When I was young, I had mixed feelings when this week comes. On one hand, there would certainly be no classes; (that is, if it falls on March). On the other hand, TV and radio take on a turn towards brutal boredom. No offense to whomever may be offended, but the programming was… not very exciting. (Of course, this was a time before the accessibility of the Internet.) If a radio station decides to stay on air, programs were limited to slow music, adrift on the middle of the sea because there are no anchors. Slow songs are good but the melancholy can get mind-numbing at some point. I would turn on the TV then, and I don’t understand why year after year they kept showing the Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston as Moses. Shouldn’t they be showing some movie on Jesus Christ in keeping with the season? The religious programming got extended as years went by. At some point, they decided to finally retire Charlton Heston on the TV screen. TV networks started to show movies which were not exactly spiritual or Christian, but nonetheless inspirational. There was a time they showed inspirational TV movies with local actors/actresses who were popular at that time. They would show recently released movies with family or good values themes. There was a time when they would show the movie, “Tanging Yaman” every year. That was a nice movie. But after some repetitions, it had gotten repulsive. Thanks to the TV executive who had a hand in discontinuing that tradition. As years went by, the programming have become diverse. Thanks to cable TV for entering the scene. Thanks all the more to cable TV for additional channels. Thanks all the more and more for Internet for becoming accessible. Now, I can finally spend a wholly regular week.
Someone commented on the unexpected mass of people in the mall on Wednesday. I questioned why so? She said, “Shouldn’t they be meditating? Well, we would like to believe that people take this time to meditate and reflect, but in reality, it’s vacation time. On the one extreme end of the spectrum, it’s drunken debauchery beach party weekend. On the other end, it’s simply staying home, with some going to church vacation. People in all honesty look forward to suspension of regular work or school, have some time off to spend vacation (whatever “vacation” means to an individual). I have heard laments from the religious that common folk have disregarded the sacredness of Palm to Easter, or even Ash to Pentecost. There are moans on less praying, less going to church, less sanctifying of the season while on the beaches, the young generation of the nation play their loud music in their raucous revelries, or some tamely and timidly stay at home and far from the churches. But that helps in getting a true reflection of human nature. That should help us realize that the Philippines is a nation that trusts and declares itself to be Christian, but in truth is essentially in many parts, carnal. Perhaps, that is the complaint, that some of the religious go through a rude awakening that they refuse to accept.
These licentiousness and laziness should be helpful to any priest or pastor, missionary or minister on why people have veered from the Word to the world, from the parish to the party. Maybe the congregation lacks colorful celebration. Maybe religion misses relevance and necessity. Maybe, some people are just predisposed towards pleasures and passions. Maybe, some characters just don’t have the cards to care. Then again, maybe, the priest or pastor has just failed to preach to the party. Maybe the missionary or minister has not managed to match with mundane and the melancholy.
I guess, that’s the way it is. It’s vacation time. Thanks to the legislation that made the days to holidays. Thanks to the tradition that was respected by the legislation. Thanks still to the forefathers who started the tradition; otherwise we might be going to work or school under the height of heat. In an alternate timeline, this nation could have adapted some other religion that is not Christian. We could not declare holiday by virtue of spring break, because spring doesn’t exist across islands with tropical heat with intermittent cold breezes.
At the end of the day, it will boil down to an individual’s or community’s determination towards spirituality. The spiritual status causes the meditation, celebration, prayer or party.
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” - 1 Corinthians 2:14