A Very Inclusive Spirituality

I met Reverend Tet when a friend in Japan suggested I join her at a Zoom talk by the President of the Unitarian Universalist Church in the Philippines, Tet Gallardo. Her spirituality is very eclectic and includes both Islam and Buddhism. A few days later the two of us talked via Facebook Messenger. Thanks to Tet for the photos.

The Zoom talk began with this poem, which proved to be an excellent introduction and summary of what she had to say:

There’s My Temple

By Ma Theresa “Tet” Gustilo Gallardo

There’s my temple!
Believer, unbeliever or wild one.
You are … Read More

Filipino Squatters’ Tales, Part 2

Thanks to Maria for the interview and pictures.

Maria’s story

My name is Maria. I was born in Leyte Province, but I’ve been living in Metro Manila since 1979. I’m married to a man who is much younger than I am. We have no children. My husband is only able to get temporary jobs, but he’s a hard worker, and he can fix anything. I’m working part-time as a housekeeper. My boss is very good to us, like family. We have a small room in her house, where we stay about half of the week.

Our own residence is built … Read More

Filipino Squatters’ Tales, Part 1

Many times in the past when I’ve heard, “I don’t see how people can live like that,” a judgmental statement, but also the truth. Without access to the details of everyday lives of people from another social group—nationality, ethnicity, social class—we don’t see how they live. We  don’t see, for example, the one-room living quarters of Chinese teachers, watch them cook with a charcoal stove on the balcony, wash clothes at the communal tap or divide the room with sheets suspended from wires in order to create a hospital-ward type of privacy.

My friend Mang Urot goes beyond merely providing Read More