Supplemental Explanation [On Fasting and Abstinence in the Philippines]
Provided By Rev. Fr. Gerard McKee, CMRI
In the law for Latin America and Philippines, there is simplicity. Abstinence is complete or it is not required. [The law in the US is more complex, because it does not have the exemptions of Latin America, and because of more abstinence days, making some partial is more benign and bearable.]
By a special privilege from the Holy See, the preceding guidelines are the [minimum] requirements for the Philippines. By means of a papal indult, a special privilege or ‘dispensation’ was granted to the Philippines [being part of the Spanish dominions]. The latest regulations (1956) were issued by the Sacred Congregation of the Council in Rome under the authority of Pope Pius XII.
However, as the world needs more penance and not less, the faithful are hereby encouraged [to do more]. For example, it is more sacrificial and meritorious to observe the stricter regulations, as some faithful who live in these countries do [that is, if one is able, he/she can keep the Friday abstinence, observe the fast of Ember days and certain Vigils, and the forty days fast of Lent].