Community Whispers by Ray Junia
Community Whispers

Gift- giving is showing one’s love for family, friends

Dec 13, 2022, 2:58 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia



Birthdays rank one of the most important annual celebrations of every Filipino.

It is not surprising then that the birthday of Lord Jesus is the longest and most festive celebration in our country.

Christmas means a lot of pesos changing hands and commercial economic activities are at their peak. It is the season where one gets the equivalent of “feeling rich,” as bonuses fill the household pantry and gifts laid neatly under the Christmas tree are wrapped love gifts.

Gift-giving in this season is not only a tradition, more importantly, it is making these gifts speak of one’s love to family and friends.

In my case, I ask, what gift do I give myself?


As children of God, express our love and gratitude to our Lord Jesus by sharing with others our life’s gifts every Christmas.

While we smile this season, another person claiming to be the appointed “Son of God,” suffers defeat in the US Courts of Justice. US government froze his assets deposited in the USA.

The freezing of the assets of televangelist Apollo Quiboloy is a result of an ongoing litigation over his alleged crimes of rape, human trafficking and other human rights abuse committed in the USA.

A statement from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) of the USA said, “For more than a decade, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, engaged in serious human rights abuse, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, as well as other physical abuse.”

Of course the lawyers of the appointed “Son of God” are shouting protests saying, Quiboloy’s rights have been violated.

By the way, if this “Son of God” has the guts to do what the US government said he has done in the USA, what could be happening in his enclave somewhere in Mindanao?

My kapitbahay could only say “iba talaga sa Pinas, truly our lady justice here is blindfolded and does not see the crime committed by the powerful and the mighty.”


Meralco says our electric bill goes up this December, explaining, surprisingly, why it should be less like the generation charge in our monthly bills has gone down. Taxes and other charges went down while the distributions charge has not moved.

They warn, expect more increases next year, starting next month when we start to feel the impact of SMC withdrawal from its Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with Meralco.

This PSA was a bone of contention before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), SMC and Meralco petitioning approval by the government for a hike in generation charges.

SMC’s power subsidiary was saying it already lost over P15 billion supplying Meralco with power that cost them higher than their fixed selling price, stipulated under the PSA.

ERC, in its decision, took the populist path. The petition was denied. The power supplier, losing already over P15B took the logical next step, go to the courts and seek termination of its contract with Meralco. The Court of Appeals granted the petition in the form of issuing a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against an earlier ERC action.

As sure as the sun rises every morning, the power supplier deemed their obligation to supply power under the PSA terminated and stopped supplying Meralco with lower-than-cost electricity.

Meralco then runs to the open market which is always very much more expensive and volatile.

So next month cost to households using 200 kwh will pay P60.00 to P80.00 more in the monthly bill.

To think that the SMC-Meralco petition to the ERC would result in increase of about P10.00 per month given world economic crisis and our own inflation, we must pay P70.00 more.

Who said regulatory bodies in the country are there to protect consumers?

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