Saturday, September 29, 2018

Hypocrisy Dressed as Charity?

Like a fly on the wall, I travel extensively in my vast virtual world, whether invited or not, and assiduously observe fellow humans reveal their innermost feelings whether subtly or not, whether intended or not, within the loose confines of this huge alternate reality.

 Social media in particular is just such an alluring and hypnotizing medium, it can insidiously push one into some trance-like state of cluelessness, or maybe just mindlessness, as to blurt out items too personal or intimate that one would under normal social setting be inhibited from publicly revealing.  But such is the current reality in social media if one focuses or pauses enough to discern it.

Thus, these are observations culled and collated from such virtual travels

 When we speak of our own family, many of us are at times beside ourselves extolling and exalting the endearing qualities of members of the family and admittedly, at times to the point of excess or ennui.  And throw in there, how we may be ecstatic about our children and dear ones as paragons of beauty and grace, and maybe at some unguarded moments, we become quite liberal with superlatives. 

Many confess to not possessing sufficient fluency in providing verse to describe members of the family; and additionally, we earnestly infer that we would do everything in our power to protect and safeguard these beloved family members from any intrusive peril and danger.  Even proffering our lives in sacrifice, all for the welfare of loved ones.   We cannot imagine anything bad or dearth associated with them. At least that is what we are understanding from our declarations.

We no doubt are exhilarated and inspired by such noble protestations and who would not be.  Natural affection comes naturally to those we love and cherish. Except that there typically is a dark side to this.

Because out of these same numbers would come out the same persons who will exhibit the following with nary any hesitance or reservation.

To those who disagree with them in political or religious ideology, or for whatever reasons, they throw caution to the winds for they will extract their “pound of flesh” by any means possible.

Thus, be damned to Judge Kavanaugh, his family, his friends, or his reputation or everything good he stands for, because the end justifies the means, however morally reprehensible and unacceptable they may be.

And this holds true not only to the detractors who are directly involved, but all those who validate and are amused by such tactics, and declaim so in their own spaces.

Our righteousness then applies only to those near and dear to us and those who share our beliefs and ideology.  And we could care less for the others and their families, reputation, etc., whether such hurt is justified or not.

Would that not be a clear sign of hypocrisy?

And everybody loathes and cringes at being accused of such.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Pride and Humility

These are two very distinct and opposing emotions that exert so much drag and pull on our every action and feeling.

So constraining that at times one is hard pressed to realize which one creates more power and influence on human behavior.

To be Christ-like one has to learn how to handle both in any situation.  Whether one is in the right or in the wrong.

When one is wrong and realizes it, it is comparatively easy to bring out the virtue of humility.  It will flow quite easily if one is truly penitent and remorseful.

However, when one is in the right, the emotion of pride is just as demanding.  It is also comparatively easy for one to exhibit rightful indignation and fury or passion against those who have wronged us.  In a way, to fight fire with fire, or to stoop to the same levels that we the rightful party has been dragged.  It would be easy to feel justified doing just that.  It is almost innate in our nature to respond that way.

But over and over, as we consistently and deeply study the life of Christ, He commands us to take the more commendable though difficult path.  Taking the high road, even when doing so is not easy and exhausting.  The proverbial turning of the other cheek, when buffeted on the other.

We declare yourselves in many instances how we model our lives to that of Christ, but how truly do we mold our lives like unto His?


Friday, August 03, 2018


The issue of parenting is both apropos and relevant for young parents.

There are how-to or self-help books on parenting, maybe to a point that there may be too much information about the subject. And many times, these different sources take divergent analyses or opinions on the same subject(s), maybe to a point that can confuse earnest parents.

But one thing we learn from experience is that each child is uniquely different, thus how to properly parent a child will depend largely on a parent's intimate and personal knowledge and understanding of each child.

There is an almost inherent bias for parents to assume that if they believe they were raised properly, what worked for them will work for their children too. After all, many of us know and believe that a child is composed of 50% of one spouse, and the other 50% of the other spouse, so it would be easy to assume that at that default stage we already know enough of our children to tailor the kind of parenting we believe will work.

But nothing I believe is farther from reality. Each child is still uniquely different from both parents to a point that we cannot safely say that the child is like either one of the parents, or maybe likened to other ancestors. That is just one facet of the mystery and awesomeness of life.

Additionally, as parents we tend to treat our children as fragile and easily traumatized individuals. Many facts point to a somewhat accepted reality that children are typically stronger, more malleable, and able to adapt to varying degrees of conditions and situations than we think they can. There is more than enough knowledge to show that children born and raised in very challenging situations have been able to lift themselves with their own bootstraps to become functioning and exemplary members of our society.

Does it make parenting more difficult? I believe so, since we now collectively possess more knowledge than the previous generations, the responsibilities become exponentially greater. Add to that the fact that life itself has become more and more complicated for the coming generations. Remember the cliché, with great powers come greater responsibilities.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Neri-San Jose of Cagayan de Oro Genealogy

Having come in possession of sufficient data, it is opportune to define and trace the Neri-San Jose branch of the Neri Genealogy.

At the start of the 1800’s, we begin with Salvador Neri, who married a Coronado.  History notes that Salvador became gobernadorcillo from 1831 to 1832.

We also have information about his known siblings.  They were Lino Neri who followed Salvador as gobernadorcillo from 1832 to 1833, allowing us to presume that he was a younger brother.

Another sibling was Leon Neri and from him we have the start of what we may call the Neri-Velez branch of the genealogy.

Salvador produced three known sons, Pedro, Graciano, and Ramon.  Graciano and Ramon married two San Jose sisters, namely Dominga and Emmanuela.

My family comes from the Graciano line (he died in 1907).

We did not know much about his one sibling named Pedro.  But for his other sibling, Ramon, we know a lot.  And one significant detail was that 2 sons of Ramon, namely Vicente and Ramon, Jr. married two Fernandez sisters, namely Vicenta and Josefa.

Graciano and Dominga produced 8 children and they are as follows:

Anastacio Neri, who was married to Marianita Velez, and who died in August 14, 1923, childless.  At one point, he was a mayor of Cagayan de Oro.

Pedro “Edrit” Neri, who married Crescencia Mercado/Rabatido.  Born in 1898, he died on December 24, 1925, childless. He had spent his life in what was then called Tagnipa.  The place is now known as El Salvador.

Filomeno “Minoy” Neri, who was single and childless.

Faustino “Tinoy” Neri, who married Matilde Menciano.

Ramon Neri, who married Cleofe Velez (born in 1875).  Born in 1878, he died in 1932.

Paz “Inday” Neri, who married Nicolas Pelaez of Tailisayan

Conchita Neri, who married Juan Borja.  Born on January 3, 1883, she died on January 25, 1945, childless.

Felisa “Feling” Neri, who married Casimiro Tamparong, Sr.

Our direct line started with Ramon Neri-San Jose who married Cleofe Velez.

The attached chart outlines the rest of the branch up to the current generation
1.       Pedro Edrit Roa 2. Lucia Neri (Marbella) 3. Felisa Neri-Tamparong 4.Crescencia Mercado-Neri 5. Conchita Neri-Borja 6. Faustino Neri 7. Manuel Rabgo 8. Laura (Laureta) Rabago 9. Chito Rabago 10. Paz Neri-Pelaez Picture taken circa 1907-1908
In the photo the siblings are Pedro, Felisa, Conchita, Faustino, and Paz. Thus, the other siblings not in the picture are Anastacio, Filomeno, and our grandfather, Ramon, to complete the eight offspring of Graciano Coronado Neri and Dominga San Jose. In the above photo, the only person not included in that generation is Lucia Neri, an elder sister of my father.


Our paternal grandfather,  Ramon Neri-San Jose.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Remembering Elvis

To this day, I wonder why I and millions more around the globe continue to listen to the songs of Elvis, especially his earlier songs though including some of those recorded later in his life.  And mind you, not only listen, but countless others from all over, try to imitate his voice and singing style.

Why?  Especially because no other popular singer in memory has garnered so much attention and inspiration as this guy.

I may have a peek of the reason or reasons why.

It may center on the uniqueness of his voice and of course, the distinctive style of his singing, which, btw, courted sufficient negative criticism from a number of other accomplished and famous singers of his time.  Singers noted for their very refined and smooth renditions of their recorded songs.  Songs done with such finesse and clarity as to be completely flawless.

The more famous songs of Elvis could be said to be rendered coarsely, more raw and unrefined, some bordering on being primal shouts or shrieks, with him relying heavily on his voice rather than the accompaniment or arrangement.

But if anything, Elvis did his songs as some kind of soul baring, like his songs were an exercise of emptying himself of all that he got inside, in both his core and soul.

So when he sung it was not simply to show how high or how far the notes he could carry or bring, or how fast his cadence without slurring words and stumbling over notes.  He avidly tried to pour out all he got and left things the way they came out and sounded.  Thus, he was almost fanatical about how he sung his songs, and for this, none, even those closest in his retinue, was spared from his almost violent displeasure when anybody tried to critique his style.

It also gave clear insight to the almost meaningless explanation he postulated about his singing, when he said that singing was not about style and technique, but about putting yourself into your songs.  

 And I do believe people of all persuasion from all over the world can readily identify with this and maybe try to emulate it in their own lives or entertainment careers.

It certainly holds true for me.   Enjoy, this simple imitation of one of his more known songs.