Gacad: Holy mining week

IT WAS mainly wet and a lot of fun. The much-awaited and well-deserved vacation from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday was a welcome respite for almost everyone especially our circle of friends and family from Baguio who opted to spend these days off in the beach, in a river resort or in a pool somewhere.

It wasn't a surprise to find a “sea of humanity” also cooling themselves off in the waters of La Union just like us. Congrats to Malen, Rod, Migz, Kurk, Mann, Mikong, Aaron, Rihanna, Dudz, Kelly, Kydesh, Rej, Evon, Pix and blackman Bong for experiencing (at last) the cool and refreshing Tangadan Falls with her acrobatic, Evel Knievel over-the-top motorcycle ninja moves (sana daw the last na). Food was aplenty and the “kambing” was ultra soft and delicious. Thanks for the kamatis, Manong Bulilikong.

My bayaw eats a lot. Unfortunately, in the morning of Good Friday, he thought it was the end of the world and so he had his buffet breakfast at the resort. Normally he'd eat three breakfasts (what one would eat in three different mornings) in one sitting. This time, however, he ate one month's breakfast supply in one hour.

As it turned out, I had to rush him to the hospital a few minutes after the 3 p.m. death of the crucified Christ because of indigestion, no digestion or whatever other medical-tion you can think of. He probably set a world record for the number of times one went to the toilet to manufacture poops alternately while throwing up in less than an hour. He's better now and when he got discharged from hospital in the afternoon of Black Saturday, he was back to his old appetite self starting with dinner (OMG, ay apo, some people never learn).

When I rushed him to the ER (emergency room) for treatment and after he was put on rehydration drips to stabilize his condition, the attending staff nurses were very vocal about how times have changed since their early practice of operating the antiquated ECG (Electrocardiogram) machines to the now high-tech and one touch medical gadgets.

From the pains of carrying all those aluminum patient “charts” when the doctors made their hospital rounds and the very popular typewriters to the ease these days in doing all of these same tasks. I candidly told them that it's the fault of mining. If it were not for mining, then they'd still be doing those “hindi na uso” hard-labor-like chores. I think they looked more puzzled after what I said. We experience comfort and ease nowadays because of what mining has done. Without mining, we would be living in a very different, perhaps not-too-comfortable, world.

When we hear mass, we will observe that it used to be that chalices were silver plated or gold plates. Nowadays, depending on what Church you go to, you see chalices made out of wood, clay, glass and silver or gold plated metal.

As a general rule, chalices cannot be made of absorbent material or material prone to corrosion. Among the requisites for the celebration of Mass, the sacred vessels are held in special honor, especially the chalice and paten, in which the bread and wine are offered and consecrated, and from which they are consumed. Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, then ordinarily they should be gilded on the inside.

Sacred vessels may also be made from other solid materials that, according to the common estimation in each region, are precious, for example, ebony or other hard woods, provided that such materials are suited to sacred use and do not easily break or deteriorate. This applies to all vessels which hold the hosts, such as the paten, the ciborium, the pyx, the monstrance, and other things of this kind. What would we use in the mass without mining? Incidentally, the beautiful churches we went to during the Visita Iglesia, and the ones we continue to go to, are constructed with concrete (cement). Without mining, it is impossible to produce cement!

When Pope John Paul II visited Zimbabwe in 1988, he remarked that we “have been blessed with this beautiful country, fertile and full of resources which, in the mind of the Creator, are meant to be used for the common good.” Zimbabwe is a rich country with huge reserves, for example, of diamonds and platinum, as well as more than 40 other types of minerals.

If we go back to the Book of Genesis we see how the earth was given to men and women to use and care for and this part of the world was given to us. Our commuter omnibuses often have the message God given and this applies to our country and our resources. They are for us, all of us.

The Vatican Council spoke of resources and productivity being “for the service of man and indeed the whole man... and every man.”

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