SABBATICAL NOTES. 13 JUNE 2014. FRIDAY.
The Philippine Condition before and now.
IN THE HOUSE OF CARDS, Frank Underwood, that man consumed with an ambition to become a leader of the United States of America, said these words at a church, "There is no solace above or below. Only us. Small. Solitary. Striving. Battling one another. I pray to myself. For myself."
Later on, he lighted votive candles in much the same way everyone who believes in the power of the divine and the supernatural light red votive candles for a fee, the fee for the missions, or for some other works of charity.
We have seen many Franks Underwood everywhere, in the US or in the Philippines, the public lives of people like this for a show, their faith staged, their belief a portion of the public sphere.
In the earlier days, a Catholic woman president was shown with her rosary.
A first lady somewhere had had ivory beads dangle on her immaculate hands, the ivory beads gleaming when struck by light, their soft luster reminding us of animals whose tusks the beads had been carved out.
And then another woman president, her leadership given on a silver platter and totally wasted for more than eight years, displayed the same fetishistic way of fingering her rosary's beads, invoking the Mater Dolorosa or the Maria Immaculada, summoning the Virgen de la Piat, and running to the Mother of Perpetual Help for assistance so she could run the country better.
Or, that was what she claimed.
Except that no Santo Niño ever disappeared as in the past during her reign.
We can thus say that this is the reason why the Santo Niño on display now at the Tondo Church is no longer the original.
Even then, people still go there to pray, and unlike Frank Undertood, people pray to their God and pray for themselves.
And pray for others.
And pray for their homeland too.
Is the Philippines terribly poor because we have not stopped praying and that we have prayed too much?