LA CHALEUR D’ÉTÉ (THE SUMMER HEAT): a short fiction of SEXUAL HARRASSMENT OF PRIESTS

RATED R FICTION

by: Harry S. Parker

This story was originally wrote by a 13 year old Filipino writer in French. It was translated by Demogargon Saatbarmald. It won a major prize in a literary competition held in France last 2001.

IT WAS A VERY HOT SUMMER in Montagnac, Languedoc, France when Father Rémy Gilroy arrived from Montpellier. He was assigned there to replace the outgoing parish priest of Église de Saint-Laurent, Father Georges Du Buolay. Montagnac is a small town few kilometers away from Montpellier, the capital city of Languedoc and almost twenty kilometers away from his former parish in Mandelieu-la-Napole, in Côte de Azur or literally “the Blue Coast”. Father Rémy Gilroy rode a train from Mandelieu-la-Napole to Montpellier and he rode a bus from the capital city of Languedoc to his destination in Montagnac. At the bus station of Montagnac, he was welcomed by Father Georges Du Buolay with his assistant priest Father Adrien Kirchner. Father Rémy thanked his two secular brothers after their warm welcome to him. Then Father Adrien helped the newly arrived priest to carry his luggage to put them to a military type jeep that was driven by Father Georges. Afterwards the three priests were on their way to the Église de Saint-Laurent.

            While traveling, the three priests have some conversations made to each other.

            “Father Rémy,” Father Georges called while driving. “Are you aware that in Montagnac, there is half of the population that is Moslems?”

            “I am certainly aware of that…” Father Rémy replied.

            Father Adrien shrugged, “Don’t worry, Moslems are good brothers.”

            “So as the freemasons…” He grinned.

            “Anyway,” Father Georges continued. “There is something in Montagnac that you need to resolve as the parish priest and arbitrator.”

            Father Rémy’s curiosity came over. “What is it?”

            “You know, there is a conflict here. Homosexuals are seeking their rights because of the gender discrimination here. They are always protesting in all parts of this small town. You must resolve this conflict as the Shepherd of Christ.”

            “You must leave it to the gendarmes.” The priest gave an exhausted look.

            “Gendarmes do nothing.” Father Georges shook his head.

            Father Adrien entered the conversation. “These homosexuals are always making trouble here in Montagnac. For me, they are like cankers. Gays and lesbians, even the discreet ones are nuts!” Then he laughed.

            Father Rémy became uncomfortable as he began to sweat a lot. His heart started to palpitate irregularly. He remained silent. On the other hand, Father Georges told Father Adrien. “Don’t be judgmental, Father Adrien. As a shepherd of Christ, we must treat them equally as Jesus taught to His disciples.”

            Father Rémy, after a long pause, said to his two confreres. “Don’t worry and I will resolve these conflicts. I will treat them equally and I will appeal to the municipal government to implement equal rights for the benefit of all homosexuals in Montagnac.”

            Their vehicle finally reached their destination, the two-hundred-year-old Église de Saint-Laurent. The three priests finally jumped out to the jeep and Father Rémy and Father Adrien took the luggage out of the vehicle and they brought it inside the church.

            The three shepherds of Christ are long time friends since their childhood. They were orphaned children living in a Benedictine-managed orphanage, twenty five years ago. Father Adrien and Father Rémy have the same age while Father Georges is two years older than them. Father Adrien Kirchner describes as a loud, frank and a bully person while Father Georges describes as a smart and intelligent one. Father Rémy, on the other hand, is a silent type of person, bounded by the mysteries of the universe. This priest is a kind of person with so many secrets to keep. The three entered the seminary at the same time. When they were ordained as priests, they were assigned to the different places throughout France but they kept on communicating with each other. Father Georges and Father Adrien were assigned in Languedoc, particularly in Montagnac and Frontignan respectively; while Father Rémy was assigned in Mandelieu-la-Napole. Two years later, Father Adrien joined Father Georges in Montagnac and served as an assistant parish priest. Father Rémy, however, stayed for four years to his first assignment. Today, Father Georges will take over the parish in Castelnaudary in Rousillon while Father Rémy will succeed him. But then, Father Adrien will retain his position as the assistant priest of Église de Saint-Laurent.

            As the three priests entered the office of the parish priest inside the Église de Saint-Laurent, Father Adrien opened the air-condition unit to make the air inside the room to become comfortable. Father Rémy decided to open the lights. Then the three seated subsequently. They formed a triangular arrangement and Father Georges began to tell his story when he first settled in Montagnac.

            “Do you know that when I first settle my foot here in Montagnac, like a shot I was welcomed by many problems and conflicts due to the homosexuals? They always find trouble here in Montagnac. But I understand them because they only want to have their rights that are totally lacking in this municipality. Nonetheless, this church served as a mediator whenever there was a melee between the homosexuals and straights.” The former parish priest of Montagnac reported.

            “Like I’ve said, homophiles are like plague that penetrates every man created by God to act immorally and it will serve as their way to the inferno.” Father Adrien gave his anti-homosexual opinion.

            Father Rémy gave a rough smile to Father Adrien. Father Georges gazed to Father Rémy who has been uncomfortable since when they are on the jeep. Father Adrien extended his opinion. “Homosexuality is not an inborn illness or a hereditary disease. They recruit men to expand their society. In God’s laws, these kinds of people forbids from His paradise. Remember the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra. God destroyed the city because of the immorality brought by these people. They do not deserve equal rights because they were defective people. God only created two sexes – male and female and in ancient scriptures and the bible itself tells that these people have no place here in this world. The government should make a bill, ordinance or whatever to prevent this kind of pestilence. We must observe morality for God taught us to become moral persons. He gave us knowledge and intelligence, so we must use it in the right way. We are humans so act like a civilized human with a good manner. We should know our limits and use our knowledge to distinguish the right from wrong. Remember what God taught us about morality!”

            Father Rémy showed his anger to Father Adrien Kirchner. He did not know why he was sympathizing to the homosexuals. Or there is another reason. “Adrien, this is not what God taught us when we are in the seminary! Do not blame them for God said that we must blame only the immoral persons, but not all homosexuals are immoral! Even the straights can be immoral as well! God taught us not to become judgmental or to stereotype this kind of persons. Do you think that homosexuality is a pestilence, a disease which can spread to all members of the society? But you did not think that the persons infected by the homosexuality are involuntary, just like people having cancer! They did not want it but they acquired it. For your information, homosexuality is not a disease! And do you recall your history? Homosexuality is already accepted in some ancient civilizations, like in Greece! Remember Adrien that God also taught us how to love, accept and respect our neighbors as what they really are, as you love your God!” He gave a furious look. “Do not insult or deride them because they did not want it! For the last time, I remind you that do not become judgmental!”

            “Me, judgmental? Rémy, I am against them because God, as told in the bible, forbade them due to their unaccepted acts. God only created two sexes and if this disease will spread throughout Montagnac, the people here will deluged in immorality! I think Mayor Lienbridge have the same vision as mine. The Montagnac authorities want to save the people to their perdition.” Father Adrien opposed. “And Father Rémy, I am wondering why you have a great sympathy with those homophiles. Are you one of them?”

            Father Rémy ignored him. “Don’t worry; you will be damned one day.” He simpered.

            Messieurs, s’il vous plaît! Remember that you are in the House of God! Don’t argue here. Forget that argument and instead, we must rejoice because we meet together again after a long time. Don’t make this reunion a trouble one!” Then he looked to Father Rémy meaningfully.

            After that, there was a long pause. But the three were interrupted when someone knocked on the door. Father Adrien decided to open it. When he opened the door, a tall young man in his middle adolescence period appeared to him. The young man has surprisingly handsome face, with a straight blonde hair, had a slender body and a complexion fair as the snow. His eyes were blue, like it was fueled by some mysteries. Father Rémy saw the young man and he became blunt. The young man gave respect to the priests in front of him and handed over the folded vest and stole to the former parish priest and talked in his baritone voice. “Père, bon après-midi. These are the vest and the stole you asked for.”

            Merci,” said Father Georges with gratitude. “Anyway, this is Father Rémy Gilroy, your new parish priest.” He introduced his fellow clergyman to the young man. And then he looked to Father Rémy and he introduced the young man. “Rémy, this is Gérard… Gérard Montmélian, one of my sacristans.”

            Bonjour, Père…” Gérard greeted with respect.

            Bonjour aussi… nice to meet you.” Father Rémy replied and he gave his right hand to the young man. Gérard accepted it and they shook hands. But Father Rémy became sweaty as he feel Gérard’s balmy hand. His body became warm and he cannot explain it. The natural heat of the summer perhaps. He observed Gérard’s handsome face and his heartbeat began to rise so he decided to release the young man’s hand. In the meantime, Gérard vowed to him and he asked for his blessing. Father Rémy blessed the young man at once and the latter went outside with respect. Father Adrien closed the door afterwards and they went again on their conversations but with different topic.

            Hours passed, Father Georges Du Buolay decided to leave the church so he gave his successor guidelines to be able to continue what he had started. Before leaving, he talked to his successor, Father Rémy Gilroy.

            “Father Rémy, you are now the new parish priest of Église de Saint-Laurent. I know that you will become a good shepherd of Christ here in Montagnac.” Father Georges said.

            “Yes, Father Georges. I will do my best to make this parish a united one. Don’t worry; I will continue what you had started.” Father Rémy replied and he gave a meaningful smile.

            “And also those temptations are everywhere. You must pray to God in order you to fight them. I knew that temptations are the best enemies of the priests.” Father Rémy’s predecessor advised.

            “Don’t worry, Georges and I already forgot what happened to us when we are in the seminary.”

            Father Georges became uneasy when he recalled what happened to them, years back in the seminary. He did not want to remember it so he changed the topic and afterwards, he bid goodbye to his long time friend. “Adieu!

            Then the former parish priest of the Église de Saint-Laurent went out of the office.

*          *          *

While riding on a cab, Father Georges decided to look on the window at his side and he observed his way towards the train station in Montpellier where he will ride a train up to Castelnaudary, his new parish in Rousillon.

            He observed his way. He remembered the years were he was in Montagnac. He already loved the place and he considered it as his second home.

             “Father Rémy will do more in Montagnac. I know he can be a good shepherd of —.” he thought but like a thunder, he recalled when he was in the seminary – while the heat of summer touches his skin.

            It was summer in the French Seminary in Rome, Italy where the three studied their theological studies. One hot and humid afternoon, young Georges felt wet while he was in his room inside the seminary. He got three roommates: two of them is Rémy and Adrien. But the three were outside. They were playing outside, I suppose, he thought. So without hesitation, he decided to take a bath. He went directly to the bathroom inside their room but he forgot to lock the door.

            Georges felt the coldness of the water on his entire skin while he was showering. Suddenly, someone opened the door and entered. Georges became frightened and he faced the opened door. There he saw a man almost two years younger at his age, standing and staring at him. Georges shrugged when he saw the man. He did not care that he was naked because they are on the same sex. Instead, he snorted to the man.

            “Hey, I am not finished yet! Next time, you knock first!”

            Yet the man ignored him and he closed the door instead. He began to approach towards Georges. The man stared at him with fire. When the man reached Georges, he closed his face and kissed the bewildered man to his lips. Georges avoided his lips to the man and he instantly pushed the man away from him. “God! Are you insane? God damn it!”

            But this time, the man approached him again, carrying a bottle of spray. He sprayed Georges’ face. The latter smelled it and he felt dizziness. He became numb instantly. As Georges felt uneasiness, the man approached his face and started to kiss him at the lips.

            “No, no, no!” Georges exclaimed while he was felt into stupor.

            The man lowered his face and started to lick Georges’ chest and nipples. Georges shrieked with pain. The man’s tongue flickered down towards his abdomen like a flame. Georges felt limped and tired, and at the same time, frightened. But the chemicals sprayed on his face started to take effect. Georges began to gasp. The man continued to lick his abdomen down to his navel until he knelt and plunged his face down to Georges’ lower thighs.

            “Please don’t…” Georges screamed but the man ignored him. Georges felt warm as the man clutched his spear and began to beat and pumped on it, up and down, repeatedly. Afterwards, Georges felt some excitement and his spear erupted. He began to shiver. Then the man sucked and licked his spear up to its tip until it went purple and dry. In a few moments, the seminarian became unconscious.

            “Sir, we are now here in the Montpellier station.” said the taxicab driver to the priest.

            Father Georges returned to his mind. “How much?” He asked the driver.

            “Eight euros, Monsieur.” The driver replied.

            The priest paid the driver afterwards before jumping out of the cab carrying his luggage.

            Past is past, Father Georges thought. I forgave him already.

*          *          *

Night had fallen over Montagnac.

As an altar boy, Gérard Montmélian must maintain the orderliness and the cleanliness of the whole church before he closes the porch. His two companions, Denis and Louis, were already asleep. He had no choice but to take over all the responsibilities in the church.

            After he closed the main porch, Gérard went to the parish priest’s office to clean its surroundings. He was amazed when he opened the office, unlocked. Together with his broom and dust pan, he swept the floor. While sweeping, his attention was caught by a gold locket at the top of the priest’s table. Due to curiosity, he went to the table and touched it. But someone from the open door roared him.

            Monsieur, what are you doing?”

            Gérard became frightened and he quickly placed the locket again to the table. Then he faced the open door where the voice of an angry man came.

            “I’m sorry, Père.” apologized Gérard when he saw the man wearing black clerical cassock standing before him. He was Father Rémy Gilroy.

            “Next time, monsieur, respect other’s privacy.” Father Rémy said with a loud voice. “If you are done, you may go.”

            Oui, Père Rémy. I’m so sorry.” And Gérard felt embarrassed as he walked out of the parish priest’s office. But the priest grabbed his right hand. Gérard became terrified. Father Rémy stared to the young man meaningfully. The young sacristan became afraid as his forehead began to sweat. The priest observed Gérard’s face – his blue eyes that are dark as the ocean, his blonde hair down to his slender body and fair complexion. The sixteen-year-old sacristan and the same time, an altar boy, on the other hand, feared the priest and he begged for his release.

            Père Rémy, I’m sorry. I don’t have an intention to steal that locket to you. I was preparing to clean your office. My conscience is clean. Père, s’il vous plaît!

            Father Rémy instantly returned to his mind and he released Gérard’s right hand. “Okay, you may go. But next time, I do not want to see you holding anything that belongs to mine.” Then he took his gold locket placed on the table. But then, Gérard Montmélian went out to the office quickly.

            Father Rémy grinned while he was seated on his executive chair, looking at his gold locket. His looks were like a fiend.

*          *          *

Three days passed, Gérard Montmélian was sweeping the floor beside the altar when his co-sacristan, Denis, went to him with scream. Gérard wondered so he asked his friend.

            “Are you okay, Denis? What happened? Your face is like screaming.”

            “Gérard,” Denis gasped. “Father Rémy’s locket was missing and he found it on your bag! He accused you in trying to steal it!”

            “Oh, my God! I didn’t steal anything. Swear to God!” Gérard said in a sudden.

            “Father Rémy is approaching!” Denis exclaimed when he saw the priest coming in their place.

            “Come here, Gérard!” Father Rémy ordered with anger and he grabbed the young sacristan’s right hand. “For the second time, you tried to steal my gold locket. You bypassed my privacy!”

            “Father, I did not steal anything. Release me, s’il vous plaît!” Gérard begged while his right hand was squeezed by Father Rémy. “Promise to God, I did not steal anything!”

            “I will call the gendarmes or the DCPJ to bring you to the jail. I’m assuring you that you will be imprisoned!” Father Rémy said while he dragged Gérard towards his office. The priest will call the Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire to castigate the young man in stealing his gold locket.

            At his office, Father Rémy brought Gérard inside and then he went out and locked the office. The young man was imprisoned in the parish priest’s office for a while. Gérard cried for his misfortune. God knows that I am innocent, he thought. He pictured himself being imprisoned together with other criminals even if he was innocent.

            Almost thirty minutes later, Gérard noticed that someone outside is trying to open the door. He heard the ramming of the key into the lock before the door opened instantly. Gérard became surprised when a man wearing a black cassock entered the room. He stared at Gérard like a devil. Nevertheless, the young sacristan continued to beg for his release.

            “I am innocent! I did not steal that locket. Believe me!”

            But the man ignored him. His eyes were like a raging fire. His smile is like as of the devil. The man approached towards the young sacristan while the latter is sitting on the visitor’s chair in front of the priest’s main table. At back of Gérard, the Devil touched the young man’s broad shoulders affectionately and he whispered to Gérard’s left ear.

            “I will let you free in one condition…” said the Devil and he began to kiss the young man’s neck.

            Gérard became shocked about the effeminate action of the Devil so he quickly stood up and he move away to the blazing Devil.

            “What is this for?” asked Gérard while he was perplexed at the unexpected actions of the Devil.

            “Gérard don’t try to become innocent. You knew what I mean.”

            Gérard became confused. Meanwhile, the Devil started to undress himself while approaching to the young man.

            “You are insane!” Gérard exclaimed. “I respected you. I obeyed you. You are a shepherd of Christ but what you are doing right now? You are disgusting!”

            As the Devil approached the young sacristan, he sprayed the latter to his face. Poor Gérard, after inhaling the sprayed chemical on his face, became numb and dazed in a few seconds. His legs became limped while he felt wooziness. Then the Devil began to undress the poor young man and he began to kiss him on the lips. Gérard felt like he was now burning in hell. The surroundings became hot and humid due to the summer season. He wanted to escape from the tight hands of the Devil.

            The Devil began to do his fantasies to the young man. He was like a woman who is craving for sex. The Devil kissed Gérard at the lips before lowering his face to the chest, licking it like an ice cream. Gérard tried to shout for help but he was already lost his voice.

            “Help me…” Gérard faltered. Then he turned to the Devil. “Damn bullshit You are in the house of God! One day God will put you to hell!” He stressed his last word. “IMMORAL!

            The last word made the Devil to become angry so he strongly blew Gérard’s right cheek using his bony wrist. Afterwards, he grabbed and pulled the hair of the poor sacristan. He spoke like Satan. “If you did not shut your mouth, I will not hesitate to end your life! You are mine!” After that, he lowered his face down to the abyss as he knelt and plunged his face to the young man’s lower thighs.

            Gérard, seemingly helpless, began to sob and prayed. “God, help me, s’il vous plaît! Save me from the fires of hell!” Afterwards he felt an orgasm.

            The Devil was now feasting on his own body. Gérard lost his strength until the climax came to his mortality. Later on, he felt unconscious while leaving his own body to be feasted by the Devil. The Devil continued having sex with Gérard just to satisfy his desire.

*          *          *

Father Rémy Gilroy was on the Parc de L’Amour, few meters away from Église de Saint-Laurent, to spend his vacant time for some recreation. He was sitting on a park bench beside the century-old fountain depicting Eros, the Greek god of sensual love, bowing to the sky upward. The priest observed the fountain and its surroundings. Then like a flash, something came back from his memory. He was now burning in hell.

            The room was dark and hot when young Rémy was imprisoned for a while for his punishment. He was accused theft by a priest working inside their orphanage. Rémy stole the gold crux gemmata necklace placed on the priest’s table. When the priest looked for his crux gemmata, he discovered it was missing. Because of anger, he called all the orphaned children inside their orphanage and he ordered the nuns to inspect all of them. Finally, the crux gemmata found. They found it on Rémy. The whole orphanage was shocked when they knew that Rémy stole the property of the priest. They knew that Rémy was a good child. He cannot stole anything because he has a great fear on God. Thou shall not steal, the child remembered one of the Ten Commandments. But it was too late; Rémy already stole the crux gemmata.

            The poor child was brought to the office of the priest and locked him for several hours. Then finally, someone is trying to open the door. He heard the ramming of the key outside. Then in a few moments, the priest entered the room and then he locked it afterwards. Rémy was seated on the floor when his hand was grabbed by the priest.

            “Please forgive me!” Rémy begged. “I thought there was no one owning it.”

            But the priest ignored him.

            “Please, Father. I am so sorry!” He continued.

            This time, the priest undressed him and whispered. “Be quiet or else I will kill you.”

            Rémy became frightened. He did not know what the priest might do to him.

            “If you grow up, you are a handsome man…” The priest continued. His voice was affectionate. Very effeminate. The child looked him as the Devil.

            The twelve year-old Rémy closed his eyes when he was kissed by the priest on his neck down to his young body. He felt something strange from his body, like it was tickling. The Devil began to feast Rémy’s body. At this time, he also lost his innocence.

            The Devil licked his young body downward. Rémy felt some excitement and in a few minutes, something fluid burst to his genital. The Devil grinned after he saw it.

            “You are a man now…” The Devil said and he continued molesting young Rémy.

            But the molestation to the young man continued many times.

            Rémy lost his innocence already. He already knew what the Devil is doing to him. The Devil has a carnal hunger to him. He was a pedophile.

            The twelve year old child realized that he was not a child anymore. He was now a young man. Rémy began to discover something joy from his own body through the Devil. All about sex.

            Rémy hated the priest who molested him. Since he was molested, he felt that he was already bemired. He felt he was now dirty from his body and soul. His honor was damaged. The priest dishonored him.

            One day, young Rémy was showering in the bathroom when the Devil entered. The young man became frightened. He knew that the Devil was able to molest him again. The Devil approached to Rémy and he began to indulge the body of the young man. But this time, hatred was felt by Rémy so he pushed the Devil away from him. The Devil on the other hand, still did not hesitate to approach him. “Ah, you are now fighting back at me. I like that!” The Devil said, laughing. “I am right; you are as like as the god of love, Eros. You are so handsome but naughty.”

            Rémy tried to escape from the hands of the Devil but he failed. A strong grasp was done by the Devil to him and afterwards, Rémy felt the hot feeling touched his skin that penetrates his entire body. His body began to shake while the Devil was harassing him. Rémy still tried to escape the man, until he was given a chance to fight back the Devil. He pushed the Devil away from him forcibly. The priest who is the Devil became unbalanced and he was slipped due to the wet floor tiles. The Devil instantly fell on the floor and his head was accidentally bumped to the toilet. The priest’s head broke instantly and he died. Rémy saw the surge of blood flowing on the Devil’s head. Because of that the young man became confused. He killed the man. He killed the priest who harassed him sexually. He violated one of God’s Ten Commandments: Thou shall not kill.

            Young Rémy lost his innocence in an instant.

*          *          *

Gérard Montmélian woke up from his nightmare. He was greeted by the silent dark room surrounded him. The Devil was out, he thought. Gérard felt he was a dirty man who engaged in a sex with another man who is a homosexual. He also noticed that he was already dressed but not properly and he was lying on a long sofa inside. When he stood up, his abdomen downward was writhing in pain. Gérard Montmélian, a straight guy, was harassed by a homosexual wearing a black cassock.

            He will certainly pay for his sins, Gérard thought and his anger rose. He is like a lion who will like to kill the person who molested him, so he quickly approached the door to find the Devil but he found out that the door was locked and he cannot go outside of the office. He had no options but to shout, asking for help to anybody outside.

            Minutes later, the door opened and Gérard saw again the Devil wearing a black cassock. The young sacristan felt tempestuous so he attacked the Devil to biff him. But the Devil immediately sprayed the young sacristan to his face. Gérard inhaled the chemical contents of the spray again and in a few seconds felt into stupor. The Devil started to harass him afterwards.

*          *          *

Gérard Montmélian was molested by the Devil three times.

            After the Devil finished his sensual pleasure to the poor young sacristan, he immediately wore his black cassock and he want away, locking the door while the “paralytic” Gérard was still unconscious.

            Minutes passed, the young sacristan regained his consciousness. He lied in a long sofa and he was already dressed. The room was totally hot. He looked to the surroundings and it was totally dark. The air-condition unit installed in the office was disabled. The door and the windows are locked. Gérard stood up and went to the door to seek help from outside. Maybe that bullshit is out of the church, he thought. Without hesitation, he knocked the door violently and shouted so that anyone from outside could hear. He looked to the clock afterwards. It was 5:45 in the afternoon, and the sun began to set. Still the room was totally hot due to the summer season. I am now burning in hell in advance. Gérard kept shouting and knocking the door violently, hoping that one of his co-sacristans or Father Adrien Kirchner heard him and helped him to open the door.

            “Help me! Somebody help me!”

            Meanwhile, Father Adrien Kirchner arrived on the church and he was amazed when he saw the porch of the church was still open even if the sun was already set and the night will conquer the skies soon. He also noticed that the church was so silent and he found no one inside the church. Father Rémy Gilroy and his sacristans Denis, Louis and Gérard Montmélian were all gone. Because of that he became wondered.

            “What kind of nutcase is this?” asked Father Adrien to himself then he chuckled. “Hello is there anybody home?”

            As he approached the altar, he was frightened when he heard someone shouting, asking for help. He tracked where the loud voice came from. He was surprised when the noise he traced was inside the parish priest’s office. Father Adrien Kirchner tried to open the door but he noticed that in the upper right of the door was padlocked, so the priest ran immediately towards the room where all the carpentry tools are stored. Father Adrien handled an axe and he went back to the parish priest’s office and he hit the padlock strongly for many times until it finally broke up. Immediately he pushed the door and he found Gérard inside. The priest became shocked and at the same time, puzzled.

            “What are you doing here?” asked Father Adrien while gasping. “Where’s Father Gilroy?”

            The young sacristan replied with traces of fear and anger. “Father, please help me. I was imprisoned here for eight hours. I was sexually harassed!”

            Father Adrien did not hear the last sentence. “Where are they? Where are the other sacristans? Why there is no one here in Saint-Laurent? It is like an abandoned church!” He paused. Something registered to his mind. I was sexually harassed. “And what did you say?”

            Gérard began to cry with anger. “Father let us go out of here. Father Rémy will soon be here in a minute!” He gasped. “Father Rémy molested me! He abused me sexually! He is gay!”

            “What did you say?” Father Adrien seemed he does not believe. “Father Rémy raped you sexually? Is he gay?”

            “Yes, he molested me sexually!” Gérard assured, and then he picked something on his pocket. “This is the proof that he molested me. He also has a chemical spray that can paralyze a person who inhaled it for one hour. He used it to me. And I found this thing in my own—.”

            Father Adrien stared at Gérard’s hand while holding a piece of used cylindrical transparent rubber. “A used condom?” The priest became confused. Holy shit!

            “Father,” Gérard continued. “I will kill that damn bullshit! He made me a dirty, disgusting person! I will sure you that he will pay for his sins!”

            “Are you telling the truth?” The priest was still confused. Oh my God! Have mercy on me!

            “Yes Adrien, I molested him because I love him!” The voice echoed from their back.

            The two, Father Adrien and Gérard, looked where the voice came from. They were surprised when they found out the Devil is walking towards them, carrying a five-meter long metal tube.

            “Father Rémy, you mean you are gay?” asked Father Adrien. “You molested Gérard?”

            “Goddammit! You sanctimonious bastard!” Gérard shouted with anger. “You do not deserve to be called a priest because you are immoral!”

            The Devil ignored them. Instead, he approached towards Father Adrien and Gérard. The latter picked a Swiss knife from his pocket and he threatened it to the gay priest. “This time, I will not let you to harass me again!”

            Father Adrien approached the Devil. “Rémy, just calm down! I will not hurt you. Just put it down and we will talk.” Then he tried to block the Devil.

            “I HATE YOU!” The Devil exclaimed to Father Adrien then he blew the latter violently using his metal tube. Father Adrien was hit to the right portion of his face and then the poor priest fell on the floor and left unconscious. Father Adrien’s right portion of his forehead began to bleed.

            However, Gérard attacked the Devil with his Swiss knife he got from one of the drawers inside the parish priest’s office. “You are worst than an animal, you son of a bitch!”

            Then silence came to the church.

*          *          *

Father Adrien Kirchner woke up with an intense pain on his head. He touched his forehead. He was frightened when he saw blood on his hands. The blood came from the open wound in his forehead. He also became terrified when he saw drops of blood stained on the floor. He traced it and he found out the dead end is on the comfort room beside the Office of the Parish Priest of Église de Saint-Laurent.

            When he reached the open comfort room, he was terrified when he saw a man’s body lying down on the floor while bathing with its own blood. Father Adrien noticed that the man’s neck was torque backward, twisted 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

            Father Adrien Kirchner wanted to vomit due to the mangled body of the young sacristan Gérard who was brutally murdered by the Devil. The priest’s anger to the Devil rises. Because of the terrifying scene, Father Adrien ran quickly towards outside the church to find the Devil – Father Rémy Gilroy.

            My suspicion is true. Father Adrien recalled when he was in the seminary together with Father Georges and Father Rémy. One day, before they ordained as priests, the three celebrated in their room early. Adrien smuggled a liquor poured in a water jug to make it unnoticed to the other clergymen inside the seminary. When the four became drunk (with their other roommate named Jonas Royes who became bishop of Le Havre) and the two – Georges and Jonas – felt asleep while Rémy and Adrien still continued to drink. Adrien felt giddy afterwards after he drank almost of the liquor poured in the water jug. On the other hand, Rémy went towards and straddled at him. His hand was holding Adrien’s hands down while his eyes ablaze with a mischievous fire. Then without hesitation, Rémy kissed Adrien on the lips. Adrien became frightened and he immediately punched Rémy on the right cheek.

            Rémy shouted in pain. “Hey, dude! It is only a joke!”

            A  joke, Father Adrien thought. Bullshit!

            Finally the priest looked at the upper tower of the church. There he saw Father Rémy Gilroy standing on the top of the rooked tower. Father Adrien ran towards inside and he went upstairs until he reached the top of the tower of Église de Saint-Laurent.

            Father Adrien’s anger to the Devil arouse when he saw the latter standing in front of him. Father Rémy Gilroy is like a devil who disguised himself as a priest. On the other hand, the weathervane on the top of the finial began to rotate as the wind blows strongly.

            “Rémy, what happened to you? You killed Gérard for the sake of your sensual pleasure. What kind of person are you?” Father Adrien asked. “How dare you to do this to us! You are a Shepherd of Christ!”

            “You and Gérard are antagonists to our society!” The Devil replied. “I love him but he did not notice it. And I know one day, he will become a danger in our society so he must lost!”

            “What?” Father Adrien’s jaws almost fell. “Love? You are insane!”

            “Come on, Adrien. Every people were bounded by insanity. You are insane too!”

            “My God! You are under possessed by demons!”

            “You and other men were judgmental! You did not understand us! You are always treating us differently. All of you made us homosexuals excluded in the society! You did not understand because you always kept in your mind that we are all immoral! Only Georges understand our situation. He accepted me. He loved me. He made my life more meaningful even we are on the same sex. Georges and I have deep relationship before we ordained as priests!”

            Father Adrien was shocked. “Oh my God! Do you mean that you and Georges have a relationship? This is insanity!”

            “Adrien, I remembered that you saw me and Georges kissing each other in our room inside the seminary. I know you still remember that.”

            Father Adrien became confused. His head started to have migraine. “Lord, have pity on me, s’il vous plaît!

            “Now, you already knew the truth…” Father Rémy said as he approached the confused priest. He was holding a Swiss Knife that he used to kill Gérard. “It is the time to seek my revenge!”

            The night clouds started to rain.

            Father Rémy attacked Father Adrien with his Swiss knife. The latter avoided it immediately and he punched the Devil’s right cheek using his left hand. The Devil fell on the floor. They were wet enough due to the night storm. The thunder began to growl like a dragon. This is the sign were the summer has finally ended.

            The Devil finally recovered. His eyes were already glared with fire when he approached Father Adrien Kirchner. The latter was punched violently at his left jaw and he fell on the floor. Father Adrien stood up unbalanced, but a lethal blow on the chest was given to him by Father Rémy Gilroy. The poor priest fell again and he became feeble. Without hesitation, the Devil stabbed Father Adrien on the abdomen three times using his Swiss knife. Father Adrien began to gasp, catching his breath with difficulty. But he was stabbed again by Father Rémy on his chest, eight times. The poor priest started to excruciate. Afterwards, the Devil grabbed Father Adrien’s collar and he carried the agonizing poor priest towards the edge of the tower and he mercilessly dropped Father Adrien downward. The poor priest was falling fast, and he tumbled helplessly into the void before smashing onto the cement ground below.

            Father Rémy had no regrets what he had done to his friend Father Adrien. He saw the lifeless body of his friend on the ground, seeping with crimson fluid flowing from his wounds, like it has life of its own. But the blood seeped in the ground was washed away as the heavy raindrops fell from the sky.

*          *          *

The dawn came to Montagnac.

            The Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire of Montagnac responded immediately as the parish priest of Église de Saint-Laurent called for emergency.

            “Where do you find the two bodies inside the church premises?” The lieutenant asked Father Rémy.

            “When I went here an hour ago, I was with my two sacristans, Denis and Louis when Denis found Gérard Montmélian’s murdered body inside the comfort room. When I saw it, I was shocked so I asked for help. Meanwhile, Louis found the body of my assistant priest Adrien Kirchner lying down dead on the ground beside the Adoration Chapel.” The priest replied calmly.

            “Well… according to our investigation, there is only one killer who killed these two victims. But we are very difficult to trace the killer because we found no fingerprints on the victims’ bodies. I guess the killer used rubber hand gloves.”

            “Sir,” Father Rémy continued. “I think the real motive of the killer is to steal the antique ivory statue of Saint Laurence inside this church. According to my predecessor, many thieves tried to steal it just to make money.”

            “Well Father, we will resolve this as soon as possible. One of the aspects we investigate is the real motive of the killer, that is, to steal the antique statue of Saint Laurence who many believed it is already two hundred years old.”

            Merci, monsieur.” Father Rémy thanked the lieutenant. Then he went inside the church – to the altar to pray for Gérard’s and Father Adrien’s souls.

            And the truth will be lost forever.

COPYRIGHT 2001 BY HARRY S. PARKER AND PRIX RENAUDOT, PARIS

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ON MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY, AND MORALITY OF THE FILIPINOS

BY: HARE KRISHNA G. SENGA, BSBA ECONOMICS, LETRAN

MARRIAGE, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life, or a close and intimate union of a man and a woman bounded by love. It is classified as divine and human. The divine concept of marriage is that it is constituted by God Himself. When God created man and a woman (Genesis 1), marriage is already constituted. God intended to put the earth into order by giving the humanity the power to govern His creations, and by unification of both sexes, there is an intended procreation to be able the humans inherit the power constituted by God. The story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2), already suggests that God has great appreciation of unification. As Adam was created to protect God’s creations, the man was very lonely because he has no companion at all until God noticed it and He made Eve after taking one of Adam’s ribs. When Adam saw Eve, he said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken” (Genesis 2:23). This means that God created man and woman as one body, that a woman was a flesh of a man. Because of unification and oneness of body, a man and woman were intended by God to love one another and to do their purpose—procreation. Marriage is a divine institution that converts two opposite bodies into one. It means that a man has no rights to his own body already but to his wife. Conversely, the woman or the wife has no rights to her own body but to her husband. This idea suggests that marriage is a sacred mutual union between a husband and a wife.

Marriage as a Contract

Marriage is a contract because it is instituted by laws created by humans. It is a binding agreement between a man and a woman that involves permanent union. A husband and wife are expected to live connubially and establish a well-instituted family. This marriage as a contract is inviolable, as the law states. Entering such contract is not enforceable. A person has a freedom whether he wanted to marry or to whom to be married. Once he entered this contract, there is no turning back. A person has no power to go out from the window. A marriage, once instituted, is not irrevocable. So, the person must know his limits before making decisions of marrying. He must have sufficient knowledge about the essence of having a conjugal life and responsibilities as one-body couples. Ignorance is not a valid reason of revoking a marriage. A person, before entering this contract, must accept the consequences of being married.

                Consent is needed to be able a marriage to become valid. Only mature people can entered this kind of special contract. The reason behind it is that mature people have already sufficient knowledge of making decisions correctly. A mature person has already learned (and keeps on learning) the laws and principles of life. Another point is that mature persons have already their control to their emotions. They always have an explanation about their feelings and finding its solutions easily. Unlike the minors who are struggling about their physical and emotional identity. They are easily to be confused about their emotions because they are on the stage that discovery and curiosity are frequent.

Factors Affecting Person’s Capacity to Make Decisions

According to Father Tamerlane Lana, O.P., and et.al. (2006), there are five factors that affect a person to make rightful decisions. First is that a person made a wrong decision due to deficiency use of reason or rationality. Making rightful decisions is difficult, especially when your heart or emotion is involved. Most people made wrongful decisions because they used their heart first rather than mind. They were easily defeated by their strong emotions with regards to someone or something without thinking what might consequences may happen to the situation or to themselves. Sometimes, people think that their first decision is better enough without making or viewing alternative decisions. The result is they always fail and the burden was passed to someone else. There is a Filipino saying that is applicable to it: “Laging nasa huli ang pagsisisi.”

                After committing wrong decisions, people always blame it to others, and sometimes to God. Marriage is a critical decision so the person who will enter to this special contract must carefully decide whom to marry because it is already for lifetime.

                Second is that people committed wrong decisions due to lack of judgmental discretion or misinformed about the rights and duties of marriage. This is very common nowadays. For most people, marriage is only for sex, sometimes for pleasure. They did not know that marriage always include responsibilities. Yes, marriage is full of responsibilities: To your spouse, to your children, to your community, and to God. Marriage is not only for pleasure because God instituted sex for procreation and at the same time, permanent union. Pleasure is always bounded with aftermaths. Sex as pleasure can result to grave effects that can affect both persons’ life and morality. It may bear unexpected difficult responsibilities like being pregnant out of wedlock. The latter situation can also affect the person’s dignity as it stains by the perception of the community that being pregnant out of wedlock is a deviance.

                Third, due to psychological conflicts between two people can also hamper right decision making. Every individual has unique personality, perception and thinking. Because of its uniqueness, people seldom become close without any conflict happened. It is nature to a person to have conflicts to others especially to the opposite sex. If a person has a different view about a certain topic, or has psychologically incapacitated, it can serve as a barrier to make rightful decisions for him and for others. Marriage is involved here. A husband and a wife have different personalities that can result to their conflict. The remedy to this conflict is that, I think, they must have their consent, understanding, patience and faithfulness. Every married couple was already united as one body so they must learn to forgive and to forget about their conflicts. This will help save their sacred relationship.

                Ignorance about marriage is not excused in revoking a marriage contract or covenant. But sometimes, ignorance can also contribute to the person to make wrongful decisions. Logically, if you have no sufficient knowledge regarding a matter, you are expected to make a wrongful decision. In connection on the second item above, people nowadays think that marriage is only for sex or pleasure without knowing of its effects. Because of that perception, married couples often ended into separation due to their ignorance to their responsibilities as couples and their limitations to their freedom.

                Lastly, error judgment is one of the factors that affect making rightful decisions. Due to their confusing emotions, they always used it rather than to use their mind. As expected, a person committed a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention. That scenario is very common to annulment cases filed at the court. An individual engages himself to marriage without knowing his wife-to-be deeply. He was conquered by his emotions, sometimes called infatuation, and he thinks that this woman is suitable for him. But when the time comes and he realized that the woman he’d married is not compatible for him, he already committed error of judgment not only to his wife, but also to his feelings.

When Love Begins

Love is a strong positive emotion of regard, sexual desire, affection and devotion. It is used mainly to show endearment to your beloved person, especially to your opposite sex. According to theologians, there are many kinds of love, but the three most popular are Agape, Eros, and Filio. Agape love is a selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature). This kind of love is not common because only God can give this kind of unconditional love. Next is Eros, or love with desire. This kind of love is very common to individuals who have relationship to the opposite sex. This is also love that a human being can give because it is in human nature that we want something desirable to the other person. On the other hand, Filio is love for your brother or neighbor. Some theologians also include paternal love, or love of a father, and maternal love, or love of a mother.

                The nature of love (the human way) is bounded by infatuation, physical attraction, admiration, and personal desire. A person wanted to marry is bounded by these terms. He wanted to marry because he has a strong passion to a woman who has a great personality. Admiration comes in, because he feels something, or delightful approval and liking towards a person of the opposite sex. It is often that a man fell in love with a woman because of the latter’s physical attractiveness like she was pretty, sexy, intelligent and other personal characteristics that makes her a “perfect” woman. Also, a man likes a woman because of his unsatisfied wants, that is, flesh. It is nature to a man to love a woman because of sex. Sex is a sacred activity associated to a mutual intercourse that results of feelings that urges sexual gratification. Marriage during the time of Moses is all about procreation. The only reason of marrying a woman is to give birth to a child and to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs. But to us Catholics, love is a sacred gift by God bounded by rights and responsibilities. God gave us power to love, to show our deepest emotion to others. In other words, love is not limited only for procreation, but also for maintaining friendly relations with another or others.

                Infatuation is a temporary, foolish, and usually extravagant passion or love or admiration that is very common to adolescent people. This is present when an adolescent individual experiences confusion and curiosity about his emotions with regards to the opposite sex. It is also known as puppy love. When a young man falls in love with a young woman, confusion about his feelings towards her brings him in crucial situation. In this stage, he only uses his heart rather than his mind. Due also to his urging personal desire, the young man will find a way to gratify himself. There, he will discover sex. For him, sex is an enjoyable, adventurous activity that will bring him to a different “world”. At first a young man will stimulate himself by masturbation until such time; he will become unsatisfied and later engages himself to premarital sex. Lust (one of the deadly sins) will now enter; a self-indulgent sexual desire.

                As the young man enters premarital sex, he is not aware about the consequences might happen to him. It may destroy his life and future if something bad happened. Example: after committing premarital sex, the young man’s partner became pregnant. This will lead to his early fatherhood and may serve as a ground for his personal problems, i.e. problems on studying, family, identity, and culture.

                As of his young age, marriage is not suitable for him because he is still lacking the chance to make rightful decisions. The young man can made decisions without thorough examination. He can make decisions in haste, careless manner. And this will lead him to his own destruction.

Love-lines through the years

                I’ve once read a joke book and my attention caught one of the jokes. It read as “Love-lines through the years”. Actually, it is intended only for a joke but as a conservative, it concerns me. This is what stated:

                1950’s—Iniirog kita.

                1960’s—Iniibig kita.

                1970’s—Minamahal kita.

                1980’s—I Love You.

                1990’s—Tara sa Kuwarto.

                2000’s—Puwede na rito.

                For many people, it is only a joke. But scanning reality, it is not. If we observe nowadays, Filipino conservatism began to fade. I don’t know why. I think it is because we, Filipinos, are totally suckers of what kind of concept that is westernizing in nature. Conservatism among Filipinos is now decaying. The concept of sex, marriage and sexuality—all taken from westernize concept. The “Maria Clara” style of Filipinas was now turned as liberated, easy-to-get, and adventurous women.  If you scan the modesty and simplicity of people fifty years ago, for sure, you will be disappointed and say: “BORING.” But the essence of sex, marriage and sexuality is more valued than today. Fifty years ago, sex and marriage is a crucial topic to discuss. People have greater respect to one another and their morality is strong. For them, sex and marriage are sacred things that it cannot be abused, revoked or stained. In other words, People, fifty years ago, have greater morality than today.

                Let’s take an example. Women, fifty years ago, seldom talk about sex. The ones who talked about it are the married women talking with their friends or just their “kumares”. If they talk about sex, they will not use vulgar words; instead they used figurative words to deliver their thoughts on sex topics. Also they seclude their conversation to others especially to their children. Also for men, fifty years ago, they have greater respect for women. You will seldom hear “kabit”, “kulasisi”, “puta”, and other vulgar or offensive sexual terms. But observe today. I am sure that you will surprise when a beautiful colegiala talking about sex vulgarly in public, or a fifteen year old young adolescent talking about the sex scandals he had watch. Also make a survey to women from your school and ask her if she is still a virgin. I bet that they will say: “Duh, hindi na uso ang virginity noh!

                I don’t know what is happening today. Is that the effect of democracy? Our freedom? Does our culture and norms change from time to time? Does morality is still important today? That was the question you might ask to yourself. But I think the reason behind it is our developing world.

                Our concept of sex and marriage change from time to time. But for us Catholics, our concept must never change. Sex and marriage are two sacred things created and instituted by God. It is divine. That is why we must not stain what is the divine meaning of it for it is a shame for us Catholics and an immorality if we change it.

Sacredness of Marriage and Procreation

                For Catholics like us, marriage is a divine institution because the one constituted it is none other than God Himself. Saint Paul stressed that marriage is a vocation, a difficult occupation that gives you lots of duties and responsibilities like establishing family. Marriage is like an oath, not only to your spouse but also to God. Every person entered in marriage must strive for the achievement for what he had swear to because just like any other contract, you must follow, respect and do what you have signed before the eyes of the witnesses. In this case, God is your witness and you are entering a divine covenant were your body and heart are the collateral. By marrying, your own body and heart are not already your own, but someone who will share for it, that is, your spouse because both of you are now in one united body. Marriage is intended for two reasons: Procreation and Love. A person who enters in a marriage must know its essence as covenant. He must be exclusive only to his spouse because they are all united as one body. One must gave their faithfulness to each other; forget their past and aim high for the better of their family.

                A married couple must be indissoluble. They must be strong whatever obstacles will come from them. Their love to one another will be tested and enriched by their struggles that will sometimes destruct their relationship. One must learn how to forgive and to forget what struggles came to their relationship. A man and a woman must be faithful to each other to be able to preserve their relationship towards permanence. And by surviving in this test, their love to one another will last long.

                Also, after marrying, the couple must be open with regards to fertility. The fruits of marriage are that they must have children and have a strong family. One must be open to fertility to be able to do their mission aside from loving one another—that is for procreation. Procreation is sacred and it is instituted by God so we, as Catholics, maintain its divine meaning.

Faithfulness: A covenant

According to Saint Paul in his letters to Ephesians, Husband and wife relations is like Christ’s relation to His Church. He said that if a wife became unfaithful, the husband must remain faithful. As to the relation to the Christ-Church’s relations, Christ remained faithful despite of the infidelity of His Church. A husband must offer his total love to his wife, as Christ gave His unconditional love to His Church. A husband must be ready to die for his wife, just like when Christ died for our sins. The husband has the greater responsibility to his wife. He must learn how to love and to forgive. He must give his full devotion and fidelity to his wife because a husband is Christ’s mirror—a divine representation of the Son of God. In turn to the husband’s faithfulness, a woman must be submissive to her husband. She must gave her life only to her husband and help him to strengthen their established family and also for the good of their offspring.

“Paglalagay sa Tahimik”: the Responsibility of Marriage

                Filipinos often reasoned out why they decided to be married. “Paglalagay sa tahimik.” Actually, this is an odd reason. Marriage is not that way. It is better to say: “Pagkakaroon ng Mabigat na Tungkulin”. Marriage includes obligations not only to their spouse but also to their children. A married couple will always encounter conflicts and misunderstandings that can hamper their conjugal relationship. That is why they must learn how to forgive and to forget. Conflicts can actually be eased among married couples. Each of them should be faithful to each other. That is the secret of long lasting relationship. Faithfulness. If it is exercised among married couples, there will be minimal annulment cases filed in the court or the possibility of divorce.

                A married couple must be a model to their children. Parents are the first teachers of their children. Being a role model is difficult but it can be strived if there is a motivation to show your goodness to your offspring. Broken relationships can hurt their children psychologically. Having a broken family, a child will ask himself why he is experiencing those and when the time comes and he became matured, he will do the same thing as what his parents do—because the parents served as a model to their child. Broken families bears broken lives of children. At the end, the child greatly suffers and not the parents themselves.

Morality and Marriage: A Conclusion

                Marriage is an accepted norm. The perception of sex and marriage may differ to other norms but it portrays one thing: MARRIAGE AND SEX ARE SACRED. Every Catholic must value the essence of sex and marriage because they are divinely instituted by God Himself. We must preserve our morality even though we are now on the 21st century. Conservatism is sometimes needed to be preserved because it mirrors our past culture as Catholics—as God-fearer. We must not indulge ourselves to the sins of flesh and let’s respect one another.

Have respect to yourself.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The 10th Philippine Linguistics Congress 2008

taken from panitikan.com.ph

 

10-12 December, Balay Kalinaw Conference Hall
University of the Philippines – Diliman

The UP Department of Linguistics will hold the 10th Philippine Linguistics Congress on December 10-12, 2008 at the Balay Kalinaw Conference Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

The conference aims to focus on the most current advances in the study of Philippine languages, and in the application of linguistic theory to anthropology, sociology, psychology, language planning, translation and language education in the Philippines.

A registration fee of two thousand five hundred pesos (PhP2, 500.00) will be charged per participant or one thousand five hundred (PhP1, 500.00) for students, inclusive of meals (lunch, morning and afternoon snacks), copies of the conference papers, and conference materials (pens, notepads, bags, identification cards, etc).

For inquiries, contact:

Jay-Ar Igno
Telefax: (632) 926-9887
Department of Linguistics
Landline: (632) 981-8500 loc. 2128
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Email: ling@kssp.upd. edu.ph

University of the Philippines Diliman
jr_lingg@yahoo. com
Bulwagang Rizal 2110, Roces Ave.,
Diliman, Quezon City

Scholars from academe and language advocacy groups who have conducted researches on Philippine linguistics are invited to submit their abstracts for the Congress. Abstracts may be in Filipino or in English, and should be no longer than two (2) pages, data and references included.

Along with the abstract, please send a separate page indicating:
Paper Title;
Name(s) of Author(s) and Institutional Affiliation;
Contact details (full postal address, telephone/ cellphone number, and e-mail address) through which notification of acceptance shall be made.

Abstracts should be sent electronically to ling@kssp.upd.edu.ph on or before 29 August 2008.

Key dates:
29 August 2008- Submission of Abstracts
12 September 2008- Notification of Acceptance of Paper Abstracts
7 November 2008- Submission of Full Paper

U.P. CENTENNIAL LITERARY AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

taken from panitikan.com.ph

The U.P. Institute of Creative Writing announces the winners of the Gawad Likhaan: U.P. Centennial Literary Awards.

In the English division, the winners are: Jose Marte A. Abueg (poetry, for his collection, “ Bird Lands , River Nights and Other Melancholies”); Criselda D. Yabes (fiction and creative nonfiction, for her novel, “Below the Crying Mountain,” and her nonfiction narrative, “Sarena’s Story: The Loss of a Kingdom”).

In the Filipino division, the winners are: Jerry B. Gracio (poetry, for his collection, “Aves”); Jose Rey Munsayac (fiction, for his novel, “Duguang Kamay sa Nilulumot na Pader”; and Lualhati M. Abreu (creative nonfiction, for “Agaw Dilim, Agaw Liwanag”).

There is only one grand prize of P200,000 for each of the six categories. Award ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, July 8, at 4:30 pm at the Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Faculty Center , UP Diliman. The affair is open to the public.

All entries to the contest were book-length, previously unpublished work. The double winner, Yabes, is a U.P. Journalism graduate, and a freelance journalist and writer. She has worked for AP, Reuters, Newsweek, The Washington Post , and The Economist ; and has written three other books including one on the coup d’etats of the 1980s, her personal sojourn in Europe, and the almost extinct Pala’wan syllabary.

Abueg, a graduate of the UP School of Economics , is managing editor of INQUIRER.net as well as overall editor, in charge of INQUIRER.net Money website. He has won other awards, like the Carlos Palanca Awards and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards.

Gracio, a U.P. Malikhaing Pagsulat alumnus, is a writer of screenplays, and won a National Book Award in 2006 for Apokripos. Abreu does research work and writing for non-government organizations in Metro Manila and Mindanao . Munsayac, editor of the weekly Bulacan paper Dyaryong Pilipino Luzon Times, shared the first prize with Jun Cruz Reyes in the 1998 National Centennial Literary Awards for his novel, “Ang Aso, ang Pulgas, ang Bonsai at ang Kolorum.”

The U.P. Centennial Commission set up and funded the Gawad Likhaan as part of the UP Centennial Celebrations, to highlight the University’s contribution to the advancement of Philippine letters, through the prestigious UP National Writers Workshop held by the UP Institute of Creative Writing; its various ground-breaking publications; and the creative writing programs which have produced so many of the country’s writers.

The contest was administered by the UP Institute of Creative Writing. Members of the panel of judges were: J. Neil C. Garcia, Ricardo M. de Ungria, and Gémino H. Abad (poetry in English); Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Charlson Ong, and Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio (fiction in English); Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr., Rosario Cruz Lucero, and Vicente Garcia Groyon (creative nonfiction in English); National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, Vim Nadera, and Romulo Baquiran, Jr. (tula); Jun Cruz Reyes, Roland Tolentino, and Soledad Reyes (nobela o maikling katha); and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Fanny Garcia, and Nicanor Tiongson (sanaysay).

The major sponsor of the Award ceremonies is the Book Development Association of the Philippines through its president, Lirio Sandoval. Other sponsors are the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, San Miguel Corporation, and Tanduay Distillers.

4th Muralla Writing Contest in Letran: Deadline of submission is on July 16 or 31, 2008!

TO ALL LETRANITES:

IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS IN WRITING AND SHOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT!

The Lance, the official student publication of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, now launches the prestigious 4th Muralla Literary Awards with the theme “SPLIT ENDS”. Any Letranites with special talent in writing can voice out their emotions and feelings through SHORT STORIES, POEMS AND ESSAYS. Interested parties may send their entries to: eic.thelance@gmail.com

Show your talent, Letranites! Aim high! Be discovered in the field of writing!

The deadline of submission of entries, according to The Lance is either July 16 (aacording to the posters) or July 31 (according to the published material), 2008.

Good luck!