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Carlos Celdran: Both Notorious and Prominent

Carlos Celdran became very famous when he staged a protest against the Catholic Church in the middle of a mass. He was carrying a “Damaso” sign and shouting “Stop getting involved in politics”.

The police came and brought the activist to jail. He was charged with “offending religious feelings” by the Catholic Biships Conference of the Philippines.

Lately, he was found guilty and will be punished not by God but by Philippine laws.

Expression of the year: “offending religious feelings”.

President PNOy urged the Church to forgive Celdran. Oh, forgive just like what Jesus Christ did to his killers! Shall we beg the Church to forgive Celdran for he did not know what he was doing then? Science would intervene saying Celdran was old enough to know what he was doing that time.

PNoy noted that he did not like what Celdran did. We don’t know if Celdran also liked what PNoy did. Anyway, both Celdran and PNoy are pro-RH Bill advocates.

Celdran’s notorious effort contributed to the pressure put on lawmakers to approve the RH Bill. The bill is now a law- a huge dagger pointing to the heart of every anti-RH Bill lawmaker and Catholic.

The guilty verdict is the only good news for CBCP. Now, CBCP is gaining strength to show opposition to Divorce Bill. Catholic priest are again joining the talk on marriage- an obsession they never and will never experience while they stay within the boundaries of Catholic priesthood.

I first heard about prestigious Celdran on a foreign travel show. His performance as a tour guide is really impressive. The Jose Rizal attire fits his looks and reputation. He is of Spanish decent so he is perfect to narrate about the glorious and dark past of the country.

Yesterday, an article about his case was published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer site. The article, written by a law professor, claims that Celdran never violated anything. Does this professor mean that the judge who convicted Celdran is stupid?

Well for the information of people, freedom of expression is not absolute. You cannot just shout in the middle of a mass disrupting everyone. That is absolutely disrespecting. Even a Kindergarten pupil knows that.

The comment section of the article is even juicier than the article itself. Again and again, protesting has got its own rules. And freedom of expression as a defense is not always bankable.

Celdran is a big force who has the passion in installing changes into our conservative society. I don't care if he is guided or not. I still love Celdran despite of what happened. He is my hero. He is my inspiration.

By the way, here are 10 things about him that you should know:

1.    His complete name is John Charles Edward P. Celdran.
2.    He was born on November 10, 1972. He is still 39.
3.    He is an alumnus of Rhode Island School of Design. However, he started his degree at the University of the Philippines Diliman.
4.    When he moved to New York after completing his degree, he lived an openly bisexual lifestyle.
5.    Celdran is an HIV/AIDS prevention advocate.
6.    In 2010, Celdran made it to the Forbes Magazine’s “Names You Need to Know in 2011”.
7.    In 2012, New York Times featured his Living la Vida Imelda tour.
8.    Celdran is a volunteer of the Heritage Conservation Society which aims to save historical buildings.
9.    During his conviction, Human Rights Watch expressed that the regional office was alarmed.
10. If you want to follow him on Twitter, his handler is @carlosceldran.

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.


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