Category Archives: Development

2013 in review: When blogging becomes a ministry

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Organic agriculture: Manifestation of nationalism

I would like to congratulate the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) for being consistent with its name i.e. being hardworking in advocacy to promote organic agriculture and for initiating today the interaction between the academic community and the real world where people live and move. For today until tomorrow, there will be a market not only of your organic products but also of ideas in a forum to follow the opening of organic festival. All in the name of holistic development as gleaned from the vision mission statement of your organization.

This is one reason why the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University and the Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs that I head have been supportive of the endeavors of MASIPAG. For your vision-mission statement is in line with our direction. We believe and aim for a holistic development . One that does not only promote economic growth but the equitable distribution of the fruits of development that would change the socio economic and political landscape or even spiritual ones.

For holistic development covers multi dimensional aspects of human life in line with the belief that humans are bio-psycho-social and spiritual beings. Holistic development does not isolate any other aspects in preference to a particular area. For there are times, when development in infrastructure, golf courses and other edifice has caused aggression and dislocation, depriving people of their dwellings. Hence, we find development sans the people who should benefit from it and are supposed to be the subject and not just the object of development.

Holistic development is akin to sustainable development. One that brings progress which does not harm the people’s health and the environment. A development that satisfies the needs of today but does not compromise or threaten the needs of future generation. It is for this reason that I consider the endeavors of MASIPAG in focusing on organic agriculture a manifestation of nationalism. For being an agricultural country, Filipinos must value the God given resources suited for our particular land and environment.

The richness of our natural resources no longer need foreign pesticides and chemicals in order to grow and produce our local products. But at times the sophisticated advancement in technology and industry which many used as standard of progress has enticed our people to take the easy and quick route to development and later suffer its detrimental consequence. As such many have been fooled or misled in the name of development. Just like us what the traditional politics has done to our people before and during the election: buying votes, fooling the people and thereafter enjoy the fruits of development without the people.

On the contrary, holistic development is a development that does not buy the people, fool the people and later off the people. But a development ( to borrow Lincoln’s line) of the people, by the people and for the people.


Message delivered during the Opening Program of the Organic Food Festival 2013 held at the Alumni Promenade, Central Philippine University on October 3-4, 2013. The festival is sponsored by the MASIPAG in partnership with Central Philippine University thru the College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences, Department of Social Work and College of Hospitality Management

The challenges of holistic ministry Part 3: Towards holistic development

Jesus, the Christ, has summed up the holistic ministry theme in the model of spirituality which he taught and exemplified in the greatest commandment and Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer or Model prayer is essentially a model for development and for that matter holistic development because it contains the three core values of development.

Michael Todaro, a pioneer in development economics, identifies the trilogy as life sustenance, self esteem and freedom from servitude.daily bread Life Sustenance connotes the ability to provide basic necessities. A basic function of all economic activity, therefore, is to provide as many people as possible with the means of overcoming the helplessness and misery arising from lack of food, shelter, health, and protection.

forgiveSelf Esteem implies being a person with a sense of self-worth and self-respect, of not being used by others for their own needs. All people and societies seek some basic form of self-esteem. Call it by other name, authenticity, identity, dignity, respect, honor or recognition, the essence is still the same. Its nature and form may vary from society, and from one culture to another.

freedomFreedom from Servitude, on the other hand, means the ability to choose. This refers to the fundamental sense of freedom or emancipation from alienating conditions of life. It covers freedom from the societal servitude of men to nature, ignorance, other men, misery, institutions, and dogmatic beliefs. Freedom also involves the expanded range of choices and their members together with the minimization of external constraint in the pursuit of some of social goals, which we call ‘development’.

There had been no problem with the holistic ministry in the past when the dominant worldview was holistic. Supposedly there is no problem for us in the Asian context because the Orientals view things in cyclic manner which is conducive for holistic ministry. However, because of our colonial past, our psyche has been dominated by Western linear mindset which tends to dichotomize. Hence, the tradition of separating mind and body, good and evil, theory and practice, religion and public life etc.

Holistic MInistry2

As a result, we tend to  practice a split level Christianity .The religious life is not integrated with the day-to-day life. There is a different set of church and religious life and another set for everyday affairs. More often, they are contradictory. This is reflected in our view of ministry and even on development.

For this reason, we always  look for biblical basis to justify our actions to distinguish ourselves from other humanitarian endeavors. Although, in the last parable of the great surprise, there appears to be no mention about biblical references. Still, we have lots of them. Aside from the previous scriptures, here are some: Acts 4:32-37; James 2:14-24; Romans 15:24-28; Galatians 2:10;2 Corinthians 8:13-15; Acts 2:44


In fact, the Sermon on the Mount itself has element of holistic ministry. For even the byword among Christian greeting implies wholeness. The words Shalom  and Salaam  mean “peace” in Hebrew and Arabic respectively and often represent a peace symbol. The Word shalom can be used for all parts of speech; as a noun, adjective, verb, and as an adverb. It categorizes all shaloms. The word shalom is used in a variety of expressions and contexts in Hebrew speech and writing: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

(to be continued)


Delivered during the Closing Celebration of Training on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, September 7, 2013 at Highway 21 Hotel, Iloilo City. Organized by Asia Pacific Baptist Aid of Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, the 3 day training was hosted by the Development Ministries, Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.