Thursday, September 30, 2010

Manobo Mass, Anyone?

I joined the First Friday mass today. The mass that I attend during first Friday of the month is usually in the English language. When the entrance song was sang, it was in acapella, there was no accompaniment. They sound good, anyways, but I kept on figuring out what language the priest is using. He does not look a foreigner either. One thing for sure, I never heard of it before.

The priest then introduced himself, he belongs to the SVD (Society of Divine Word) order. He's a missionary who has been living for 16 long years in a Manobo community in Agusan del Sur educating the people there and building a school. That's when I figured the dialect he's using is a Manobo language. The choir was composed of Manobo children and they sang the Eucharist songs in the Manobo language flawlessly. There were also few songs sang in the English language and that's when I appreciate more their singing prowess. They sound like angels singing from nowhere making every word of the song and the meaning of it live and linger in your heart.

His sermon was striking, compelling and heartwarming. He told of a story of one Manobo family. When the wife gave birth to her daughter, the husband went to his relative and sold his daughter, the newly born one for only 1,000 pesos! The heartless buyer, just got the baby away from the weak mother who just recently given birth. The sad part is, the money was spent by the father in drinking spree. The elder sister, who is now his student in the school he founded always drool in tears whenever she remembers about her younger sister whom she never know the whereabouts now.

He made the choir sang in the Manobo language and after singing, he explained the message of the song to us since we did not understand the language. It tells about the predicament that lumads are experiencing in the highlands. They feel deserted, unloved and unaccepted by the community of other dominant groups of people who inhabit the island of Mindanao or Philippines. Is it because they lack education? Is it because they live in the highlands, literally far from the comforts that life could offer in the plains? Are our hearts plastic, empty and indifferent from what they feel? They are also Filipinos just like us. They also have feelings just like us.

Friends, what do you feel when you see a lumad? How do you treat them? Do you feel you are superior over them? Have you encountered one of them? Share with me your thoughts....

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  1. All humans are created by God and must be given proper respect and dignity by all sectors of society. We must accord our minorities the proper respect and support to make their lives more bearable and respectable. Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

  2. Hi Sir Mel. You are right, very well said. Thanks for the visit & comment and God bless you too and your family.



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