Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Holy Week

It’s that time of year again when Catholics all over the world reflect on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ – the very foundation of their faith as Christians. Old traditions and habits are hard to break. Starting with Palm Sunday, OFWs in these parts of the desert attended mass last Sunday in droves. They may miss a few Sundays now and then but not during holy days of obligation. A bit surreal is this man standing at the door of the church giving out date palm leaves...probably a more historically correct version of the palms used than our Pacific, south east Asian version of the coconut palm.

People took the palm leaves and sat quietly waiting for the mass to begin. Pinoys on the other hand offered an interesting twist to this rather somber and ho-hum affair by fiddling with their palms and converting them into heart-shaped or caterpillar looking objects complete with antlers and legs! Oh the creativity of being Pinoy! The rest of the community was marveling at how deft our fingers are at the art of palm leave weaving/crafts.

I remember transforming coconut leaves into watches, balls, mattresses, skirts, and many other things while at play. With the growing trend of urbanising and sibdivision-ing (is this even a word?!) large tract of lands that is Manila, children no longer have the trees and natural environment to play in. Creativity and imagination is dumbed out by ready-made plastic toys from China.

The ability to create things and make it beautiful is a gift from God and a talent/skill we should encourage our children to develop in themselves. The decline of our country’s moral fibre goes hand in hand with our relative decline in many ways – and one is the natural joys of a youth at play – not with material things but just with nature and fellow children.

On second thought, while I’m reflecting on Holy Week and self sacrifice, I better hide the PS2 till Easter.

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