No classes in Manila, January 9, for the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo. This will mean another day of rest for majority of Manila employees, teachers and students. While it sounds to be good, I can’t contain the feeling of being annoyed after watching the news that as early as yesterday, Quiapo Church up to Quirino Grandstand in Luneta already has packed of devotees camped outside, ready to vigil in order to get a sure chance to thank, kiss and pray to their patron saint “the black nazarene” on its feast day tomorrow. Some even brought replicas of “the black nazarene”. This event really saddens me. Seriously, I don’t want to pick fights in this post but I just want to be honest and blunt enough to share something that some of us can ponder.

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I graduated elementary and high school from a Catholic School. Back then, I have tried questioning some of the beliefs and traditions that devoted Catholics do practice, like having different images where devotees would caress, wipe, kiss and bow down to their patron saint/s. They would pray and thank their patron saint/s for the answered prayers. They would sweat it out just to show their sincerest devotion to it. Worst, they would even call these images as “God” himself. As a Christian, It challenged me to understand that these are all unbiblical beliefs, teachings and traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation.