How to Become a Responsible Tourist

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Introduction

Responsible tourism is all about conformity of the tourist to the local culture, especially to the customs and laws of the host country or place of destination. There are different types of tourism and tourist. But all tourism is a cross-cultural encounter, an interaction between two cultures: the cultural orientation of the tourist and the culture or way of life of the tourist site. Thus, if an American tourist visits the famous Boracay Beach in the Philippines, he or she brings with her/his Western American culture mentality to the Philippines and interacts it with the local Filipino culture of the residents or hosts in Boracay island.

waving china GIF by Bayerischer Rundfunk

Now, tourism often brings conflict in terms of cultural norms. Sometimes, tourists would impose consciously or unconsciously her or his cultural expectation and norm orientation to the tourist site and disregard the local norms and rules. For instance, Western tourists may find wearing bikinis in Philippine beaches as normal and culturally appropriate. But for rural folks in the Philippines, wearing this kind of outfit is culturally unacceptable and indecent.

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Cultural conflict is therefore inevitable. Thus, the tourist site or the host country must dictate how should tourists behave to protect the local culture. In this case, it must be the tourist site and authorities of the place who must determine through rules and policies how tourists must behave and become responsible to protect the local culture and attain sustainability of their tourism industry.

Here are some important tips on how the tourist can become responsible when visiting tourist sites:

  1. Orient yourself about the local culture of the place you are visiting. This includes knowing the customs or existing practices of the site. Know some basic rules on respect, decency, and social interaction.

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  1. Know the laws and ordinances of your place of destination before arriving at the area. Dont’s be afraid to ask friends or people who have visited the tourist spot you want to visit. Use the Internet or social media to get a glimpse of the rules.

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  1. Be respectful of the local people and customs of the place you are visiting. Don’t be arrogant and presume that you know many things about the site just because you are highly educated, rich, famous, and coming from a developed country.

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  1. Always remember that to become a responsible tourist means you conform to the norms and expectations of the tourist site and not the other way around. This advice is also good for your protection and safety when visiting tourist spots.

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Enjoy your trip, tour, and vacation! God bless!

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Dealing with Rumor-mongers and Gossips in a Christian Way

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The best way to minimize rumors and gossip in your life is to turn your enemies into friends and allies. Take a look at this testimony of a person who turned his enemy into a friend:

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“Early in my career, I was once figuratively stabbed in the back by a colleague, which nearly led to me being fired…Rather than waste time and energy by dragging around a bag of resentments, I worked on my negative attitude…Whenever we ran into each other, I would smile and say “Hello, how are you?” I was met with a scowl or ignored. This continued for three months, but I was determined not to let the person ruin my day. I no longer wanted to give away my power. Then, suddenly, my adversary had a change in attitude, and became a trusted associate.”

pexels-photo-601170.jpeg

Try active non-violence and apply the biblical teaching of loving your enemies. It is not a sign of weakness and cowardice of trying to win the hearts of your gossips and rumor mongers. If you believe in something supernatural and have a solid philosophy in life, loving your enemies is a sign of courage and ultimate wisdom. After all, we are only pilgrims of this earth. Let us condemn and sue those who spread unjust and malicious acts of rumors and gossip. Let us condemn the acts but forgive the person as every individual can also be a victim of his/her past and social environment.

pexels-photo-551652.jpeg

In the Gospel,  an adulterer and sinner was brought in front of Jesus. Some people wanted to trap him in order to accuse Him of violating the Judaic law. But Jesus instead said to the accusers:

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“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”

The  people around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. So Jesus found himself alone with the woman. He asked her where were her accusers.

She replied, “No man, lord.”

Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

pexels-photo-786924.jpeg

The best way to fight rumors and gossip is to accept and forgive people despite their sins of spreading unverified information or fake news. Applying the Christian teaching of fraternal correction, genuine Christians approach rumor-mongers and gossips in the spirit of charity. They reach out to their enemies and convert them into friends. Christian love unites people and transform them into real believers of the Truth.

Photo credit: Pexels.com free photos, Freedigitalphotos.net

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7 Top Myths on Love

1. Love is Natural.

i love you GIF by Angry Birds

Love is not natural and biological but socially-learned in society. In the sociology of emotions, sociologists believe that people’s emotions are determined by society and culture. Thus, people’s deep feelings and emotions of love are primarily a product of cultural and social conditioning. In the same manner, people’s romantic feelings and expressions are learned and shaped by the local culture and not solely by biology. In many primitive societies, for instance, where arranged marriages and betrothals are common cultural practice, romantic love between the bride and groom is not a prerequisite for marriage.

2. First Love is the Deepest Love.

in love romance GIF by Kim's Convenience

People tend to over-romanticize first love. They put lots of emotional value to their first kiss, sexual experience, and first love. And while first experiences are important milestones, they generally aren’t the most significant. Most first loves are not serious. Not many people marry their first loves. The deepest hurt people experience are usually with those they seriously consider to live a life-long partnership, probably in marriage. The person who chose to build his/her life with someone for marital commitment is infinitely more important than the first person he/she fell in love with (Harris, nd.).

3. Love Will Make You Feel Complete.

all my love heart GIF by Chibird

This is another myth. Only the person can make his/her life complete and meaningful. You’re the only one who can make yourself feel whole and fulfilled. Your partner can only assist you to achieve your life goals. If you’re waiting around for someone to complete you, you’re wasting your time. It’s not going to happen, and that’s an unfair expectation to put on someone who could otherwise make you very happy (Harris n.d.).

4. Love can Happen at First Sight

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“There’s no love at first sight, only lust at first sight. Sure, that lust can turn into love, but most people need time to get to know each other before they can be sure they want to commit (Harris, n.d.).” True love happens only when partners cohabit for a long time in marriage and accept each other’s faults. The first stage of love is infatuation where feelings of attraction are very strong. But these emotions can be fleeting. They can easily vanish when partners discover their real personalities, attitudes, and social background.

5. Love is an irrational emotion that you either are “in” or not “in.”

Not so, according to philosopher Berit Brogaard, author of On Romantic Love: Simple Truths about Complex Emotion. In fact, love admits of degrees: You can love a little, a lot, or not at all. Sometimes your feelings are quite rational; at others, they’re utterly irrational (Perry 2015).

6. You can’t make yourself fall out of love.

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But you can. Emotions are subject to a kind of rational control. You can use strategies to help you fall out of a love that’s wrong for you (Perry 2015)

7. Love is unpredictable.

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Don’t believe it, writes Gottman. Many replicable studies have demonstrated that love is quite predictable. In his own lab, he has been able to predict divorce over a six-year period with better than 90% accuracy. Much of that predictability is based on how couples handle conflict, and how many positive vs. negative comments they make to each other (Perry 2015).

GIFs Credit: Giphy.com

 

References

Perry, S. K. (8 Feb 2015). 10 Myths About Love, Exploded: 3 leading researchers on why old beliefs could leave you lonely. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creating-in-flow/201502/10-myths-about-love-exploded.

Harris, H. (n.d.). 10 Myths About Love You Need To Stop Believing If You Don’t Want To Be Disappointed. Retrieved from https://www.bolde.com/10-myths-love-need-stop-believing/.

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6 Most Misunderstood Beliefs and Practices in the Catholic Church

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1. Venerating the Saints is Idolatry.

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Venerating the saints is not idolatry. Catholics are not actually praying to the saints but only honoring them as heroes of the Catholic faith and asking them to intercede for them to Christ. Catholics only worship God and not the saints according to official Church teachings. It’s true that worshiping material things is idolatry and a serious sin against God. But the statues inside the Church are mere symbols and representations of their personhood of the saints as true disciples of Christ, worthy of emulation. They help Catholics to recall their heroic deeds for God. A symbol, such as the statue, only points to the reality. The piece of wood or cement of the statue is not being worshiped by Catholics but only served as a visual aid to remind Catholics to imitate their extraordinary faith in Christ..

2. The Sacred Host in the Mass is only a Symbol.

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For some Protestant Churches which use the sacred host in their public rituals, the consecrated host is only a symbol but not the reality itself. This is not the Catholic Church’s official teaching. For the Church, the consecrated host during the Mass is not just a symbol but the reality itself. Under the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, the ordinary unleavened bread is transformed into the real Body of Christ after the consecration in the Eucharist.

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“Transubstantiation is the process by which the bread and wine of the Eucharist is transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe that through transubstantiation, the risen Jesus becomes truly present in the Eucharist. The word transubstantiation is made up of two parts: ‘trans’ and ‘substantiation.’ The first part is a prefix that means ‘across’, ‘beyond’, or ‘through’. It suggests that some kind of change has taken place. The second part of the word, ‘substantiation,’ refers to the philosophical term substance. According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, substance is a thing’s deepest being, what it is, in and of itself. The substance of a thing is what it really and truly is beyond all appearances” (Troolin). After the consecration of the priest, the substance of the bread and wine is transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

3. The Personal and Moral Life of the Priest can Affect the Sacredness of the Mass He is Celebrating!

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It is true that persons who are ordained by Catholic bishops as priests remain human beings and sinners. But the sacrament of ordination has transformed them into ministers of Christ and the Church. What they are administering in the Church, such as the Eucharist and the sacraments, are not affected by their personal and immoral life as sinners. These public rituals are done by priests in the name of the Church of Christ and not in their own name and power. As ministers, they are only instruments, the real dispensers of divine grace in the sacraments is Christ Himself. Of course, it is ideal that the priest who administers the sacraments is also a holy person and a worthy human instrument of grace.

4. Direct Confession to God is Better than Confessing to the Priest.

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Direct confession to God is usually done by Protestant and Christian churches. But the Catholic Church only allows direct confession for venial or minor sins. Grave or serious sins must be confessed to the priest in the sacrament of reconciliation. In the Gospels, following his resurrection, Jesus appears to his disciples. After breathing upon them, he said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22-23; see also Mt 18:18). The sacrament of reconciliation encourages us to go and to try to sin no more. This teaching is found also in Ephesians 4:25-32 and 1 John 1:5-10. By virtue of his ordination, the priest is authorized by the Church to forgive sins in the name of Christ.

5. Unbaptized Babies will go to Limbo!

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“It is clear that the traditional teaching on this topic has concentrated on the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium….” (ITC).

“However, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), the theory of limbo is not mentioned. Rather, the Catechism teaches that infants who die without baptism are entrusted by the Church to the mercy of God, as is shown in the specific funeral rite for such children. The principle that God desires the salvation of all people gives rise to the hope that there is a path to salvation for infants who die without baptism (cf. CCC, 1261) (Ibid).”.

6. Praying is Asking God’s Favor!

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Prayer is God’s gift. It has different forms. It is not always asking God’s favor. Not all prayers are petition or intercessory prayers. The Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2259) describes the Church’s teaching on prayer as follows:

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,”5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”6

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Troolin, A. (n.d.). Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation: Definition & Overview. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/catholic-doctrine-of-transubstantiation-definition-lesson-quiz.html.

International Theological Commission (ITC) (n.d.). “The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized”. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html.

Thank you for reading this post. Subscribe or follow this blog for more updates. God bless!

Dealing with Rumor-mongers and Gossips in a Christian Way

ID-10067259

Web Hosting

The best way to minimize rumors and gossip in your life is to turn your enemies into friends and allies. Take a look at this testimony of a person who turned his enemy into a friend:

pexels-photo-327540.jpeg

“Early in my career, I was once figuratively stabbed in the back by a colleague, which nearly led to me being fired…Rather than waste time and energy by dragging around a bag of resentments, I worked on my negative attitude…Whenever we ran into each other, I would smile and say “Hello, how are you?” I was met with a scowl or ignored. This continued for three months, but I was determined not to let the person ruin my day. I no longer wanted to give away my power. Then, suddenly, my adversary had a change in attitude, and became a trusted associate.”

pexels-photo-601170.jpeg

Try active non-violence and apply the biblical teaching of loving your enemies. It is not a sign of weakness and cowardice of trying to win the hearts of your gossips and rumor mongers. If you believe in something supernatural and have a solid philosophy in life, loving your enemies is a sign of courage and ultimate wisdom. After all, we are only pilgrims of this earth. Let us condemn and sue those who spread unjust and malicious acts of rumors and gossip. Let us condemn the acts but forgive the person as every individual can also be a victim of his/her past and social environment.

pexels-photo-551652.jpeg

In the Gospel,  an adulterer and sinner was brought in front of Jesus. Some people wanted to trap him in order to accuse Him of violating the Judaic law. But Jesus instead said to the accusers:

jesus-christ-good-shepherd-religion-161289.png

“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”

The  people around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. So Jesus found himself alone with the woman. He asked her where were her accusers.

She replied, “No man, lord.”

Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

pexels-photo-786924.jpeg

The best way to fight rumors and gossip is to accept and forgive people despite their sins of spreading unverified information or fake news. Applying the Christian teaching of fraternal correction, genuine Christians approach rumor-mongers and gossips in the spirit of charity. They reach out to their enemies and convert them into friends. Christian love unites people and transform them into real believers of the Truth.

Photo credit: Pexels.com free photos, Freedigitalphotos.net

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to comment, like, or share. Cheers and God bless!