Holy Crap

6

Written on 2:00 PM by isko b. doo

I remember exactly when I stopped going to church. It was my birthday during my second year high school, the first day of Misa de Gallo. It was still 4:30 a.m., but the air inside the church was stuffy, nearly clotted by the sheer number of people inside. It felt like we were Jews during the Holocaust about to be gassed.

I was sandwiched between two massive bulks, a mother and her daughter I guess. The daughter gave off a scent that could only be described as vinegary sweetness -- a blend of sweat and perfume. Meanwhile, the mother, well, forget the mother. I huddle closer to her daughter. Two grown men in front of me blocked my view of the pulpit. The hum of the priest's voice ricocheted around the walls. I felt very drowsy.

I heard the priest bless the cup containing the "blood of Christ," I strained my neck and I couldn't see what he was doing. I heard the priest bless the Holy Eucharist, I tippy-toed and still I couldn't see what he was doing. Fuck this!

I stormed out of the church and went out to buy
puto bumbong. Never paid much attention to priests since then. Oh, I've been to church several times. I even attended Misa de Gallo again and attempted to finish the traditional nine mornings. I would have completed it, too, if the girl I was courting that time (and that is why I was escorting her) hadn't said yes on the 7th day. So the day after, she went to mass alone. Hehehe.

So what went wrong? It seemed silly to drop religion on account of a little acidity from some girl's armpit, wasn't it? Yes, it seemed silly but, to borrow a worn-out phrase, that was the last straw.

I grew up with my lola in an old house stuffed with religious images. Aside from the Holy Family, we also had a Sto. Niño, the Sacred Heart, a big rosary, and a poster of Jesus Christ. I grew up venerating these icons, especially the Holy Family -- more prehistoric than my lola, I was told.
(Hmmn... antique? Ka-ching!)

Back then, we prayed a lot. I was quite adept at praying the rosary and could recite the mysteries backwards; the Angelus at 6:00 p.m., the way of the cross to Shrine each Holy Week; I even knew how to pray the novena for every occasion,
sa patay, sa buhi, sa hapit na mamatay. When I wasn't at home, I was at the catholic school I go to and you guessed it, recited the rosary, prayed Our Father and droned out the Hail Marys. Oh, almost forgot the three o'clock prayer.

No, there's no Eureka moment nor was I hit with a thunderbolt which triggered a sudden realization that all my life I've been had by religion. My reason was much more mundane and bland than that. I just got tired of it all.

Which gets me thinking... why is it that priests speak in monotone? No, scratch that. Why is the whole Eucharist conducted in monotone? The voice of the priest, the songs, the melody -- all make for a banausic impression. I have a theory. I think, it's a grand conspiracy. The lifeless, bromidic ritual taps into our alpha waves or something, lulling us into relaxation and therefore more open to suggestion. You remember those tapes back in the 80s that supposedly dribble satanic verses when played backwards? I think when you slow down the ceremony just about right, you could hear subliminal messages whispering "we are the way or you're going to hell" or "give more to the collection plate or you're going to hell." They have
nearly two millennia to perfect the system, right?

I mean, all that ceremony and what do we get!?! The Holy Eucharist which is no bigger than a five peso coin. The priest doesn't even allow us to sip the wine! At least, other religions feed you with a sandwich and juice. If you have to be fucked in the behind, might as well be fed for it. I draw the line with Quiboloy and his Kingdom of Christ, however, they not only not feed you, they make you sell
pulvoron in the guise of scholarship as well. The only thing which sucks more than that is my blog.

I've been called a lost child, an agnostic, atheist, or even a satanist. Sometimes I welcome the labels, just so I know I belong to something. Don't get me wrong, I envy those who don't question and just let their faiths steer their destiny. They seem so cute and placid, like sheep. Awwww...

It's easy to think that being amoral sans responsibilities is fun but it's difficult to suspect what has dominated and continues to dominate all aspects of my life; it's especially difficult to doubt when it's all I have left of my lola. If nothing else, religion was our connection. She was proudest when her apo led the novena for the first time and our neighbors praised my skill. She never said a word but I'm sure she looked at the empty space beside her when she recited the Angelus in front of the Sto. Niño.

My lola is now dead. I cried hardest when at the time she needed it most, I couldn't even allow myself to recite a short prayer for her. I wanted to but that seemed hypocritical. I guess at that moment, there's no turning back for me.

Yet, this whole crap is so embedded in me that even as I conclude this entry, I mentally make the sign of the cross.






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6 Comments

  1. Dupa Jasia |

    Tutt was used to charging by this time, and avandia he betrayed no hesitation.. To the world he darvocet was just Gideon; that was enough.. My grandfather Titbottom instantly advanced, and moving briskly reached the top of the plank at the same zantac moment, and with the old tassel of his cap flashing in the sun, and one hand in the pocket of his dressing gown, with the other he handed the young lady carefully down the plank...

     
  2. Cheska |

    i have always believed that there are certain times in our lives when religion is prevalent coz it is most needed at that time in one's life.

     
  3. isko b. doo |

    yeah, and religions know that too! We're making it waayyyy to easy on them. :P

     
  4. Adobobo |

    Ah yes, the holy week post. Ako lang yata wala.

    Something in your post just made me remember the sleepovers I had at my Lola's house. The last thing I'd see before sleeping is this framed portrait of Jesus hovering above Lola's bed. And His heart glowed and flickered red and orange. That was all I'd see in the dark.

    Wala lang.

     
  5. yeng |

    Bwahaha. That was the first time that I really laughed out loud over something about religion. I tell you I used to be a Catholic but then I realized thirteen years ago that I needed to have a deeper relationship with Jesus and my Catholic faith seemed not to have provided it by that time. And yet, I never really condemn or mock Catholism, for that would mean mocking my family. I do respect the way they worship God, for anyway religion is a matter of choice and no one has the right to question one's faith.

     
  6. isko b. doo |

    @adobobo:

    We had an icon just like that. Couldn't stand it. it looks scary at night. Jesus' eyes seem to follow me around.

    @yeng:

    Thank you ma'am! couldn't say it better than that. :P

     

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