The Black Nazarene

    The Black Nazarene has many names. In Spanish it is called the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno. In Filipino it is known as Mahal na Itim na Nazareno or Itim na Nazareno. But its formal name in English is “Our Father Jesus Nazarene”. The black Nazarene is wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ. It is a life-sized figure carrying the cross. Filipino Catholics believe the wooden figure to be possessed with miraculous nature.
In the beginning the Black Nazarene had a fair complexion. But because of a fire that burned the ship it was carried on, it turned black. Luckily, the sculpture survived. The sculptor of the image has always been unanimous. According to history, it was brought to Manila from Acapulco, Mexico via a galleon ship. 
    Originally, the Black Nazarene had an identical twin sculpture which was brought to Manila. This is found in the Intramuros district church records. It is said that the first one kept in Bagumbayan’s San Nicolas de Tolentino church before it was transferred to Intramuros. Unfortunately the Battle of Manila in 1945 destroyed this first image of the Black Nazarene when a bomb hit it. By then, the other sculpture was placed in the Quiapo church where some people thought it to be the original one. In the year 1650 Pope Innocent X gave his approval of the Black Nazarene for veneration as Sacramental. He also gave the permission to the Confraternity of the Most Holy Jesus Nazarene. 
    Filipino Catholics and those who relate to the Passion of Christ venerate the Black Nazarene. Most of them would relate their hardships to the struggles that were experienced by Jesus himself such the one presented in the image of the statue. Devotees clap their hands after the offering of mass at the shrine as a sign of homage. 
    Three processions take place each year when the Black Nazarene is taken out for veneration. The procession takes place on New Year’s Day, January 9 and Good Friday. January 9 processions commemorate the transferring of the Nazarene to Quiapo church. On that day, the image is carried out to the street in a carriage called the “andas” which means “to go forward” in Spanish. The devotees would walk barefoot and wear maroon colored clothes as an act of reminiscing Jesus when he went to Mount Calvary. The carriage is tied with a rope which men would pull. In the past only men were allowed to pull the ropes but recently female devotees joined in the act. The Catholics would touch the image hoping for a miracle to happen. Some people allegedly have even been reported to have had their diseases cured after contact with the Nazarene. Because of this, desperate devotees who can’t get near the statue would throw their towels at the guards requesting them to rub it on the image hoping that its miracles would rub in the cloth. The procession of the Black Nazarene on feast day is known to be a fatal one because of the heat, fatigue and the massive numbers of devotees reaching to millions.
    Fortunately, when the number of devotees rose to 8 million, the route on the 9th January was altered to a much wider street located at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. This is also the first place where the Nazarene was enshrined. At the end of the day, the statue is returned to the church. In contrast to this veneration, the other two commemoration of the Black Nazarene on New Year’s Day and Good Friday is a solemn one.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 09:41:17 PM
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Faith & Religion

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    The word Bajau is a collective term for indigenous groups of people. These groups have also blended with the culture of the Sana which is why they are called the Sama-Bajau. In history the term Sama describes indigenous people who live more in areas of land. On the other hand the term Bajau is used for ethnic groups residing near the seas or on seas or those who dwell in boats.      The Badjau People or also called the Sama or Samal are indigenous ethnic groups found in Maritime Southeast Asia. They live mainly on the seas using wooden boats like the Vintas. This ethnic group originally came from the Sulu Archipelago. They also lived in some areas of Mindanao and northern Borneo. For half a century though, the Badjaus have been migrating to neighboring countries and also in the northern Philippines. This is due to the ongoing conflicts in the ARMM ( Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). At present the Badjaus are considered to be one of the largest ethnic groups in Sabah. They make up almost 15% of the state’s population. These people have also migrated in Indonesia but the number of their population remains unanimous. The Bajau were sometimes associated with other ethnic groups of similar lifestyles. They have been called Sea Gypsies. The outward spreading of the Bajau from their old homes to other countries wasalso associated with the development of sea trade in modern times.     The origin of the term Bajau was never clarified. It is generally used to describe or call these ethnic groups. Ironically, they themselves never used the term Bajaus to describe themselves. They would call themselves according to their tribe’s names, the place they live in or where they came from. But even so these people share the same some of their vocabularies and bodily features. That is why agree with being called Bajaus in general.     As a large ethnic group, the Bajaus have subgroups within themselves. And although they share some genetic characteristics and parts of their vocabularies, each of their groups had their own unique languages and traditions. However, some of these subgroups are able to understand the others’ languages. The Simunul for example, which are found in Sabah are able to communicate with other Bajaus using the Tausug language.      There are numerous subgroups comprising the Bajaus. The UbianBajaus are the first of these groups. They are originally from the island of South Ubian located in Tawi-Tawi of the Philippines. In Sabah they are considered to be the largest group of Bajaus. They live in minorities around the Kudat and Semporna Towns in Sabah, Malaysia. The Bannaran is another subgroup which originated also in Tawi-Tawi but on the Bannaran Island. They are also found Kudat and Semporna. The SamalBajaus is another group originating from the coasts of Sabah. But many of them have migrated north up to the Visayas and southern Luzon islands.     The Bajau people vary in their religious beliefs as well as their cultures. Their faiths include the strict Sunni Islam, folk islam and then there are others who are dedicated to ancestor worship. A minority of them are Christians too.
    Are you a sweet tooth kind of person? If yes then chocolates should be number one on your list. It is actually hard to distinguish a chocolate from another chocolate because they all taste the same – sweet. However, chocolate lovers would often argue that chocolates are made differently thus one can absolutely tell which one is the best.      Chocolates are often used as gifts during special occasions because it is not meant to be eaten on regular basis, partly because it’s kind of expensive depending on the brand of course. As a chocolate lover, have you ever asked yourself where can you find the most expensive chocolate in the whole wide world? And questions would follow like how does it taste and what makes it really expensive?     At this moment, the spot for the most expensive brand of chocolate I currently owned by Switzerland. It is sold for a whopping $330 per box which contains eight pieces of edible gold coated chocolate. The chocolate itself contains edible gold material. You will be eating your chocolate with gold? So how that is for a sweet tooth person like you? Aside from the gold stain, it was also made using the finest source of chocolates in Switzerland.        You might be wondering how on earth a box of chocolate reached such a huge amount of money. Aside from the chocolates itself, the box also contains a single authentic gold coin directly from the Swiss National Bank. It was created on early 1900’s and is now estimated to have a price of $133. It is indeed quite catch. Another reason for its high market price is that a limited number of boxes are only released.      Although only few details were given about the taste and texture of this chocolate, its price is actually high because of the gold used on it. So if you were just looking for something to chew on, you better buy yourself a bar of chocolate and feel better about it.   
    Financial stability is something that you will encounter when you start working and earning money. Actually you need to face it whether you are employed or not. It is something that you can’t escape. However the earlier you try to handle it the better. If you are already earning it is best to save something out of your daily salary regardless of how small it is. It is always best to think of the future and be prepared for any emergencies. However saving money is not the only way to become financially stable. There are a lot of ways on how you can make use of your money and investment is just one of these.     Sometimes it’s a bit hard to invest your money in banks with their investment programs because of the huge minimum amount that they require. Investing your money in a business can be a bit risky as well especially if you don’t have any knowledge or experience in running a business. But leaving your money in your savings account isn’t a good idea as well. One of the best ways to make use of your money without the risk of losing it is investment in things such as jewelries.      The good thing jewelries is that you can eventually use it in times of emergency by having it pawned. You can get cash from it but you still have the chance to get it back. It is handy and you can even wear them. Also, the market price or the value of jewelries do not entirely depreciate. In history, the price of gold constantly goes up through the years. It is like a real estate investment. It doesn’t depreciate, rather its value increases as time pass by.     However it is important to choose the type of jewelry that you wish to buy or invest your money with. Go for small pieces in a number of quantity. Do not invest all of your money on a very expensive piece because you will then find it difficult to get it back once it has been pawned. Also the value you can get will largely depend on the pawnshop. Pawnshops have different appraisal values and interests. Make sure to choose the one suitable to your current financial capability.   
In the midst of the current administration’s new governance, sparked controversial sentiments, lots of opinions were thrown between two opposing parties, particularly the Duterte Administration and those who are not convinced of his way of control specifically on his war against drugs. One of the most talked about remarks was made by an actress, Ms. Agot Isidro. Ms. Isidro, in her Facebook status update, slammed the President for the statements he gave during one of his speeches. Aside from criticizing Duterte with his way of governance and his behavior to other foreign personalities, she ended her post by calling Duterte not a Bipolar but a Psychopath. Ms. Isidro’s statement steamed over the social media. Several people expressed disagreement with her post not because of her remarks toward the President, but when she used the term Bipolar and Psychopath. The comments in general condemned Ms. Agot’s use of these terms without being aware of the weight of her statements. She is not an expert on such field yet she vocally used it as if it is just a common term to be used. A psychopath is not merely a term used to describe a person with a wicked personality. It is a mental health illness. It is thoroughly defined with the help of DSM-5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th ed. Psychopathy, is a type of personality disorder. Personality disorder is a mental health illness that has something to do with a person’s maladaptive behavior towards his or her environment, this includes the people around him or her, and that prevents the person to function normally. In Psychopathy, the problem focuses on the person’s insistent antisocial behavior. Antisocial behavior is the lack of capacity or the need to isolate oneself from other people. Psychopaths are known to behave maladaptive with other people. They don’t socialize and building a relationship for them is the hardest thing to do. Their withdrawal towards their environment is characterized by egoistic desires thus they don’t feel remorse if they have to abandon a certain person or situation. A psychopath is a type of mental illness but it isn’t different from being a diabetic or asthmatic, the only difference is that it has something to do with the mental and not on the physical state of the patient. Thus if you criticize and use it to describe your disappointment to a particular person, you are as if demeaning a person’s worth because of having a diabetes or asthma. It is a very serious matter that using it to disgrace a person must not be tolerated. It is important to educate the people that mental health illnesses must not be taken lightly. People should stop from using such terms without being properly aware of how complex and sensitive it is. People with mental health issues never wished to have it within their system. Nobody wants to feel bad about one’s self, and yet it is often the great struggle of those who are suffering from such illnesses.  
    It’s almost next to impossible nowadays to be truly healthy, let alone, lose weight and be healthy at the same time. With fast food joints popping up everywhere, eat-and-run meals sadly seem to be discouraging people to take the time to cook a healthy meal, and also inadvertently encouraging obesity by giving customers the tempting option of upsizing their meals for lesser the price.     Not only that, people are crazy over these fad/crash diets, even if at the expense of their health, so long as they lose weight fast. But fret not! There’s still hope. You can be both healthy and lose weight. The key is really just having a healthy active lifestyle. Here are 4 things to consider if you want to lose weight healthily:     1.    Eat breakfast.  Don’t trick yourself into thinking that skipping the first meal of your day will lessen your overall weight in the long run. It’s not called breakfast for nothing, darlings. It’s not only the first; it’s actually THE most important meal of the day. Why? Because you’re essentially breaking the overnight fast, the time your body was asleep. In doing so, you wake up your body and give it the necessary jolt for the day. Missing breakfast will actually make you hungry throughout the whole day whereas eating properly will minimize those pangs until the day finishes. So don’t be afraid. Also, don’t eat sweets and junk food. Eat healthy. A well balanced breakfast of protein, fiber and good carbs will give your health much wealth.     2.    Don’t do fad or crash diets. photo by yourecards Fad diets are the type of diet where you’re promised to lose weight quickly without any hassle and exercise. They’re usually popular; the reason for this is because a lot of celebrities endorse this kind of diets and could be just a marketing strategy for a company’s new product/s. Some examples of this diet are high-protein diets, liquid diets, grapefruit diets, and others. The thing with fad diets is that it may seem quick and easy but it may actually endanger your health as it can lead you to unhealthy and unbalanced routines.     Crash diets also offer you quick weight loss results in a short amount of time. But unlike fad diets, crash diets are extreme to the point of nutrient deprivation and restriction of particular foods, especially your calorie intake. To point simply, quick weight loss programs, whether fad or crash types, won’t give you long-term results but can lead you to an unwholesome lifestyle. Bear in mind, if a diet seems too good to be true, it usually is.       3.    Drink water first before a meal. Research has shown that drinking water at the right time of the day can greatly maximize its effects on your body? 1-2 glasses of water 30 minutes or an hour before a meal can help you get better digestion and cause your stomach to absorb nutrients better. The added H2O can also make you feel fuller, thus lessening your food intake. Not only that, choosing to drink water, instead of those so-called empty-calorie beverages will be beneficial to your health. Say goodbye to rough and dry skin! Also, did you know drinking water can energize your day? More than drinking those energy drinks, water is still the best and original drink that could help empower your body.     4.    Find the perfect exercise and diet that will match you and your health. Proper exercise and proper food go hand in hand towards the road to healthy weight loss. These are the common mistake that people make: some exercise too much but eat too little. Others want to skip the exercise and just focus on eating right. However, you can’t have one without the other. Also, what works for one person may not be good for another. It’s important to know your limits; finding the right method may take a while. Be committed, experiment with different exercise regimes and diets until you find the one that fits your lifestyle.     Here are some easy hacks to trick your body into eating healthy and still lose a couple of pounds:     a.    Do not lead yourself into temptation but deliver yourself from “evil”. In this case, JUNKFOODS. Don’t stock up food in the fridge that will easily lure into an eating binge.     b.    Use smaller plates OR when you place the food, get only smaller portions. You can easily get a second helping if you want. But most of us only eat and finish what we usually place on our plates the first time.     c.    Have moral support. Having someone encourage you to be a better you would mean a lot.     d.    Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will automatically rouse your body to eating more than usual to keep you energized for the day.     e.    Don’t eat because you’re bored! Comfort eating is okay every now and then but watch out that this doesn’t become a habit. Here are some ideas to avoid emotional eating:     •    Get in touch with some friends or family when you need to talk things out. Don’t you dare touch that fridge.     •    Calm down by taking a long soothing bath or doing meditation.     •    Try taking a nap or go on a brisk walk while listening to energizing music.     f.    Eat small portions of healthy food (5 times at least, instead of only the 3 major meals. Try these:     •    Potato chips (yes! These are okay actually)     •    Peanut butter     •    Hard-boiled egg     •    Raisins     •    Tangerines     •    Popcorn     •    Frozen yogurt     •    Fresh avocado     •    Chestnuts     •    Fresh fruit salad

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    Nature is indeed full of wonders and humans have not really explored it totally. There are still things that are seemingly odd in nature and there are also some that are quite deceiving. Take for example this Emerald Green Cat that was discovered in a small town in Bulgaria.      The town people and even people from far cities are quite familiar with this seemingly odd creature because of its color. The cat has been spotted walking around the city, it gives the town people the impression that it is a stray and it only gets its food by roaming around the place.      Due to its distinct color and possible breakthrough in the feline world, people from far countries travelled to Bulgaria just to take a closer peek and even take some pictures of it. However, this cat’s stardom started to fade when rainstorms came. Its bright emerald green color slowly faded away when rain started to fall.      It has been found out that the cat got its color from a barrel of paint where it sleeps. Although paints contain toxins that are eventually not good for the health, the cat was actually in good shape all throughout its stardom. With its color fading away, its popularity indeed started to slow down, however its quite noticeable she enjoyed her moment and made the most of it by gaining extra pounds.     
    In the midst of a severe flood happening in Guangxi Zhuang an Autonomous Region in China, a seemingly smiling pig was rescued along with other animals. Netizens were quick to spot the candidness of the pig’s smile while being saved from the flood. The pig seemed calmed and happy that it was rescued and even smiled wonderfully despite being held on its forelegs and ears.      As a usual response by netizens, its picture have been shared a hundred times and made quick rounds in social media all over the world. People were cheering of how this creature just made their days and made them smile right after seeing its picture.     However this pig’s instant stardom was shown not only through likes and shares of her original photo but people did hilarious Photoshop skills to savor the moment. The following are just one of the few photos that instantly became people’s favorite.       
    With today’s trend where direct, private, and instant messages are of great help to people, consumers must be aware in choosing mobile apps especially if it has something to do with your personal info’s such as your contact list where clients, bank accounts and other important stuff are being saved.     Most of the time, mobile apps are being installed because of its popularity. When a wide audience seemed to use it even for just a short time, you should expect for others to try it too without really verifying its security measures.  SARAHAH Honesty App is supposedly an app that can be used in giving feedbacks anonymously. Seems like people nowadays are drawn into intriguing stuff more than ever. However accordingly the app works in such a way that the person who has been rated or given feedback has no way of tracing or replying to it. The creator of the app tend to give its users the chance to leave positive comments or feedbacks as an act of kindness while keeping their identity unknown.      However the entire community has been totally shocked (shookt) when it has been revealed that this app is actually unknowingly stealing your personal details such as your contact list. Aside from stealing, they make use of it by uploading it to their data base and who knows what they could do about it.      Once you installed this app, it will only take them a while to steal your info. Logging out from the app can't make any difference at all. The best thing to do is to never ever install it and be more cautious in choosing an app.   
    In a certain Facebook post by Mark Dianne Duarte, three women are now asking for help from anyone with a good heart to help them with their current situation. The victims are residents of Cabdbaran Agusan del Sur.      With the intent to enhance and beautify themselves, they decided to undergo treatment from a person whom they barely know. The procedure went by injecting some unknown chemicals unto their faces. However instead of having better and beautiful faces, it went really worse and appeared distorted. The three of them have the same reaction with the chemical.     With the help of their friends and families, they are now trying to reach a certain amount in order to help the victims. Aside from the horrible outcome of what happened, the victims are now starting to become ill and are all afraid of what could happen to them if not given the proper care.     Unfortunately, the suspect is now nowhere to be found. The victims were not even aware of the suspect’s whereabouts.     According to the one who posted, a certain media will then cover the story of these women, to inform and especially warn those who would dare to undergo such procedure. The suspect was not a licensed medical professional but because of cheaper rates he managed to convince these ladies to try it all for the aim of becoming beautiful.     
    When you don’t have sweet tooth it is hard to find snacks that can match your low tolerance for sugar. Almost all snacks were made out of sugar, chocolates and other forms of sweeteners. It is the main reason why Skittles stands out from the rest of the group. It is a sweet yet sour candy that comes in a bright rainbow colors. But all of a sudden Skittles became really dull and lost all that rainbow colors.     In an official stamen made by Skittles, they decided to have a different packaging for intended for the entire month of June. As practiced June is the month dedicated for the LGBT community. The LGBT community has the rainbow to represent them because they acknowledged that they are composed of different genders thus constitutes not just a single color but of different colors.      Since the Skittles and the LGBT community share the same kind of color representation, Skittles gladly gave way to the LGBT community. According to them, although the share the same symbol, one has to stand out and celebrate their existence and they give it whole heartedly to the LGBT group.      This is such a remarkable and thoughtful move for Skittles. Although they were branded and known because of their color, they were not afraid to give way to celebrate a significant event for some people. Consumers in return have shown appreciation to what the company did. Their customers admired their sensitive and immediate decision to honor the LGBT community.     Changing brand packaging is a bit risky when it comes to sales and market. Well known and established companies see to it that when they have to change or modify their packaging it needs to be somehow close to the previous design. It is because people shop out of familiarity. When you change your packaging into a totally different concept, chances are your consumers will not be able to recognize your products anymore.      However it is different with the case of Skittles. They dared to risk their sales and their brand in order to commemorate an event. With this making rounds in the internet, Skittles is rest assured that their customers would still remain loyal to them.