Meycauayan Bells: A Piece of an Invaluable History

A hundred and thirteen years ago, American troops took these bells as war booty from the church of Parish of St. Francis of Assisi. A hundred and thirteen years later, it has found its way back home. 

Journey Back Home

Tagged as the "Meycauayan Bells", this piece of artifact was retrieved in Omaha, Nebraska, USA on July 2011. It was found by archivist Monte Kniffen of the Sisters of Mercy. It is believed that it was taken care of by the Sisters of Mercy in Red Bluff, California. According to the archivist, it is possible that a family or a small museum administration have turned it over to the convent after realizing that it was church bells.*

It was then given by Sisters of Mercy Midwest Community USA President Sister Judith Frikker, RSM to Philippine Consul General to Chicago Leo M. Herrera-Lim on October 2011.*

Later on, it was turned over to the National Museum. And then on August 6, 2012, it was turned over to the Diocese of Malolos, where it will be kept as a major part of the diocese's history. It could have stayed with the parish in Meycauayan but since we don't have a museum here, it has been decided that it will be kept in Malolos.

Turn-over of the Meycauayan Bells to the Diocese of Malolos
August 6, 2012 | Jubilee for Clergy
(photo by Marvin Dalag)
But of course, it has to be taken back to where it originally came from. Thus, it will be displayed at the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi until October 4, 201, feast of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Meycauayan Bells

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the artifact is approximately 10 inches in length and about 3.5 inches in width. Having seen it up-close, I personally think the measurement fits. It is quite heavy for a typical handbell used in masses and I think it's because of the thick wood where the bells are attached. 

As seen on the photo, it comes with a parchment that contains the inscription:

"Taken from the church at MEYCAUAYAN, Luczon (sic) Islands after bombardment by Utah Battery March 29, 1899. By P.O. Thomas, Co. A Battalion of Engineers."

Kuya Marvin and I thought that it could have originally been a part of a bell wheel, but Fr. Uly pointed out that the cut on the sides of the wood were fine so it is quite impossible that it was a part of a bigger artifact. Also, he pointed out that if the bells were taken on 1899, it is definitely older than what we all believe it is. For all we know, it could be as old as our parish (more than 400 years old!)

The fact that the bells are very historic amuses me; but what fascinates me more is its sound. It creates a kind of ringing sound that gives me goosebumps (and I am not exaggerating). It resonates like the SeƱor San Jose bell on the tower. It was beautiful to listen to.

Valuable Motivation

After seeing the bell and then talking to Kuya Marvin, Kuya Ron-Ron and Kuya Robby, I found greater motivation to discover the history of my town and my parish; and to be part of the group which aims to take care of the great stories that hones the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi and the town (now city) of Meycauayan into what it should really be. 

I wish that like the Meycauayan Bells, the glory that this wonderful place deserves comes back home too... soon.

*Taken from
image source:

[BOOK REVIEW] 50 Shades Freed by E.L. James

Okay. So this is the final review for the trilogy and I hope I would be allowed to be very honest here.

Negative first. 

The story was a little draggy to me, that I had to skip some parts on the beginning until almost 60% of the book (or maybe I was just sleepy when I read it?) and then when things just get riled up and the climax is finally on, things got rushed. 

I hate it when that happens. But I cannot blame the author. Perhaps, it's the fact that there are many questions raised during the first two books that everything had to be done that way; but personally, I could say that that 60% could have been cut into half and then add the 30% taken to the remaining 40%, then make the story much, much more enticing and detailed. 

And perhaps, (OOPS SPOILER HERE!) I was just too inclined with stories where the heroine had to be severely battered and not just kicked on the rib, that I really would have loved it more if Anastasia had to battle it out so she could have displayed more things she had learned from Ray, the ex-army stepfather. 

That's it.. for the downside. 

Despite the minimal flaws I saw, 50 Shades of Freed was really a good story. It did answer questions. It did sufficed me with reasons why things happened in the first two books. I really liked the fact that Anastasia remained to be the brave young girl who fought for herself, for her family and for the people she loved. We are already in an advanced world where chauvinism (excuse me if I exaggerated with the term) may also be expected from women, and this book had added to the list of the stories which prove that. Gender equality! Girl Power! Yeah!

And I think I have to admit that I actually cried during the part where Ana was saying goodbye to Christian over the phone at the bank. I also cried during the confrontation when Christian was being a ridiculous, idiotic, and selfish bastard for not accepting his son easily. My thing for rejection kicked in and the waterworks came. When that happened, I knew that I loved the story more than I thought I did.

Although it was really rushed, I really loved the 'bedtime story'. It's good that the author found a nice way to tell Christian's history (which I was dying to know). I felt like it was a breather. You know, most times they're in bed, they're just having sex; so it's something new that they really just laid on the bed, talk about things and gear themselves up for a new future that awaits. I guess I have to thank the incident and Christian's self control for that matter. HAHA!

At the end, there was an epilogue that dates to 2014. Okay, so that's two years from now and Ted's born already, Christian's enjoying the life of a father, and Ana's pregnant with another kid. Like one blog had said, it's a happily ever after, and I think I liked it just like that. 

Then, there's Christian's short story as a child. It may seem boring at first but I loved that part. You know, Christmas is like a a symbol of redemption. You get to enjoy the season only if you are truly happy or - at least - when you know that you should be happy. Christmas is a time for kids, and Christian - celebrating his first Christmas with the Greys - is like a refreshing memory to always remember. It signifies that Christian was finally a child - free from all sorts of pains and horrible experiences.

The last bonus material was my favorite. It's a whole new perspective. Like Midnight Sun of the Twilight Saga. It's a quick trip through Christian's mind, and I would love to read that. The 50 Shades Trilogy was written on Ana's point of view, as we all know. 

Argh. I really want that part to be turned into another trilogy because I want to read it as much as I want to read Midnight Sun. 

So yeah, 50 Shades Trilogy was a very interesting read (obscene scenes included!) and to people, it's more than just the sex. Some friends tagged it as the 'porn book' but skip all those details and the story is still good.

Take time to read it, people. :)

P.S. I'm not joking nor exaggerating; but most times I intend to type 'CHRISTIAN' in this post, I end up typing 'JAMES'...............................................................

My Bipolarity and the Sanctity of Words

I just don't get it how easy people can change. Are good relationships really as evanescent as it can be? Is there really a supposed time frame for people's good attitudes? Are people really not that strong enough to maintain the dignity they have as human beings, and resist the urge to be monsters?

I am bipolar. My moods are unpredictable. One minute, I'm happy. The other, I'm fucked up. There is totally no way to tell my next move, the next emotion I will feel. Sometimes, I annoy people. Most times, I annoy people. That's just the way it is.

But despite my intense bipolarity, I feel so proud to assure you that I am sensitive - extremely at that. It could come off negatively, but I try hard to use it for the positive things. Often, I use it to detect how others feel, so I may know how to deal with them properly.

One truth about me is that I'm uncontrollably tactless. My mouth is an Armalite once it begins. I am overflowing with opinions as my thoughts are incessant when I'm in rage. There's no stopping.

And because of that, I hurt many people in the past; and until now, I feel guilty for all that happened. I tried to apologize and reach out, and work hard on changing myself. I have promised not to use words again to hurt others. Because learning it the hard way, I know how deep it cuts - because I've been wounded by it a lot.

Words are indeed powerful. It make or break people. 

Some told me before that the words will only affect you, depending on how you perceive its meaning. I think it's from the theory of Symbolic Interactionism of George Herbert Mead which informed me that. It says the meaning of things derive from the kind of interaction a person has with the society. So if I understand it correctly, a simple 'NO' to someone who had been exposed to a lot of rejection in the past could be a little dreadful, if compared to a 'NO' said to someone who had been treated fairly well by life.

Realizing all these things, I can now conclude that words are sacred. It convenes meaning which could change lives. Like what James Lee had said, the power of words is beautiful. I never want to lose that quintessential character of whatever I say.

But then sensitivity also plays a great role in a good relationship. Social status is not enough to jeopardize the healthy connection between two persons. I don't believe that one who has a higher position is given the right to be mean to someone standing below his level; because if tides turn and they switch places, I am pretty certain that the 'higher' wouldn't want to be treated rudely by the 'lower'. 

I am not entirely sure as to why I'm writing like I'm in an academe. My bipolarity might have kicked in unknowingly. Perhaps, I'm just trying to sound professional and elite, even just for this time, so I could give off the impression that I'm definitely more than who people think I am? 

Oh yes, maybe that's it. 

But I think that for a bipolar that I am, it's not all fun. 

Bakit Ako Anti-RH Bill at Usapang Plagiarism

Masyadong mainit na usapin ang Reproductive Health Bill. Nung una, payag ako. Naisip ko kase, may mga bagay na kailangan tayong malaman. Masyado na nga naman tayong nahuhuli sa lahat. Pero ewan ko ba. Matapos ang habagat, bigla kong naisip na hindi ko pa rin talaga pwedeng isakripisyo ang prinsipyo ko para lang sumunod sa gusto ng marami.

Hindi nga naman talaga masama. Naiintindihan ko ang sinasabi ng lahat na makakatulong ito para mabawasan ang populasyon sa Pilipinas at makakapagsalba nga naman ito ng buhay ng mga ina. Hindi naman siguro masamang tanggapin na may mabuting maidudulot kapag naipasa ang batas na ito.

Pero hindi ibig sabihin non, bibitawan ko na yung isang bagay na pinapaniwalaan ko.

Hindi naman sa nanghuhusga, pero ang paniniwala ko kasi, kapag naipasa na ang bill na ito, magiging morally accepted na ang Pre-Marital Sex. Naiintindihan ko naman na maraming gumagawa nito, at hindi ko naman sinasabing masama. Pero... pero... pero pano ko nga ba ipapaliwanag ang isang argumentong nag-ugat sa pagiging Katoliko ko? Na hindi sasabihin ng lahat na korni ako?  

Wala akong sinusubukang kumbinsihin sa sinabi kong iyon. Wala rin sa kagustuhan kong makasakit o ano pa man. Ang sa akin lang, ang pagpasa ng RH Bill ay parang pagtakas sa mga responsibilidad natin bilang tao.

Hindi ganoon kalawak ang kaalaman ko tungkol sa batas na ito, pero hindi naman siguro masama kung sabihin kong ang mga bagay na gustong ituro ng RH Bill, pwede naman magawa sa natural na paraan. Kung may disiplina, kung may diskarte, kung may self-control, hindi magiging problema ang mga bagay na sinasabing sosolusyunan ng kontrobersyal na batas na ito.

Ewan ko bakit ganito katindi ang paniniwala kong hindi natin kailangan ang RH Bill. Siguro kase mas gusto kong ginagawa yung mahirap na bagay para mas matutunan ko yung importansya ng aral na ituturo non, kesa instant ang resulta. 


Pero aaminin ko, nag-iisip na rin ako kung gusto ko pa ngang maging ANTI-RH Bill. Hindi dahil sa nag-iiba na ang paninindigan ko e. Kundi dahil ayokong makasalo sa isang paniniwala ang isang taong hindi alam ang ginagawa.

Yung totoo, hindi patungkol sa isyu ng reproductive health ang matinding pagkainis ko ngayon sa isang senador ng bansa. Tungkol ito sa usapin ng plagiarism.

Meycauayan Spots: Randy Simbol's Salon

Frankly speaking, if it's not for Louie and Kuya Marvin, I wouldn't have known that there's a very impressive hair salon in Meycauayan who will finally make me understand why beauty salons are necessary in a community.

Owned by Randy Simbol, this salon is located in Calvario, Meycauayan City. As I was exposed to likes of Tony and Jackey, the place's layout is typical for me. But if we are to compare this among the different salons in Meycauayan, there is no denying that I would prefer this place over anything else. It has the minimalist feel which I undoubtedly adore.

Aside from being the proprietor, Randy is the main hair stylist. I first went to him last July and I loved what he did to my hair. When I got home, I told my friend that I've worn the layered hairstyle a lot of times in the past already but I think it's only when I had it cut by Randy did it actually look good on me. 

Just recently, I got my hair colored there too. Although it was Randy's assistant (I forgot to get his name!) who did the job, it was still under his supervision and it turned out good. :) At the moment, I am actually loving the changes and I'm just so thankful that I actually entrusted a huge part of it on this new friend.

I am yet to discover about Randy's background on cosmetics and hair styling but I guess you can check out his Facebook page to at least get the idea of how credible he is. He's friends with Mannie Halasan, the gown and crown designer I blogged about last time; and his clients include Cong. Linabelle Villarica and Vice Mayor Jojo Manzano.