Pinoys thrive on celebrities. a pinoy will not survive if he or she does not get a glimpse of an actor, singer, politician, or any famous person in a day. it has been known that the real punishment for inmates in the New Bilibid Prison is not the prison sentence itself but the limited access to the TV for your favorite soap opera. riots have broken out not because of staring contests but debate who’s the better villain: Lex Luthor or Amor Powers.
meanwhile, outside the Bilibid, crimes are still being committed in the names of Derek Ramsey, Anne Curtis and Christine Reyes.
and almost every pinoy on facebook has a “celebrities i’ve been with” album. people want to associate themselves with celebrities. heck, if they could make them their relatives (or attempt to make a connection that only separates them by 5 or 6 persons), they would! but that’s us trying to reach them. this other celebrity i know is trying to reach out to us.
i was definitely blessed to see the on-going exhibit of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s relics at the gateway mall. though not a ‘devotee’ of the late Pope, i still feel like he’s a lolo (grandfather) who wants to hug me like an apo (grandchild).
sabihin niyo ng “feeling close” but that’s how i see it. that’s how most pinoys see it — that the Holy Father has a special place in his heart for the Filipino people. it may or may not be true but with the value and love we show for the Blessed Pope, it’s difficult not to feel that way. or maybe it’s his warm smile and welcoming nature that attracts people — not just us pinoys.
as i went around the exhibit and read his words with his pictures, it brings a melange of emotions. they were spiritual, wise, and heartfelt messages to the youth, to various sectors of society — families, the media, governments — everyone, and their role in the Church and their role for Christ. you will definitely say that the Pope knew Christ intimately by reading through his homilies in the exhibit.
though not yet a canonized Saint by the Catholic Church, i’ve seen people touch, hold, and pray with their eyes closed around the Pope’s relics. they’re probably asking for his intercession or blessing. but as a reminder to all Catholics, i share St. Jerome’s message:
“We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are.”
we are all called to be saints. so take care of your body and everything you own. who knows, they might be relics that might draw others closer to Him in the future. 🙂