Here’s something crazy I wrote for the INQUIRER years ago. I found it while going through some old documents. Allow me some irreverence. OK, it’s not as well argued as The Da Vinci Code but here are some things to think..er.or rather, to joke about!
Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist contends that every race considers itself as the chosen people. Just watch National Geographic and Discovery Channel documentaries and you can’t help but agree. From Mayan, Egyptian, Japanese, Chinese, Aborigine, and African, and Western cultures, it is clear that ethnocentricity, or the belief that one’s culture is best, is a common worldview. Bible history also tells us that the Jews believed (and still do) that they are the chosen ones. And more recently, George W. has been acting like there are no other people in the world more important than Americans.
Father and son?
If you are one of those Filipinos who, even for a second had considered the possibility that we could be ‘the chosen race’, or that Jose Rizal could have fathered Hitler–a speculation that some people, admittedly under the influence of beer may have discussed ‘seriously’ because of our hero’s height, hairstyle, his pabling ways and his brief stay in Austria– then YOU are the reader I am addressing! You probably love conspiracy theories, don’t you?
HE was one of us!
Okay, so almost every race has assumed a special “chosen” status at one time in their histories. For us Pinoys, I wish to make a claim notches higher than just being ‘chosen’. And what I claim for the Filipino race is this: Jesus was probably Filipino!! Think about it! How could He NOT have been considering the following:
–Jesus had a barkada, also known as the apostles and spent a great deal of time just hanging out with them. How much more Pinoy can one get!
–Jesus was, from all indications, not gainfully employed like a great many of us. At best, He did carpentry part-time. (Being a Messiah is a good thing but not a REAL job like plumbing or being a farmer. You get what I mean?).
–He liked banquets and celebrations, the wedding at Cana and the Last Supper being two memorable occasions. Like a real Pinoy, He was always seeing to it that everyone was fed. One could almost imagine Him calling to people, “Kain tayo!”, and meaning it. Like a true Filipino, he knew food was central to gatherings. And He resorted to extraordinary means like miracles when there wasn’t enough, as in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.
–Like many Filipinos, Jesus spent a big chunk of His life (from His late teen years to His early thirties) in different parts in the Middle East. And like some of our kababayans there, He got into trouble with the law because of His preaching!
–Jesus was closer to His mother than to His earthly father. (Isn’t every Boyet, Juan or Pedro like that?)
–While we Filipinos walk through water during the rainy season, Jesus did His own walking on water. It’s great to be God!
–He had ninongs in the Three Kings– the only people who gave Him birthday presents. And like many Filipino kids, HE NEVER SAW HIS NINONGS AGAIN after that first visit!
–And last but not least, like the Filipino race whose collective memory is notoriously short, Jesus doesn’t keep a logbook of past offenses. He was/is always forgiving!
Convinced? If you aren’t yet, consider this: according to my brother Jesse, the cryptic letters ‘INRI’ nailed above Jesus Christ on the cross stood for Ilocos Norte Region I! Sanamagan! He could have been Ilokano. After all, no one doubts that He has been saving all these years!
How to become good Filipinos!
I’ve often wondered why it is that when we Filipinos are abroad, we generally behave decently as good citizens strictly obeying rules and regulations. And yet, back here we can be so incorrigibly remiss in following the simplest traffic rules, the anti-littering law, and even the bigger ones like paying taxes.
The challenge before us is how to become model citizens right here at home. How to do this? Simple: Let’s proclaim the entire Philippines a “foreign country”–just like Sweden, or Germany. This simple proclamation should automatically make all of us natives ‘foreigners’ in this country we’ve always trashed! Once we realize we are “abroad”, we might just adjust to the laws and follow the rules of our “host country” like we do everywhere.
Think about it, Filipinos en masse becoming law-abiding citizens! No more throwing of garbage indiscriminately. No more spitting on the sidewalks. No more urinating in public. A lot less crime and corruption!
Furthermore, declaring the Philippines a foreign country will be a big step in solving our budget deficit as Filipinos line up annually to pay fees to the foreign government to renew our “brown cards”! And we would never have to leave home to go abroad since WE ARE ALREADY THERE!!
Ronald forgives you
With less and less young people entering the priesthood, I sometimes wonder how the Church will be able to service the spiritual needs of the large Catholic multitude.
Perhaps the Church could learn a few things from fast food companies like Jollibee and MacDonald’s. What if confessions were handled like a drive-thru service? A penitant could literally drive through and after hearing the “Good morning sir/ma’am can I help you” greeting on the intercom, start reading his sins from a menu on the board, as in, “I committed 5 large lies, 3 small thefts, 3 double sexual indiscretions, etc.” He then gets directed to the window to collect his penance, recite the contrition prayer and get absolution.
Cut the bull. Let’s really party!
I was watching a documentary about the bull runs in Pamplona, Spain where thousands of locals and tourists risk life and limb for the thrill of running with charging bulls through the narrow crowded streets of the town. Talk about doing something mindless, not to say reckless. And yet no amount of blood and gore will stop people from attending this yearly event. In fact, the risk of being bloodied may be its big come-on.
Given this walk-the-edge side of tourism, the DOT guys might take a cue from Pamplona and plan similar, if not more exciting alternatives for adventurous tourists in Manila! Think about it! Put two thousand tourists in, say, a narrow street in the Malate area. At a given signal, they are told to run like hell while we release upon them dozens of bag and cell phone snatchers and thugs itching to rob or mug them senseless!
In comparison, the Pamplona Bull Run will be about as exciting as knitting in a rocking chair!
As a postscript to my previous blog about missing Sir Paul’s concert, my sister wrote to say he sang 35 songs, and that it was such a great concert. And yes, all she could do for me was get me the proverbial souvenir t-shirt!