Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what if God was one of us?

This was more or less the context of the second segment of Holy Week show of NoyPi, ABS-CBN's post-Bandila show. NoyPi would stage situations to determine how the Filipino would respond. Reactions would then be analyzed by sociologists and psychologists and other experts.

Last Monday, the second segment was about a guy posing as Jesus. He'd approach people in or coming from the church and start a conversation. At some point he would ask them, "Maniniwala ba kayo kung sabihin ko na ako si Kristo?" Would you believe it if I told you I was Jesus Christ?

The reactions were quite expected. Some got angry, some thought him to be a lunatic, and one even responded, "Oo. Lahat tayo si Kristo." But there were some quite interesting reactions from a couple of people.

The guy approached this old lady who just finished lighting a candle and her prayers. He went and told her that she should just lift up her concerns to God. To which she responded, "interesado talaga ako diyan sa sinasabi mo. Interesado talaga ako. Maari ba kitang makausap?" And so they had a conversation about her problems. In the middle of it all, the guy spilled his spiel of being Christ. The lady looked at him, with slight doubt and was somewhat apologetic, "Pasensiya na, kung ako ay may agam-agam pa." But in the end, it was all good. She appreciated the conversation and a chance to unload her yoke.

In another story, the guy was talking to another person when a woman listening in to the conversation approached him and said, "Maari niyo bang mahilot ang aking asawa?" It turns out, she and her husband were homeless. The husband was paralyzed for a few years already and had trouble moving. She asked the stage Jesus to massage her husband. The stage Jesus was actually doing a great job, being accommodating and solemn the whole time. He massaged the man and probably had a conversation about lifting burdens to God. When asked what the paralyzed man felt, "malamig lang." But his wife answered with a slight sense of hope despite the discovery that it wasn't Jesus who held his husband. She was saying, "first time ko kilabutan ng ganun nung sabihin niya na siya si Kristo." What could've those goose bumps meant?

Several others, who may not have believed him to be Jesus, were just glad to have someone come up to them and have a conversation with.

Was there a black and white response to such a situation? The priests and sociologists don't seem to think so. Those who deny or accept the man as Jesus can not be branded as lacking in faith or strong with it. It just goes to show, we all love God in our own ways and believe in Him in the way that we are most comfortable with. And at the end of everything, people just need to believe in something greater and something better. Thus the goose bump reaction from that lady, maybe? Hope is enough to keep going.

What would my reaction be if I were approached? I'd definitely be a doubting Thomas. With Judiel Nava surgically transformed into a woman, it's a little difficult to just accept any man who comes and claims to be Jesus.

Sidekuwento: Timing how this story was featured at a time I was reading C.S. Lewis "The Last Battle" where the Ape pushes the Donkey to pretend that he is Aslan so they may control Narnia. Wala lang. ko-inki-dink.

Too bad it seemed to be NoyPi's last episode. It was only my second time to watch it in full, then bye-bye already? I do hope it's a temporary hiatus. With all the not so good things happening in our country, a certain sense of positive nationhood and personhood is necessary. I think NoyPi does a good job in reminding Pinoy's of good ole' Filipino traditions.

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