May 21: End of the world?

by Caroline J. Howard, ANC

Posted at May 20 2011 08:44 PM | Updated as of May 21 2011 05:12 PM

Doomsayers warn of the end of the world happening on May 21, characterized by disasters of a global scale.

Family Radio President Harold Camping, the man behind the `Judgement Day, May 21 Campaign' warns of cataclismic events happening on Saturday 6 p.m. PDT (Sunday in Manila).

"On May 21, there's going to be a terrific earthquake, way, way greater than anything else the earth has ever experienced and that will be the beginning of judgment day," he says.

Citing biblical references to the great tribulation, Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California, determined May 21 by putting together various dates and numbers from past events, starting with the great flood in 4990 BC, and using various multipliers paired with the Hebrew calendar.

While an earlier apocalyptic prediction on1994 turned out to be a dud, he says, this time, it's a sure thing.

"We have no plan B. We know without any shadow of a doubt it is going to happen. God has just given us so much information about this," Camping said.

'Be prepared for inevitable'

But here at home, scientists and religious leaders brushed-off end-of-the-world scenarios, saying the world -- which has been around for millions of years -- is not about to come to an end.

Astronomers say it could take millions of years before the phenomenon actually happens.

"Ito po ay dina-downplay namin, wala po itong katotohanan. Talagang ito ay mangyayari but we are talking millions of years before it happens, not in the present generation," PAGASA Astronomical Observatory Chief Mario Raymundo said, on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."

Religious leaders say, while the bible talks about Judgment Day, instead of getting carried away by fears over the second coming, it won't hurt to prepare for the inevitable.

"Merong mangyayari, ang tanong ay kailan kaya. Sinabi ng Bible, maging handa kayo dahil hindi natin alam kung kailan ito," said Pastor Pio Tica, Bishop of the Higher Ground Baptist Mission.

"Hindi na natin kailangan hintayin na magunaw ang mundo para maranasan yung paghuhukom na yun. Naniniwala ako na sa isang taong hindi marunong magpatawad, mas daig pa noon ang nagunaw ang mundo," added Brother Mihael Angelo Lobrin, Author, `Laugh With God Today.' "Wala sa ating mga kamay at karunungan nasa panginoon kung kailan siya babalik."

But, they insist, no one knows for sure exactly when, the world will come to an end. -- With a report from Reuters