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Another holiday on Sept. 7  

Posted by Laya in

Ah, Philippines. A nation of holidays.

Once again, our benevolent president has declared another special non-working holiday, this time on Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, for the funeral of Iglesia ni Cristo leader Erano Manalo. This, following two long weekends in August, Ninoy Aquino Day being on August 22 and National Heroes Day on August 31.

The last time a non-working holiday was declared for a funeral was not over a month ago, when former President Cory Aquino was buried on August 5, 2009, amidst a massive outpouring of grief and support not seen in the country since the funeral of her husband in 1983 and the EDSA Revolution in February 1986.

Meaning no disrespect to our kababayans who are members of the INC, including my own beloved sister and brother-in-law, but I just had to ask this: When did the Iglesia ni Cristo become the de facto national religion of a country which has a policy of separation of church and state? Inter alia, was the late Erano Manalo really the President of the Philippines and we didn't even know it?

Perhaps, to avoid congestion of traffic during the funeral procession, the declaration might be justified in Metro Manila or at least in the areas where the funeral will be held or will pass through. But in that case, they might as well declare the Feast of the Nazarene a non-working holiday in Manila and the surrounding areas seeing that the procession blocks traffic for miles on end every year.

But to make it a holiday throughout the entire country? For the funeral of a person who established a church of about a million or so members in a country with a population of 60 million? Meaning no disrespect, just stating the facts here. How politically correct (or maybe just politically ambitious) can you be? I now remember that proclamation of the special (but working) holiday for the anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo on the date of this year's SONA. Uh, come to think of it, was the 107th foundation anniversary of the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipay), the church that today is said to be the most tangible remnant of the 1898 Philippine Revolution, with a population of around two to six million, ever given any official commemoration last August 3?

Also, according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, flags will be flown at half-mast for Manalo. Which just makes me ask again, when did Manalo become President of the Philippines, or Vice President, or Chief Justice, or President of the Senate, or Speaker of the House of Representatives? When did the National Historical Institute declare him as one of those persons for whom the flag may be flown at half-mast? Hello, NHI. You made a fuss when Martin Nievera, according to you, didn't sing the National Anthem properly. Where are you now, when people don't follow the Flag Law properly? Oh, wait. Martin is "only" a singer, a performer, an entertainer. The one who ordered that Flag Law thing is allegedly president of this country!

Not to be nitpicking here, but let's just put things in their proper perspective, shall we? Hey, I must be crazy... I'm actually protesting the declaration of a holiday. It seems to me though, that there are too many of them nowadays, when we didn't even properly celebrate many of the ones we already have.

Following on the heels of that National Artist fiasco, this just goes to show... whatever honors you recieve in this country aren't worth the paper they're written on anymore. Anyone can receive the honors due a dignitary if he's influential enough.

This entry was posted at Friday, September 04, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 people cared

I must say I find the article a bit too harsh.

"For the funeral of a person who established a church of about a million or so members in a country with a population of 60 million?"

Christ established the church; Felix Manalo was the last messenger and Ka Erdie is the Executive Head Minister of the Church from Ka Felix's death in the 60's til this year.

You might want to research more. In Central Luzon alone, there are more than a million members of the church.

This means na hindi lang basta-basta 1/60 of the population ang INC.

--

Probably, the contributions of the church resembles greatness at ang pagpapalawig ng Iglesia sa termino ni Ka Erdie, at ang kanyang mga nagawa ang naging basehan kung bakit dapat ipagluksa ang araw ng Lunes.

--

I understand the thought of your article with regards to the half-mast at sa pagkarami-raming holidays pero sana medyo nag-tone down ka na lang sa comparison ng Aglipayan at INC. :]

For me, 'dun sa parteng 'yung ako na-off. Hindi dahil sa sinasabi kong higit ang INC sa Aglipay pero hindi na dapat pang ikinukumpara ang mga ito.

September 5, 2009 at 1:37 AM

@inghinyero:

The quoted population of INC is based on statistics found on the Internet. If you could give me a link to a credible site listing the population of INC in recent years I would be very grateful.

Re INC - Aglipay comparison, they are both churches established in the country, and both "revolutionary" in a sense, although Aglipay is now low-profile compared to INC. I didn't say that Aglipay is better than INC either, I'd say they were in the same range. But then I'm looking at this in a bigger perspective.

September 5, 2009 at 11:56 AM

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