Updated: July 8, 2008
A Sunday Reflection, and a special message from Tito Joe Tale and Tito Joe Yamamoto.
A Sunday Reflection, and a special message from Tito Joe Tale and Tito Joe Yamamoto.
In a little over month's time, we will be marking the first year of this blog's existence. What arose out of a personal conviction to get to the bottom of how CFC was being torn apart has developed into a more enlightened and focused effort to get the truth out.
I have to admit, I started out completely ignorant. It was only when I started hearing trickles of information - some rumors, some apparently the truth, that I was made aware of what would soon be a protracted battle to keep CFC together and most importantly, on course. As the trickle turned into a steady stream and soon, a flood, I started to ask myself if those who tried to keep things under wraps to prevent scandalizing people they respected and cared for were out of their minds.
"Why," I asked, "should they try to protect those who were speaking out against them?"
What I will learn in the year that followed and the examples the IC set were abject lessons in humility and an enlightened understanding of Jesus' teachings.
At first, I could not bring myself to believe what I was hearing and discovering about Frank Padilla. His deeds and accomplishments after all were almost legend. I still get sad now, in seeing that his current misdeeds might just eclipse the legend. But as I discovered more, and in digging verified what I was hearing, I came to realize that maybe this information was not meant to be kept under wraps. Whether I was wrong or right, I guess only history will tell.
If you were to ask me now if I'd do it again: I'd look at every smiling face drenched in the rain at Luneta, and say without regret...yes.
I've heard it said that necessity is the mother of innovation. These modern days of text messaging, email, and countless other electronic means of spreading information has definitely given me options, but none seemed adequate to keep a permanent record of everything we all deserved to know. That's where Blogger came in and CD was born.
My first clumsy attempts reflected my pain, when I was still indignantly flinging responses to the Easter Group's attacks. In fact, one of my earliest communications with others was with Boogie Boydon, who apparently was able to save those early pages of this blog and emailed me to ask about them. I still owe you an explanation Boogie, and thank you for the reminder that at any point I had to be able to look my work in the eye, and not flinch.
It was when the blog became more focused and steadily gained readership, that I along with them actually gained discernment. I went from questioning both sides to realizing just which side I was actually on. The turning point came when an anonymous comment questioned what I was doing, and wondered if I was giving voice to both sides of the issue or just plain biased. That question formed a concrete answer in my heart: I AM defending the real CFC. The facts had spoken for themselves, the Easter Group's actions had cemented my own course. The blog did open the floodgates, as more and more people realized an outlet and a way to express their feelings about this whole affair. Along the way, it also served as a repository for documents and information that I started receiving through emails, some anonymous, some not. Thank you all once again for those, as you've made my job much easier, yet still enormously difficult as I had to discern whether some information I received would do the community good...or make things worse. The scariest phrases I would see in an email would sometimes not be what was disclosed, but when they tell me, "....CD, it's up to you if you want to publish this."
After a while, the blog took a life of its own and the commenters started to take up the slack, and now it's almost completely in their hands. The incredibly lucid and well written comments left here have left me believing I'm wading in waters waaaay above my head. Whatever credit I was given, you all deserved more. This blog will not be the same or as effective without YOU all.
I'd like to make it clear now, once and for all. This blog is a sole operation without ties to the IC. I alone am accountable for what is in here, for my actions, and my claims. I never asked for any recognition and I still don't want it. What you learn here, what documents you see, and discernment you make is in your hands. The comments left are sometimes anonymous, but now have mostly been identified in the A Call To Arms entry, which garnered 500+ statements of support for the IC that have brought me to my knees in humility.
I received an email yesterday, one that I never expected.
Dear CD and all the CFC defenders,
This is the first time I am writing to your blog site, or to any website, for that matter. I am doing so now for several reasons.
I confess that I very seldom visit the site, but brethren sometimes give me hard copies of interesting comments and posts, so I get updated from time to time about the issues that are discussed here.
I would like to make it clear that up to now, I do not know who CD is and I am not in a hurry to unravel the mystery of CD's identity.
I write you now, first, to thank CD for putting up this blog. This site has provided many people with the venue to express their views on many issues that have beset our community over many months. This has allowed many to ventilate their opinions. This has also enlightened many of our brethren on the myriad details that surround the major issues. Whether the views are right or wrong, the bloggers have been grateful for the chance to interact with one another.
Second, I wish to thank the many bloggers who have been vocal about their defense of CFC and of the International Council. I am humbled by your firm stance to protect the community. When my attention was called that the post "A Call to Arms" had begun to elicit an avalanche of comments from many people from around the globe, I did take the time to visit the site and I was moved by the expressions of support. Many of the bloggers in this post identified themselves and I saw some names that I knew but many names that I am not familiar with. The fact that they, who I surmise I have probably never even met, took the time to write and show their support was humbling and uplifting at the same time.
Third, I would like to remind everyone in this site to please refrain from any unchristian comments. We are, after all, Couples for Christ and we should show, by what we write and what we do, that we are indeed FOR Christ. I understand the frustration behind many of the comments and I commend those who seem to regularly remind everyone of our Christian duty to always be loving and respectful in our relationships. Let the discussions remain focused on the issues and principles.
Fourth, while I respect the decision of those who choose to remain anonymous, I commend all the bloggers who have identified themselves. I honor you for your transparency. It is understandable that CD continues to be anonymous, for now anyway.
Fifth, I would like to thank all of you for your keen interest in all of our CFC activities. I assume that many of you were present in all of them, particularly in our anniversary celebration, which was a blessed event.
It is not too late to wish you all a happy 27th anniversary.
God bless us all. God bless CFC.
* * *July 8, 2008
Dear CD and all CFC Blog-Heroes,
This statement of gratitude and honoring has been waiting in the wings for quite awhile and I have been waiting for the most opportune time to express my sincerest and heartfelt 'Thank You' to all who, in the darkest hour of CFC's history, stood at the plate and made their voices and choices known. I believe that that day is today.
In yesterday's MCG gathering at the Ateneo Grade School, during my sharing. I asked if you, CD, were there. But even if you had not been there, the question was a simple and indirect way of honoring what you and the other quiet defenders of CFC have done for our beloved community. At a time and particular circumstance when it was not fashionable in CFC to call for Defenders , you were used by the Lord to be the voice of the many nameless and anonymous members who were shocked by the events and therefore at a loss to explain or understand what had befallen CFC. But now, we all know best- CFC is the community worth living, defending and dying for.
Your tiny electronic voice became the beacon and ray of light and hope for the community members. Soon, your voice was reinforced by the many electronic voices of equally courageous and passionate CFC members who saw in your platform the venue to search for the Truth and share the same Truth. Your collective voices have become thunderous and inspiring. The rest is history , as they would say. But I hasten to add, our history is still unfolding.
In the near future, when the definitive history of our Community, is written, I am sure that the immeasurable contribution of CD and the unsung heroes of the blog will be highlighted for it has become a cherished part of our collective tradition and memory. In the retelling of the 2007 historical crossroad in our CFC life, the saga of the Bloggers will stand out as a singular and special event.
Yesterday too, I shared – "Our God is the God of Creation, Time, Space and History and He has called CFC as His own." Perhaps by alluding to history, I tangentially touched on the efforts of the CFC Bloggers.
From practically day 1 of this Blog, I have regularly logged in and read and reread the entries. I was not too sure where you were coming from, initially, but after a few days, I was convinced that you and the Defenders have the interest of CFC at heart.
As one of the IC members who have been tasked to lead and navigate the CFC community through difficult, stormy and treacherous waters, it was indeed comforting to have you and the others on the side of the Real CFC. Frequently, I have been asked if I know CD and my ready answer is" No." I have resisted all entreaties to know the identity of CD because CD and some other Defenders best serve the Community in their anonymity, at least for now. There is a time and a season for everything.
In the near future, when the identity of CD and the other defender-bloggers would be revealed, I would like to be one of the first to say 'Thank you." I would also like to make this wish and invitation: May your tribe increase! Yours is not only the quest for the Truth but a defense of the Truth. You did your work in the best tradition of CFC- with love, service, humility, wisdom, fortitude and above all, fraternal restraint.
I enjoin you all to continue the good work and to offer all fruits thereof for the greater glory of God. Let me end with Romans 8:28- " We know that all things work for good for those who love the Lord , who are called according to his purpose..."
Thank you TitoS Joe. I am humbled once again. I reiterate, I could not have done it alone. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge us here. Once again, no credit is craved or needed, I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say that we look forward to the day this blog can be put to rest. I have had so much help; in technical expertise, assistance with the intricacies of internet navigation, etc., that to call this a personal blog would be an injustice.
(For the record, I was not able to make the MCG at Ateneo, though any of the bloggers could have stood up represent the blog. Maybe next time?)
I tip my hat to the unsung heroes who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to stay the course, and who continue to, despite the disappointments and stresses they have had to deal with. You know who you are, and thank you for teaching me that the best way to win a fight is on my knees.
This is the one thing that the servant general will never understand; that the making of heroes is not in giving the title or instilling the thought that they are in their minds, but in making the fact absolutely apparent, in the eyes of others.
To TitoS Joe and the rest of the IC: You sirs may not consider yourselves heroes, but you certainly are mine.
Thank you, and I remain,