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mmerry, Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the time of year when cheers are spread throughout the world, the only reason why we all come back to family and kiss under the mistletoe. Where snow is abundant in New York and Manilenians flock to Luneta singing “Pasko na sinta ko ..”. It’s December 25 and by golly, it’s Christmas!!!

Pagano ba dating? Sabi sa texto, “Wala tayong pasko, gawain ng pagano yan” What is pagano or paganism. In layman’s term it simply means belief based on idolatry. Wikipedia  explains it beautifully – “a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions.”

You know dear friends, personally I never really did take this pagano – pagano thing quite seriously simply because when you look deep down into  tradition which we practice, there wouldn’t be anything we do today that couldn’t be linked to paganism. For example the worshipping act itself. We condemn civilization that worshipped the sun, moon, and what have you. These people offered everything to their “god” including human sacrifices.  Now we worship  our god on our terms and conditions. Where’s the difference? The “worshipping” act was being practised way before our “civilized” society.

On Christmas we have our bonuses or as some call it the 13th month pay. We try to argue this by saying it’s the law to give out the 13th month to its employees so there is nothing wrong to accept it. But remember, there would be no 13th month pay had there been no Christmas to start with. And those raffles, gift-giving, parties, raffles, etc. etc.  that we are discouraged to participate in.

Oh come on! Give us a  Kit-Kat! Year end is arriving and I wonder who among our Tagapangasiwas and their families will be driving back home in their new Avanzas, their wives doing the rounds on their new laptops with pseudo FB accounts. After all, the year end Pasalamat is over and money is abundant, for awhile anyway. It’s really fun to spend other peoples money don’t you think, no remorse one way or the other. Just pure fun and luxury! Come to think of it, I wonder where our king and his whole entourage will be celebrating new year? Well, since he stepped into power he has never really been here around new year has he?

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In anything we do religion included, it’s the essence that is important. When you start to believe that you and only you are the chosen one, that’s when things get complicated. Think for awhile. All the religions preach love and compassion but then why do religious fanatics exist? Why do they kill and shout “Allah!” ? A Japanese guy when once asked why he was prejudiced against Muslims entering Japan, he answered, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

When one claims exclusivity and shouts it to the world, you’re inviting disaster. Worse when it’s religious exclusivity. Claiming “God recognizes no one except us”, “Only we will be saved, all others will suffer in hell for all eternity!” That was how all this in-fighting started and will never cease because the belief in God, their God is so strong – their religious faith overcoming all man made laws. The principle that they can do no wrong under their God is a deadly justification.

We are not so far behind. Brethren have started taking sides. Each with their own understanding of the situation. Some have chosen to be quiet, others still active in their own right. Sadly, killiings have started too. One victim was a very close friend of mine.

And a few just relaxing on the beach and saying to themselves, “Life goes on, God in His infinite wisdom has allowed this to happen inside His house, and as obedient sheep we simply move on utterring, ” baah, baah, baahhhh….” waiting for their pastor’s return.

 


 

Ka Farley de Castro, please accept my family’s deepest condolences on the death of your beloved father.  We share with you your grief during these trying times.

  • William Smith and Family