[June 25, 2006]

MagicSing is making lots of money, so does the videoke machines where you can sing to your hearts delight just by popping five pesos and those KTV joints are making hay while the sun and the moon shines. These thoughts came rushing to my head pretty much like ecstasy triggering tidal waves of serotonin, just now after hearing mass.
 
Most Filipinos loves to sing, whether in the shower, cooking, driving and just about doing anything. We either hear someone whistle a familiar tune or hymn a familiar song while we’re walking or waiting in line and being a predominantly Catholic nation I guess it would be safe to assume that or logically say that most Catholics loves to sing. 
 
If that would be the case then who can give me a logical explanation of what happens every Sunday at church that I’ve observed for years now. Well the past years have been better, but this year has got to be the worse. The choir sings and the people hearing mass just listens. I’m not saying that everyone just stands there and listens to the choir. But just about a dozen or two really do sing the praises.
 
Isn’t it true that when you sing your praise is that you actually double the worth of that praise (I may be mistaken, but I think a former seminarista once told me that) I don’t want to sound like a holier than thou person for I too has my own share if not a bigger chunk of sin that chokes the heavens but for God’s sake, how do we save Roman Catholicism from more criticism than what Dan Brown has already ignited (OT: I love the book, The movie version was good but not as good as the book, one more thing, all the historical facts that Brown cited was not of his own discovery rather but of others way before Brown’s time, the genius of Brown was that he was able to incorporate all those historical facts into one story) if we ourselves cannot compel ourselves to sing praises?
 
Two years ago, there was one someone very close to me who invited me to attend in one of their services. They are “Christians” or more popularly known as “Born Again Christians.” At first I was reluctant being afraid to be swayed to shift religions but then again I realized that only those with weak foundations in their faith would be swayed to jump to the next faith. So there I went. And I got to know their faith and found out how deep they really are. Sometime during bulletproof sessions some of my friends would ask how it felt when I went there the following paragraph is my perpetual answer.
 
I never thought that their place could be so overflowing with people dancing and singing praises and feeling God is with them. Seeing and feeling for myself of the presence of God. If that feeling could exist in one place then God must really exist there. Most of those who criticize “Born Again Christians” might want to attend one of their services to fully understand why they’re happy with their faith. It’s not how solemn the mass is or how lively the dancing is or how you avoid eating pork rather it is your belief that there is the genuine presence of God where you practice what you practice.
 
And then someone would ask so why not be “Born Again?” I answer “I may have high regard in their faith than any other else’s, but with my experiences with Catholicism, I think I’ll die as a Catholic.” (OT: However, now, that someone who invited me to their services and made me hold them in high esteem has somewhat reversed my belief in them. I thought they’re perfect, well that someone turned the tables on how I regard Christians.)
 
And that being said, I guess I really need now to understand why the hell do most Catholics refrain from singing even to the refrain of Papuri sa Diyos?  We are not compelled to dance or trance in any way. All we have to do is sing. I guess I’ll never really get to know the answer and it will be better if I regard that as one of the “mysteries of the Catholic faith.” But, you know what I do when I attend mass, I tell myself if I can sing along with Nine Days’ If I am while crusing thru traffic or belt my throats out with The All American Rejects’ Swing Swing, I sure can the hell SING, SING to Ama Namin.