody.

Many, many thanks to all who have helped us fight the good fight from the beginning, and those who supported CFC in this year of crisis.

My love to all of CFC, and see you all in 2008.


Take it easy on the Lechon! =) You all know what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mad World

Not quite CFC related, but I think it's something to think about this CHRISTmas time. The song, Mad World, originally by Tears for Fears, used to make me bob my head in tune with it. This rendition by Gary Jules now brings tears to my eyes. The youtube video shows us some interesting ratios in representing the entire Earth's population in just 100 people. Please watch it:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Music of Hope - A Mini-Review

In a previous entry, I had invited you all to support the 29AD band in their benefit concert for the HO. Those attended the Music of Hope event were treated to a wonderful show. I personally came away from it quite impressed with the assembled talents of all the performers. All in all, it was a very well put together show, from the front acts to the extremely funny hosts. It was well worth the money, especially considering it was something meant to benefit the HO and not the performers who gave it their all.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting something so well put together, having been jaded by some big name commercial events I've been to that was sadly lacking in coordination and sometimes...talent. This was not the case here. In fact, for such an assembly of acts and talents, I would have gladly paid double for my ticket. It was THAT GOOD.

However, there are a few things I feel I have to relate to you all. I am not the type to sugar coat anything, and I hope no one takes what I have to say personally. I have no wish to offend or discourage anybody involved in its production, least of all the awesome talents who took the stage and I was privileged to witness. First off, it was COLD. The Arena was a great venue for this event, no doubt, but somebody from the North Pole had control of the A/C! I was looking around half expecting to see the big guy in his red suit and bag of gifts. People around me were shivering in their seats. I personally am used to cold weather but this was a bit much. More than a few people left intermittently to warm themselves outside. I actually forgot I was in the Philippines for a couple of hours, half expecting to see snow piled up on the parking lot outside. I jest, but you get the picture. It seemed to me that the temperature in the Arena contributed to an early exit by some of those in attendance. When you attend an event to watch people perform, you really don't want to have your attention diverted by outside influences, in this case, the temperature. Next, in retrospect, maybe this event should not have been held on a Friday. The traffic was unbearably bad, especially in that area. It might have turned off some people, and I noticed that in the turnout. Considering the caliber of the acts and assembled talents, I really expected more people to attend. I am glad for those who did, but I had personally wanted to see more people there. I know it's the season and all, I know all about the traffic, and I do know that we have been giving a lot for the community, but this was a show well worth the drive, the money, and the time. I can't express that enough. I had a great time! I hope you don't miss the next concert, I am quite sure it will be just as good.

To those who made it, thank you! To those who missed's a little video of the highlights sent in by one of our blogger friends. Forgive the bad editing, this is my first time using Microsoft's Movie Maker, hehe. There were a couple of pictures sent in too, I hope those of you who took pictures can send me some so that I can add it here and to our Flickr site.

Some pics:

The 5 Bars (previously 4, hehe)

Kenosis Band

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One Time Big Time


The campaign to put our house in order is in full swing!

Download the PDF HERE.
(I'm testing out a new file storage service, please give me feedback if you have the time. Thanks!)

This will reportedly get daily updates as the fund drive progresses. Here's the first update as I received it in my email. At the end of it, if someone from The Center doesn't compile it I'll go ahead and create a pdf document that has all the pages.

Bulletin No. 1, Dec. 12, 2007

Bulletin No. 2, Dec. 13, 2007

Bulletin No. 3, Dec. 14, 2007

Bulletin No. 4, Dec. 17, 2007

Bulletin No. 5, Dec. 18, 2007
Bulletin No. 6, Dec. 19, 2007

I've received a note from George Asensi with an explanation about the format of Bulletin Nos 5 & 6. Their scanner has bogged down and these bulletins don't have his signature, but rest assured they are genuine.

Bulletin No. 7, Dec. 20, 2007

Bulletin No. 8, Dec. 21, 2007

Bulletin No. 9, Dec. 27, 2007

Bulletin No. 10, Dec. 28, 2007

Bulletin No. 11, Dec. 29, 2007

Bulletin No. 12, Jan. 2, 2008

Bulletin No. 13, Jan. 3, 2008

Bulletin No. 14, Jan. 4, 2008

Bulletin No. 15, Jan. 11, 2008* * *

I keep assuming the campaign to be over, hehe. It is still going strong, and believe it or not, we're halfway there! Lets keep this up, friends!

Here's a short message from George Asensi:

dear everyone, the Araneta conference and the 2 other conferences that followed, together with the full to capacity MC gathering last night were indeed awe-inspiring, uplifting, life-giving and truly Spirit-filled for us in Couples for Christ. we were waylaid for a while, but, now we are back in solid footing in metro manila, the entire philippines and abroad. we now move on.... let us not fail our AWESOME GOD! we are now over the half-way mark of our OTBT target. if we can accumulate the same amount in less than 5 months the same amount we were able to amass in less than a month, then we will be truly debt-free on the day we celebrate our 27th Anniversary at the Luneta in June. share your passion & love for community and to the Lord to the other brethren who have not heard yet of this campaign. or if the Lord is prodding you to be more generous still, go ahead, remit now! attached is the latest bulletin. i will be coming out with weekly bulletins to update you. God bless you all always! in the Lord's service, george
* * *
The Campaign Continues:

Bulletin No. 16, Jan. 18, 2008

Bulletin No. 17, Jan. 25, 2008

Bulletin No. 18, Feb.1, 2008
A note from George Re: Bulletin #18:
This report covers the period from when we started the campaign up to today which is exactly 52 days. from a high of almost P20M, our debt is now down to only a little over P7M. that is about a third of the original obligations and in less than two months! how can you beat that?

if we push a little harder, let us wipe out, first, the P4.1M bank loans and, second, let us ask bridge-fund lenders to waive collections of their loans to the community. i have the list of these brothers and sisters. if you are one of them, please call me on my mobile phone 0920.9509039 or office landline at 727.9618.

in due time, we would be a debt-free CFC as we celebrate our 27th anniversary in june.

God is good, all the time!

George Asensi

Bulletin No. 19, Feb.8, 2008

Bulletin No. 20, Feb.15, 2008

Comparative Report, Feb.22, 2008

dear brethren,
in lieu of the weekly bulletins that i previously issued, we are giving you instead the current loan balances (with comparative figures). these are based from the records of our accounting department. and you can be sure that the diminishing balances are because of your financial generosity.
we are almost there. we are just a little over P3M in our bank loans as of month end of February. we will be making additional payments soon. it won't be long now.
so, come on..... share those blessings! you know how God has blessed you brethren. show your love for God and community more concretely.
God bless you all!
in the Lord's service,

* * *
I am sure I don't have to reiterate, this is the best time and the best way to show our support and love for CFC. Let us ALL help put our house in order.

I've added a song in the player that I especially liked from the movie, Enchanted. I think it is kind of fitting.

* * *

Update from George, May 6, 2008

RCBC - P 600,000.00

Bridge Fund - 1,627,000.00


P 2,227,000.00

We only have about P30,000 of OTBT funds after we made our last payment to the bank. Thus, we still need around P570,000.00 to completely wipe off the bank loans. As to the bridge funding, we continue to call on the lenders to waive collections over them and if they really want payments, then they will have to wait a little while.

In any case, consider that we only have about 1/10 (~10%) of the original debt we were left with! Great Job EVERYONE!

OTBT has shown that we all can step up when called upon. While the goal was not met in pesos....YET, it definitely was in spirit. Even through the budget crunches of the season, we collectively were able to raise a huge amount in support of something we believe and have faith in. While I certainly don't speak for the Council, I am quite certain they'd like to thank each and every one of you personally for the trust you've given to fulfill the task they've given themselves to better serve all of you. Let us now continue helping them to set our house in order and start the new year right with the Lord's graces.

The following is a short Q & A based on some of the feedback you've given regarding the OTBT campaign.

Download the PDF file HERE.

Update June 11, 2008 From George Asensi:

As of today, our loan with RCBC still has an outstanding balance of P300,000.00, but, we have at least P60,000 from the OTBT contributions that we can use to pay. Thus, it would seem that we are not yet entirely debt-free as of today. We still need some P240,000.00 yet. Also, there is still a balance of P1.187M of the bridge funds. Of this, P715,000 is due to brethren who have aligned themselves with FFL and some P472,000 from CFC brethren who have not signified waiving collection of their advances.

The accounting department now has the responsibility to account for OTBT contributions. This responsibility was taken away from me to avoid conflict in our figures. Once a month, I am away from the office because of my assignment as PAH of Catanduanes, thus, i will miss at least a week of monitoring funds coming in. The department should be able to account if asked to because they have all the records with them. The loan figures I am giving out also come from the accounting department thru tita Norma Gabutina, Accounting Dept. head.

I am sure we will be able to wipe out our RCBC outstanding loan before June 21.

* * *

I believe we can all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Let us now look ahead to the years to come of transparency, fiscal soundness, and honest accounting. I for one am expecting it, and I believe this welcome change will be a very, very good thing.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Season For Giving

Friends, here's another worthwhile cause for the season. Let us support the Tekton Guild in their fund-raiser for Gawad Kabuhayan, their micro-enterprise development program.

To quote their email to me:

These are not ordinary greeting cards. Each card comes with a personal accident insurance for Php 10,000. The cards cost Php 40 each, or Php 200 per pack of 5's. I have announced this to the MCG so this is just a friendly reminder to those who might have forgotten about this yuletide offering.
Thanks very much! This will greatly help us in raising more resources for our values formation training, microfinance, skills training, technical training, and enterprise development activities.

Lets make this CHRISTmas a merry and Holy one for all!

A Little Reminder

Hello everyone!

Please be informed that Cardinal Rosales will be our guest at our Mission Core Teaching Night on Tuesday, December 11 at the Xavier School Gym.

Let us all be there. Please pass this message on to every MC member that you know. This is our last teaching night for the year 2007.

God bless us all.

Ugnayan Multimedia Center

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oh Happy Day!


More photos here, I'll be adding to them as I receive more.

Direct link:

It is with great excitement that I invite you all to a grand CFC gathering to be held at the Ultra Stadium on December 2, 2007:

I believe that this is just the medicine that CFC needs; fancy footwork, colored lights, and UNITY. It is very, very exciting news and I hope that every one of the readers of this blog makes it a point to be a part of it. Please forward this to all you know and get your dancing shoes ready. =)

Who knows, maybe we'll see each other there?


I made this entry the first ever resident of the new "Events and Announcements" section on the right side over there -->

Friday, November 30, 2007

It Just Keeps Getting Better

UPDATE: Date and Venue Changed.

Friends, lets us support Kenosis in their own benefit concert for the Home Office, appropriately titled "For All You've Done", to be held at 8PM on Dec. 19, 2007 at Pearl Hall, SEAMEO-Innotech, Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City. It is sure to be a fun filled evening full of God, music, praise, and best of all brotherhood (and sisterhood of course!).

This is also a reminder that A Time To Dance is only a couple of days away! I personally can't wait until we can all dance together in an awe inspiring show of Love and Unity.

See you ALL there!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crisis in Makati

There appears to be a new attempt to bring about a military coup being staged at the Peninsula Manila in Makati. It has garnered support from some civil society groups as well as some bishops, but I am hoping that it ends peacefully.

Here is a prayer from Joe Tale, please help me get it out to as many friends and family as you can.
Heavenly Father, our country is against facing a great trial.
We implore Your divine intervention and bless our country with peace.
We pray that the incident in Makati end without bloodshed.
Please heal our land and grant us peace.

I will keep my opinions on Trillanes and co. to myself, but in the spirit of the season, I hope they find their senses soon. Seems somebody's always calling for people to join them, sometimes resorting to desperate measures. =)



GMA: Ma-coup-lit talaga itong si Trillanes!


The siege ends bloodlessly, thank God.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turn On Your Speakers!

I've activated a music playlist for the blog in anticipation of all the dancing and singing on Dec. 2. Since I'm a fan of 80's music (age give away!) the first song is a track from that decade that I find relevant to our issues today. The rest are CHRISTmas songs, and I'm still trying to see if I can upload our own CFC songs so it will play on there.



Might I request our band friends (29AD and the others) to maybe send me an mp3 of of their songs so I can try and play it here?

Trials, Tribulations and the Beauty of it All

Those who attended the MCG Teaching Night on Nov. 20, 2007 had the privilege to listen to Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III in his talk about the cross and the blessing of having a burden to carry. As CBCP Media Office Director, he said he was supposed to talk about the media and its role in the church, but he changed his mind after hearing some of what was discussed that night. It was a very enlightening talk and I for one came out of it very encouraged and refreshed. In fact, it was right after that I conceived of the "What's In A Name" entry.

Someone sent me the file of his talk that night and I'd like to share it with you all. I hope you all give it a listen and I'd love to hear your feedback.

Listen or Download it HERE.

Direct link:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wikipedia Edit Alert

Hey Jed, I think you're the unofficial overseer of the CFC wikipedia entry, I thought you may want to take a look at it now.

Someone from the FFL is at it again. The term "edit war" is in the discussion section, and this one has all the signs of malicious editing, considering most of the links are FFL related now the entry seems to insist that the Couples for Christ is made up of two groups now.

When will this end? Oh I don't know, they already have their two different entries but they still feel the need keep re-editing the official CFC one.


Looks like it is fixed. Thanks to whoever was responsible.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What’s in a Name? Pt. 1

Just a reminder, this article has many clickable embedded links that are in blue. Don't forget to click on them as they help explain certain terms and statements.

There have been many things said in the offensive and defensive salvos of the unending name game between the CFC and the FFL. The fight for the use of the CFC name has taken its toll on both sides, pitting brother against brother and even dragging Bishops into the fray. It leads me to ask, both rhetorically and literally; what exactly is the big deal?

Let us start with the obvious:

The Recognition.

Recognition can mean several things in this matter. First, we have the “brand recognition”, and yes, that’s a marketing term. Why is it important? For starters, the name Couples for Christ and its accompanying acronym CFC is in itself a brand that has had many years of development and exposure to the “market”. It is now a term that is recognizable throughout the Philippines and in many other countries around the world. It carries with it the esteem, respect, and spirituality that Couples for Christ members take a certain amount of pride in. Simply put, as a rallying point of something that is now more than just an evangelical movement, it is a brand name worth the fight. For the FFL to start fresh without taking with it the CFC brand name, it would mean having to recruit anew, form new bylaws, create new organizational rules and tithing structures, and then asking for the recognition in all the dioceses and parishes that CFC already currently enjoys. Truth be told, it can be done…but it is much, much easier to hit the ground running, and that’s what the FFL is attempting to do.

Why start from scratch when there is a pot for the taking?

Taking into account that in all respects, the FFL is now a separate entity, it was imperative for them to create its own brand and identity from a business decision standpoint. Imagine, you’ve already started a new corporation; it would be anti-productive to not support it with a brand/logo, since that is what people will be relating you to, both visually and subconsciously. However, they tried to do that while still relating themselves to the CFC brand (remember the “banana split” argument?). While it might have been a practical business decision, it may also have been a tactical error. Because in incorporating (or attempting to at least, as far as I know, the application has not been dropped), the real motivation beyond the supposed restoration movement was revealed. A drive or movement to restore an organization's charism did not need an SEC approved corporate filing. Only businesses need that. Once an SEC approved identity was filed for, the so called restoration movement became a business, non-profit or otherwise. You can’t get any more legalistic than that.

Then there is the Vatican Decree. Frank Padilla would like us to believe that this recognition was granted to him as the keeper of CFC’s charism. While it may have been his name that appears on the document, that recognition was not given to one man, it was given as an official recognizance to a body of people involved in a Catholic, spiritual, and evangelical movement who have shown themselves worthy of a Vatican acknowledgement. In other words, the recognition was given to us, and us as a group, are known as Couples for Christ. I quote the decree, "...a private international association of the faithful". Frank Padilla by himself, even with all the books, documents, CLP manuals - everything, could not have been given that recognition without the whole body made up of Couples for Christ members. If that had been possible, then it would have been an easy task for Frank and his seeming familiarity with the Vatican to just approach them again and ask for the FFL to be recognized. I am not the foremost expert on how one asks for such a thing as a Vatican Decree, but I am assuming that if it had been something easily done, Frank would have already asked for it. It would have saved both groups a lot of grief, and kept this internal battle from simmering out in the open. To put this Decree in a different perspective, for instance if it was the American Declaration of Independence, one signed by several historical notables, including say, Benjamin Franklin. If Mr. Franklin and a few other signatories had decided that they’ve had enough of the United States because it was veering away from their ideals, and packed up to move to Mexico, would that mean that Mexico will be a part of the United States and now shares its independence and rights? ¡Andale!

On Intents and Purposes

I would like to believe that Frank Padilla meant well when he formed the FFL. Actually, I am quite sure that we’d all like to believe that. IF a restoration was the true motivational factor in the formation of the FFL, then why the need for the new corporation? Why the new office? Isn’t the cult of personality that is Frank Padilla strong enough to create the catalyst within the community that supports his movement to restore the CFC’s supposedly lost charism? A true movement would have started at the grassroots level, where the charism is most felt. It doesn’t happen in a leadership flight. If there truly was a problem in the community, its leaders are the ones we look to for guidance, support, and most of all, stability. They are the ones to help show us how to bear the burden of veering away, who will demonstrate strength in confronting the problem head on, and guide us back towards the right path. A community will always have its trials and problems, but as the CBCP Media Office Director, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III said in his talk at the MCG Teaching Night this past Tue, Nov. 20, 2007, “Binigyan kayo ng problema, simpleng problema, nag alisan na kayo. Wala pa ngang isang taon.

Motives are suspect when activities and actions revolve around the recruitment of another existing organization's members and their accompanying tithes (sometimes under false pretenses). The use of the CFC name can mislead innocent community members into joining the new group, since hey, it’s still the CFC. But it belies a malicious intent, since there is no possible way that a systematic and methodical disruption of an organization’s affairs can be for the greater good. What exactly did Frank and Co. hope to accomplish by recruiting CFC members to his new group? Did they actually believe that CFC will just keep on humming along and not be hard pressed to operate after taking that loss in membership and income? Did he care about what was to become of CFC if he succeeds in taking enough of its members to spell its downfall? What about its remaining members? It almost seems as if he subscribes to the belief that states, "If you are not with us, then you are against us." This utter lack of concern for the wellbeing of the organization and its members that he abandoned belies another very human motive that was terribly apparent to those who’ve heard or seen Frank’s talks where he angrily outlined the supposed issues in CFC; it starts with a V and ends with ETTA.

End of Part 1

Part 2 is HERE.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A United Front

If you ask me, I'd have to say that the CFC International Council has weathered this storm like the true captains of this great ship of ours. They have displayed great restraint, dignity, and resolve in steering us through this crisis to ensure that the CFC community emerges from its trials and lamentations intact and full of renewed faith. It was no small task, in fact I saw it as something almost too daunting to take on.

It is in this spirit that I'd like all of you to help me HELP THEM. I know you all have done your part to contribute to the community, in helping spread the truth, and keeping the faith that we'll get through this crisis, but for the Home Office, the troubles are not over. For those who attended this past MC Teaching Night and was able to see the presentation on the current financials, it is no secret that our tithes have not equaled their overhead costs. The HO has done its part in massively cutting down its expenses, but with the decline in tithes brought on by the exodus of some of our members to the FFL, it has not been quite enough. So, I'm asking you all to show join me in showing our appreciation for a job well done to the IC and the whole HO staff, from the ftw's to the volunteers. Every little bit counts, and each will represent a small but important part of a solid and UNITED FRONT.

Some have already started on their own, our friends, the musicionaries from the 29AD band are putting together a benefit concert for the HO and the ftw's. Here's their invite:

Music of Hope

When: December 14, 2007, Friday, 6:30 in the evening

Where: The Arena, San Juan City

Help our CFC home office and full-time workers. Experience a night of music, dance and praise with the 29AD, Kenosis, Central-C Band, Rene Henson and the 4Bars.
Ask your household heads. Bring your whole family, neighbors, officemates, classmates, and friends!
Help us find sponsors too!
As the song goes --- why don't you give love on Christmas day!
Tickets available at the CFC Center and at the gates.
Ticket prices
Court Seat @ P200
Ring Side @P150
Lower Box @P100
Upper Box @P50
Contact Phil de Guzman thru mobile number 0922-8149446 / 0919-5536753 or landline number 727-9607 or Gina Nagrampa at landline number 727-0682 to 87 loc. 37.
God loves you! God bless you!
and the flyer:

UPDATE: A video trailer!

It will no doubt be a very entertaining evening, and I enjoin you all to invite not just fellow CFC'ers, but ALL your friends and family. Hindi naman kayo ipapahiya ng 29AD, hehe. I'll be posting this invite and the link to the invitation in their very own blog (please comment on their blog too to show our wholehearted support) in our E&A section, as well as reminding you all a few days before the event. Matagal pa kasi eh, baka makalimutan nyo. =)

As for the rest of us? Well, if there was ever a time that CFC needed each and every one of us, it is now. I'll see you all on Dec. 2, and you can bet I'll be paying double for my ticket. It's the least I can do.

Don't Panic!

It's still the same blog, I'm just trying out a new layout, something a bit more festive in anticipation of our big day on Dec 2.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It's about time.

Download the PDF version HERE.

To give this statement even bigger teeth, here are the first couple of pages of the FFL's bylaws:

Just so they can stop denying they've got a legitimate corporation (or at least are trying to set up one) trying to usurp the identity of another.

Download all the pages (6) HERE.

I would like to give a big THANK YOU message to all the diligent "field reporters" who constantly supply me with information and news to share with the rest of you here. This blog will not be as effective without all your help. You know who you all are and you have my utmost gratitude.

Also, on all this talk of "demolition jobs" and anatomies, I believe the correct term is self-destruction. There's usually a red button for that, in this case I think it's shaped like a trumpet.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I would guess there are two ways to look at this picture:

1. Mr. Frank Padilla of the FFL is speaking as a guest of CFC Batangas at their 20th anniversary celebration.

2. I don't want to speculate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


As a follow up to the previous entry on the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia's statement, here is a Resolution from the Archdiocese of Nairobi represented by Cardinal Napier:

Mini Update: I was corrected by a reader who told me that this "...resolution of the African Clergy is a joint resolution penned in Nairobi with His Lordship David Kamau Ng'ang'a, Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi, and His Eminence Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, Cardinal of South Africa, as principal signatories and the various clergy representatives in the region."

Thanks for the correction and God bless!

Also, to clarify for some of those who had a less than pleasant reaction to the photos of the vehicle with both the CFC and FFL stickers, please remember it was a tongue in cheek entry. Note my own line:

"Actually, it's really nothing, I just found the stickers on the car interesting. "

I wasn't taking it THAT seriously. It just helped to illustrate the main topic of the post which is Allegiance.

Moving on, I bet you're all wondering how the word forbearance can have any relevance in this blog entry. It actually has to do with the reaction of the FFL leadership to what has happened in Africa. It took a lot of introspection for me to even think about posting these emails, and I agonized over it for a while until I felt I was justified. There are 2 emails, and this is the first:

From: manny hermano <>
To: Frank Padilla <>; Frank Padilla <>; "Oscar L. Contreras, Jr." <>; Maria Isabel Fara Descallar <>; Jack Burgoyne (Private) <>; Mimi David <>
Cc: Nani Almanza ; "CFC_NC_Andrews, Edwin/Nila" <>; "CFC-Texas"; ado paglinawan <>; Joe de Leon <>; IMC_Manaloto_Ray (H) <>; Orland Dizon <>; Orland Dizon <>; Rodolfo Borja <>; Ruben Coson <>; Renato Garcia <>; Leo and Doris de Vela <>; "Moso, Edgardo" <>; Ricardo Dimalanta <>; Gil San Miguel <>; Herman Justin <>; junjun cecile samalio <>; danny beth sardon <>; renan perla garcia <>; jomar jane manalo <>; john kristine llena <>; cesar naty azcueta <>; Leopoldo Villaruz <>; Tim and Lita Q <>; Bong Sabolboro <>; Reglita P. Laput <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 2:23:30 AM
Subject: CFC-IC Actions - Is it Christian or even Warranted?

Dear Brethren,

As you know the work of evangelization and family renewal still has a long way to go in the areas where there is CFC. And there are many more countries where CFC has not made any inroads. Even before the split in CFC, we had not even began to scratch the surface in the massive work of global evangelization. When the split happened, we were trying to understand the Lord's will and we looked at the example of Paul and Barnabas when they went separate ways and actually hastened the explosive spread of Christianity. So we thought that the 2 groups now of CFC - the CFC headed by Joe Tale and the IC, and the CFC-FFL led by Frank Padilla would accelerate the evangelistic work of CFC as we work side by side with honor and respect. In fact, even from the beginning of the split and as late as 2 weeks ago, Frank wrote and offered that there are ways that our 2 groups, even if having different focus in charisms, can still cooperate and work together in joint activities.
But now look at what the CFC-IC has done lately, and you decide whether what they are doing is something that is led by the Holy Spirit, or one concocted by mortals with other designs in their hearts motivated by unknown spirits.
The attached 2 letters are from Clergy of the Catholic Church - one from the Archbishop of Newark, NJ, USA; and another from the Vicar Apostolic of Arabia somewhere in the Middle East. They are thousands of miles apart and in different countries and cultures, and so what are the chances that these 2 clergymen would think in such the same way that their composition of a letter uses exactly the same format and even same sentence construction in expressing exactly the same thought?
And what are the chances that they would think to release such a letter only a few weeks apart?
Look at the paragraphs in attached letters that almost coincide one-to-one, as follows:
1st Para: "...which has now spread around the world..."
2nd Para.: ..."starting with ministry to married couples, it has gradually spread ..."
3rd (Arabia) & 4th (NJ) Para.: "Recently CFC has undergone its most severe crisis and has split into two groups..." "...CFC headed by Mr. Jose Tale, and the CFC Foundation for Family and Life, or CFCFFL ...headed by Mr. Frank Padilla."
2nd to last Para: "...reaffirms the original Couples for Christ under the leadership of Jose Tale. Any other groups using or making reference to CFC other than the original CFC group will not be recognized (may bear no recognition)..."
Last Para.: "May the Holy Spirit continue to bless CFC members in their efforts to spread.."
So dear brethren, even as we in CFC-FFL are trying to resume our focus on the Lord's work and working on healing of relationships, someone or some top level people in CFC-IC are launching an organized effort to shut us out of dioceses, vicariates, and parishes.
Brothers and sisters, you can decide if these 2 letters - with all their similarities and even exact wordings, were actually written by the undersigned Clergymen out of their own discernment or good intentions, or were they too, victims of someone or some group in CFC-IC who ghost-wrote the letter and solicited their signatures?
Or worse, since it spans 2 continents, isn't it more logical that this is being orchestrated from the CFC Center in Manila by one of the IC members or at the very least with their knowledge and consent? And are there more of these letters to come?
You be the one to discern which kind of spirit is motivating our brethren from the CFC-IC to tell bishops, vicars, and pastors such slanted stories that harm our good name in CFC-FFL in an extreme way as to completely remove our recognition and prevent us from doing any type of apostolate work in the diocese or vicariate.
Brethren, what has happened to the example of Paul and Barnabas in going separate ways but blessing each other in doing God's work? I call on bro. Joe Tale and the IC to ask the Archbishop of Newark and the Vicar of Arabia to withdraw their letters and to reinstate recognition of CFC-FFL in their areas.
Finally I request our innocent brethren who have aligned themselves with the CFC led by Joe Tale and the IC, to inwardly reflect on the following question: With the IC obviously aware of this attack on CFC-FFL and allowing it to happen or perhaps even directly and actively involved in it, do you approve of their actions?
To us who have chosen NOT to align with the IC, this is just another confirmation of what we had said all along, i.e., that this IC has lost its moral ascendancy and spiritual anointing to lead the global CFC.
God have mercy on us all.
Manny Hermano
Member, CFC-US National Council

I'll post the other email tomorrow. I'm turning off comments...for now. Before you all start composing your reactions to this, let this be an exercise in humility and remember the theme for 2008,

"Love another as I have loved you."

UPDATE [10:50am]:

Here is the 2nd email that seemed to be in response Manny Hermano's:

From: Adolfo & Margi Paglinawan <>
To: manny hermano <>, Frank Padilla <>, Frank Padilla <>, "Oscar L. Contreras, Jr." <>, Maria Isabel Fara Descallar <>, "Jack Burgoyne " <>, "Mimi David" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 05:47:01 -0800 (PST)

Subject: Re: CFC-IC Actions - Is it Christian or even Warranted?

brother, you forgot this one from the Nairobi that is concurred by a Cardinal of South Africa, and ministries from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
this is obviously the product of their participation in the African Pastoral Congress where they spent a fortune to send five, yes five representatives, four of whom all the way from the Philippines. (with that kind of money, i could have paid four fulltimers to help me for a ehole year or more, in Cameroon, The Gambia, Mali and Senegal.).
an expensive junket indeed and with the malicious intent of misleading and signing up leaders of the church.
since they cannot get the numbers, they resort to legalism. their leader of course is a lawyer, what can we expect? even Christ condemned lawyers, pharisees, saduccees and the scribes who tweaked Scriptures to their advantage as the social leaders of the his time. Woe! said Jesus! the commentaries in fact said that this is precisely why Jesus himself had to come to bring glad tidings to the poor, that is all thgose in need of God's hope, whom these social climbers have ignored.
i just talked to joe de leon last night and he told me that to the faces of these legalists, including oscar banting, their area director in new jersey, the parish priest categorically said first 1) he cannot believe that the archbishop of newark being a canon lawyer can dabble in so much details and even have time to write that lengthy letter 2) regardless of what the archbishop said, they are cooperating with CFCFFL because the great majority of the CFCs there are CFCFFL 3) and because of that it is they CFCIC, CFCGK, CFCGlobal or just plain CFC whichever name they call themselves, are not welcome in his parish. "As far as I am concerned, I rule in my parish, and no piece of paper, suspicious as it looks, can make me believe otherwise."
what are the learnings here?
1) a piece of paper cannot legitimatize a group. a paper trail is merely a phyrric victory. it is only the free and unencumbered exercise of free consciences that legitimatizes an action. lets face it, bishops, archbishops and cardinals can be conned. an unscrupulous assistant can slide in something for them to sign on. it happens all the time. there is even heavier politics within the church, and CFCIC is even fueling that weak side of our church authorities.
in 1986, margi and i presented our statutes and teachings to the archdiocese of washington where they assumably were left ignored for many years. in 1993, after CFC's split with Ligaya, lito urgino even joined me to follow-up on my earlier request for recognition. nothing happened except that lito even quarrelled with directorate of family life, who was a woman, making all hopes for recognition impossible.
but when Cardinal McCarrick took over the archdiocese, things just slid into place and since then Jun Basilio and I have been attending the meetings of the Archdiocesan Council for Ecclesial Movements, New Communities and Third Orders. Last year, Cardinal Wuerl took over. This year, I was unanimously elected by the Council to be the incoming Chairman for 2008-09, and especially because of the CFC conflict, I was more than glad to accept the position.
2) it is what we enable that will stick to the ground, grow roots, shoot a trunk and bear fruits. that is the essence of christianity. what is written must show in our witness. even the bible is good for nothing lying on some dustbin. logic dictates, and Scriptures too, that the word will not spread if we do not preach it. it will not flower if those who read it do not live it. the proof is in our witness, not in our IDs.
am i to think therefore that CFCIC has become a cult? As Father Justin once said when he visited Maryland "Couples for Christ has become CFC and CFC has become Clean Fun Club". Everybody acknowledges there is a culture but he sees a lot of officiousness especially in exacting obedience, not in a loving manner but from a spirit of covetousness.
Fr. Justin confirmed the sin of many CFC leaders that I have always been complaining about. The leaders have become control freaks. Classic example is Lito Urgino and after him worse, Sonny Aguiling. Nothing happened below without household, unit and chapter leaders first clearing with Rod Bustos. Then it became worse, nothing happened below without Rod Bustos first clearing with Sonny Aguiling.
World Bank calls this trickle down dynamics, I called this simply totempole style of management where the upper kisses the lower of the one above him ad infinitum est. Jun Basilio, one time with a book of Frank Padilla in hand told me, pare they have caged the Holy Spirit, so how can we all fly?
Three years ago, I based back in the US because of Margi's deteriorating health conditions, and the first thing I received from Sonny, as CFC's regional director was an email entitled "CFC Guidelines for New Immigrants". Goodness, I have lived in this country since that time, and has been a green card holder since 1994, and even if nobody recognizes it, I brought CFC to the US in 1986; but to the mind of Sonny, I was just off-the-boat!
3) we draw our legitimacy from the holy spirit. it is only the holy spirit that can preserve, protect and allow us to be recognized even in areas where there are no cardinals, no archbishops, no priests, no Catholics, no Christians. let us not be drawn into the numbers game that CFCIC is playing. The Japanese torturers of Lorenzo Ruiz never asked for his Vatican recognition, and even if he had one, it would not have stopped them from tying his feet, pulling him up and lowering his head under the ground to render a most painful death.
let us continue with the Paulinian zeal, and of those after him, to the ends of the earth. shake the dust off our feet in those areas where we are not welcome and move to the next that could be a softer ground. In fact, the first missions of Paul did not even have the recognition of Peter who, instead of leading evangelization went back fishing. It was the fruits of Paul's dogged perseverance and long suffering that inspired Peter to seek reconciliation with Paul all the way to Rome. It was only then that it became clear to him as he trekked the dusty route that God had intended him to come later to validate everything Paul had began. Everywhere he went, people marvelled at Peter as "he who Paul was telling them about". Peter was beheaded like any Roman citizen when Peter arrived in Rome, but this time he did not skirt the issue but went out in the open preaching the good news until his own time to be tortured to death came.
we all know the rest of the story. lining up the roads out of Rome, thousands of crosses will bear the bodies of Christians who met the same fate as criminals under Roman law. but that law, would eventually melt in the hands of Constantine because someone dared talk to his mother about the faith. up to now, as the Vatican rises from that edict of Constantine, making Christianity the official religion of the great Roman Empire. the former survived the test of time, the latter did not. bishops will die, but the faith will never perish because the Word has come amongst us to fulfill the will of the Father, and until Jesus' second coming (btw, the gospel for the incoming Sunday) we are to abide and bear fruits.
4) do we therefore just handle this on faith basis? of course not. All posts worldwide can attempt to secure their perimeters and this is where the importance of having parish-based counts. Those who are not yet parish-based can not run to their pastors when challenged by a piece of paper. But no piece of paper can substitute for a working relationship with pastors especially if our presence are beyond CFC lines and onto parish stewardship from the "envelop" to the various parochial services we can get involved in.
Bro. Frank can of course expedite on the Vatican recognition but that has its own timing and protocol. But while that is pending, regional, area and chapter heads must be creative in guarding their flock and expanding their influence within and without the CFC (Luke 16:1-10). Chapter heads of course are engaged in implementating the culture of CFC, especially in making sure the households are meeting and the teachings post CLP are done over time. This is not only necessary but strategic because this is where the sure foundation nestles.
But area and regional heads must show presence especially because the split is still recent. They must set the moving forward agenda to the strong beat and rhythm of excitement and joy. We have already left the stale CFC, let us show evidence that we truly have the holy spirit in CFCFFL. the tens of thousands who milled in and around the Tagaytay convention center last weekend for the CFCFFL family picnic shows where the holy spirit is leaning.
what i am trying to say is we cannot get others excited if we are not excited in the Spirit. we cannot exact joy from others if we are not ourselves joyful in Christ! i have invited everyone to the CFC MidAtlantic website and especially to my article "The Good News and Joy of Moving Forward." in fact, i have even attached the same to my email to some. check it out, you may be inspired to adaptations of your own with the understanding that the enhancements must be led by those who are not distracted from their chapter duties and schedules. (see my attachments in powerpoint).
5) Now of course, we know that Sonny Aguiling has hostaged the two Joes and the two Rickys with his exclusive yahoo group listing and sick strategems. I pray for him and Joe D daily because people who cannot understand they have to turn over records and account for funds after they dismissed themselves, are both dishonest and not law abiding citizens to say the least. but we cannot be ruled by what they do. we cannot allow them to define us.
sure, talks in manila can be done pursuant to the august 14 and 28 agreements. reports can be made to the episcopal commission of the laity about further departures not only from the mission and vision, the CFC culture and from the spirit of brotherhood. these are administrative reforms that are important.
but at the end of the day, we know that they can agree for now but as soon as they turn their backs, they can still be infested by the covetous and obsessive spirit that extracts recognition from legalistic and secular means, so let us not be thrifty in casting those evil spirits that they exhibit in the conduct but deny when confronted.
the only and vigilant recourse to all this, and to our peace, is our appointed time daily with the Lord of Lords, our Christ the King of Kings.

I'm turning comments on now, with the reminder to all to remember that those in the FFL are also our brothers and sisters.

The funny thing about the word forbearance is, when you initially look the word up, it comes across as a legalistic term, but upon further research I found this:

Synonyms: abstinence, avoidance, endurance, fortitude, living with*, longanimity, moderation, patience, patientness, refraining, resignation, restraint, self-control, temperance, tolerance.

The ball is in your court, brothers and sisters.