Showing posts from 2020

History’s Most Remarkable Years

  This year has been unfortunate to many of us. So many calamities turned up in the past twelve months that we experienced fatigue many times over. It was so bad that some people labelled 2020 as an annus horribilis  due to its unusual number of misfortunes. 'Annus horribilis' is a latin term that means "horrible year," which precisely defines 2020 in fewest words possible.  You might be extra curious to know what years in the past may be counted as "anni horribiles." If you have that kind of curiosity, it may also fuel your interest on what the term's antonym is.  Well, t he latin term for  "wonderful year" is annus mirabilis .   History is replete with many examples of both anni horribiles and anni mirabiles . However, most of them can be considered disastrous or wonderful for singular reasons only. Only very few match 2020's eventfulness.  This article is meant for light reading only and so it mentions only the most notable years in hist

Christmas Star 2020 & Christ's Second Coming

  A rare occurrence signaling the second coming of Christ? This was the Christmas Star of 2020, which also made appearance during Christ's birth. Photo Credit: Dr. Gregorio S. Tan Some pastor believes that the second coming of Christ is near, citing the recent conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter, which has been the closest in 800 years. The conjunction was so close, it appeared as though the two planets were a big, bright star. It doesn't seem to be a mere coincidence, he believes, as the rare sight also appeared near Christ's birth around 6 B.C. He takes this as a sign that the messiah is set to set foot on earth once more. Although the bible is clear that Christ will be back after several years, it is also explicit that nobody knows when that time will come, not even the angels nor even Jesus himself. Despite this, there have been several dates predicted for that --- one was even as early as 500 A.D. However, you will also read a bible verse saying that that appointed

The Idyllic Sumlang Lake

            Strolling by a rather small but elongated lake to celebrate my birthday, it was a most serene Sunday I’ve ever felt in a long while. The lake, however, was not only serene and picturesque, it was also blessed with melodies from birds chirping around. Small insects made music as well. Can you spot the red dragonfly? The vibe was all but idyllic, both in appearance as well as in sound. Everything was wisteria and sunshine despite the gloomy weather in the middle of rainy September. The lovely volcano did not have to make any appearance anymore; she has let the lowly lake take the credit for all the beauty and splendor of the place. It was after all what we were after, with or without Mayon. Verdant greens are always good for the eyes, but a little pink gives the sight more character... In the middle of the hustle and bustle of my busy life – the evenings of September needed Disney Sleep Jazz to snooze me into dreamland – the visit to the lake was all I needed to rechar

My Fairy-Tale Visit to Peñafrancia (The Fruitful Finale)

  The exquisite beauty of the retablo of Our Lady of Pe ñ afrancia Shrine. This is the final part of my Five-year Tribute to the patroness of Bicol, Our Lady of Peñafrancia , which I began writing in 2016. I have waited and planned for this for four long years. Because of the ravaging pandemic, I thought it will not push through. Yet, it actually did, and it wasn’t just a normal pilgrimage. Although I would say it was rather simple, it has been joyful in many ways… I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, it felt as though it came out of a fairy tale. Maybe, it was romanticized by my feelings of gratitude and happiness. Nonetheless, I do feel that there were some things about it that gave it some kind of extraordinary flair. For one, with the pandemic going on, I didn’t expect that I will be able to make a visit. Thankfully, the numbers have been going down since the start of September so I felt that it has become relatively safe to visit the Heart of Bicol . Secondly, again bec