Filipinos are fond of attending Simbang Gabi (9 Mornings Mass, or whatever) every Christmas Season in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. Last 18th of the Month, I passed by San Pedro Cathedral, and here is how my experience was and my thoughts about it.

I’m undecided whether I should feel proud and pleased or dismayed and ashamed about the fact that a lot of Filipinos are attending the traditional Simbang Gabi every dawn at around 3AM-4AM. If you would have witnessed what I did last December 18, 2010, you’d understand why I’m doubtful on how to react to this issue.

It’s always heartwarming to know that there are Filipinos who keep up with the tradition of attending these early masses truthfully and religiously. And it’s also noted to be the rear opposite when they just go to mass for the sake of attending it, or at worst, for the sake to show off your clothing and see some pretty girls – something which most males are guilty of.

I thought attending mass on the day noted above, but my body protested extensively, telling me that I should head home and get some rest from the (most tragic and unfortunate) gimmick that I had earlier. After all, I wasn’t appropriately clothed for the mass, and I was so dizzy and sleepy that I would have ignored all input provided by the preacher in front.

It’s curious to say the least why Filipinos, totally drunk head to church. Yes, you could justify in a way that they at least made the effort to attend mass (come what may), but even that won’t be reasonable from my point of view. Show some respect, please, you don’t just head into the church drunk.

As I continued my walk along the San Pedro Street right in the midst of Downtown Davao, I passed by a family of five. I thought to myself, “how dear of this family to spend time together to attend masses”, but my first impression was abrupt put to a hold when I heard the woman speak in tongues that should not be spoken in the church. Nag simba pa ka.

Questionable, too, is the decision that the Mayor has made in facilitating most of the San Pedro Street around the Rizal Park and the San Pedro Cathedral for vendors. Not that the Holiday Season has already been captured by capitalist and is marked as their favorite consumer holiday, but it’s getting more locale, more in depth as well. Then again, I do appreciate the funfair of all this and that, and the fact that people near the poverty line get a chance to sell stuff to customers (whilst the customers will be able to get cheap stuff, too), but it’s up to you to decide if it’s acceptable or not. Aside from the placement, right in front of the Church, with a place that accommodates drinkers not too far away, I think, that it’s been a pretty well thought idea.

Please be reminded that you’re attending the masses not to show off, not to look for beautiful girls, and that you have to behave accordingly while inside the premises of the lord. Take note that Christmas is not about materialism, but about the birth of our savior (for the Catholics). I hope that all of you will have a wonderful Christmas!

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