Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out Where the Action Is

We just got home from the Welcome Mass of the Miraculous Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese at her Shrine in Manlunas. Before that, we joined the Procession starting from the Barangay Hall towards her shrine.

It was well attended and joining it gave me an insight of the Filipino culture. We walked ahead of the Therese mobile with the Wang wangs, the Talulot Winners contingent with their festive drum beating and the pick up of GMA's Jessica Soho Reports (no, Jessica wasn't there, only her crew).

As we were walking, we distributed white and yellow flaglets to represent the colors of the Catholic Church. This was so that when the relics pass, the people would wave at her as a sign of our warm welcome.

As a group of children passed by me, I gave one of them a flaglet. All of a sudden, like piranhas eating their prey, my flaglets vanished in a second as the rest of the kids grabbed them from my grasp. A girl, perhaps around 10 years old, belonging to their group, asked if I had any more. I told her I had none anymore. She then curiously asked me what was happening. I told her the relics of St. Therese had arrived. She gave out a grin and said, "Oh I thought there was a fire!"

I guess we Filipinos always go where the action is. Just like a band of blind mice, we go where the tide takes us not knowing exactly where we're headed.

We also more than always are curious if there's anything happening. I remember when I was a kid. A factory that was several blocks away from the house was on fire. As if there was anything I could do to stop the fire, I still went out of our gate just to see what was going on.

Lastly, we are a festive people. If there is the slightest reason to go out and dance, we would. With the coming of the relics, people were out on the streets. They were standing with their candles and flaglets. The kids were shouting Viva St. Therese. The people were dancing to the beat of the talulot drummers. A group of kids even followed the GMA pick up just shouting, "GMA, GMA" (not the president, but the tv station).

It is all these characteristics and more that make our people unique; and make planning a procession easier. You just know our kababayans will not hesitate to stop what they're doing when they sense a commotion or a parade and come out in the streets. What more the coming of a great Saint as St. Therese?

No comments: