Archive for the ‘Fulton Sheen’ Category

Charles Dickens’ Artful Dodger comes to life in Barbara Ricafrente’s short story

January 20, 2009

Despite his poverty, Awil had a happy disposition. He had neither expectations nor goals. He did not bother to get employment anywhere, join his peasant neighbors reap palay for local landowners during the harvest season, weave weed baskets for local middlemen in the lean months like his neighbors did, or sell rice biscuits or puto in nearby cities for extra income. He simply lived each day as it came.”—Manuel (01/20/09, Ricafrente, B)

The colorful sketch of Manuel’s life (Awil) by Ibalon’s Bambi Ricafrente resurrected my memory of Artful Dodger, the smart petty robber in Charles Dicken’s moving story of Oliver Twist (1838). The clever pubescent Dodger introduced gullible Oliver into the world of stealing headed by the old merry patron Fagin in the dark dingy slums of London.

Yet, the similarity of Manuel’s life to the pickpockets in the squalid backstreets of the 19th century England abruptly ends. I learn there is more to Awil’s thievery than what meets the eye. Bambi describes an extended and complex life that is curiously worth learning from.

In an ill-descript Bicol town, Awil has to wrestle with fate and intergenerational circumstantial snags that shape adaptation and dampen acrimony against the changes of the seasons. His life and that of Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist seem intertwined. In all of them, the antagonism between good and evil must really be fought relentlessly until the last.

If one stands on Awil’s shoe, the forbearance to survive pulsates at a rate and vibrancy of a baby’s racy heart. His story tells of the struggles of ordinary people—those who are fallen and redeemed. Awil’s imperfect life isn’t far from what the Catholic preacher Rev. Fulton Sheen often referred to: a “life that is worth living.” (Photo Credits: George Cruikshank; Bohirab) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Manuel” Posted by Bambi Ricafrente at 1/20/2009

Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and page illustrations by George Cruikshank for his work in 1838 which mirrors society’s paradoxical influences in the lives of ordinary people. The story of Oliver Twist portrays wholesome dignity and antithetical sordidness in a world where good and evil exist and are in constant debacle. The popular English author of Victorian vintage had A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, The Pickwick Papers, and A Christmas Carol among his great works. (Photo Credit: Charles Dickens PD; George Cruikshank x 2 PD)

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Charles Dickens’ Artful Dodger comes to life in Barbara Ricafrente’s short story

January 20, 2009

Despite his poverty, Awil had a happy disposition. He had neither expectations nor goals. He did not bother to get employment anywhere, join his peasant neighbors reap palay for local landowners during the harvest season, weave weed baskets for local middlemen in the lean months like his neighbors did, or sell rice biscuits or puto in nearby cities for extra income. He simply lived each day as it came.”—Manuel (01/20/09, Ricafrente, B)

The colorful sketch of Manuel’s life (Awil) by Ibalon’s Bambi Ricafrente resurrected my memory of Artful Dodger, the smart petty robber in Charles Dicken’s moving story of Oliver Twist (1838). The clever pubescent Dodger introduced gullible Oliver into the world of stealing headed by the old merry patron Fagin in the dark dingy slums of London.

Yet, the similarity of Manuel’s life to the pickpockets in the squalid backstreets of the 19th century England abruptly ends. I learn there is more to Awil’s thievery than what meets the eye. Bambi describes an extended and complex life that is curiously worth learning from.

In an ill-descript Bicol town, Awil has to wrestle with fate and intergenerational circumstantial snags that shape adaptation and dampen acrimony against the changes of the seasons. His life and that of Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist seem intertwined. In all of them, the antagonism between good and evil must really be fought relentlessly until the last.

If one stands on Awil’s shoe, the forbearance to survive pulsates at a rate and vibrancy of a baby’s racy heart. His story tells of the struggles of ordinary people—those who are fallen and redeemed. Awil’s imperfect life isn’t far from what the Catholic preacher Rev. Fulton Sheen often referred to: a “life that is worth living.” (Photo Credits: George Cruikshank; Bohirab) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Manuel” Posted by Bambi Ricafrente at 1/20/2009

Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and page illustrations by George Cruikshank for his work in 1838 which mirrors society’s paradoxical influences in the lives of ordinary people. The story of Oliver Twist portrays wholesome dignity and antithetical sordidness in a world where good and evil exist and are in constant debacle. The popular English author of Victorian vintage had A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, The Pickwick Papers, and A Christmas Carol among his great works. (Photo Credit: Charles Dickens PD; George Cruikshank x 2 PD)

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Charitable work by the poor, the rich and famous

September 16, 2008


Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are indeed so lucky. By being their handsome selves, as celebrities, they can earn millions. Their jobs may be as taxing as the regular workers, but their big earnings are assured. For charity like the $2 million they give to the Ethiopian children affected with AIDS and tuberculosis, they must be honored and appreciated.

Ethiopia ranks seventh among the world’s nations with the highest rate of tuberculosis. About1.7 million Ethiopians are infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.) Because of AIDS, up to a million children in Ethiopia have lost their parents.

The money will be used to create a center for AIDS and tuberculosis-affected children in the capital city of Addis Ababa, and to help establish a program) program to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis,” in a statement by the Global Health Committee (GHC) on September 15, 2008.” AFP/Inquirer (09/16/08).


The remarkable deeds of Angelina and Brad who raise 6 children (3 are adopted,) must serve as inspirations to poor people as well. Even without money, persons who want to help society can partake of their time, energy, and ideas which can benefit the unfortunate in our midst.

In this week’s Time magazine (Sept. 22, 2008,) there is an article on ways to help the Americans. They aren’t exactly applicable to Filipinos, but from the basic principles, some insights can be learned and a course of action can be pursued. Charity doesn’t always need money.

Twelve Money-wise Ways to Help the Philippines

1. Join groups that advocate honesty, transparency, and eradication of corruption in government. People with similar political, social, and religious convictions give strength to a cause and help unify the nation. Movements like Kaya Natin, Kawad Kalinga, and Philippine Red Cross inspire hope and action rather than despair and inaction.
2. Visit places to learn from other’s way of life. Being with Mindanao Muslims for instance promotes understanding of socio-cultural beliefs and religion.
3. Don’t be idle at retirement. Working beyond retirement i.e. volunteering in church, schools, hospitals and prisons have dividends for the community. A 50-year old retiree has about 25 years more time to be productive.
4. Encourage public service in a barangay. Civics help strengthen the nation.
5. Be a Santa Claus beyond Christmas. Generous giving beyond families, relatives, and friends foster compassion.
6. Be active in PTAs and school activities. Volunteer to mentor a child. Education is an asset that’s usually undervalued by children and their parents.
7. Set a day in a year to be with orphans, prisoners, disabled and the aged.
8. Incorporate your ideals into programs of action. People who render free service change lives and improve the communities they live in.
9. Take responsibility. Prepare for hard times rather than ignore them. Calamities like typhoons, fires, earthquakes, and even financial bankruptcies are occurrences that need preparation.
10. Elect honest leaders in government. You must learn from past politics which has brought indolence, mediocrity, thievery, and incompetence in government.
11. Follow the law.
12. Plant a tree; help build a community garden, and support the environment. =0=

“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?”—by Rev. Fulton J. Sheen