Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nation of Believers

Faith chooses no place and Filipinos the world over exemplify that belief more religiously than any other nation of faith. Wherever we are, whatever place we try to fulfill our dreams, we always devote a piece of our time to pray, to praise and give back gratitude for every single moments in our lives where we wake up to a good or bad start. As innate part of our culture and character, we are firm believers. It doesn’t have to be Sunday for us to go to worship. We don’t need special occasion to pay our church a visit. We don’t have to be home to show that we believe, we trust and we humble.

Today is Sunday. In Dubai and in many Middle East countries, today was the start of a busy week and everyone is back to business. Came dusk, amidst mercury rising at intolerable levels, people flocked to St. Mary’s Church, the only Catholic church in Dubai city center for a moment of devotion, repentance and purpose seeking. Halfway across the largest Christian nation in Asia, Filipinos congregates to hear the Good Words and for a few seconds in their OFW lives, pray for the welfare of their families and loved ones. Why are we so drawn to attending masses despite the traffic commute, the crowd and our busy schedule? Why are we so inclined to stand for one hour and receive but sermon on our false doings? The answers cannot be found in the whispers of thin air that kiss your face as you enter or leave this place. It is right in our hearts and the sincerity of our intentions.

Most OFWs in Dubai live by themselves and away from their families. In case you have never been separated from your loved ones for some time in your life, you would never really understand how it feels to be in the doldrums. Most Filipinos, who go to church, be it in whatever day, are parents, sons and daughters who left their families behind, praying that they’ll be safe and blessed all the time. This is the only efficient way to show we care and though miles away, we always think and dream for them. Being inside the church brings in a different kind of feeling like the whole place opening up and you won’t feel any hesitation or shame to say way what your heart wants to say. There are ears ready to hear, arms ready to embrace and tongues who will never judge, betray and condemn.

I don’t frequently visit the church but I am trying to at least go there once a month. The sight of Filipinos packing the church, owing aside from the fact that the priest is a charismatic Filipino, is a testament to our devotion to God’s will and divine guidance, something we have inherited and passed on from generations to generations. There are wishes to make and desires both personal and professional that we aspire to happen. Lord, give me a new employer and hopefully a better paying job. Lord, keep my family healthy and safe all the time. Lord, move me away from vices and temptations. Lord, thank you for all the blessing and for all the lessons I learned from the bad things I did. These are things we might feel awkward to tell a friend but inside the church, we feel the total liberty to do so.

Something of course, never changed or rather cannot be changed. While there are people who go to church to worship and give thanks, some get there for the show or just to meet their friends. Inside the compound, there are Kabayans selling lots of Pinoy kakanin. At the gate’s entrance, plenty are distributing leaflets for tourist packages, additional income, Arabic tutorials, condominium properties in the Philippines, etc. Within the vicinity of the church, before and after the mass, it feels like you have never left home. We are still people of faith, a nation of believers no matter where we are and wherever our dreams take us.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Duboy,
    I couldn't agree more with you. Truly, we are a nation of believers wherever we are.

    on a personal note, i am very pleased/happy to know that you're in fact going to church. :-)

    May God bless you always, friend.