Tag Archives: 2013

Of Sinulog, Thanksgiving and Holding Hands

11 Jan

Important: This post is pretty personal and touches slightly on religion-related things, so read at your own risk, I guess? I don’t want to offend anyone.

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[Photo courtesy of my friend, Jerry. First day novena mass crowd! :D]

I’m not someone who’s considered to be “religious.” Yes, I attend mass regularly, read the Bible, pray and sing praises, but I’m not too big on the devotion part. Like, I don’t know most of the saints and their feast dates, I don’t know a lot of standardized prayers (I mean, those that have specific words, like the Lord’s Prayer) and what they’re really called, and I’ve never tried simbang gabi.

I guess it’s because of how I grew up. I didn’t go to a Catholic school until college, so we had Values Ed classes instead of Religion, where we talked about God in general and I had classmates of different faiths. I learned that prayers were conversations with Him, so personal messages from the heart were better than formulaic prayers (like writing a love letter to your special someone versus forwarding a text quote). I learned that it wasn’t the amount of time you spend in church or how many Bible verses you can quote that really mattered, but how you share your blessings and attend to those in need. I learned that it’s better to give than to receive, to thank rather than ask, and that without love, anything you do or say would be meaningless.

So for all the years that I went to school and worked very close to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, I, admittedly, rarely attended the novena masses. When I did attend, it hadn’t been voluntary; we had to go as a class because our teacher said so, etcetera etcetera. I don’t remember participating in the procession (though I might have when I was a kid, with my parents), and on those times I went out to join the Sunday festivities, it was all in the name of fun and partying.

Not until last year, anyway. But even that wasn’t really my idea; my (not yet) bf had invited me to go with him one night, after we had play rehearsals. I found out that he wasn’t the “religious” type, either, but he did it as a way of giving thanks. So I ended up joining him some nights, and ultimately at the procession. It was an extremely long walk and there were so many people… well, you get the drift.

And now January’s rolled around and it’s Sinulog time again, with today (well, yesterday technically since it’s, gasp, past midnight, so let’s specify that as January 10th) as the beginning of the novena masses. Having received so many blessings in the year that passed, I’m really thankful for a lot of things, and while I’ve said my thank yous again and again in various ways, there’s always room for more thanks. So I resolved to attend the novena masses this 2013, even though I hate crowds, even though it always seems to be raining this time of the year and I’m not a fan of the rain either… because what better way to show love and thanksgiving, right? I’ve just got so much to be thankful for, really.

(Starting with the guy you might see me holding hands with at church. 😉 But don’t tell him I said that. Haha. :P)

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