Thursday, September 29, 2011


 by Dr. Norberto L. Mercado
            Today is Palm Sunday. It is the "first day" of the Lenten Season.
            Today, we commemorate the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, on a lowly donkey, not on a conqueror's white horse.
            But when He will come again, He won't ride on a donkey anymore. He will ride on the most powerful white horse (Rev. 19).

            I am deeply convinced that of all the religious leaders who walked the face of this earth, Jesus Christ is the most unique of them all.
            Buddha, Mohammed, Marx (Marxism is a religion - the worship of human leaders), and all religious leaders died and their bodies decayed.
            But Jesus was buried after He was crucified by the Roman soldiers, and He rose again on the third day (Sunday). He was crucified on a Friday.
            And after He rose again and showed Himself to more than 500 witnesses, the Bible declares that Jesus ascended into Heaven. 
            He showed us that there is life after this present life!

            The Old Testament books prophesied that the coming Messiah would be killed, but He would rise again on the third day.
            The Pharisees (the enemies of Jesus) knew this prophecy because they all studied the Old Testament.
            So, when Nicodemus asked Pontius Pilate permission to bury Jesus' body in his (Nicodemus') tomb, a request which was granted, the High Priest of the Pharisees, Caiaphas, also went to Pontius Pilate afterwards and asked the Roman Procurator of Judea to assign Roman soldiers to guard the tomb.
            Caiaphas told Pontius Pilate his fear that the disciples might steal the body of Jesus, and then they would  say that Jesus rose from the grave in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.
            Therefore, the tomb must be guarded.
            Pontius Pilate granted the request of Caiaphas. He assigned an elite company of Roman soldiers - ready to kill and be killed - to guard the tomb.
            Nicodemus and his assistants hauled Jesus' body from the cross after sunset. This was on a Friday.
            Caiaphas should have gone to Pontius Pilate immediately after.
            The following day was a Saturday, the Sabbath day of the Jews.
            It was the day of rest.

            THEN SUNDAY CAME

            Early Sunday, Mary Magdalene and her companions went to the tomb where Jesus was laid. 
            The tomb was open.  The large stone which shut it was moved.
            Who moved the stone?
            Why was the tomb empty?

            THE SUSPECTS:

            1. It  was probably Peter and the apostles who went to the tomb on Saturday night, or at dawn on Sunday and stole Jesus' body. But wait a minute.
How could Peter do this when he was so scared when Jesus was arrested that he denied Him three times before the cock crew? And the Four Gospels recorded that Peter himself run to the tomb when Mary Magdalene told him that the body of Jesus was missing. When he entered the tomb, indeed, Jesus' body was not there. So it could not be him who stole the body.
             2. If it was not Peter who led the apostles, it could be Thomas. But wait. When Jesus had already risen from the dead and He had shown Himself to several of His disciples, it was Thomas the Apostle who said, "Unless I see His pierced hands and His wounded body, I will not believe!"  So it could not be Thomas.
             3. Any of the apostles and disciples. But wait a minute. They were all scared to death and were hiding from the Roman soldiers and from the Pharisees.
             4. Mary Magdalene and the other women. But they themselves wondered who stole the body.
             5. Mary, the mother of Jesus. Or Mary and Martha. But wait a minute. Were they physically strong enough to overpower the fully armed Roman guards?
             6. What about the Roman soldiers who were assigned to guard the tomb? But wait a minute. Pilate ordered that the Roman Imperial seal be marked on his written order that the tomb be guarded by the Roman soldiers.  The soldiers knew what disobedience to authority meant  - death!  If they were remiss of their duty, and the apostles succeeded in stealing the body, they knew that they would all receive the death penalty for their disobedience. So it could not be the soldiers.
             5. What about Pontius Pilate or Caiaphas? But what will they do with the body of Jesus? They were not deranged men to do this. They were the enemies of Jesus!
             So, who moved the stone?  Who stole the body of Jesus?


             Right after the resurrection of Christ in the early moment of the third day after He was crucified, the Roman officer and his soldiers rushed to Caiaphas the High Priest and told  Him a scary but wonderful story -  Jesus rose to life!
             The Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb told Caiaphas that there was an earthquake, and then an angel appeared. And then the tomb opened.
             The scared soldiers told Caiaphas that it was most likely the angel who moved the large stone and opened the tomb! And they all fell to the ground, scared to death at what was happening.  And they said that Jesus' body was gone!
             The soldiers were so scared even after the incident because they knew the penalty they will receive  -  death!
             It was the Roman soldiers who testified before Caiaphas : the body of Jesus was missing!  
             The Roman soldiers knew that what Caiaphas feared would happen came true :  
             And because Jesus has risen, there is life after death!
             And our lives can have meaning!
             Jesus Christ has conquered death!
             THE LORD IS RISEN!!!!

                                                   Written on Palm Sunday, 8-9 PM,April 1,2007
                                                   In an Internet Cafe at Tandang Sora, Quezon City

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Most of the animals,plants,fish,flowers which are in the Philippines are also here in Thailand.
      There are a little differences. The chico here is elongated and has a yellowish color. Its sweet. They call it "lamut". "Lamut" in Ilocano means "food".
      There is lanzones here. A lot of pineapples. They have guavas here which are like green apples. There are bananas which are so big.
      They also have mudfish(dalag) and catfish(hito).  They have litson-manok. Their bagoong is different.  They have "patupat" ( an Ilocano  sweet ricecake wrapped with young palm leaves).
       There are fruits here which I don't see in the Philippines.  The  fruit which I call "snakefruit" because the peeling is scaled like the scales of the snake, is also found in Kota Kinabalu.
       Martial law in Thailand is generally accepted by the people because King Bhumibol Adulyadej has thrown his support to the "coup" makers.
        The king of Thailand has great influence over his people. The people think he is a good king.  His picture is printed in all paper money as well as some coins in Thailand.  If the king has not supported the coup, the coup makers would have self-exiled abroad like the past coup plotters.
         There are two major English newspapers here : The Nation and The Bangkok Post. I buy and read them.
         Yesterday, The Bangkok Post reported that ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra is in Hong Kong, seen shopping with his wife.  He joked that he is now unemployed.
          The operator of the tourist inn where I stayed in my first night here is a Thai lawyer who left her lawyering career  to operate a tourist inn. She has a daughter. Her husband is a border policeman.  She told me that she makes more money by operating the inn than by lawyering. She knows Imelda and the Marcoses by name, and compares them to Thaksin Shinawatra.  Of course, I told her two versions about the ill-gotten wealth. And I said that I don't know which one to believe as of now.
           The Lord  Jesus said :"Judge not lest you be judged...But if you judge, judge righteously."(The Lord meant here that if you are a judge(in court), then judge righteously, i.e. after all the facts are presented).
            Thais in the South are more Malay and Indonesian in features. Thais in the North(near China), and in near Cambodia are more Chinese in features.
            Trat, Thailand used to be under the French during their time as colonizers of French Indochina. French Indochina has disintegrated to three countries : Cambodia,Vietnam,and Laos. Plus Trat which is now a part of Thailand.
                                            Trat, Nov. 16,11:30 PM

Dateline Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia: The Legend of Mount Kinabalu

Written on Thursday, November 9, 2006 10:09 PM

Hi Everyone!
     Thank you for praying for my safe trip to Kota Kinabalu. I arrived three hours ago at the Air Asia Airport or Terminal 2. I checked in here in The Beach Lodge which is in the city proper of Kota Kinabalu. There is an "Internet Cafe" at the lobby, for about US$1 per 30 minutes of use.
      I have not gone around the city because it is already night time. I have not eaten my dinner, but after I send this e-mail,  I'll look for a seafood restaurant.
      Kota Kinabalu got its name from Mount Kinabalu, which is near the city.
      Kota in Malay means "town".
      Kina is the name of a woman.
      "Balu" in Malay means a widow.  I surmise that it is also an Ilocano word.
      "Balu" in Ilocano also means a widow.
      Kinabalu, therefore, refers to Kina the widow.
      Now, here is the story, the legend of Mount Kinabalu
      It is a love story.  It can be written to a novel.
      This is the story in a nutshell based on my conversation with two AIR ASIA stewardesses while we were airborne. 
       As a journalist, it is my training to ask for the five Ws : Who,What,Where,When,Why.
(Based on the Account of Air Asia Stewardesses as Related to Norbert Mercado on November 9,2006 During the Air Asia Flight from Clark Air Base to Kota Kinabalu)
        Kina is a woman so much in love to her husband.
        They have just gotten married.
        And they settled at the foot of a high mountain.
        She was simple and beautiful. She had long and wavy hair.
         Her lips were like strawberries.
         Her eyes had the color of the emerald.
         Her hands were soft and gentle.
         Her skin was light and fair.
          And she loved her husband.
          And her husband loved her.
          They lived a simple and tender life.
           Until the time of war came.
           And the Sultan of the state had to call on all able-bodied man to meet the enemy.
           And  Kina's husband answered the call to arms.
           The parting of the new couple was painful.
           In tears, Kina told her husband that she would wait for him however long it would take. 
           And she would be faithful to him, promising affection until the grave would claim her body.
           And the husband went to war.
           She waited.
           And waited.
           And waited.
           But he never came back.
           She later learned that her husband was killed-in-action.
           People living near their place tried to comfort her. 
           Kina  became  "balu"    - widow.
           She now had to live life alone.
           And she had to be brave.
           Instead of feeling self-pity, she tried to help the children of the people living near the foot of the mountain.
           She taught them songs. She taught them  to live life bravely and fully.
            But one day, her "pupils" found her lifeless body at the foot of the mountain.
            Kina is gone.
            The parents of her "pupils" wanted to honor her by naming the high mountain "Mount Kinabalu".
            For the memory of  a great woman.  A great lover.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saigon Poem

(For June)

I still think of Mui Ne
and the nice people I met there,
the locals, and the strangers
who walked the beaches,
and spent precious time with me...

I met a young couple
from Shanghai,
we talked in the late of the night,
as the waves pounded the shore,
about Chinese culture and politics,
how the military there today
hates Mao,
and the young generation empty
in soul and spirit despite
the progress of the body...

I met a lady from Slovenia,
and her boyfriend,
and how they wish so much
to visit the Philippines:
and  I told them how beautiful
our islands are -
Palawan and Boracay,
and Hundred Islands,too,
and a lot more of places to see...

I met a couple from France,
they are touring Vietnam
from Hanoi to Saigon;
I invited them to the Philippines,
and they wish to visit
our heritage someday...

I met other people,
some of them were not
as tender and joyful as the rest,
proving what humanity is,
and what they can become.

I still think of Mui Ne
as I write this poem in Saigon,
my cycling hours in the afternoon,
to see the yellow sanddunes and
the fishing village,
and the ball of fire slowly sinking
in the cold, eternal sea...
I wish you are with me...

Norbert L. Mercado
Saigon, South Vietnam
November 17,10:00 PM

Autumn Poems from Pnom Penh

Poem 1 :  Poem At Sunset in Pnom Penh

Pity the man,
and also the woman,
who does not have the time
to see the beauty of sunset,
when life to him is all work,
and days are dull and boring,
and the endless nights bring moments
of dread...

Pity the man,
and also the woman,
who can not feel the joy
and peace at the sinking of the sun
into the kingdom of the sea,
but instead worry at the coming
terror of the night,
as a consequence of the sins
of yesterday...

Pity the man,
and also the woman,
who thinks of sunsets
as just ordinary times,
and can fathom
neither the meaning of the day,
nor the hue of the coming night...

Poem 2 : Live Only For Today

I rented a bicycle for
two US dollars a day,
and biked around Pnom Penh...

I visited the parks along the Mekong River,
and rested under the ever green trees,
I biked through avenues
and streets of this old city,
shattered by the horrors of the past,
but alive again!!!
I went around the Royal Palace
where the new king Ranaridh resides,
the younger son of Norodom and Monique.
and marvelled as its unique magnificence...

I saw the laughters of the Khmers,
victims of Pol Pot, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary,
helpless souls under the  terrifying shadow
of Marx and Lenin,
and the Chinese dictator named Mao...
Oh! how they laughed at the start of
celebration of the "Water Festival",
as the boatmen gird for the water race,
hoping to win through gut and grace...

I visited the Royal Institute of Foreign Languages,
and the Cambodian Institute of Technology,
with the purpose of sharing my faith in Christ
to the students...
And I met several of them,
and they were eager to know more
and to correspond...

it rained...
but I thought the rain would also pass,
like before,
for  it does and will not rain always...
And true,
after an hour or two,
the sun showed its splendour again,
and the temporal dark clouds are gone with the rain...

Yesterday is a day gone,
and we can not change what was.
The Master of the Storm
taught us
to focus on life
just for today,
and not to brood on the failures
and flaws of yesterday,
or worry about what tomorrow will bring forth.
Let us live then the best of life

Poem 3 :  I Think of You
( A Poem for June)

I think of you
there in Mui Ne
as I beheld the sinking sun...

I think of you
there in Saigon
as I walked the streets
when the day was gone...

I think of you
here in Pnom Penh
as the ephemeral hours run...

I think of you...always.

Pnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
November 20,2010, 1:35 PM

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tourists in Green Kuala Lumpur

Notes from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2011 9:09:54 PM

My wife June (architect June Morales-Mercado,UAP), and I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last night to see some changes.

The old Puduraya bus station, where buses from Singapore and Thailand, as well as the buses coming from the different states of Peninsular Malaysia, is under renovation. The bus station was temporarily transferred to a place far from the city proper.

So we had to take a taxi from there to the city. Before we reached the city proper, the taxi conked out, and so we had to take another cab. Fortunately, we reached the city proper safely. It was already past 11:00 PM.

We stayed in a hostel called "Backpackers' Hostel", just opposite the old Puduraya bus station which has been undergoing renovation for a year.  My, it is really having a "facelift". So different from it was in 2009 when I was here. I have been to KL more than 10 times. This is the second time my wife visited this city.

In the morning, around 7 AM, we took a taxi to the world-renowned "Petronas Twin Towers", and had a simple breakfast there.

We went out of the building afterwards, and had photos with the "twin towers" as background.

Outside the building, we met four Filipino tourists( all Muslims from Marawi City), and befriended them. Two of them are medical doctors, a couple. The two others are females, working with PhilHealth.

From the Petronas Twin Towers, we took a cab to the Kuala Lumpur Tower. I have been there twice. So I told June to just take the lift to the peak, while I read "The Sun", a Malaysian daily.

My wife met two Filipino women at the peak of the KL Tower. She said they are OFWs.

From the KL Tower, we boarded bus No. 79, and journeyed to the Chinatown. The bus ticket costs us only one(1) Malaysian ringgit each. On the other hand, a taxi from Backpackers Hostel to the twin towers cost fifteen(15) Malaysian ringgit, and from the Petronas Twin Towers to the KL Tower is another 15 Malaysian ringgit.

Lesson : If you wish to go around a foreign city, and you can help it, take a bus.

We took our lunch at a nearby McDonalds  in Chinatown, afterwhich we came to this internet cafe for a rest and to communicate to the outside world.

Here in Kuala Lumpur , we are tourists. It's a green city, and I wish Metro Manila is as environment-friendly as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

It's also a relatively peaceful city.


Even The Grass Bleeds Abridged Edition

The Last Romanov

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The Winter is Young

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The Winter Is Young - Norbert Mercado

Josephine's father is an active Major in the military. Dante, her boyfriend, has joined the forces against the government. The rebel controlled bombers swooped over MalacaƱang Palace on the first day of the bloodiest military rebellion in Philippine history. The Aquino administration fought for its life, a nation shook, and the fate of an unspoiled love stood still.

The Winter Is Young... a love story challenged by a country's crisis. From the pen of Norbert Mercado.


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WINDFLOWERS is a novel which gingerly shows the atoning nature of pure love, and the destructive power of selfish ambition.


WINDFLOWERS is a novel which gingerly shows the atoning nature of pure love, and the destructive power of selfish ambition.

Unchained Melody

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Vivian and Remedios have begun a new chapter of their lives in a strange foreign land. What struggles will they face as they try to secure a better future?

Beyond the darkness lies the rebuilding power of love.

A novel about the struggles and sacrifices of working women abroad in their quest for a better life.

Three Cornered Sun

THREE CORNERED SUN This is another collection of socio-political essays in relation to the problem of communist insurgency in the Philippines.

A Thousand Summers

A THOUSAND SUMMERS. This is a novel in poetry form about Gregoria Serra-Morales, a native of San Joaquin, Iloilo. She is a nurse who graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1939, and the mother-in-law of Dr. Norberto L. Mercado.

Some Winds Blow Forever

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Some Winds Blow Forever - Norbert Mercado

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Cara, a well traveled Lithuanian-American businesswoman, has uncovered the truth she was asked to search for in Macau. Ecological destruction results in a terrifying natural disaster.

SOME WINDS BLOW FOREVER is a social novel which shows the tragic consequences of ecological destruction. It appeals to the present generation (through the presentation of a horrifying incident in the Philippines - the Ormoc flashflood which killed more than 8,000 people) to help in the preservation of the environment.

Ronald Reagan: Profile of a President


The Protracted War and the Quest for Peace

THE PROTRACTED WAR AND THE QUEST FOR PEACE. An anthology of socio-political essays.

One Love, Three Summers

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Father Rex is a priest involved in the communist movement. Because of Annabelle, he begins to question the ideology he has followed for years. This novel spurns and condemns a bloody revolution as a solution to the problems of society, and gives an unapologetic argument that compassion rather than the pursuit of power is the noblest of human aspirations.

The Last Romanov

Written by Norbert L. Mercado in 1992, the author takes us on a journey of possibilities about the tragic story of the last Romanov family - that of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra - after the end of World War I and the Russian Revolution.


THE LAST ROMANOV is the tragic story of the last Romanov family - that of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra - after the end of World War l and the Russian Revolution.

Jerusalem: The City of Destiny

JERUSALEM: THE CITY OF DESTINY AND OTHER ESSAYS. A collection of inspirational essays about God and the Christian life.

I Don't Need A Throne

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I Don't Need A Throne - Norbert Mercado

Listen or Download the Prologue: prologue.mp3

Apasra seemed like an ordinary foreign student striving to get through Harvard University. Unknown to her peers, she has a well-kept secret. She is the Princess of Thailand! A novel of great love. The author argues that "great love exacts a great price". It vividly shows that love is undoubtedly the noblest and mightiest of all human emotions.


The Future and Your Family

THE FUTURE AND YOUR FAMILY. A collection of inspirational essays about the family and the future.

Even the Grass Bleeds

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Even the Grass Bleeds - Norbert Mercado

EVEN THE GRASS BLEEDS is a love story which shows the nature of man, his love and hatred, his compassion and greed, his weakness and his determination to rise above human tragedy empowered by his faith in God.


Audio Book Abridged Edition is now available!

The Days of an Empire

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An amazon is the key to the success of a daring mission. The target is the man she deeply loves! A novel for peace, stressing the sacredness of life, faith, and liberty in the lives of men and in the destiny of a nation.



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Chrysanthemum - Norbert Mercado

Chrys, a Filipina singer in Hong Kong, is torn between Michael, a dedicated soldier fighting against communist insurgency, and Peter, a jet-setting Chinese businessman capable of offering her financial security.

Written by Norbert L. Mercado in 1989, Chrysanthemum is a touching story of love and revolution in the Philippines.

To read a PDF copy of Chapter 1, view the sampler.
If you enjoyed the sample chapters, perhaps you'ld like to purchase a copy of the e-book at the like below:

The Children of Mars

Written by Norbert L. Mercado, The Children of Mars is novel about an unusual friendship that took place between a Filipino guerrilla and a Japanese Captain in the darkest days of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.

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Cambodia's Children of Sorrow

This is the first anthology of short stories in Asia written by Dr. Norberto L. Mercado.

Beyond Revolution

BEYOND REVOLUTION. This is the second anthology of short stories written by Dr. Norberto L. Mercado.

Asia Health Book 2

ASIA HEALTH BOOK, Vol. II This book is about medicinal plants and their uses.

Asia Health Book 1

ASIA HEALTH BOOK, Vol. I This book is about medicinal plants and their uses.

After the Summer Rain

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After The Summer Rain - Norbert Mercado

After The Summer Rain by Norbert Mercado. $4.99 from and
Luzviminda, could only listen intently as news of the devastating Mount Pinatubo eruption reached her in Hong Kong. Couple that with a violent-tempered mistress and a boyfriend whom she has hardly heard from. How does she cope with all of these trials?

A novel about human struggle against the destructive power of nature. It also shows the unfaithfulness and selfishness of man, as well as his noble qualities, and presents the importance of faith in the midst of severe trials and sufferings.

72 Hours in Moscow

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72 Hours In Moscow - Norbert Mercado

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Arthur, an American journalist is madly in love with Natasha, a patriotic Russian medical student. Will she choose his love over her love of country? A story set in the midst of the coup d' etat against Russian Premier Michael Gorbachev...

Written by Norbert Mercado, this novel gingerly presents that man does not live by bread alone, for he isn't just matter as Marxism argues, but a tripartite being. The novel stresses that man is created in God's image, has a purpose for living beyond society's dialectics, and has a reverent desire for freedom, peace, and happiness.


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