Bag of Beans Coffee Shop and Bakeshop in Tagaytay

We were just looking for a good place to have our breakfast last Sunday before going to Paradizoo when we chanced upon Bag of Beans along the Tagaytay Road going to Batangas. At first we thought it was just a smal and simple coffee shop where we could probably get a grab of hot steaming coffee and probably some freshly baked bread. But when we enter the shop, the cashier told us that we can proceed at the “garden” downstairs. So, we obliged and descended into a short stair where a luscious garden awaits us. (more…)

Why marriages fail, Bishop says

He was never married and he never officiated a marriage. But Archbishop Oscar Cruz have seen so many broken marriages that he knows the reasons  why husband and wife wanted the knot untied.  

            And the reasons could range from serious case of impotence to petty quarrels over crumpled pillowcases. It does not matter how long a couple had been married before they want out – which is from one week to years. It does not matter, too, if the couple belonged to the moneyed class or if the husband is a jeepney driver and the wife, a laundrywoman. The number of men and women filing for annulment is also about the same. 

            “Priestly celibacy is much easier than to live a conjugal life,” Cruz revealed.. 

            He knows from where he speaks, being the judicial vicar of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ National Tribunal of Appeals, and before that, as the head of the Manila Tribunal of First Instance, the Church’s “courts” hearing annulment cases. 

            “I have entered into the lives of many couples who have many and big difficulties in the marriage commitment to the extent that they wanted to part ways. And if they do, no one really is happy, not the man nor the woman, much less the children,” he said. 

On the other hand, a priest may also fail in priesthood that he leaves it.  

“But the pain is not as much as when a espouse leaves the other and the children. I have yet to see someone who failed in marriage and live happily thereafter. A failure in marriage could not be compensated by any success outside of the family. In short, while the failure in priesthood is not fun, it is much worse to fail in marriage,” he disclosed.. 

            The reason, he said, is simple. “When a priest fails, he fails alone. When a espouse fails, many suffer with him.” 

            From the records of the tribunals, Cruz said a good number of marriages fail in Metro Manila and other urban areas where there fidelity is lax, maybe because  there are so many places where men succumb to temptations of the flesh and other vices like drugs and gambling.   

            On the other hand, marriages seem to be strong in rural areas because of strong cultural and traditional practices. 

            Emotional and mental disturbances are other factors. Cruz explained that a man whose family was dysfunctional (eg. his father is violent) would likely be violent towards his wife. “Not all of course, becomes violent,” he pointed out. 

            The other reasons are unwillingness to enter the marriage (such as when a girl is forced into marriage by her parents) and being unfit to marry (gender disorder, impotence). 

            “We also found out that both early and late marriages are by and large not successful. Teenage marriages fail because they are psychologically immature, academically unprepared and financially dependent. Late marriages (aged 30 above) can also fail because at that age, his or her ways are already set and they feel they have nothing to learn about the marriage,” Cruz explained. 

              More men are infidels than women, he noted. 

The prelate revealed that the most painful he experienced from being a vicar was when he talks with the couple’s children. “They are the most affected. They all want their parents to stay together. They do not want violence in the home, but I have yet to hear a child who want a parent to leave.” 

            Cruz advised those contemplating marriage to “listen to their elders on what they have to say about a prospective mate.”  

            “The elders seem to have an ‘antennae’ about who their children are marrying. Those whose marriages failed claimed their parents never liked their choices in the first place.” 

            And do not say that you are old enough to choose, Cruz noted. He told of a couple, both in their 50s, who married against the bride’s parents advice. The man, a lawyer, was a widower with grown up children while the woman was never married.  

            They married, went to the United States for their honeymoon, came back a week later and filed for a nullity of their marriage. “While in the hotel, the bride saw that the pillowcases were crumpled and asked her husband to have them changed. She never used crumpled pillowcases, she said. The husband refused, saying he can sleep even without pillow cases.” 

            No, their petition was not granted, Cruz said.   

            Don’t think that the Church readily grants petitions to set couples free. The Tribunal First Instance where petitions are lodged, does its best to save the marriage. Cruz noted that for every 100 cases presented, 90 are usually granted canonical separation when the couples cannot remarry. Only 10 cases prosper or sent to the National Tribunal of Appeals for declaration of nullity. There are about 150 cases reviewed yearly by the Tribunal, which may or may grant nullity of the marriage. 

            If denied but the couple really wanted out, the petition could be sent to Tribunal of Third Instance in Rome. 

            “It’s not easy. And I know many couples just separate,” Cruz admitted. 





Kimi closes beer houses

Sison Mayor Kimi Cojuangco permanently closed down last week eight beer houses which were operating near two schools, and temporarily closed the others until they complied with the local government’s “strict health requirements.” 

            Cojuangco said the town had gotten a bad image for so long because of its seedy joints that are fronts for prostitution, and said it was time that “we cleaned up the image of the town.” 

            “The residents themselves clamored for the closure of the beer houses, and during a public hearing, they brought the issue up,” she said, noting that the bar owners and the bar workers were not locals but from other provinces. 

            There were 15 beer houses along the highways of Sison, eight of them within the 200 square radius of the Asan Sur National High School and Asan Sur Elementary School. 

            “We immediately closed them because it is against the law to operate bars near schools,” she said. 

            She issued strict health requirements for bar operations, such as certifications that the bar workers are free of sexually-transmitted diseases, including Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. 

Another requirement is the authenticated original birth certificate as “we know that most of the girls who work in bars are underaged.” But she said she did not know how many girls work in the bars because “they (owners) hide them from us.” 

. Only one bar was able to complete the requirements and was allowed to operate, while the others are temporarily closed. 

“I’m making it difficult for them. If they want to stay, they can stay but they have to follow the requirements,” Cojuangco said.  

She added that many “clients” of the bars have been found positive of sexually-transmitted diseases, and “we do not want more to get sick.” 

            Sison is the location of the Northern Cement Corporation and truck buyers waiting for their supply are the usual clients of the “Paldit bars” known as such because they are located in that barangay.