Time to renovate our chapels?

The much-awaited motu proprio which would grant blanket permission for the use of the Tridentine Missal alongside the current one will officially be published on 7 July. While the clamor for such a restoration is not (yet) as strong here in our country, I do expect that the noises will be stronger after that. Some people may even want to say that the Archdiocese of Manila’s “guidelines” on proper dress in the liturgy should be made stricter in that light, not to mention binding.

I might also want to add that it may be time to think very seriously about renovating our churches. There is a likelihood that an ad orientam celebration may become normative even with the current Roman rite; I personally think that it should be a regular practice.

Not to mention the use of incense, etc.


Theological musings about traffic.

Here, fortunately or unfortunately, is ammunition for those who hold that the Vatican has never given up the habit of telling people what to do, anywhere.

Yet, this has some use. I hope the local press picks this up, the CBCP republishes it, and so on. Might even be a good starting point for ecumenical and interfaith discussion.

After all, traffic in Manila affects everyone! 

The Fifth Manila Jazz Festival

(A declaration of interest: I am related to an employee of one of the presenters of this event.)

I was late for the Fifth Manila Jazz Festival. My parents, one of whom is a fan of classic jazz, came at around six-thirty to a much emptier Sofitel Sunset Pavillion and ended up eating expensive sandwiches. They were turned off by the sudden decision of the Radioactive Sago Project to play one of their less jazzy and more rock-like numbers.
But in my case, I was much luckier. I arrived with a friend to a much more crowded place (about a thousand people!) and numbers that were far more decent. The first band we heard was a group called Sino Sikat?, a pun on the name of their sultry lead singer. They managed to strike the right starting note for us, with their wonderfully soothing and sexy numbers. (Unfortunately, we were not able to stay for Vernie Varga, which would have been a performance on a far more sultry note.) The band was good, but against the next few performances, they seemed a bit underwhelming.
So on stage came the Jewelmer Jazz Band. Readers of my other blog may remember that I wrote about them in the context of the School of Humanities launch a year ago. They were the best band then, and tonight, I was not disillusioned about their talent. They began by playing an extended blues number, with each member of their brass section and their keyboard player doing solos. Then they played a number which I first heard last year, at the Fiesta Latina in Ateneo, from the UST Jazz Ensemble (another performer tonight which I could not get to see).
The last group whose performance I got to see in full was a visiting French band, consisting of teenagers who were very good jazz players. Thomas Enhco (he’s Jewish—unscramble his name to see why) and the Jazz Angels are a four-man ensemble with Thomas doing double-duty as a piano and jazz violin player. Now this betrays the myth, which I hope will be shattered here more often, that musically inclined kids are forming nothing more than bands that play emo rock sound-alikes.
They blew me away. Their first number was played at a breathtaking tempo, with the pianist doing the theme and improvisation at a speed I had not heard live in my entire life. Then they brought on Thomas’s brother Nicholas, a trumpet player, and he played his trumpet with gusto and force seeping out, which my parents attribute to his youth. And their final number, in what my friend called a classic jazz tradition, featured the drummer doing a three-minute tour de force.
So it was that our brief stay at the festival ended. We left, because we were tired and I had things to do today, to the music of the Brass Monkeys. They are a local swing band. Which I hope some people in my university (hint! hint!) will take as a cue to prepare for next year’s festival.
By the way, if Maan is reading this, here are some pictures someone else got from the festival. No Jazz Angel photos, though.
I hope I could go next year and stay longer. And convince myself that there is nothing like what Wynton Marsalis calls “the only American form of classical music,” which I do think is very much the world’s now.

Edit: There is a review of the Jazz Festival by Pocholo Concepcion, but unfortunately unavailable online. It’s only on print, in the Monday edition of the Inquirer.

Scenes from Mabamban, San Antonio, Zambales

Taken by my father early in the morning. Note the fog!

Finally, here are some pictures from last weekend’s trip to my godfather’s soon-to-be-farm in San Antonio, Zambales. I chose to upload these four scenes because, well, the most impressive thing was the mountain, Mt. Mabamban. I spent one Sunday afternoon trying to figure out how high that was!
Soon, it could become a destination, if my godfather knows how to play his cards right.

I do not have time for a longer blog piece to mark our National Day…

…so I am glad my old professor, Ambeth Ocampo, decided to print an email I sent in response to his column on the national flag and anthem. Mind you, it was in full. So thank you, Mr. Ocampo.
One more observation exclusive to this site: I should be taking a leaf from Mr. Ocampo and burning CD versions of the National Anthem to take with me. I also dislike the version they play in Ateneo sometime before nine, which indeed sounds too synthesized.
I don’t mind having an organ version of it either—in fact, it works with organ pretty well! When I was watching coverage of a memorial mass for the Spanish train bombing victims, the King entered to a very grand rendering of the Marcha Real, one of the two known sources of our National Anthem. (The other being La Marseillaise and the unknown source a moromoro.) And the organ was used to accompany the anthem at St. Andrew’s during its graduation.

Corpus Christi, untranslated

For “pastoral reasons,” the Catholic Church has moved the celebration of Corpus Christi to this Sunday. Historically, the feast of Corpus Christi has always fallen on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, a way of celebrating the institution of the Eucharist outside of its more penitential setting on Holy Thursday. Thomas Aquinas was largely responsible for the texts of the Roman liturgy for this day as it was adopted in the 14th century, and it is to him that we owe the hymn whose incipit appears as the title of the site for the rest of the week.

I do not see a problem with this transfer, as it is increasingly becoming a trend in other countries, though I was reminded of why it fell on Thursday in the first place. But the office book I use has propers for a Thursday celebration. The other one I have has its own (different) propers which I will use for the Sunday, just so I can celebrate it with everyone else.

Meanwhile, while we are recovering from the high of Trinity Sunday (on which more will be said later), I would like to share a sermon preached by an editor of Ekklesia, one of my favorite Christian websites on the Trinity.