I’ve been wondering how expats (religious or not) deal with Catholicism in this country. We just had Holy Week and then Pope John Paul II was beatified and then there is the RH Bill debate in which Bishops here in the Philippines are so opposed-so much so a priest uttered something not so nice to a congresswoman.
If you don’t mind, I’ll just focus more about Catholic faith after all, 60% or 70% of Filipinos are Catholic (the others are of different religious sect).
So of course Catholics has been subjected to many criticism, many controversies as some of the moral standards in which values are being uphold differ from what is being preached. This is especially true for the priests involved with child molestations. Any violation on the laws morality should definitely be investigated.
Having said that, still if there is one thing that binds Filipinos together, it’s religion. Philippines is country whose religious beliefs and devotion to Catholicism is very much evident in most of the day to day living.
As everyone knows, religion is powerful force. A potent shield against a dictatorial ruler of the nation of decades past. It help unite many Filipinos for just cause. As the only Catholic country in Asia, religion gave many Filipinos the freedom to worship and strengthen faith. This religion has helped us go through the adversities whether political in nature or something else.
As country with so many Catholics, Doctrines and Laws of Catholicism is still very much followed here – no to divorce, no to abortion, no same sex marriage. That there should always be that moral fiber in everything a Catholic does. A devout one will always adhere to these doctrines. But the argument there for so many, a person has choice for everything, and that these laws should not be shove at to all Catholics.
Well, let’s see, I studied at all girls private Catholic school- elementary all the way to college- yes, sad I know, nuns everywhere. I had to do 4 weeks of summer work for theology class project. I’m so Catholic and so conservative! I’m no expert but I pretty much know about morals and values. But I think being Catholic, there are so many restriction of actions an individual must take into consideration. Oh well.
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned religion is so much part life here. Many homes have symbols of faith. Sunday is a church day. For every occasion, everything will need to start with a prayer. Schools here have morning prayer, afternoon prayer, an Angelus and then, prayer before going home. In the malls there are prayer services. And yes, there is that Twelve ‘o clock Angelus. In my school before, there is a 9 a.m Angelus, then a 12 then 3 pm. These are samples of everyday living where you can see religion as part of a Filipinos existence. There is so much more, actually.
For those who have been in the Philippines for quite some time now, is religion important to you as they are to many Filipinos? When it comes to relationship, Is it factor or hindrance to your marriage? If your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend is Catholic, do you go to church with them? You pray with them? You worship the same way that they do?
Of course you have your own religion. But what if you don’t have any, or it’s different, are you willing to convert? Now these often becomes a basis of argument among couples. Lets face it money, infidelity are major reasons why couples go on separate ways. With Religion, it either makes the relationship stronger or it can also be the cause of a break-up.
A relationship with a Filipino will always involve religion. There are traditions and laws of morality that comes with being a Catholic.
Whether expat or not, whatever religion you have…or you don’t have. A validation of love is to understand and respect the choice religion of your partner.
Well, Amen to that and peace.