Does Religion matter in your relationship with Filipinos?

I’ve been wondering how expats (religious or not) deal with Catholicism in this country. We just had Holy Week and then Pope John Paul II was beatified and then there is the RH Bill debate in which Bishops here in the Philippines are so opposed-so much so a priest uttered something not so nice to a congresswoman.

If you don’t mind, I’ll just focus more about  Catholic faith after all, 60%  or 70% of Filipinos are Catholic (the others are of different religious sect).

So of course Catholics has been subjected to many criticism, many controversies as some of the moral standards in which values are being uphold differ from what is being preached. This is especially true for the priests involved with child molestations. Any violation on the laws morality should definitely be investigated.

Pope John Paul II - recently beatified
Pope John Paul II – recently beatified

Having said that, still if there is one thing that binds Filipinos together, it’s religion. Philippines is country whose religious beliefs and devotion to Catholicism is very much evident in most of the day to day living.

As everyone knows, religion is powerful force. A potent shield against a dictatorial ruler of the nation of decades past. It help unite many Filipinos for just cause. As the only Catholic country in Asia, religion gave many Filipinos the freedom to worship and strengthen faith. This religion has helped us go through the adversities whether political in nature or something else.

Beautiful Church in Bogo, Northern Cebu
Beautiful Church in Bogo, Northern Cebu

As country with so many Catholics, Doctrines and Laws of Catholicism  is still very much followed here – no to divorce, no to abortion, no same sex marriage. That there should always be that moral fiber in everything a Catholic does.  A devout one will always adhere to these doctrines. But the argument there for so many, a person has choice for everything, and that these laws should not be shove at to all Catholics.

Well, let’s see,  I studied at all girls private Catholic school- elementary all the way to college- yes, sad I know, nuns everywhere. I had to do 4 weeks of summer work for theology class project. I’m so Catholic and so conservative! I’m no expert but I pretty much know about morals and values. But I think being Catholic, there are so many restriction of actions an individual must take into consideration.  Oh well.

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned  religion is so much part life here. Many homes have symbols of faith. Sunday is a church day. For every occasion, everything will need to start with a prayer.  Schools here have morning prayer, afternoon prayer, an Angelus and then, prayer before going home. In the malls there are prayer services. And yes, there is that Twelve ‘o clock Angelus. In my school before, there is a 9 a.m Angelus, then a 12 then 3 pm. These are samples of everyday living where you can see religion as part of a Filipinos existence. There is so much more, actually.

For those who have been in the Philippines for quite some time now, is religion important to you as they are to many Filipinos? When it comes to relationship, Is it factor or hindrance to your marriage? If your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend is Catholic, do you go to church with them? You pray with them? You worship the same way that they do?

Of course you have your own religion. But what if  you don’t have any, or it’s different, are you willing to convert? Now these often becomes a basis of argument among couples. Lets face it money, infidelity are major reasons why couples go on separate ways. With Religion, it either makes the relationship stronger or it can also be the cause of a break-up.

A relationship with a Filipino will always involve religion. There are traditions and laws of morality that comes with being a Catholic.

Whether expat or not, whatever religion you have…or you don’t have.  A validation of love is to understand and respect the choice religion of your partner.

Well, Amen to that and peace.

Post Author: Sugar (66 Posts)

A Filipino. Living and working in Manila. Has a soft spot for expats. Always have an opinion about anything and everything.

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. dans says

    hi sugar,

    “With Religion, it either makes the relationship stronger or it can also be the cause of a break-up.”

    I do not agree with that statement at all, a relationship should not be based on religion, it will not make it stronger either, I am a certified atheist, I don’t believe in any supernatural being and that includes the super daddy, however my wife is a devout catholic and her entire family, she religiously say the rosary every night, despite of our difference in belief, it’s never an issue between us and her family.

    relationship should be based on trust, love, respect and loyalty and should never be based on one’s religious belief.

    • sugar says

      Hi Dans – Okay, it’s good to hear that it has never been an issue and it really shouldn’t be. Thanks.

  2. says

    Wow!! Great article topic and one I could not resist commenting on.

    Although I am not athiest, I do agree with Dan much more than I disagree. I guess I would be considered agnostic.

    I highly doubt there is a God, Heaven, or anything like that. There has NEVER EVER EVER been a shred of evidence presented to support the BELIEF that there is a God or a Heaven. But I will not go as far as to say there is no possible way for those things to be true. I just do not believe it to be the case. If I am wrong…that is fine with me.

    As far as my relationship with my fiance. We have a very good relationship. She is very religious, a Catholic, and she knows that I am not. I do not infringe on her beliefs and she does not infringe on mine. We discuss things and agree to disagree.

    The Catholic church is helping create HUGE problems in the Philippines and it is sad more Filipinos do not see this. The Catholic church has far too much power in the Filipines and filipinos need to understand this.

    I have seen most of the reproductive bill that has been introduced and I do not agree with parts of it….but come on Filipinos!!! How many more unwed, poor, and barely able to take care of themselves mothers and fathers does the Philippines need?

    Do you understand the lack of knowledge and the availability of birth control is causing huge problems in your country? Do you really think it is a good idea for a large family that can barely make it to keep on having babies?

    Is it a good idea for such young mothers to have children when they can barely take care of and feed themselves and their family can barely make it? Of course not, why deny this?

    I think that you can have a GREAT relationship with two people that do not agree on religion if both of those people show respect to each other. My gf really thinks that God watches over her and will make sure she gets through the tough times in her life. I do not agree at all.

    I think SHE will be the one that makes it through the times through her toughness (she is much tougher than I am), her work ethic, and her decision making. She knows how I feel, but I do not criticize her beliefs, we discuss them.

    And finally, when are people going to realize that religion has NOTHING to do with ethics or morality. When is that ridiculous belief going to end. I know of many many religious people that are the most ill moral and unethical people I have ever met.

    And I know many athiest that are some of the finest people that ever walked this earth.

    I totally support anyone that has religious beliefs…unless those beliefs are violent and full of hatred.

    To the Catholic church of the Philippines….WAKE UP! This is 2011…pull your heads out of your…..and wake up.

    • dans says

      todd you are not an agnostic as you thought, with your statement…

      “I highly doubt there is a God, Heaven, or anything like that. There has NEVER EVER EVER been a shred of evidence presented to support the BELIEF that there is a God or a Heaven.”

      that makes you more an atheist than agnostic.

      • Czarjohn says

        yes, but he also stated that there is a POSSIBILITY for the existence of god, and everything supenatural related to him. So, he’s not fully an atheist, hes an Agnostic-atheist.

    • sugar says

      Hi Todd – Thanks. Sometimes, in manila, if one passes by in the slums or squatters area, you’ll see so many kids playing and then mothers with many kids, pregnant.. again ..whilst carrying 3 kids in her arms. There’s needs awareness.

  3. Paul Thompson says

    Hi Sugar;
    I was raised Catholic, and also did some time in Catholic School. Today I’m non-religious, my wife is Catholic, and with my understanding of her beliefs, it has never caused us any problems.
    The Philippines lacks the will power to inforce the separation of Church and State. If any Church wants to be involved with the running of the Government, that’s fine, as long as they are willing to give up their tax free status. (What would be the chance of that happening?)
    The people who are members of any church, are welcome into politics, as long as the Church Hierarchy remain in the background. If laws are based on Church doctrine and not the will of the voter, then again the line has been crossed.

    • sugar says

      Hi Paul – Yep, they don’t pay any taxes… and then they get like donations.

      The Church will always meddle anyway.. in any affairs if they deemed in affecting the morals of people.. something like that. A light example.. or maybe not. Not sure. There is this Fast Food commercial that recently like last month I guess, and due to pressures from the Church (and other ‘concerned groups) the TV ad was pulled because they said it’s corrupting the mind of minors. (ad is of boy and girl – sorta like b/f g/f.. he he). In some cases (like helping to throw out dictator) it helped that they meddled took a stand, but for most, it’s not good. Anyway, I don’t like church leaders running for any kind of office.

    • Papa Duck says

      Sugar, Paul

      I was raised Catholic too. I went to a Catholic School up until high school. My parents are staunch catholics. Paul, totally agree with you on the separation of church and state. The church should in no way be involved in decisions of the government. That would have a negative affect on the other religions. I think the Catholic Church needs to make some changes to keep up with the times. Molestation by priests is a major problem and has cost the church millions of dollars in settlements. One of the changes I think should be to allow priests to marry, and that would eliminate some of the molestations. Another problem is churches are losing alot of there members, especially here in the US. I just think the catholic church doesn’t appeal to alot of the younger gerneration. Good post. Have a nice day!

      • sugar says

        Hi Papa Duck – I guess it’s time to make some changes.. for the good. Separation church and state is good too but that’ll never happen here. Just cause politicians need the church blessing of some kind or something. Plus many will follow and agree with the church and Bishops rather than the politicians. Thanks, Papa Duck

  4. says

    Well the reason I say agnostic is because I do not completely say that God and Heaven is impossible. I just highly doubt it. But there is a chance.

    The athiest I know are POSITIVE in their beliefs there is no God…I am not positive…but close!

    Either way, the Catholic church needs to wake up. Any of us that have been in the Philippines has seen the damage the church has done. To go along blindly as they always have and totally ignore (it appears) serious issues based on THEIR beliefs is amazing to me.

    But I strongly believe that men and women can have a great relationship based on totally different religious beliefs.

    • dans says


      most likely your understanding with atheism is “somewhat” incorrect, even Richard Dawkins put his belief to 99.9% that he don’t believe in god, he said that it is very arrogant of him if he will claim a 100% disbelief while he cannot prove the existence of any god.

      if you are not 100% positive but somewhat close then you are an explicit atheist because you have a conscious disbelief, as G.H Smith suggested that “The man who is unacquainted with theism is an atheist because he does not believe in a god”, a newly born child is considered as an implicit atheist because “the absence of theistic belief without a conscious rejection of it”

      • Jim Hannah says

        I believe Dawkins point of view is that an agnostic is one who believes that the existence or non existence of a god is a simple 50/50 likelihood of existence or non existence. On analysing an argument though, the chances are that likelihood or otherwise will be far removed from 50%, in either direction, so one would be closer to being a theist or an atheist, but unlikely to be sitting exactly in the middle of the wall.

        Er…yes, interesting, but a bit of topic. :-)

      • says

        Well God! LOL. I guess I am athiest….at least by that definition. But by MY definition I am not.

        Whether we believe in God or not, the church has much too much power in the Philippines.

        How people cannot see that what they teach…in almost a bully fashion…is hurting this country so many of us love.

        Anyway, good article and great comments. I just wish people could see the damage all these children being born are doing to the Philippines. It is devastating.

    • dans says


      “But I strongly believe that men and women can have a great relationship based on totally different religious beliefs.” <- I truly agree on this one.

      religion or god has nothing to do with love, trust, respect and loyalty.

      I believe in human's ability and capability, morality is not a god given gift, i strongly believe that humans are capable of morality without any help from god or religion.

      superstition is the enemy of progress and god is the mother of all superstitions.

  5. David L Smith says

    hi Sugar
    My wife is fairly committed to her church and beliefs and i support her in everyway although im not a catholic myself. Having said that though i was surprised and rather pleased actually that she does not believe in all the antiquated teachings of the faith. We had a conversation about birth control and she stated “of course i am not against using it, does the church feed all the unplanned babies that are born, no they dont, so they dont have the right to tell me its not right to protect myself”…..I myself am not so sure about religion, maybe there is something else , another life , who really knows?…what i do believe in though, is that the bible is the biggest fairy tale book ever written.

    • sugar says

      Hi David – I’m kind of d’oh when it comes to birth control and and pills or whatever. I’m pro life. Anyway, it’s good to see you support your wife in her religious beliefs. Just curious, do you go to church with her? I’m actually just curious, if those with foreigners who aren’t Catholic goes to church with their spouse. The ex bf when he was here, he doesn’t have a religion, I think, but I do remember going to church with him. One good thing he’s not all squirmy or anything.

      • David L Smith says

        hi Sugar
        So far i have never been to church with my wife…a further posting that i made after this one will clearly indicate that im quite anti church but not against religion or what people believe in. Having said that , if my wife ever indicated to me that it was importent to her for me to accompany her to church then yes i would go. At the moment though she is content to catch up with some of her friends in church for a natter and im content to stay home and watch a movie and enjoy a cold beer…or two, lol

  6. ian says

    Sugar- you posted ” As country with so many Catholics, Doctrines and Laws of Catholicism is still very much followed here – no to divorce, no to abortion, no same sex marriage”
    Didnt you miss one?- no sex before marriage ??
    I’m amused to see you refer to yourself as conservative when by your own confessions you have had at least one relationship without being married. lol
    I am not putting you down for that by the way, as I find that in this country what is preached and what is practised are very often very much different [ in terms of premarital sex]

    • says

      The things that sugar pointed out – no divorce, no abortion and no same sex marriage – are laws of the Republic. As far as I know, there is no law against premarital sex. Perhaps I am wrong on that, if so, please provide the Republic Act number. I found a mention on Wikipedia that premarital sex is illegal, but they give no basis for the claim, and I don’t always trust what Wikipedia says, as anybody can edit it.

      • says

        But Sugar was referring to “Doctrines and Laws of Catholicism” not laws of the Philippines. So in the Doctrines and Laws of Catholicism is premarital sex not a sin?

      • sugar says

        Hi Bob- Thank you. Yes agree, and that Wikipedia thing… when I research, I don’t really rely on them.

    • sugar says

      Hi Ian – Well, yes, it’s still very much followed. I have friends.. who are like that.. for now. No sex before marriage. The very very purist, devout certainly. Does it still happen these days? Uhm, I dunno. Though. In my case, I had a relationship, and lived with that someone, but don’t think it makes me less of a conservative. When said I am so catholic and conservative because I mean, I grew up with Catholic teachings. Living w/ someone even briefly.. is not a sin. Well if it is, charge me with crimes of passion. Yikes.

      • Biz Doc says

        hi sugar,

        re “..Living w/ someone even briefly.. is not a sin..” < isn't that being too simplistic ?

        clearly, what was forbidden was lust, adultery, and its other similar forms. you can live with someone and yet not have sexual relations.

        Joseph served as foster father to Jesus and spouse to Mary, yet he never betrayed God's trust in him by having relations with Mary, the Mother of God on earth. God chose Mary for her many virtues, and Joseph for his, to be able to deserve becoming the earthly parents of the God-in-the-flesh, Jesus.

        our humanity simply cannot comprehend that the God who left heaven to walk upon the earth in the flesh also deserved to have heaven in the home that only His human parents, Mary & Joseph, could have provided. in a spiritual sense, it is to be among kindred spirits, and to be reared as such– holy, pure, undefiled.

        going back to your statement above, it's pretty clear that reproductive organs are simply reproductive organs in the most catholic sense. but to indulge in sexual relations– even within the bounds of marriage– ONLY for sexual pleasure (contraceptive use) is tantamount to making unholy what is a holy act– the sexual union that bears offspring, which obeys God's command to go forth and multiply, and to participate in God's work of creation.

        as an adult pinoy i'd be a hypocrite if i were to cast judgment on your past. i am only clarifying for you what the nuns from your school failed to explain : even if a couple shares one love, sexual relations before marriage is forbidden, most of all because the union has not been blessed with the sacrament & sanctity of marriage.

        everything i've posted in this reply may seem like catholicism calls for sainthood, an impossibility in our times. the truth is, it's always been that way.

        incidentally the greek root word in catholic literally means 'whole, pure'. reminds you of being wholesome, doesn't it?


        • jonathan says

          Hi Biz,

          I have to agree in what you said here. The real meaning of Catholicism has been lost through generations and it’s really sad for us Catholics. As my personal experience, I grew up in a Catholic family, briefly interluded with different “branches” of Christianity like Protestanism, INC, etc., have tried to explore a bit of Islam, studied the reasons behind atheism in my own little way then finally decided and opted to come back fully to Catholicism. I would just say Catholicism works fine for me and my family.

          • Biz Doc says

            hi jonathan,

            in my case i was reared a catholic, sent to a jesuit school from elementary to high school, but went to college where there was no religious foundation (diliman). not having the structure of attending scheduled school masses, religion classes and other living-the-faith activities, the only option open to me was reading the bible on my free time and attending sunday mass.

            my position has always been, if you’re dissatisfied with something or against something, learn everything you can about it before making a decision. faith-wise, so far i’ve been fortunate in somehow getting the appropriate reading materials at the time when i’m grappling with something, and obtained the answers i sought at that time.

            i’m not yet done fully understanding what i consider ‘mysteries’ of catholicism– catholic faith itself, the ‘requirement’ to forgive those who wronged you, the offering up of personal suffering & sacrifices for something greater than one’s self, the call to be a man for others, to be another christ.

            and since i’m not that learned enough about my faith, i tend to keep quiet when others who have different convictions argue against catholicism. at the office though, the evangelicals have such puzzling Christian beliefs that i tend to see them as confused more than enlightened.

            paul said it best below, which brings to mind something i read somewhere about televangelists and evangelicals : “the gospel of prosperity.”


  7. says

    Maybe this is off topic but it makes me laugh. A taxi driver will try and cheat you but if you pass a church on the way he will make a sign of the cross. How does that work?

      • peterjoy says

        ray may be thay go to church on sunday and sin some more on monday lol ….peter martin tasssie

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          Exactly. I went to an all-boys catholic school in Manila from elementary through high school where everything revolved around prayers, religion, the church and the Father Rector. Church attendance on Sundays was compulsory and roll calls were made. We had to go to confession every Friday for sins committed during the week, and did our penance by reciting the rosary. On the Sunday following Friday’s confessions, we were made pure again after receiving the Holy Communion, only to begin sinning again the following day by cutting classes and going to the movies. The cycle begins anew when we lined up once more at the end of the week to confess our sins. LOL

          • Biz Doc says

            hi ric,

            as it turns out, our sins are indeed forgiven when we confess them and repent.

            on the other hand, confession will not insulate us from the painful outcome of sinful behavior —- regardless whether it’s immediate or delayed— it will still bite us in the ass no matter what! ” )


              • Biz Doc says

                hi papa duck,

                how about purgatory in the after-life? or ‘bad karma’ while in the flesh? ” )

                it’s said that we can even “offer” up our day-to-day sufferings to make up for past mistakes, and reduce the waiting time in purgatory just a bit hehe


    • David L Smith says

      hi Ray
      he just letting the lord know he has scored a couple of peso for the plate on sunday

  8. peterjoy says

    hi Sugar

    i am married to a filipina but am not Catholic, but i am saved under gods blood for he did die for me and would i go to church with joy yes i will and she comes to where i go that is how the two off us do it i dont know what u may thing about this but to me god is love and he is in ur heart and no matter where u go no one can take him out off u so god bless to all off u and to ur family sugar for god loves u…….peter martin tassie…..

  9. says

    Well Sugar, you sure “opened a can of worms with this article”. The devout Catholics will probably not join this debate and most of the responses will be from non-Catholics of all forms.

    I learned long ago that NO ONE can win an argument about religion, Catholic or otherwise, as each side of the argument will simply dig in and defend their belief.

    This reminds me of an incident with my second wife, a Catholic and my mother, a rural Tennessee Church of Christ member. Sitting in my mom’s living room, idle chat about nothing in particular, and my mom blurts out to my now x-wife, something to the effect of, “You’re going to hell” because, apparently being Catholic she was never baptized (to my mom, sprinkling did not count as true immersion baptism), and she had sat tentatively in her pew all her life hearing the preacher babble about “You must be baptized or you will go to hell!”

    I think most religious people, be them Catholic or Protestant or other, live in their own little secure insulated world, centered around a god that is expected to take care of their every need, with promises of peace and eternal happiness in some mythical heaven when they die if they will just live a life in the way that particular religion advises.

    Shocking, but to me I think that is all hog wash.

    I have worked 23 years at various space related position at Kennedy Space Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center, and I am very aware of what’s out there in Space. The earth is not the center of the universe… It is just one obscure planet to a sun that is just one obscure star of 200 to 400 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Our puny Milky Way galaxy is dwarfed by other galaxies, of which there are more than 200 billion (many astronomers say 500 billion galaxies). Most astronomers think that each of those stars have a family of planets (over 500 planets have already been discovered so far in our Milky Way Galaxy).

    So how does god fit in all those staggering numbers? Did god create all those other galaxies just so we puny humans could look up in the night sky and see a star twinking? Does god answer individual prayers for all the billions of believers on earth? If so, he must be really good at multi-tasking. Are there multiple gods? (Christianity is only 32%. What about the millions of Hindus, Islam, Buddhist, and thousands of lesser religions). Are they all going to hell because they are not Christians? I think not.

    I believe religion is a human product of being able to think, that one of the first conscious thoughts of mankind was something like, “How did I get here”? Who made me … even the most primitive stone-age men living in the most remote jungles today have a primitive believe in some higher being. Some sort of God. To believe in such a higher being, someone who watches over us, if you will, is a basic “comfort” needed by most people of all faiths.

    Having said all this seemingly “anti-god” stuff, I still see that religion is, for the most part, a good and positive force in the world. The world would be filled with chaos if it were not for religion. The law of the jungle would not be a good thing for mankind. At the same time, religion and wars fought in the name of religion has been responsible for more deaths in the world than any other singular cause.

    Now, back to the question about Catholics in the Philippines. I believe that the single most destructive force at work in the Philippines today is the staggering, run-away birth rate, primarily caused by the teachings (or more descriptive, failure to teach birth control) of the Catholic Church. Population growth puts so much strain on the country’s infrastructure that it fosters poverty. Schools, roads, housing, water, electricity, food, etc. can never catch up with the growing population.

    The biggest holiday celebration in Thailand is a water festival where everyone goes out and drenches each other with water in the street. The rainfall in the Philippines is greater than Thailand but but don’t expect to take part in any water festival any time soon.

    My other major gripe against the Catholic Church is the fact that priest can’t get married. That’s just un-natural … There are more pedophile priest than you can shake a stick at and lawsuits in America and Europe are all but bankrupting the Church. Of course that is not a problem in the Philippines because if a young boy told their parents the priest raped them they would get the hell beat out of them for ever suggesting such a slanderous thing.

    OK … sorry, got a little of topic here. I would actually wish to have a Catholic wife who was religious, as I believe she would make an excellent wife. And yes, I would go to church with her out of respect for her as I did when I was married for 12 years to a Catholic wife here in America.

    • Biz Doc says

      hi rich,

      as a pinoy who’s been here all his life, kindly allow me to disagree ” )

      the runaway birth rate is NOT “the single most destructive force at work in the Philippines today.” the jobless poor, having no money, will while the time away by having sex with their spouses/partners, regardless of time of day. if they had money to burn, they’d be doing some other things equally as worthwhile.

      i’ve long believed that the cost of labor here is mispriced– that’s why school teachers opt to work as domestic helpers abroad, doctors work as nurses abroad, higher-capacity workers end up doing menial jobs abroad– all because all types of work abroad is correctly priced.

      10% of the population– typically the smarter ones– are abroad because the price of labor here is too low. the local minimum wage itself is so low that one cannot subsist on it, much less allow one to set aside savings.

      someone from cebu made a thorough study of local realities, and came up with a workable solution : HYPERWAGE — which happens to solve a host of other problems that we see all around us, including the runaway birth rate you speak of.

      here’s the entire 33-chapter piece >


      • says

        Biz Doc and how many poor filipinos believe if they have many children they will be taken care of in their old age? So they make many children for a reason.

        • Biz Doc says

          hi ray,

          the answer you seek is in the link above, hopefully you’ll have time to read & digest it.

          once people are paid the correct price of labor, you’d be surprised at what behavioral changes will happen here.

          expat lifestyles here will also be affected with hyperwage btw ” )


          • Tony says

            Labor is so cheap because…………..the church says go forth and multiply because…….we the the church need to make more church members .

            • Biz Doc says

              hi tony,

              the Church has never intervened on behalf of workers to ask govt to approve higher pay.

              what i do know is, the catholic church hierarchy’s role has always been to present a conscientious choice for government to take. the church activism we see today is an offshoot of the activism begun by those who started out as priests in the 60s, the ‘acceptable face’ of the 2-faced liberation theology coin.


      • Gary says

        Hi Biz Doc, wow 276 pages. I can sum up my theory pretty succinctly. If you have 10 jobs for every 7 workers, wages rise because employers compete for workers. If you have 10 workers for every 7 jobs, the opposite is true.

        • Biz Doc says

          hi gary,

          i still agree with hyperwage’s view of reality in PH : give the poorest of the poor enough purchasing power, and the jobs required to service their needs will be there for those willing enough to work.

          there really is no basis for applying first-world economic theory on third-world realities.


      • says

        Biz Doc,
        You are not seeing the big picture … Wages are incredibly “low” in the Philippines BECAUSE of the high birth rate: Why should any employer pay anyone a decent wage when there are thousands of potential employees lined up and waiting for any sort of job. If the population was not breeding like rabbits, there would not be so many people in the workforce pool and employers would have to pay higher wages to get someone to work. A simple equation of “supply and demand.”

        Gary has dumbed down his response here where just about anyone can understand this equation: “If you have 10 jobs for every 7 workers, wages rise because employers compete for workers. If you have 10 workers for every 7 jobs, the opposite is true.”

        Very true, however I dare say that in the Philippines there may be 10 jobs for every 100 workers.

        • Papa Duck says

          Rich, Ray

          Thats the way it was in Florida before the economy collapsed. You couldn’t find enough help. So wages went up and employers had to give incentives/bonuses to get employees. Now its just the opposite here. Its simple. Supply and demand. good day

        • Biz Doc says

          hi rich, papa duck,

          again, that’s making a comparison between a first-world and a third-world economy.

          the local underground economy employs thousands that are below radar. these are the people you see on the streets selling balut, candy & cigarettes, barbecue, china-made carpentry tools, knife-sharpening services, ukay-ukay clothing, whatever that sells for less than P100. they survive because the purchasing power that makes their niche thrive is is just enough to sustain them for a day.

          by expanding the economy with higher pay for all, you’re giving enough purchasing power to everyone, such that servicing every need that people can afford generates jobs that aren’t available today with the status quo.


    • Biz Doc says

      re “My other major gripe against the Catholic Church is the fact that priest can’t get married. That’s just un-natural..”

      while it’s true that peter– the rock upon whom Jesus built the church— was married before he became an apostle, he was also childless. one can only surmise how his wife in old age had to bear his continued absences to do apostolic work, and be supported by her own family/relatives for her upkeep.

      such are the sacrifices called for in priesthood, just as Jesus Himself remained single to be able to finish the work He was sent to do before His untimely death, which had long been prophesied.

      now if priesthood calls for the priest to remain single to be able to consecrate the Body & Blood of Christ during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass– as well as standing on behalf of Christ Himself in administering the Sacraments, listening to confessions & absolving sins, et al– would the priesthood remain holy if priests had families to feed, or wives to answer to every now and then?

      family interest was what sullied the priesthood of israel in Jesus’s time. they were also landowners and bankers, for cryin’ out loud! that was why they had Jesus killed, because He wanted them to stop what they were doing, pushing common jews away from holy observance of their laws with their outright hypocrisy & dogged, obstinate malicious behavior.

      if you were to bring back the old form of priesthood where marriage was allowed, you’d only bring back the pharisees, and alienate the faithful as a result.


      • jonathan says

        Hi Biz again,

        I just noticed with the way you reason out, are you an Apologist? Just askin. Kudos to you!

        • Biz Doc says

          hi jonathan,

          an apologist? i’m not sure what that means. apologizing for what, for whom?


          • jonathan says

            Hi Biz,

            Christian Apologists, or in this case, Catholic Apologists are the ones whose primary task is to defend the Catholic faith by explaining to anyone who have questions about the Catholic faith. Apologists are basically laymen and does not necessarily to be a priest. They are learned in the Catholic dogma and doctrines so they’re like the HelpDesk of the Catholic faith in the modern world. Here is a link to one of ’em sites:

      • Paul Thompson says

        Biz Doc;
        I have to smile when a priest gives advice on marriage to his flock. I would never tell NASA how to get a space craft to Mars.

        • Biz Doc says

          hi paul,

          that’s my inner reaction sometimes, when a ‘regular’ priest offers advice during confession.

          i find that the ‘regular’ preparation that ‘regular’ priests undergo is not sufficient to give them the exposure & wisdom that priests from the jesuit order typically call upon from their 15-year formation.

          my school chums from way back share a private joke that goes something like : in the priestly ranks, jesuits are the military equivalent of marines– even US navy seals. that’s why they’re so few– when they should be the norm.


    • sugar says

      Hi Rich – It’s good to know you will go to church with wife ^_^. I have friends who aren’t Catholics bu respects different religion. So no problem going to church. They just don’t kneel or do they sign of the cross.

      Religion is good and positive thing but it also causes war and prevents peace because of some ideological belief and lack of understanding.

  10. David L Smith says

    Hi Rich
    i agree fully with your comment no one can win an argument about religion. I have seen more arguments and fights about religion and politics then anything else in my life, little wonder then that countries go to war over this when people cant agree to disagree and not fight.

  11. chasdv says

    Hi Sugar,
    We are not Catholics,but another Christian denomination that suits us both.

  12. Jim Hannah says

    I think that one has to have respect for one’s partner, and respect for her beliefs, though it is important that the people involved are intelligent enough not to be frustrated by what can be a diametrically opposing point-of-view. I am 99.9999% disbelieving in god, on the basis that the evidence for such an entity seems to be that “you have to have faith” or “well, where did we come from then?”. One cannot disprove god, but neither can the existence of a giant theistic teddy bear which wants us all to wear green contact lenses be disproved. In fact, to me that’s just as likely. The argument for a non theistic viewpoint, on the other hand, do tend to stand up rather more robustly to intellectual discussion and examination. But that’s not what your topic is about Sugar!

    I am very lucky indeed. My wife was brought up Catholic, but like many, adapted the religion to suit her own life. She used contraception when it was appropriate, believes that she can worship silently in her own time should she wish to do so, without having to attend a specific location at a specific time. I suspect that she is approaching the same point of view as me, but simply does not want to say so, which is quite fair, and a view I respect. We are both good people who believe in being fair and kind to others, and avoiding extreme viewpoints. That in itself is quite a good “religion” I think. We had our children Christened in the Catholic faith. I wouldn’t have bothered and perhaps neither would she, but it keeps the peace with her family, and avoided that perpetual nagging about it.

    I do believe that there are people who simply can not accept that others will not share their own opinion, on both sides of the discussion. Those people will not be able to have a successful relationship with someone who does not share their viewpoint. But if they are people who are capable of putting aside their differences, and looking at the situation rationally, it could actually be a good strong relationship. In our case, my wife does not discuss much religion with the Children, and I don’t discuss the opposite argument with them. In due course, they will make up their own minds and hopefully not be indoctrinated by either of us!

    It’s a brave topic Sugar, and I hope readers will refrain from embarking on lengthy explanations of their own beliefs, and stick to your question…how do cross cultural relationships work?

    • sugar says

      Hi Jim – Thanks. Yep. I leave all the intellectual stuff to others. I’m not articulate or I can’t really articulate something about Darwinian theory or mostly anything else. He he. But yes, just wondering how different religion of each side works into the relationship with Filipinos – friends, co workers, wife, hubby.

  13. John Miele says

    Sugar: I can tell you that while most of Rebecca’s family is Catholic, and hold a deep faith, they are not what I would call “fervent”… Certainly in the belief that the world will not come to an end should they miss Mass one Sunday.

    That said, Rebecca’s faith was the only thing she had to comfort her those many years in the Middle East, where even in “moderate” countries, such as the UAE, religious freedom is severely curtailed (There are two large Catholic churches there, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai, and two Anglican churches there). The unofficial segregation between nationalities was practiced (She was not allowed to attend Mass for Indians, yet I was welcomed in… She is the one who’s Catholic.) There were restrictions on small Icons and bibles (One allowed for personal use), and it was not considered wise to openly wear crucifixes, etc.

    Through it all, she was never converted to Islam, though there were numerous attempts made, and going to Mass on Christmas or other holidays was a real outing for most Filipino OFWs there, sometimes 15 or 20 people all going together. A truly unifying force within a group that is largely excluded from material benefits there.

    • sugar says

      Hi John- Yeah, the world will not come to an end if a Catholic miss a Sunday Mass. I’m Catholic but I don’t really go to church service consistently every Sunday. Though in my school, my Theology prof would always say, it’s not much to give an hour of time for Mass.

      I always admire those with faith and conviction. It’s always tough when freedom of expressing religion is curtailed.

  14. John Miele says

    Thinking further, the churches were not allowed to toll their bells (I don’t think they even had bells), and they could not be visible to any nearby mosque (bi height restriction in a country where a mosque is on every street corner.) Needless to say, some of the mosques were deliberately constructed so that muslims could not see the church, but the spires of the mosque were clearly visible from within the church courtyard. If you were methodist or other Protestant, you had to make due with the Anglican church.

    • jonathan says

      Hi John,

      In most of the GCC and Mid-East countries I think most of them have already Christian churches except here. Years ago, there were rumours that finally they would allow a church to be visibly built here due to the fact that the powers that be have met several times with the Pope. However, I’m not particulary keen on that agenda because Christians would be an easy target with just one-click of a you-know-what similar to Iraq and more recently in Egypt. It’s best to be alive and safe.

  15. Marcel says

    As a hard core atheist I find it difficult to ignore unbelievable hypocrisy manifested by majority of Christians. I am perfectly willing to tolerate others peoples believes as long they try not to show it down my throat. But I can not help it to find it absolutely hilarious when teachings of Bible are so blatantly ignored by most believers and most sins can be wiped clean by reciting couple of “hailamaries”.
    In any case, for most people having psychological crutch of an invisible friend is an only way how to survive. Despite having Filipino wife and having decided to tolerate her faith I will not allow our son to be brainwashed. So here is your answer Sugar, in our relationship I am willing to accept religion to a certain degree only…

    • sugar says

      Hi Marcel – Okay.. to a certain degree.. like? Anyway, yes, everybody has their own beliefs and if one isn’t into that religion just don’t force it to their face.

      • Marcel says

        To a degree that my wife is free to believe in her God, but I am trying to expand her knowledge of science and form her own views and not to believe everything she was indoctrinated with growing up in the Philippines.
        One of the conditions however, I have demanded her to accept is that I don’t want our son to be brainwashed the same way as millions of Pinoys are.
        I told her that I want our son to decide what to believe in when he is old enough to do so…

    • ian says

      Marcel- you say that you “tolerate” your wife’s faith [ which you refer to as a “crutch”]. I bet that if rather than tolerate her religion you just “respected” it- that both you and she would feel more comfortable about your differences.
      Your wife is an adult person who has a right to make up her own mind about things- especialy her faith . I bet that she does not try to convince you to convert to her religion. Why dont you try not putting her down and try supporting her instead ?
      You say that you do not like other people to try to shove their beliefs down your throat- surely she should be accorded the same respect ?

      • Marcel says

        As it is apparent from my previous statements, my opinion about religion is perfectly clear. I don’t welcome it, I don’t respect it, I merely tolerate it because I don’t really have a choice as roughly 90% of all humans believe in some kind of fairytale. I am perfectly aware that my opinions are very radical and unorthodox and I belong to a minority where my views represent furthest edge of spectrum. I am brutally blunt when stating my opinion and I am absolutely incompetent in my attempts to sugarcoat anything. That definitely rubs many people a wrong way and I would definitely not survive for too long if church had its powers as it used to in middle ages.
        However, it absolutely does not mean that I disrespect or put down my wonderful wife. I merely disagree with some of her believes. We agree to disagree with each other. No one is perfect. When I was courting my wife, we have discussed subject of religion extensively. I made it clear to her what my opinions are about. She knew very well what she is going to get in me and she chose to accept it and tolerate it. Same as I have to tolerate her believes even though I don’t agree with them. Maybe this analogy will help you to understand, what if I was a smoker or excessive drinker, she may hate it but decided to tolerate it anyway.

  16. Ed Griffin says

    To all those who don’t believe in God, make me some dirt without using anything from the earth. I’ll be waiting! For the evolutionists, apes and monkeys don’t have thumbs. My new fiancee’ is catholic. She is now studying as not what say I but “Thus saith the Lord.” If you will study history, you will find the Bible to be factual. As for my religion, I personally don’t agree all that our guidelines dictate, but as far as contraception in the Philippines and the church’s position, the church could do much more to help the poor and the starving. Never happen1 As for as her going bankrupt; never happen. My two cents1

    • Marcel says

      So Ed if Bible is factual, representing word of God, God is OK with you to pick and choose what to agree with and interpret it the way in line with your personal opinion? Shouldn’t you follow everything that Bible says? Or did he lie in some of the parts but everything else is a true?

    • says

      “To all those who don’t believe in God, make me some dirt without using anything from the earth.”

      I am not exactly sure what that proves, but it is one of those things you hear in religious debates quite often.

      Can you elaborate?

      • dans says


        I will take ed’s statements as literal as possible..

        Ed said..

        “To all those who don’t believe in God, make me some dirt without using anything from the earth.”

        well, my answer to that is… the universe is FILLED with dirt, gas, ice, rocks etc..etc.. and it didn’t come from earth! as a matter of facts, many dirts, rocks found on earth came from the outer space!

  17. Lenny says

    I am Catholic, When my Wife died early from cancer I was mad at God.. I told her so, before she died, she said, knowing that she was dying…. “I am surprised you say that, “Don’t ever give up on him” She was not a fervant catholic, I converted her when we got married, but she held true…What does that say???…My new wife now, here, is semi-religious also, not crazy crazy religious, she has brought me closer, to my beliefs again,… I or nobody knows what exists in the after world, but for sure, its better to have something than nothing at all, it’s just that simple…

  18. Marcel says

    So Ed if Bible is factual, representing word of God, God is OK with you to pick and choose what to agree with and interpret it the way in line with your personal opinion? Shouldn’t you follow everything that Bible says? Or did he lie in some of the parts but everything else is a true?

  19. Hudson says

    Hi Sugar,
    I’m Catholic, but my filipina wife is not. She belongs to the Filipino anti-catholic religon founded by some ex catholic named Felix somebody. What amazes me is some of the things she was taught about the Catholic faith that just aren’t true. Where does this come from?

    • sugar says

      Hi HudSon – You wife is probably an INC member (Iglesia ni Cristo) founded by Felix Manalo. That’s what I know. They have many members and a powerful force when it comes to elections and others, I suppose. From what I know. One block one vote. They have different teachings mostly against Catholics and beliefs. I can’t really answer your question as I don’t really know about it. They have rich leaders though.. and t.v station and big INC churches.. most notably the one in Commonwealth , QC.

  20. David L Smith says

    hmmm…my church experiences are still vivid even at my age now. I was a choir boy from ages 9-11, then the pervert priest tried one on, managed to escape his clutches and that was the end of my choir boy career, lol…..lost my virginity when i was 15 outside the church with a 16 yo girl while the hymmes were in full that was a spiritual experience i guess..but who really needs the church anyway, some of the biggest losers and racists i have ever met go to church cos according to their belief that makes them a good person. On the other hand i know people who have no religion at all but are the kindest most thoughtful people you could ever meet, in my opinion the church does more harm then good, and i dont blame some very religious people i have known for staying away from the church.

  21. Don says

    I think it would be difficult for anyone who is not very religous to marry one who is. Case in point, my wife is very religous, not Catholic, but attended church every Sunday and cell meeting during the week. I have no problems attending Church with her, but there is a lot of pressure from her cell mates for her husband to join. She understands that I dont feel comfortable with them, but it is stress in any case.

    Now that we are in Manila, we can find our own church, one without the baggage.

  22. Jade says

    Usually I read through all of the comments before I post one of my own.
    This time is I didn’t do that.
    My wife Daisy and I were both raised Catholic.
    I was un-successful in the parochial school. (I could write a novel about that experience)
    I lasted for only 1 1/2 tears, 2nd grade to 1/2 of 3rd grade. (typo is purposefully left in)
    But nevertheless I am still religeous.
    Daisy is also religeous.
    We pray together.
    We together have been to a couple of Catholic masses.
    Conclusion: I/we have no conclusion.
    I guess Daisy and I are both ‘Casual Catholics’.
    We are a perfect match!

  23. chris says

    Hi sugar well i am an anglican and my wife is a catholic,if we were in the republic of ireland we may have some problrms but we live in australia ,when my wife lived in the phillipines she went to church every sunday with her family,here she only goes every so often ,she still prays every night and holds her faith as for me i am one who doesnt go to church very often at all ,i think that a lot of this is due to our different lifestyle here ,whilst in the phillipines we would ride in taxis where every time the driver went past a church he would make the sighn of the cross and kiss a crusifix hanging from his mirror ,it didnt bother me as my thinking is if it is good fro you then why should i complain.If we eventually move to the phillipines i dont know whether my wife would go to church every sunday or not she may well do so due to family prssure ,i have my own veiws on catholism but i shall not air them in this forum as this would be unfair to devout catholics ,as for my own faith well you dont have to go to church to beleive that there is a god ,who is the first person people turn to when they think they may well die ,maybe there is a god maybe not i dont know i suppose there really is only one way to be sure the only problem is you cant tell anyone else .

    • sugar says

      Hi Chris – Making the sign of the cross every time one passes by a church or like the big Mama Mary statue in Ortigas is one of those everyday living where religion plays a major part. It’s a sign of respect. I used to do that a lot.. out of habit too but I don’t do that any anymore but many people still do so. Kissing a crucifix, or touching rosary hanging from mirror is also normal thing, I suppose. Ours has rosary hanging and every time we ‘d go out especially driving long trips, we say say bless our trip.

      You know what, in our house, we have a big Crucifix.. and I mean really really big one. He he.

      • dans says


        I’m not sure if you are aware about the history of the crucifix, in my personal opinion, kissing a crucifix or use it as a form of holiness is ridiculous, for one, crucifix is or was a device of torture in ancient iran, Alexander the great brought it back to Rome and they used it as a capital punishment. It was Constantinople who abolished the use of crucifixion out of veneration of J.C. using crucifix as a piece of holiness is tantamount to treat the garrote chair where the gomburza was put to death as a piece of holy symbol.

        I will bet my every penny, a very large amount of very religious filipinos has no clue as to what is the crucifix for and its history.

        • Aklan Heat says

          simple, crucifix is a symbol for a cross where jesus died of, that’s it! all the whole world knows that, the passion, the suffering! there’s got to be a reason why these filipinos flagged themselves in the back or nail themselves on the cross! read the gospels! watch those movies for crying out loud! peace! :-)

  24. Bryan G says

    I am an atheist ,my wife is Catholic – these days she rarely attends church,our children were baptised Catholic but appear to have no religious commitment. The difference in religious views has caused us no problems as I believe that everyone has a right to follow their own path through life.Much of the problems of the world are still caused by bigotry and fanaticism of religious faiths. It appears to me that in the Philippines there is a great deal of public profession of faith but little practice otherwise why is the country the most corrupt in Asia? In my travels I have found that the more religious a country professes to be the more corrupt it is. The hypocrisy of those politicians in the Philippines trying to prevent any kind of family planning while stealing anything not nailed down is sickening.What it basically boils down to is that the Catholic church would prefer to have large numbers of starving illiterates than a small number of well fed educated citizens. In Europe the Catholic church has lost credibility – Italy now has an average of one child per family along with France – these countries were staunchly Catholic,Ireland can no longer find enough young men prepared to enter the priesthood.This is the result of the church hierarchies attitude to paedophile priests – protect them at all costs,regardless of the suffering of the children involved.There are many priests doing excellent work – Shay Cullen for example with his long standing effort to combat exploitation of children and young women in the sex trade but unfortunately the Catholic church as an organisation has lost its way and rather than helping the poor it is more concerned with its own image. Much of what I have written may offend committed Christians but I ask for the same respect for my views as I give to theirs. Most of this criticism is applicable to all the major religions – Islam over the last 30 years or so has become a faith of hatred and intolerance in a manner that I cannot remember in my youth,spawning people such as Bin Laden who have caused so much suffering in the name of God.

    • Bryan G says

      Hi Doc – whoever wrote the paper certainly had an excellent grasp of the problems of the Philippines regarding the wage structure with regard to surplus of labour and the disastrous policy of exporting workers as a commodity.In spite of all the mathematical theory he produced I am afraid that his simplistic solution is not workable.Wealth has to be produced before it can be distributed,distributing the wealth beforehand is not viable. Theoretical solutions to societies problems such as this do not work – Marxism seemed to be the solution to exploitation of the masses but I doubt you would find any sensible person in this day and age who still subscribes to this view. The biggest so-called communist country in the world is improving the lot of its people at a staggering rate by throwing extreme Marxism out the window and relying on the old fashioned laws of supply and demand. Gary has it in a nutshell – more labour than jobs available = low wage,more jobs than labour available = high wage. I am afraid that the theory of hyperwage is just that – a theory. I spent my working life as an aircraft maintenance engineer – until recently my profession was in high demand making for high salaries and good conditions,demand has been reduced by the economic recession so salaries and conditions have been reduced due to lack of demand – a fact of life. A very interesting paper but expounding an impractical theory. It also has no relation to the family planning attitude of the Catholic church which is the cause of the Philippine surplus of educated labour.

      • Biz Doc says

        hi bryan,

        re “Wealth has to be produced before it can be distributed, distributing the wealth beforehand is not viable.” < that position contrasts with the first-world reality when the US dropped the gold standard. by not having to back new USD notes with gold, it succeeded in creating more wealth and expanded its economy more than any nation ever achieved in history.

        as for the lack of demand, you're limiting yourself to the US/west. how come local airlines are having difficulty getting experienced pilots & aircraft mechanics? they lost a lot of good people when airlines abroad began pirating the very people they developed over the years. your background & experience would tell you which airlines abroad got their new guys from PAL & cebu pacific, which are still grappling with the ongoing exodus.


  25. Jade says

    A few weeks before I met my my wife Daisy, (10 years ag0) I was slightly involved with a beautiful gal named Elena from Cotabato City. She told me that she and her family had to move from their family farm due to the insurgents. She had a aughter and a son. She did not like her son, because he was from a failed relationship. I bought him a bicycle. I hope he got it.
    Her religion was IGC – no marriage unless conversion – too strong for me…
    I hope she is doing well…

    • sugar says

      Hi Jade – Thanks for that. That’s what I’ve been wondering about. I mean,like sometimes religion does affect relationship.. and can break one. If one is asked to convert to another religion.. no matter how strong the love is, if it does not happen.. relationship seems somehow doomed. If I have b/f who isn’t Catholic, it’s okay with me, I’ll never ask to convert, in the same manner that, I wouldn’t want to be asked to convert.

  26. Neal in RI says

    My Wife was raised as a Catholic, we were married in a Baptist Church 25 years ago and we have NOT been to a Church since then. I can only comment on our relationship but Religion has not played any type of roll in out lives so far.
    Yes we believe there is a GOD and yes we have prayed, some of our prayers have been answered and lots have been not. Is it because of prayer/god or just the way things worked out NO one will ever know.
    There is a good book written about Religion and it gives a theory that Religion was created to control the masses of people and make them conform and not commit crimes etc or they would be punished my GOD. Perhaps Religion was just created to manipulate people and the way they behave.
    For me the biggest thing that plays a roll in my Marriage is to treat your Wife as a equal partner and learn how to comprimise, and sometimes just keep your mouth shut. And from first hand experience STOP drinking to excess.

    • Papa Duck says


      I think going to church and having a religion is overrated. As long as you believe in your God if you have a God, and do the right things life will be good for you.

  27. says

    “Perhaps Religion was just created to manipulate people and the way they behave.”

    Well I do not know if it was created for that, but that sounds logical to me. But religion is now a way to do that.

    The highest form of brain washing comes from religion…yet there is absolutely NO proof EVER presented that what they believe is true. NONE. They will spout Bible passages that are simply hilarious….and believe them 100% without any facts or a shred of evidence to back it up.

    But…if that is what they want to believe I don’t have a problem with it unless it is violent or hurts people.

    And the Catholic church is hurting the filipino people in a number of ways.

    • says

      Religion is based on “faith”. Nothing else. You can argue until you are blue in the face and you can not prove to me that there is a God. By the same token, I can not prove to you that there is no God.

      Chances are you are Catholic, Protestant or any other religious persuasion because of one thing: your parents practiced that religion. (Yes, some people switch religions but that percentage of the population is relatively small). You did not, and have never questioned that your religion is or was the best or only true religion. In other words all the Catholics in the Philippines are Catholics because their parents were Catholic — not because they made a conscious decision to become Catholic. To do so would be sacrilegious… You were taught that your religion is the only religion. End of discussion. People all over the world do this.

      To illustrate my point, just what do you know about Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and any of the other thousands of sects, cults, etc. There are 1.5 billion people practicing Islam (and no, Osama does not represent Islam), 900 million practicing Hinduism… are they all going to hell because they are not Catholic (or Protestant, etc)? Is your religion “superior” or better than any other religion practiced around the world? I think not … the important thing is that religion gives us humans comfort, a reason for “doing good” or “causing no harm”, “doing to others as you would have them do to you”, etc. Without that warm fuzzy feeling, security and comfort if you will, life would be very, very stressful as society would reduce itself to live by the “Law of the Jungle”.

      • dans says


        the point you are making falls under the “Argument of Inconsistent Revelations”, this is what I always use when I am in a debate with a theist, more often than not, theist people will try to dodge the discussion and will start to read passage from the bible to justify their beliefs.

      • Hudson says

        I was born and raised Catholic. When I became an adult I left the Catholic church for many years, and when I decided to return to God, I experimented with many different religions. I finally came back to the Catholic church as a choice.

    • Paul Thompson says

      In the history of this planet, two things hold true.
      1. Every society, no matter how far removed, found something to worship, The sun, moon, rocks or some form of higher being.
      2. Every Society found a way to get high.
      The funny thing is, both are used to manipulate the masses.

    • Papa Duck says

      Todd,I agree religion may be a form of brainwashing. The Jim Jones massacre in 1978 in Guyana is a good example of that.

  28. Neal in RI says

    “Live and let Live” that’s how I try to go about it, but I like to know the facts, and science behind things and rather not believe in far fetched fairytale type of stories passed down from generations to generations.

    Some people have different ways and things that they need to believe in for them to make it through their journey in life.
    If that’s what they need well then good for them as long as they don’t come a knocking on my door looking to help me be saved.

  29. Atong Estrada says

    Religion was created by white people to subdue the natives and grab their land…true story.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Most organized religions had there start in the Middle East at the northern tip of Africa, I seem to have forgotten which of those groups were white.

      • Neal in RI says

        Paul T
        Closed on the house earlier today, several cocktails later tonight.
        Lets hope I don’t get carried away pray to the “Porcelain God” lol

        • Paul Thompson says

          They started on TV, called Televangelists. They want you to send your money to the Lord, but give their own address.

          • Papa Duck says

            Paul T.

            Remember Jim Bakker when he broke down on TV. Then there was Tammy Faye Bakker who wore 2 tons of makeup. I chuckle when i remember that.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Papa Duck;
          I’ve always questioned why those down trodden natives didn’t sail to Ireland and convert my ancestors, and then steal their land?
          As the Roman’s said: Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum tellus vincendarum. Or “Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of the Earth.”

    • Neal in RI says

      I am abut as white as a kano can be and no one in my family tree has gotten any land or anything else free from any one never mind raping some Native of his land.

    • David L Smith says

      I do believe natives have grabbed land from other natives to…dont think this is exclusive to white people only, more to do with the strong inheriting the weak.

  30. rc says

    “Whether expat or not, whatever religion you have…or you don’t have. A validation of love is to understand and respect the choice religion of your partner.
    Well, Amen to that and peace”

    Well said Sugar. I’m not terribly religious by the standards of the Philippines, but I very much admire my Filipino wife’s devotion. I respect her all the more for it and I know that when she truly believes in something, be it God or me, then she is very committed to that. I think it shows very excellent character. So, I would never stand between my wife and God.

    • sugar says

      Hi RC – Thanks. Commitment and faith,and love especially.. pretty nice to have all of them in a relationship. ^_^

  31. Jim Hannah says

    Interestingly high percentage of non-believers posting here on this topic. I wonder if this is significant in some way, to the kind of person who might marry outside his or her culture? Hmm…just thinking….of course, I am only referring, I guess, to the Kano who marries a Filipina???

    Must make a point of considering this further, on a week day perhaps, when I have not had half a dozen beers.

    • Biz Doc says

      hi jim,

      i read somewhere that even if people don’t know or believe in God, they’d still believe in something.

      so if anyone today would still not believe in God or in the idea that there is such a reality as God— despite all the wars in human history fought in His name— does that mean that they’re also willing to die to defend whatever it is they believe in ?

      just something to think about to make you drink another half-dozen hehe! ” )


      • dans says

        biz doc,

        “i read somewhere that even if people don’t know or believe in God, they’d still believe in something.”

        that “something” is called science and knowledge.

        • Biz Doc says

          hi dans,

          i was actually editing the reply when i mistakenly clicked the post button. the entire sentence should be : “even if people don’t know or believe in God, they’d still believe in something, anything.”

          in that case, who’d be willing to willing to die to defend science, their knowledge, or whatever it is they believe in ?

          facing death to defend one’s belief, whatever it may be, is the true measure of conviction.


          • dans says

            biz doc,

            that is the beauty of science, scientist don’t kill each other when a certain theory needs to be discussed further, the use of repeated experimentation it their tool to settle their differences and at the end of the day, when that experimentation yields a perfect result, those scientist who are against on the initial theory would just simply repeat the experiment and if the results are the same, they will all agree to the facts.

            now, try to do that with religion, and I will bet, blood will follow just because they have different views and beliefs.

            • Biz Doc says

              hi dans,

              i asked the rhetorical question precisely to underline why nations & societies go to war in defense of their convictions. the thinking behind it goes, “even if i may die in defending (my belief, whatever it may be), it shall not be in vain because (my belief, whatever it may be) shall live on, and remind those who will come after us that it was worth fighting for and dying for.” (the scriptwriter of 300 wrote it better btw).

              in the case of the jihadists and/or the crusaders, their belief was that defending their faith was going to make them deserve the merit of eternal life in the very presence of God.

              now God being in spirit and not perceivable by man’s scientific instruments, the only ‘proof’ that could conceivably be accepted is in the realm of faith. and sometimes reason.

              the guys who went up in apollo 13 may have said something about this back when they had to tell houston that they had a problem :

              for sure they didn’t say His name in vain hehe ” )


          • Marcel says

            Sorry Biz Doc I am not a fanatic. There are very few things worth it to loose my life for. My family for sure. Even me being infidel I know how precious life is and how lucky I am to be here.

            • Biz Doc says

              hi marcel,

              of course that’s not what i meant. try listening to the WW II recordings of speeches by american & british leaders that time when they realized that circumstances were conspiring to make them come to a decision where there was no turning back.

              defending one’s way of life is a position taken with conviction when that very thing is threatened.


    • Bryan G says

      Hi Jim – the number of non believers has surprised me too – there is hope for the world yet!
      You may not know but in Scotland at the moment there is a big debate on religious bigotry – the manager and other people connected with Celtic football club have recently been sent bombs through the mail. I thought that this was all in the past but it still exists – along with segregated education which in my opinion is disgraceful.

      • dans says


        7 years in college with lots of seminars and trainings, it is shameful to waste all of it just to believe in a fairy tale book. lol!

        yes, there’s hope for the world and I just hope religion will not lead it.

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          I say, science is science, and religion is religion, and never the twain shall meet. I find a comfortable compromise between the two beliefs by having an understanding and compassion for both and not totally rejecting one over the other. I feel that the key to this difficult compromise is my ability and willingness to compartmentalize my sometimes religious beliefs without allowing those beliefs to infringe on my absolute belief in science, reason, and progress.

          In a perverted way, I am reminded of a sign on a bus I saw on the internet: “Science flies you to the moon; religion flies you into buildings”, obviously an aphorism referring to 9/11.

          I have never been, nor will I ever be, a religious person. My belief in a supreme being depends on my mood. The fact is, I have never set foot in a church since leaving the Philippines decades ago, except for a brief moment during a vacation in the Philippines, when I took my family for the first time to the Quiapo church, more out of curiousity than devotion. Still, I found myself consciously dipping my fingers into the holy water and making the sign of the cross upon entering and departing the church.

          Another expression comes to mind: “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

          • Biz Doc says

            hi ric,

            funny i forgot about that, what i did remember was apollo 13.

            i guess not in wayward space capsules too!


            • Ricardo Sumilang says

              Under stressful situations and life-threatening situations, I believe a great majority of mankind will invoke the name of God, whomever He may be to each man’s heart, or whether he believe or not, Biz.

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Very interesting, Papa Duck. Jose Rizal’s final words on the Luneta on the morning of his execution seconds before he was felled by bullets from a firing squad composed of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army were not “Hail Mary…”, but a mimic of one of Christ’s last words on the cross, “Consummatum est.”

                It seems that that’s accepting fate by both men. But then He also said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, a questioning of fate that has befallen Him, which, of course, Rizal did not utter.

  32. Alan Hettinger says

    Being an atheist myself I stay out of the topic of religion here in the Philippines. In 2009 when my son was born here in the Philippines the nurse asked me what my religion was and I said atheist. She gasped as if i had said “satanist” i told her dont worry I’m dont believe in satan either. After the huge deal the nurses made about me being an athiest i figure it was best to keep it to myself. after all there is nothing to really preach about in atheism. When the subject of religion comes up i try to avoid it all together.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      People are becoming more enlightened everyday, and with enlightenment comes the rejection of religion. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, there are probably more believers than non-believers in the Philippines, or in this world, for that matter. These are the people who will inevitably brainwash their children, who, in turn, will brainwash their own children, to a life of unyielding devotion to the Christian faith. Such is the passion of the majority of Filipinos for the Christian God and the teachings of Christianity that the stigma they sometimes attach to a godless individual approaches satanic proportions (excuse the pun).

  33. Bryan G says

    As the influence of formal religion wanes there will be fewer reasons for violence between different faiths – I cannot recall any violent act committed to forward the cause of atheism in the same manner as those committed to various faiths have committed on those of other faiths.Human life is held in high regard by atheists as we know that this is all we will get – there is no better place for us in the future so we value what we have. There is no reward of 72 virgins to await atheist suicide bombers!
    People will give as an example some of the so-called communist regimes which persecuted religious groups – they were not persecuted for their faith but for their opposition.

    • sugar says

      Hi Bryan – I’m scratching my head. I’m lost with all the conversation here.. but anyway, I think religion is still has big influence and not waning down, I think. It is nice to have some kind of religion, whatever one’s preference is. Also politics and religion always seems to clash hence road map to peace hasn’t really worked. Maybe for a time it did.

      • Bryan G says

        I think you opened a box that held more than you bargained for Sugar! I have been impressed by some of the letters – frequently, debate on this kind of topic degenerates into irrational nonsense. Religion in the western world is declining – respect for the Catholic church is at an all time low,mainly due to the attitude it had to paedophile priests – the suffering of children abused by priests was covered up and priests moved from diocese to diocese instead of the police being informed – the church concealed serious crimes in order to protect its status – hardly a Christian attitude. I think that many people will retain some kind of faith but the established churches will be irrelevant and will decline in size and relevance. Many Christian organisations – mainly those that emerged in recent times are more like businesses – give me ten percent of your income and I will get you into heaven seems to be their philosophy. Most of them seem to be based in the western USA and have palatial headquarters. The modern television evangelist just about sums up what has happened to the Christian faith – most of these people have been exposed as exploiters of the gullible.

  34. Ricardo Sumilang says

    With respect to the Palestinian suicide bombers blowing up cafes and busses in Israel, I seriously doubt that their prime motive in doing so is to kill themselves in the process so that they can go to heaven and collect their 72 virgins. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Let me be the first to say that I do not condone nor justify the killing of innocent civilians. But, as a way of putting rational thought into the suicide bombers’ behavior, know that for a long time, the Palestinians are an occupied, oppressed and defenseless people who are desperately grasping at straws in defending themselves against the more powerful Israeli Defence Force (IDF). Militarily, the conflict is a gross mismatch between opposing forces. Palestinian fighters possess no high-tech weaponry, nor do they have the military and material support of a super-power to be able to go toe to toe against the firepower and armor of the IDF. Palestinians have nothing, in fact, but rocks and smuggled RPG’s with which to defend themselves . When the IDF goes out of control in the territories, it does so excessively, inflicting punishment like a man possessed on the Palestinians indiscriminately.

    Consequently, the only way Palestinian fighters can get close to the enemy in retaliation with a measure of success is by bodily walking into Israel and blowing themselves up at the enemy’s weakest point of resistance, which, unfortunately, happens to be the civilians, in the event a military target is inaccessible, which they often are, I am not justifying the acts of Palestinian suicide bombers; it is abhorrent, but that is the stark reality.

    The fact that a large number of Palestinian suicide bombers to date were young, college-educated women not only speaks volumes about the intense suffering the Palestinians have endured at the hands of the IDF, but most importantly, it speaks of the desperation of a people who lack the weapons necessary to defend themselves against a militarily potent adversary. Retaliation is the motive, not the 72 virgins!

    Strictly a personal opinion.

    • Papa Duck says


      They Isaraeli Government should just give them the West Bank as there homeland and stop the new settlements there and hopefully the voilence will stop.

    • Bryan G says

      Ricardo – the Palestinians have been ignored and exploited by the other Arab countries – the Western countries are the biggest contributers financially to the Palestinians. The biggest difficulty is the inability to accept reality. The reality is that Israel exists – the creation of Israel may have been a monumental blunder but the fact is it is there and is not going to go away in the near future. You may not remember the 60s and 70s when Palestinian terrorists killed people who had absolutely no connection with the dispute – Puerto Rican christian pilgrims at Lod airport for example,they attacked a school and deliberately killed children, hijacked aircraft etc.They may have had a good cause but lost the worlds sympathy by their actions and have done little since to help their cause. It boils down to the fact that they are not going to return to what existed before. Never forget the saying – ‘ If the Palestinians put down their weapons there will be peace,If the Israelis put down their weapons there will be slaughter’ – would you disagree? I spent many years in the middle east and north Africa and know the Arabs – they can be inhumane and vicious to their own people as we are witnessing at the moment.A UN report said that the Arab world had made no significant progress in any field in the last 50 years,if you had lived among them you would know why.

      • Ricardo Sumilang says

        Bryan, the biggest difficulty I see is not the non-acceptance of reality but the tiring insinuation that suicide bombers blow themselves up to go to heaven to claim their 72 virgins. I wonder if it ever occured to you that other suicide bombers may have other reasons for doing what they do. I do not condone nor justify the killing of innocent people, but when you live in an occupied land and watch your family being slaughtered in front of you and you are powerless to prevent such merciless killings because you do not have the big guns, come on, don’t tell me that you will not go to extremes. If retaliation by any means is not foremost in your mind after they killed your mother, wife and son, you must not be human.

        When you have the majority of the Arab world sitting back and watching and you watch the US and other courtiers support the other side, you have no choice but to stand up for yourself the best way you know how.

        • dans says


          only in the western media particularly the U.S. media where people are constantly fed with wrong informations, it is very notable that most Americans believed that suicide bombers do the sacrifice for 72 virgins, while the rest of the world knows the real issue of why they blow themselves up.

        • Bryan G says

          Ricardo – the British Muslims that detonated explosives on the London underground were not living in an occupied land or their families being slaughtered in front of them – they killed 57 people – many of whom were muslims. The vast majority of suicide bombings are not in Israel but in Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Iraq – not aimed at the foreign invader but their own fellow citizens. There is an ongoing sectarian war between the Sunni and Shia that has caused far more death and destruction than the Palestinian /Israeli conflict. The reasons for the bombings are nothing to do with politics but with a medieval attitude to religion – do you think that some fanatic who detonates a bomb in a group of Shia pilgrims in Najaf or Kerbala in Iraq is doing it in the name of the Palestinians? The last Israeli invasion of Gaza resulted in some 1500 deaths- this is a fraction of the deaths that have occurred in other Arab states inflicted on the populace by their own governments. It would appear that Israel is responsible for all the violence in the Middle East and North Africa – a small dose of reality is required. I am no supporter of Israel – the policy of settlements is appalling and the country has a system no better than apartheid but to be frank what takes place in the surrounding areas is even worse – remember the Syrian town – I think Hama, that the Syrian forces bombed and shelled killing 20,000?I have spent many years in the Middle East – in both Shia and Sunni countries and found that cruelty and corruption was the norm – inhumanity to their own citizens, lack of freedoms that most of us take for granted exists in all of them. If you have any doubt about this ask any balikbayan who has worked there.

          • Ricardo Sumilang says

            Amen, Bryan, but what has all this got to do with the snide remark about suicide bombers and 72 virgins?

            • Bryan G says

              I think you are being a little ingenuous Richard – the suicide bomber in Pakistan or Iraq has been indoctrinated with the belief that what he is doing will be rewarded. Islamic society has changed a great deal in the last 30 years or so – as a child I lived in Islamic countries and have no recollection of the hatred and violence that seems to have evolved. Saudi Arabia financed madrassas throughout the Islamic world which taught the type of Islam that fosters the primitive medieval beliefs that we see.What we see now is is the same as Christian churches preached hundreds of years ago – kill those that do not share your views,wage war on the Catholics/Protestants depending on which faction you belong to. In time as people become more educated this will disappear and the religious bigotry which causes so much chaos in the world will hopefully be no more.

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Bryan, with all due respect I don’t really care about all the extraneous stuff that you are throwing into this discussion because they have no relevance to the point I am trying to get across about suicide bombers. I find you to be an intelligent person, but is it really hard to digest the fact that not all suicide bombers sacrifice their lives in the name of religion? This is the only point I am trying to make, not in defense of Islam or the Arabs. And certainly not to justify and condone the killing of innocent civilians by Palestinian suicide bombers. Everything that you have said in your past 2 or 3 comments on this subject are common knowledge, but I have also come to the realization that you may “ingeniously” have been taking advantage of this opportunity to express your personal opinion about organized religion. I respect that. But is it really necessary to bring up the matter, for example, about Arab society’s lack of progress in the last 50 years (actually, a lot more longer than that, if you ask me) because of the nature of its society and their medieval views on Islam? Enough already.

  35. Marcel says

    Besides the fact that Israelis commit genocide since they want to have whole country for themselves the big issue is conflict of two religions; Judaism and Islam. So there we go, religion again.

  36. Ted Johnson says

    One might reject any religion for many valid reasons, not the least that they were created probably by humans. But rejecting a possibility of existence of Higher Power (call it God for respect), well for me rejecting that would be a strong ignorance. Why? Because we humans beings are so limited. Created to live on this earth only. With senses and brains able to see, feel and comprehend only so much (or rather so little). There is a huge possibility of existence of Highest Power running the whole works. Absolutely beyond our understanding.
    How it affects us? Well, maybe we are just a tiny but important experiment?
    I figured that out when I was still a young boy looking at the stars on a quiet night and thinking where is the end of that immense space and how it looks like. Then I understood that there is no end and my brain is not created to comprehend the meaning of infinity, so I’m a limited creature. There could be multiple dimensions and higher beings (not organic of course),
    whom we can’t see or feel with our limited senses. It made me humble back then. I think that humans with all the most advance science in the future will always hit the ‘organic’ limit.
    For the above reasons I’d never reject a possibility of existence of an immortal soul for example or even some kind of after life in quite differnt form. Nothing organic, nothing matterial. Something very spiritual and impossible to understand for us on this earth. I would say there are endless possibillities so why reject anything just because we don’t see, fell or understand something. So that’s my view of things. Ted

    • dans says

      Things that we humans failed to understand due to our limited capacity to understand it *does* not need a supernatural being in order to answer it, our civilization is too young to grasp and comprehend the entire universe and how it really works, in my opinion, placing a god as a temporary answer to all the things we cannot understand is ignorance.

      did god created the universe perfectly? I highly doubted it!. the universe is a very violent place, humans cannot even last a second when exposed to the emptiness of space, you only need to be 60 thousand feet above sea level and you will instantly feel how violent the space is, here on earth, when we looked up at the sky in the middle of the night, we all feel the peace and tranquility of the night sky, our perception and our lack of understanding of the space denies us the truth.

      in order for us to understand our surroundings whether here on earth or in the vast space of the universe, what we needed is *knowledge* and not god, you can pray a million times a day and asked god where we all came from, and a million times your prayer will get no answer.

      • David L Smith says

        yep Dan
        I have been praying a million times to God for the lotto numbers, but that prayer goes unanswered to, lol

        • dans says


          I just hope you bought the tickets too? god will not answer your prayer without a ticket…lol!

          prayer is what a person do to help by not actually helping….

    • Bryan G says

      Ted -if we have a higher power running things he doesnt seem to be making a very good job of it.

  37. Heidi says

    I’m of Flipino descent (now an American citizen) married to an American. We are both Christians and God plays an important role in our family life. I think if one sets out to find out if God exists, he will find Him. Some people who deny His existence simply have no desire to know Him. There are scholars and scientists out there who set out to prove that there is no God, and after their research became Christians.

  38. Lea says

    I applaud couples from different religions (or lack thereof) that managed to work it out. I came from a very strong Catholic family. My parents/relatives were/are very involved at our/their local church, have relatives that are nun, former nun, priests, former priest. However, I consider myself a “liberal” Catholic, if there is such a thing. I know it’s an oxymoron :) . ^!^ I believed that religion should not matter in any relationship, but I know somehow it’s related. My husband is Anglican (Episcopalian). Catholics and Anglicans are like first cousins, which I’m glad because both of us don’t have to make “major, major” :) adjustments. For my personal convenience, I ended up going to his church, I didn’t have a problem with it, and my immediate family didn’t mind it either. We got married in an Episcopal church and our son was baptized as one. My hubby didn’t ask me to convert to become Anglican. I actually now get used to the Hymnal and Book of Common Prayer. :) However, when we’re in the Philippines, we all go to a Catholic church, and my hubby doesn’t mind it either. Every so often we attended Catholic services here. I haven’t done rosary in a while though; I hope I won’t be excommunicated for that. :)

  39. Lea says

    Sugar, this is another interesting article.

    Someone mentioned here that most Filipinos are Catholics because their parents are Catholics. I am one of them. I may have some disagreement from Catholic teachings, but same with other religions as well. I am contented being “Catholic”, going to an Episcopal church. :) I don’t push Catholicism/Christianity to non-Catholics/non-Christians. While in Vermont, I’ve been to few interfaith worships and gatherings. I think it’s great. I guess as long as you respect each other’s belief or religion (or lack thereof); I think it will be ok. Our son goes to an Episcopal church here, whose classmates are Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and from other Christian denominations. We used to host exchange students that are Muslims – from Indonesia, India and Saudi Arabia. Personality difference was more of a challenge to deal with than religion or politics.

    BTW, I am a Bill Maher “fan”, a comedian, claiming to be an atheist, with a Catholic father and Jewish mother. Go figure!

  40. Marcel says

    Religulous (2008) is pretty funny documentary style movie with Bill Maher. A must see for an aspiring atheist, lol…

  41. Ted Johnson says

    Hopefully the last post. Partly responding to ‘dans’ who says that we don’t need a ‘Super being’ to answer our questions. Well, since we can’t answer ourselves it would be great to get some help from ‘above’.
    There was a time when the most burning question I had was: “If there is a God then why so much harm is done by bad people on this earth?” There is one answer that we don’t know enough and are too limited to understand. We don’t really know the order of the Universe.
    Could be that it’s left to us for time being to govern this earth. Like I said before – we might be just one tiny experiment. One of many.
    Yet, just by intuition I believe in the Ultimate Justice. And that those who harm they harm themselves the most. Those who create a hell on this earth for others will get themselves an eternal hell. Those who destroy this earth are destroying themselves for eternity.
    I believe that the Higher Intelligence running the whole Universe will like to get rid of bad elements like an organism eliminates patogens to return to a balance, harmony and health again.
    I don’t know why I’m thinking like that and why I have to write about it. I feel the need to send the message to stop even if it’s only a few bad people, even only one. Am I a messenger? I don’t know.
    Take it for what’s worth for you bad guys. I know I’m right. Ted

  42. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Ted, given that the earth is but a tiny speck of sand in the world’s oceans when compared to the infinite vastness of eternity, we would probably never know the order of the universe. But there are clues around us, I think. If you look at the orderly patterns found in nature and within every human being, it’s pretty hard not to suspect that perhaps someone incomprehensibe in our pnny minds may be responsible for those things?

    • jonathan says

      Hi Ricardo,

      Interesting comment. It reminds of a particular scientific theory which title I have forgotten (urgh!). Well, as far as I remember, this theory explains that there’s “order within the chaos of creation” or something to that effect thus an intelligent being might have designed all that we are and see. It is somewhat related to the mathematical calculation called fibonacci number sequence in nature.

      • dans says


        there is no any scientific theory that points to intelligent design,

        the intelligent design is inherently religious in nature, it is another term for creation, no self-respecting scientist would claim that there is an intelligent design at work. most people who claimed that there is, does not have a good understanding of basic principle of science.

        imagine this, the earth is covered of 3/4 of water , if there is an intelligent design then why not create humans with gills and fins? fish is part of our diet therefore it make sense if we can stay longer underwater and can swim fast to catch fish? fruits is also part of our diet then why not create humans with stronger hands and longer arm to allow us to climb trees to pick fruits? meat is also part of our diet, then why not make humans stronger than a bull? the point i am making is, if there is a divine intervention, then why we are the way we are now? and not something better so that we don’t need to adopt to our environment just to survive?

        • jonathan says


          Yes, it’s the intelligent design theory but I assure you it was a scientist or so he claimed and the radio announcer claimed that he is a scientist mentioning some of the books/work that he authored or co-authored.He did however mentioned that being a proponent of this theory, he does not have the support of the mainstream scientific community. With regards to your argument, although I totally respect your opinion, I would prefer not to discuss it because our respective beliefs are on the extreme sides of the pole. Peace!

          • dans says


            intelligent design is a hypothesis and not a scientific theory, i just want to be clear on that., I.D is not testable therefore there is no theory that can be drawn from it.

              • dans says


                that is where the confusions are , people misunderstood the difference between hypothesis and theory, people also misunderstood the term “theory” alone, most common usage of the term “theory” in an ordinary conversation, is a hunch, conjecture or an educated guess,

                however, in scientific point of view, a theory is an explanation that binds together various experimentally tested hypotheses to explain some fundamental aspect of nature. For an idea to qualify as a scientific theory, it must be established on the basis of a wide variety of scientific evidence. Its claims must be testable and it must propose experiments that can be replicated by other scientists.

                and hypothesis is largely based on opinion or a proposal for a phenomenon

  43. dans says

    is any answer better than no answer at all? even if the “guessed” answer is flawed and people will defend it even to death?

    is the ” I don’t yet know” not a valid answer?

    In my opinion, the “I don’t yet know” as an answer is more accurate and an honest answer than being a 100% certain that a supreme being is the answer to something we have no knowledge about.

  44. says

    Hi Sugar,
    My Filipina wife and I are married for over 23 years now and religion has never been a problem. I grew up being a Catholic, but I never practised it after my 15th birthday.
    We are legaly married, but not in church.

    My wife still goes to church from time to time, and I don’t have problems with it.


    • sugar says

      Hi Jan – wow, 23 years of bliss.. that’s great and wonderful for a couple. Maybe I can say.. you’re blessed ^_^.

  45. David L Smith says

    Hi Sugar
    In my opinion i think it would be a great blessing when our time is up to have strong faith. I spent time in my church when i was a young lad but lost interest as I grew, my mother however was always a very religious person and she fought a long battle with cancer , when her time was up she was prepared and ready, could i be as brave like my mother..short answer is no because i dont have her faith.

    • sugar says

      Hi David – for most Catholics.. faith is important.. whether time is up or not. It’s part of the religion. I don’t know if can one become religious and not have faith.

  46. says

    Hi Sugar – It’s almost 29years since we tied the knot and religion has never dominated our marriage but it has acted as a guide. Neither my wife or myself are Catholic but we do attend our own Methodist/Baptist church as did our children when we lived in the UK. To this day we still attend but less frequently, we need to correct that.
    I believe politics and religion should not mix to the point where a country is prevented from progressing as is the Philippines the only country in SEA where its allowed to happen.
    I just think its so sad that the majority of children continue to be brought into the world here when there is options to prevent it from happening. But when all is said and done people are power but only to the Catholic Church not to the country itself.

    • sugar says

      Hi Jim – wow, another one with long blissful marriage. Wonderful.

      Anyway as to politics and religion, it is tough for the Filipinos to ignore Catholic leaders. Many still feel (esp.. older devout Catholic generations) that the church is their back up for something they’re fighting for, issues or causes.

  47. Roselyn says

    Hi Sugar: An excellent article. My father’s side of the family are Catholics. My mother’s side of the family are Seventhday Adventists. You’ll think that World War III has erupted when these two factions meet. It’s sad as both religions worship the same God.

  48. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Jonathan, as previously stated I do not mix religion with science, and reject neither. What I noted about the possibility that someone or something incomprehensible may be responsible for the orderly patterns that are found in nature and within each human being does not necessarily mean that I am suggesting that the orderly patterns could only have been the work of divine intervention as rooted in religious beliefs. I do tend to be swayed, however, by the idea of the existence of a higher intelligence on a higher plane or in another dimension that may never be understood by the human mind, but whose/which footprints are manifested in nature and within every human being.

  49. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Jonathan, as I have previously stated, I do not mix religion with science, and neither do I reject either in favor of the other. I have compartmentalized both beliefs in such a way that each belief stands alone without infringing on the principles of the other. This level of flexibility, or compromise, allows me to understand things more clearly from both perspectives, which would not have been possible were I to completely reject religion in favor of science, or vice-versa. Time, space, infinity, eternity and the vast endless universe are a mind-blowing experience and thought that to dismiss one belief over the other is not only ignorance but arrogance as well.

    What I noted in a previous post about the possibility that someone or something yet incomprehensible may be responsible for the orderly patterns that are found in nature and within each human being does not necessarily mean that I am suggesting that the orderly patterns could only have been the work of divine intervention as rooted in religious beliefs.

    I do tend to be swayed, however, by the tantalizing idea of the possible existence of a higher intelligence on a higher plane or perhaps in another dimension far beyond the comprehension of the existing human mind, but whose/which footprints are manifested in nature and within every human being.

    • jonathan says

      Ricardo, that’s exactly my point, the theory or hypothesis (as Dans put it) of Intelligent Design — this idea is not mixed with religion whatsover but it tries to explain that we are not randomly created.

      • dans says


        you got it all wrong, if you are familiar with the I.D. – it is a hypothesis or idea to reconcile science (evolution) with religion (creationism), it was put forward by a handful of “scientist” as an alternative to evolution, the most notable case of I.D is the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School case, whether intelligent design could be viewed as science and whether it should be taught in school.

        Intelligent design is inherently a neo-creationism in a non-religious term. Dr. Michael Behe is a biochemist and a strong supporter of Intelligent Design, he uses the mousetrap analogy and the bacterial flagellum to make his argument about the existence of the designer.

        • Biz Doc says

          hi dans & ric,

          i just realized why there’s no middle ground between in-faith believers & the pro-science parties.

          those who believe in God believe in the promise of the Afterlife, where life on earth is preparatory and a choice to be made on to how we will end up in the afterlife.

          while those who only admit Science see no such afterlife, with life on earth as the only absolute reality, where death is the end of all things.


          • dans says

            biz doc,

            if you were born in India and raised with Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism beliefs, you would not believe the “afterlife” instead you will believe the “reincarnation”.
            some judeo-christian sects do not believe in “reincarnation”.

            if you are familiar with the “Argument from inconsistent revelations” it goes something like this.

            a devout catholic man died and his soul ascended to heaven, there, he met the heaven’s gate keeper, he was told that his destination is not heaven but hell, the man said “I am a devout catholic, i prayed everyday and do good deeds, why are you sending me to hell?” the gate keeper said “well, I am sorry but you got the wrong religion…”

              • dans says

                biz doc,

                that is not a joke, that is the simplest way to explain and understand what the “argument from inconsistent revelations” is all about.

                the question of, if there are more than one god, which one is the right one? and which one to follow? it is a fact that there are more than one religion or god, if there are only 2 gods, the chance of going to hell is 1:2, it doesn’t matter which god you choose if you choose the wrong one, you will end up in hell anyway.

                that is basically what the “Argument from Inconsistent Revelations” is.

              • David L Smith says

                I knew a devout catholic once. One day he went to the races, upon entering the bookmakers area, he kneeled and prayed “Please God let me break even on the punt today , i really could use the money”………of course he was an Irish Catholic, lol

          • dans says


            I am not really sure if you are aware of the court cases in the US about teaching creationism in a science class, the creationist lost the court case and they re-invent themselves into “intelligent design” just to “fit” into science, one notable book that purse this idea is the “of pandas and people”. no matter how you call it, “intelligent design” either by a christian god, an alien, or what-ever-supreme-being-entity, if you put them as your answer to how a complex life came into being, then you are violating the very principle of science and leaning towards that there is a god as the designer.

            I think I already replied a lot on this subject, and this discussion will never end, I will just leave you to do your own research and let you decide for yourself. peace!

            • jonathan says


              Frankly, I don’t care about the Intelligent Design theory or hypothesis or whatever you want to call it. If you go back to my original post, it was a reply to Ricardo’s comment because his comment reminds me of that idea, nothing more, nothing less. I’m also aware of the court case in the U.S. and it doesn’t affect me in anyway whether they won or lost, whether they were the original creationist or to what group they belong. My information is as layman as you can get and I am not claiming to be an expert in ID nor do I have any intention of doing further research (I have a lot of more important things to do). I have my own belief, I’m a Catholic and a Christian and like I already said it suits my life. But I agree with you, there’s no more sense in furthering this discussion. BTW, I would really love to see one day that those apes turn into a real human being coz it’s been a long time since the last time they have evolved. Kudos!

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                You guys can have your own beliefs, there is nothing wrong with that. What I find irritating are the repetitions of so-called experts’ arguments to buttress your own argument and opinion. Why not form your own opinion based on your own personal observations without the interference or influence of other people’s opinions? Experts are ordinary humans just like you. If they can think independently, so can you.

              • dans says


                “I would really love to see one day that those apes turn into a real human being coz it’s been a long time since the last time they have evolved” –

                your statement above is a proof that your understanding of evolution is totally wrong as most common theist would assume that we evolved from apes.

                don’t take our discussion against me, after all, religion promotes understanding isn’t it? unless i am wrong? or does it promotes hostility?

                @ricardo, using others influence or arguments to make an argument is valid specially if the foundation of the existing argument has made a lot of point and there is no need to “re-invent” it, when it will also lead to the same point of argument.

                would you re-invent the wheel? i just hope that text books does not irritates you as well as their content is a written form of arguments, opinion and observations., nobody claims here to be an expert not me at least.

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Dans, to use somene else’s argument is valid up to a point, then you’re on your own, or you should be on your own, to form your own conclusion. But to consistently voice other people’s arguments regardless of how valid they seem just looks to me like a “cut and paste” job. It somehow gives the appearance that you are not able to think independently. Do books irritate me? Some. Those that do, I don’t bother to read.

              • dans says

                ricardo, I am not really sure what do you mean by “consistently voice other people’s arguments regardless of how valid they seem just looks to me like a “cut and paste” job”?? can you elaborate more?

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Dans, to consistently rely on and invoke experts’ arguments in support of your own argument somehow, in appearance at least, gives one the impression that you are denying yourself the capacity to think independently or form your own conclusion. The “cut and paste” refers to mimicking other people’s arguments. I’m speaking in general terms, of course, and not particularly directed at you.

              • dans says


                I understand what the sentence means, what i am not sure of, is how it fits with the current argument? in my opinion, you are making a fallacious statements in a sense that “X makes an argument from Y’s argument, therefore X is Y and X is not real”

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Dans, I am not saying that X ‘s argument is not real or is not valid.. I am just saying that X is reliance on the experts is robbing himself of the capacity to think and reason. How fallacious is that?

              • dans says


                by stating that “x is reliant on the experts is *robbing himself of the *capacity* to think and reason” is actually a fallacy by assuming that X reliance to Y makes X incapacitated to reason.,perhaps it is a slippery slope fallacy?

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Dans, that would not be fallacy, but is in fact a fact. If one consistently relies on the arguments of others to support his own argument, it relieves him of the burden of thinking deeply.

              • dans says


                from your statement “robbing himself of the capacity to think and reason” is not a statement of “relieve” but a statement of being positive to what is going to happen, it is also a fact that a good argument requires a foundation and in this case an existing argument that can support the argument that is being raised.

                just because a person who is too reliant from someone else’s argument would relieve him the burden of thinking deeply?, that is not an accurate statement, most often that not, giving out an argument derived from someone else’s raises more question for that argument.

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                Dans, I don’t dispute that a good argument requires a foundation that is mostly based on the experts’ arguments. I am merely stating that, at a certain point, one should be on his own to mount his own arguments and form his own conclusions independent of the experts arguments and conclusions whether or not those arguments and conclusions agree with his own.

              • jonathan says


                I am not hostile at you or directing my comments against you or anyone in my posts. But, there you go again saying that I am totally wrong which is what you are doing over and over against me. Pointing that I am wrong in this and wrong in that. It’s an opinion forum and I never claimed that what I’m saying are pure facts and not preaching that people believe it. I just shared my opinion and some knowledge. I myself have not told you that you are totally wrong when you are making “fun” of my religion, just read your comments and look at the mirror who is hostile. And for the last time, let’s stop this.

              • dans says

                jonathan, when you post something you have absolutely no knowledge about and try to make an argument out of it and it so happened that i know more than you do, I can and will say to you that you are wrong directly, I don’t need to use euphemism to soften the word just to prevent hurting you, besides, we are adults and as such, engaging in an argument such as this should be taken with a strong heart, is there something wrong to make fun of everything(except people)? in my opinion, we can make fun of almost everything, religion, politics, beliefs etc..etc.. with the exception of people of course. you could have told me that I am wrong when I make “fun” of your religion and i will gladly accept it BUT i will then asks you why it is wrong to make fun out of it? just because it is a religion?

                why is that when people regardless of their religious affiliation make fun of politics or politicians or make fun of almost everything, nobody would say it is wrong? and when religion has been make fun of, all of a sudden whoever is a member of that religion will take a big offense? would you tell me that i am wrong if I used other religion other than catholic?, will you take any offense If I make fun of Islam? or any other religion for that matter?, come on, lets be honest now.

                are we supposed to curtail our rights of not saying anything against any religion? are we supposed to be expected to give more leeway to a religion? is religion more important than anything else? such as politics?

                ok. lets stop this, don’t post back. peace!

              • jonathan says


                I have not in any way making an argument with you. I have cleared that since the start of this post because I know it will be fruitless, ok? And that is exactly my point why I am not making any comments about you making “fun” of my religion or any religion for that matter. Did I made “fun” of your beliefs? It’s just a matter of being sensitive. You know what, reading back to all the comments between us, it’s making me laugh right now…lmao. C’mon we have class Dans, let’s just quit it. PEACE!

    • says


      I think all we need to do is respects others religion…

      Prayers and faith are keys for a better relationship.. :) (in my opinion..)

      • Marcel says

        Joan says:
        May 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

        Prayers and faith are keys for a better relationship.. :) (in my opinion..)

        I respectfully disagree. What if you prayers and and faith oppose my religion, if I had one? What if I was a Muslim for example? You opinion is very simplistic and perfect example of thinking of most Catholics. All you need to know is that there is god you have to adore and listen to… That as an universal answer for everything as far believers (Christians) are concerned. If that’s all you need for life so be it… For me its pretty ignorant (in my opinion..)

  50. David L Smith says

    Hi all
    one of my favourite singers from the 60/70s Alan Price recorded a great song about life and death named “Is That All There Is”…maybe some of you can recall it, but anyway you can access it on You Tube, well worth a listen and has some relevance and meaning to some of the comments on this subject.

  51. Allan Kelly says

    Hi Sugar

    Does religion make a relationship stronger? There isn’t a yes or no answer to that question. It depends on the relationship, doesn’t it? I can only speak from my case. It has made no difference. My wife is religious, I am not. She does not bug me about it, and I keep my opinion of it to myself. I do think that religion has been and continues to be a cause of a lot of problems all over the world.

    Religions (all of them) are full of rules and guidlines that were written to suit the time the relgion was founded. Some of them ridculous for today.They are written to keep the poor in control by promising better times to come (when you are dead), keep the small group in power (do what we say. God wants you to and if you don’t, God will punish you) and yes, let’s just say it. To keep the women in their place. Every religion has rules about the thing men can do, but women can’t do.

    I say be a good person. Instead of pointing the finger and whispering about the poor girl pregnant and not married, try helping her out.

    • Lea says

      I like your first sentence in the last paragraph – “I say be a good person.” In my opinion, that is all that matters.

    • sugar says

      Hi Allan – you’re right with religion having rules and strict guidelines and because of that, it’s causing a lot of problems.. Here in the Philippines, Bishops and other groups oppose to RH Bill threatening to call a civil disobedience ( says so in the news). I like your last paragraph…so true. Thanks.

      • dans says

        An theist all time favorite quote.

        “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” – Marcus Aurelius

          • dans says


            to be honest, when i first read this quote and digested it, that was my turning point to be an atheist, I was raised as a catholic just like a common filipino, not by choice but by force, my parents forced me to become a catholic, if only I could talk and decide for myself which belief i wanted for myself when i was brought out, I could have choose anything but because of my incapability as a baby, I could not have done so,

            because of that quote I began to question if my god is a just god, i also questioned myself, all the things I’ve done is it good enough for my god? what if not? would he send me to hell? then i searched for the “truth” and when i could not find it, i turned to logic, reasoning and science, things the bible could not explained to me logically, i found most of my answer from science., then i went abroad, I’ve seen the world, I’ve seen different beliefs, culture and religions, I’ve seen the existence of many gods and demigods of different culture and people, a quick comparison between the hinduism and christianity and the greek gods, they all have one thing in common, being a polytheism.. richard dawkins, sam harris, carl sagan and other notable atheist/scientist did not turn me into atheist, IT IS THE RELIGION itself that turns me into atheist their many presence confused me, the people I mentioned helped me a lot to understand more in a logical and scientific manner the things i could not understand, they contributed a lot into my well being.

            in my opinion, religion is a tool to divide people, their different beliefs and view causes more harm than good.

            Science on the other hand is a tool of reasoning, understanding and it binds people together to a common goal regardless of the skin color and language.

            • jonathan says


              To be honest too, this is the first time I’ve read that quote and frankly speaking the speaker strikes me as person who encompasses all understanding of human nature and beliefs. He did not judge others but rather showed a simple view about life itself, those three sentences are powerful to stir the mind and the heart. Thank you for sharing that quote because it only strengthen my belief that there is a God.

              • says

                n my own point view when it comes to the World of Love there is no such religion involves when humanity emerged on this planet. To be loved or to love someone doesn’t need any form of religion. That’s why I admired John Lennon for sharing those thread of his song ” IMAGINE” it is really encoring the true essence of humanity. I was born a catholic and will die as a Catholic but so sad to say that I don’t believe those lies our Church leaders saying about RH bill. They are the hypocrites of modern era. Leave the state alone, let the state do their Job in eradicating poverty caused by OP ( Over population ). Great article indeed..

  52. Just says

    Where is Christ in all these talks of doctrines? Is catholic a Christian church or a popes church. You are following man-made doctrines, nothing to do with God and His grace! I am shock. It is no wonder the Filipino politicians who are catholics are corrupt with so many poor Filipinos wanting to get out of the country. Think about it. But then if you are one of the 30% of the Filipinos who are eating on time it will be hard for you to think of those who are hungry in your midst. Your church is more concern if you are following the doctrines of your church. So be it with.

  53. mimi_dearest says

    Being an American College trained engineer myself, I consider the iterative path of the ‘scientific method’ to be the longest and the most tedious way to finding the TRUTH of God. I would not recommend it to anyone. Life is too short.

    FAITH must make one happy. If one is not happy in one’s FAITH, one has to keep looking. It is so important to be a happy person. Happy persons tend to think more clearly, love more generously, and live more courageously. Unhappy persons are like toxic waste dumps that can suck the very life force out of loved ones — theirs and others.

    Only one love is psychologically healthy and that is the LOVE for the TRUTH.

    St. Thomas Aquinas said “Love follows knowledge.”

    BUT I disagree.

    I say, “We cannot hope to know what we do not love FIRST.” Knowledge follows LOVE.

    As humans we WILL love first anyway. It is our God-given nature. But it is only when we love GOD FIRST that we come to know the TRUTH and arrive at FAITH.

    I wish you all happy — this Christmas season and for always.

    • says

      “Being an American College trained engineer myself, I consider the iterative path of the ‘scientific method’ to be the longest and the most tedious way to finding the TRUTH of God. I would not recommend it to anyone. Life is too short.”

      Science is not out to find the truth of God. Science is out to disprove the existence of God.

      • mimi_dearest says

        Hmmm. No training apparently in the scientific method or you would know one cannot prove a negative.

        Good luck on your search for nothing.

          • mimi_dearest says

            Don’t take it from me either. Take it from the physicists, cosmologists, biologists and astronomers.

            One cannot prove a negative. Or to use cosmologist Martin Rees’ maxim “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

            So, let me repeat your original statement here:
            “Science is out to disprove the existence of God.”

            The above statement is unintelligible because one (not even scientists) can prove true the negative hypothesis (ie “God does NOT exist”). And frankly, why should atheistic scientists even care?

            In the final analysis, language (including mathematics) is a human invention. The TRUTH is not. Language (including mathematics) assumes non-singular phenomena. GOD is singular by definition and miracles do happen. For example, YOU are a singular phenomenon and a miracle by definition. I may not like this particular miracle, but it is what it is.

            HOWEVER, don’t take this to mean that the belief in God is NOT fundamentally a choice. We’re free to pick and choose the hypotheses we WILL live by. BUT whatever we choose will cost us.

            A “belief in God” incurs the “cost of discipleship”. And as we have seen, a belief in the existence of the “Higgs Boson Particle” incurred the cost of $4.75 billion to construct the Large Hadron Collider in search of something no one knows for sure exists.

            I personally do NOT believe in the existence of the “Higgs Boson Particle”. The $4.75 billion spent to construct the Large Hadron Collider was a total waste of taxpayer money as far as I am concerned. I don’t believe we found the “Higgs Boson Particle” in the last run around either and apparently, neither did the Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences because they gave the Nobel Prize in Physics to Haroche and Wineland instead of to Higgs. But EVEN should the “Higgs Boson Particle” prove to truly exist, I could not care less.

            And I am sure most atheistic scientists feel the same way about the existence of GOD.

            So, good luck in finding what you need, considering you have no word for it.

            • says

              Six days of what must have been a laborious research on your part since my last posting, and these are what you come up with in response? Hadron Collinders and miracles? LOL In any event, you are barking up the wrong tree here, because I am not the author of that hypothesis. I am just the messenger. Fact is, if you read the comments made by Ricardo Sumilang on this article, you’ll know where I stand regarding God and religion. Perhaps, you should address your comments to Yahoo news. This way you’ll have a world-wide audience, and your satisfaction of having been read by the world would be that much greater. And, no I am not in search of any need; I’ve got all the needs that I could ever want in this world, and I am perfectly happy with them. Are you? Take care of that cold. At your age, you could end up with pneumonia. :(

              Here is that Yahoo link again, awaiting your comments:

              • mimi_dearest says

                So, we’re down to ‘ad hominems’ now, are we? “Critical thinking” is just NOT your strong suit, is it? I guess this discussion IS at an end.

                I find it creepy that you’re counting the days between my postings. And why do you speculate how I spend my time? Does your wife know you’re stalking other women on the net?

                It is the Christmas season and I’ve been busy buying my family gifts, if you NEED to know. It’s really NOT about YOU.

                Oh, yes, and please tell the sender you’ve been playing messenger for that his junk mail will be discarded upon receipt. This is the last response he will be getting from me. And, frankly, it would be less creepy if he speaks for himself instead of sending messages through some other creepy guy.

              • says

                You know, if you take your Hadron Colliders and miracles to Yahoo, you just might draw the world’s attention to your brand of “critical thinking”. I strongly urge you to, because it would be such a pity if the world fails to recognize you as a critical thinker supreme. On another matter, while in college,did you think you were a prima donna by sitting outside the classroom with your own table when the whole class was inside despite your professor’s request that you come inside, or, was it because you were so bright you didn’t need to listen to the lectures? Now, THAT is creepy. Regarding stalking women on the net, to be honest, I haven’t the slightest idea how to go about doing that, madam. Perhaps you can give me some pointers, since you are a veteran of the internet and of chat rooms on the prowl in search of the elusive men who were running away from you as fast as they can? :) Take care of that asthma, you hear?

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