Posts Tagged With: holy week

Semana Santa na naman

_MG_3401SEMANA SANTA na naman. Masaya.

Bakasyon na naman kasi. Mahaba-habang pahinga rin ito sa maraming Filipino na nagsusumikap kumita araw-araw. Ayon nga sa ilan, buong taon ang kanilang kalbaryo at sa Semana Santa lamang sila nakakahinga ng maluwag, yan kung nakakahinga pa sa dami ng problema.

Kaya naman marami sa atin, kahit hindi mga Katoliko o Kristiyano, ay masaya na rin pagdating ng Semana Santa. Nagiging ugali na ng marami sa atin na magbakasyon sa tabing-dagat, umakyat sa Baguio o di kaya’y sa Tagaytay, o mamasyal sa kanayunan para lumanghap ng malinis na hangin. O kaya’y makipag-inuman sa mga kababatang naiwan sa probinsyang matagal nang di nabalikan.

Simula na sa Linggo ang Semana Santa. Linggo ng Palaspas. Ginugunita sa araw na ito ang pagpasok ni Hesus sa Herusalem kung saan sinalubong siya ng maraming tao at hinirang pa na kanilang “hari.” Sinalubong siya ng mga taong may hawak na palaspas habang umaawit, sumisigaw at kumakaway sa anila’y kanilang tagapagligtas. Masaya ang araw na iyon. Siguradong may ngiting namutawi sa labi ni Hesus sa araw na yon.

Marami kasing natulungan si Hesus. Napagaling niya ang mga may sakit at siguro napakain ang ilang nagugutom. May nagbibigay kasi ng pagkain sa kanya at sa kanyang mga apostoles.

Nagbibigay din si Hesus ng payo sa mga nangangailangan nito. Huwag kayong lagi na lang naglalasing, huwag kayo mambabae para di nyo kailangan ang condom, gumawa kayo ng kabutihan sa kapwa, ipaglaban nyo ang inyong mga karapatan, huwag kayo magsugal sa loob ng simbahan, etc.

Lagi siyang nakikipag-kuwentuhan at nakikipag-usap sa masa. Tumatambay siya sa palengke, sa mga inuman, sa pondohan at kung saan marami ang tao, kasama na siguro ang mga night clubs at videoke bars kasi naging “close” siya sa mga babae na nagtatrabaho sa dilim ika nga.

Marami ang natuwa kay Hesus. Binigyan kasi niya ang masa ng pagkakataong marinig ang kanilang mga hinaing, pinansin niya ang kanilang kalagayan, at binigyan niya sila ng pag-asa. Subalit marami rin ang naasar, kasama na ang mga nasa poder. Ayaw kasi nilang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga mahihirap na umasenso at malaman ang kanilang karapatan. Baka raw kasi mag-alsa at patalsikin sila.

Mahigit 2,000 taon ang nakalipas, ganon pa rin ang sitwasyon ng ating lipunan. Ang mga nakikiisa sa mga mahihirap at tumutulong sa mga dukha ay tinaguriang mga komunista. Ang mga nagsasalita tungkol sa karapatang pantao at para sa kapakanan ng mga wala sa buhay ay tinatawag na aktibista.

Nakalulungkot minsan na isipin na hindi man lang ito naaalala ng marami sa atin sa pagdating ng Semana Santa. Hindi man lang natin naiisip na kung hindi nag-aktibista si Hesus at kung hindi siya hinuli, tinortyur at pinatay, wala sanang Semana Santa. Wala sanang bakasyon.

Labo no? Para bang kung hindi nag-rebolusyon si Bonifacio o di pumunta sa Edsa ang mga Filipino noong 1986 para sumigaw na patalsikin si Marcos wala sanang Bonifacio Day at wala sanang “Edsa celebrations” sa Pebrero. Wala sanang holiday. Ganon lang yon. Ika nga, kailangan ng Biyernes Santo para magkaroon ng Sabado de Gloria.

Semana Santa na. Huwag naman sanang panay pasarap na lang ang ating gagawin. Huwag rin naman tayo magkunwari na kung nakakapag-Visita Iglesia na o Via Crucis ay ligtas na tayo sa ating mga kasalanan. Kalokohan yan. Isipin natin o panoorin (maraming bersyon na ng pelikulang nagsasadula ng buhay ni Hesus na binibenta sa bangketa) ang tunay na kahulugan at kwento sa likod ng Semana Santa.

Ito ay kuwento ng pakikibaka ng isang Hesus na taga-Nazareth, pakikibaka na pinaniwalaan ng maraming tao noong una, mga taong sa kalauna’y lumabas na mga duwag pala, mga taong matapos makinabang kay Hesus ay nagsipaglayasan para iligtas ang mga sarili, mga taong tulad sa marami sa atin sa panahon ngayon.

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‘Holy politics’

THERE’s just too much politics in our midst these days that many of us seemed to have been overwhelmed by it.

No issue is discussed in street corners, coffee shops, bars and confessionals without being colored with politics – from condoms to the passion and death of Jesus Christ.

As the Holy Week nears, expect thousands of campaign materials to greet you on your way to Church, or wherever you would spend the “holy days” next week.

Wach out, there’s nothing holy for desperate politicians wanting to win in the coming polls.

Short of nailing themselves to the cross, our good politicians, or their representatives, will make a show in places like Cutud in Pampanga, the beaches of Boracay and Ilocos, and the churches of Manila.

Instead of reflecting on what they’ve done to society, our candidates have this penchant for calling on rivals to repent and mend their ways.

(One senatorial candidate already called on President Arroyo to repent and pay for the sins she committed during her administration.)

There’s no other week in the whole year than Holy Week when all the hypocrisy in this world are displayed in all its glory, and a good show is expected this year because of the political exercise we call elections.

We support the call of our bishops for discernment before choosing our bets.

We worry, however, about the politics of priests and religious leaders who are supposed to evaluate candidates and endorse them to the faithful. (Are they qualified to propose candidates? Do they really pray more than most of us?)

Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said discernment groups should study the candidates’ characteristics, track record, and public and private lives.

I wonder who among the candidates would pass if we would be serious in looking into their background.

The Church has warned voters against the influence of money. But who are not using money these days to further their ambition? One can just look around and see the thousands of campaign streamers and posters that hang on trees and electric wires. (If only the trees and the electric posts can vote, those with a lot of posters and streamers would surely not win.)

So be wary when you go to church on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Close your eyes and forget about politics. There’s more to life than the coming elections. There’s more to elections than politicians, and there’s more to religion than what priests and bishops preach.

There’s too much politics in our midst to think about issues that matter. Let us just remember that politics is not everything. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts but never succumb to its temptations. For one, politics is not holy despite what the Church says.

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Feed the poor

FAST and help the poor. This was the call made by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on Filipino Catholics as the Lenten season started yesterday with the observance of Ash Wednesday.

Help feed malnourished children and their families. Save money through fasting. Use the money to buy food for the poor.

Easy isn’t it? The good Cardinal said that by skipping meals, we can help those who have been starving for most of their lives.

Unfortunately, most Filipinos have been starving most of their lives.

A survey done by the Social Weather Stations during the fourth quarter of last year revealed that the proportion of families that experience involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months was 24 percent or 4.4 million households, higher than the 23.7 percent in the same period the previous year.

That’s 4.4 million households or about 25 million Filipinos going hungry at least once in the past three months.

And what are those who had something to eat eating? Tilapia. It has become the preferred food of most Filipinos these days, overtaking galunggong.

Dennis Arroyo, NEDA director for national planning and policy staff, said there is a positive correlation between tilapia and hunger in the Philippines.

He said the price of tilapia is cheaper now than galunggong due to aquaculture. He said the price of tilapia per kilo now ranges from P80 to P100, while the lowest price of galunggong per kilo is about P120.

How many tons of tilapia could have been bought, and how many millions of Filipinos could have been fed if our caring, loving, pro-poor candidates did not use their millions on political advertisements.

Data from media monitoring agency AGB Nielsen Media Research revealed that from November 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010, or three months before the campaign period officially started on February 9, the total advertising values for TV, radio, and print of just six of the 10 presidential candidates have already amounted to more than P2 billion.

There would have been a massacre of tilapia if the candidates used their money to buy the lowly fish and distributed it to the poor. Of course, they could have plastered their names on the fish’s heads for voters to know where the food they’re eating came from.

The Lenten season is here and Cardinal Rosales made the right call. But instead of urging the Filipino people, most of them already hungry, to fast, the good Archbishop should hound political candidates who are throwing their money to the air through the stupid song-and-dance performances they have on TV.

Let us fast from the stupidity we all see around us, especially the crazy antics of politicians. Let us help the poor with whatever we have, with what little extra time or thing in our possession. All of us claim to be poor, except for the politicians and those in government. Let us go after them and demand that they address the hunger we face.

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The angels flew

I failed to shoot angels on Easter Sunday. I overslept.

Below are some scenes I shot during the Holy Week.






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