Notes on the Mall

IF YOU’VE NOT BEEN to Robinsons Ilocos Norte, the province’s first mall which opened Dec. 3, you’re probably 1) too busy, 2) too poor, or 3) too spiritual to care about material things and other ephemeral joys.

But I doubt the third reason very much, dear karikna, because we know how luxurious and capricious a lifestyle our priests enjoy these days.  Not even the religious can resist the temptation to indulge, to the point of hedonism, which explains why the Bishop’s Palace has a swimming pool, and why some parish priests have expensive dogs they feed with imported food an impoverished human being (such as an underpaid parish catechist) cannot even afford to provide his own family.

Anyway, I have been to Rob IN (‘Robinsons almost Laoag’ is how some friends call it), and have seen all three films at the Movieworld there: Twilight New Moon, Ninja Assassin, and 2012.

The cinema is decent.  The chairs are comfy.  The sound system is good but not excellent, and  the video is clear but not crystal (there were line distortions on the screen), which made me wonder if the films have been shown in Manila hundreds of times before they were brought here.

Still, Robinsons theatres are a paradise compared to the rat-infested, archaic Isabel, the only other cinema in the province.

*****

I asked the customer service representative (CSR) at the lobby when a new set of movies will be shown.  To my surprise, the employee replied, “Diak ammo, sir.  (I don’t know),” which was a pity because CSR’s are supposed to be well-trained to answer every query, specially valid ones like mine.

I then advised the young lady never to say “I don’t know” when she is in a position to know.  The better answer would be, “I’ll try to find out,” which she did eventually.  According to her supervisor, the movies last for one week, but due to public demand, they may have to extend the screening of some movies.  The supervisor specifically mentioned “New Moon” and “2012”.

I told this story to my colleagues at MMSU, and one of them, out of curiosity, asked the CSR the same thing when the former went to the mall.  Alas, he also got the “Diak ammo” reply from the lady. Continue reading “Notes on the Mall”

More jobs?

There’s a blog dedicated to tackling the burning issue in Laoag City today–the construction of a mall that will force the demolition of a heritage school.   http://laoagcentralissue.wordpress.com

What follows is a couple of  interviews with Laoag City folks on the issue of job generation.

Will the mall project really generate the around-1000 jobs it promises?  What kind of employment will it offer?  Short-term, contractual jobs?

What do you think, karikna?

Bishops’ pectoral crosses go to the highest bidder

Rosales
Rosales

AS A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales last month gave his pectoral cross (that huge accessory that hangs on a prelate’s chest) to someone who, in the cardinal’s opinion, has served the Catholic Church well.

You might be tempted to think that the recipient of such honor is a human rights advocate, or an anti-gambling crusader, or a vanguard of the environment, or a brave journalist, or a catechist who has sacrificed her whole life in the service of God’s vineyard. Well, karikna, don’t give in to such temptation. Yet again, you might be expecting too much of the church. And expectation is a cause of suffering.

Rosales’ pectoral cross went to Felicidad Sy, matriarch of the family which owns the SM retail chain. The Sys handed the church a cash donation that was so big, Rosales, who admits to having “a close relationship with the family”, promised not to disclose it.

Not just one, but two.

In mid-2008, another illustrious archbishop also presented the Sy family his pectoral cross. The Most Reverend Diosdado Talamayan of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, another long-time friend of the family, made the gesture in appreciation of the many cash donations the Chinoy capitalists have given his archdiocese.

Talamayan
Talamayan

There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts. Nothing’s wrong with accepting donations either. I am not surprised that the prelates are receiving huge sums of money, I’m just dismayed that they would come from where they come from. Continue reading “Bishops’ pectoral crosses go to the highest bidder”