Saturday, March 20, 2010

Philippine's Healing Priest in Butuan

For the second time, Congressman Jose Aquino II invited Fr. Fernando Suarez to have a Healing Mass in Butuan City.

The day falls on the Congressman's 54th birthday celebration, a unique way to offer a gift to the people, giving the opportunity to be touched and be healed with whatever afflictions they may have.

People on wheelchair, canes and even a woman who is bedridden for quite a long time due to spinal problems was brought to Sanchez Gym in Caraga State University hoping to be well.

Father Fernando for all his supernatural ability to heal, is ironically a natural, down-to-earth, warm and cheerful person devoid of any self-pride. He is so intimately people-friendly and accommodating that crowds gravitate and relate to him like they have known him as a long time friend.

One character that is his greatest asset to a fault is his simplicity and humility. Father Suarez strikes everyone as a good-natured and humble person that can be instinctively trusted and easy to confide to; thus everyone always wants to come close to him seeking miraculous favors.

But the gift of healing wasn't meant to be kept in secret, it was destined by God to be shared by Father Fernando for the benefit of those who needs it the most. They are the poor, the destitute and desperate who have lost all hope in life, and have no one to turn to for their physical needs.

Father Fernando prioritizes the critically-ill patients who are bed-ridden, next in line are those unable to walk and are saddled on wheelchairs.

Routinely, he would hold both hands and lifting them up to encourage the patient to stand; as he guides them to walk independently on their own. Miraculously, they rise up to naturally walk with him as if nothing of their complications ever transpired. Thereafter, he gives the wheelchair to the patient who pulls it out of the aisle walking on their own.

People in attendance were required to pin a piece of paper on their chest, written on it are the afflictions in the fulfillment of their healing requests.

"The Lord heals by His Presence, His Touch, through His Word and by partaking of the Holy Eucharist. It is by your faith in Jesus that you are healed. When you come to Him, humbling oneself to ask for forgiveness and healing, God responds accordingly with great compassion and outpouring of Love."

Father Suarez is ably assisted by his fellow Canadian priest Father Jeff Shannon. Both of them belong to the Canadian Congregation of the Companions of the Cross. Many who were healed attests to the healing capabilities of Father Jeff and like Father Fernando, it is a common sight to see people falling unconsciously on their backs after being prayed over by them and "slained by the Holy Spirit".

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Walk with Women’s Rights

The AFP supports Women's Month Celebration

One significant law giving utmost importance of women in the community is the R.A. 6949, “An Act to Declare March 8 of Every Year as a Working Special Holiday to be Known as National Women’s Day” which was signed by President Aquino on April 10, 1990.

In Butuan City, the Regional Development Council Gender and Development Coordinating Council (RDC-GADCC) formed in 1998 is spearheading the event to highlight women’s achievements.

The Women’s Month Celebration kicks off March 1, 2010 with the RDC-GADCC of Caraga Region headed by its Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Regional Director Atty. Marilyn Pintor leading the 5AM Walk for Women’s Rights with thousands of participants joining followed by the program proper and the Hataw Exercise.

The theme of this year’s month-long celebration which is “Babae, Tagumpay ka ng Bayan!” inspires partners from government agencies, non-government organizations and the private sector on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta of Women which they hope will soon be approve this month to enforce the law fully.

Atty. Pintor reminded the women to report all forms of abuses and said, “For one specific problem, one can make a difference, and for one life of a woman, each one can make a difference.”

She said, all laws pertaining to women’s protection against all kinds of abuses will be useless, unless their provisions are disseminated especially to those who need this most.

Part of the activities for March is the holding of a Candidate’s Forum to increase awareness of the general public on the platforms of the local candidates to advance the status of women which can be the basis of holding them accountable in case they win the election.

Candidates from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte were invited and this will be held on March 16 at Balanghai Hotel & Convention Center.

Butuan, Aiming for a Fire Safe City

Fire Prevention Month is observed every year per Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A signed on Nov. 17, 1967 by then President Ferdinand Marcos,
aimed at raising the level of awareness of the public of the ways to prevent fires and save lives and properties.

The 44th Observance of Fire Prevention Month carries the theme: “Sustaining Fire Prevention through Active Community Participation,” starting off with a thanksgiving mass, motorcade and a short program at the Rizal Park.

Mayor Democrito D. Plaza II was represented by Vice Mayor Dino Claudio Sanchez, and reads' the Mayor's message which says, “We are all here today to collectively express our support to Fire Prevention.”

Vice Mayor Sanchez has announced that the city has been enjoying as one of the lowest fire incidents in the country attributed to the hard work of the BFP in their fire prevention education, strictly enforcing the fire codes and for doing the fire safety awareness.

“There are still people who do not see the value of creating fire safe city until it maybe too late, fire safety is the collective responsibility of every member of the community and the kick off ceremony represents a major step in our continued partnership towards building a fire safe Butuan,” said Vice Mayor Sanchez.

The city government of Butuan is hoping that if the community can act positively, the city can achieve a zero fire incident rate in the future.

For the whole month of March, the BFP will conduct a series of activities such as, Oplan: Musika Laban sa Sunog, on the spot drawing contest, radio interviews, fire olympics, fire drills, intensification of fire safety inspections to business establishments, and handing out fire prevention tips leaflets