Baptism in the Philippines

*Disclaimer: This is not for the close minded.

I do not mind being a “ninang” (god mother) in the Catholic faith. In fact, I like being one. And when a friend of mine would ask me to be one, it actually makes my heart expand. I mean, come on! Someone wants me to be their kid’s second mom! Beat that! I think to myself, that I may have done something good coz I get to be a second mom to someone else’s kid! I try my best to be a good god mother. Though it is kinda hard when my god child is several miles away from me.

Anyway, so you might be wondering why I’m gonna write about baptism in the Philippines when in fact, I shun away from the Catholic Church’s traditions. Baptism, for me, is not just a sacrament. I never thought of it as one (although I know it is—since being in school as a tiny tiny tiny kid). I know the specifics, why we need to be baptized and all—original sins, washing it away, lighting of the kid’s way, and etc. But for me, baptism is a tradition about telling the god parents what their roles are. And these roles are very important. It is just as important as being a parent yourself, being an aunt, uncle, older brother/sister, older cousin… I thought that the church and I agreed on that. I was wrong.

I attended a seminar a few weeks back. These days, before you can become a god parent, you have to attend a “seminar”, a requirement of the CC’s (Catholic Church). But wait! There’s more. Before you can attend this, you must present a photocopy of your baptismal certificate stating that you a Roman Catholic. Coz you see, if you are not a Roman Catholic, you are not “qualified” to be a god parent. You’re not good enough. Why? Coz you might bring your god child to your own non RC church and the child will be confused as to which religion is the “right” religion. During this part of the seminar, I had my left eyebrow up already. And the worst part came.

The lady, who was conducting the seminar, was explaining to us that everyone who was baptized in our faith are holy and are therefore sacred. Okay… I was wondering, what if it’s a different faith? And I answered my own question through my knowledge of history. The CC has waged many wars. Many people died for the CC. I guess the only holy people are those of the RC faith. She even said that she wouldn’t kiss a baby that wasn’t baptized yet coz they are still unclean. Wow. Unclean. A newborn kid VS a pedophile priest (who the RC church would cover and not turn to authorities). Who do you think is unclean.

So, as the CC would say, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE CHILD TO BE BAPTISED. Well, I agree to a certain extent. But it wasn’t my choice at all. I would have wanted not be baptized under any religion. And that is my right. I do not believe that there is just ONE true faith/church/religion. I do believe that there is just ONE GOD. Funny how we say we all believe in God but continually put words in His mouth. We even threaten non RC’s and say that GOD said those. Come on. If you had such a filthy mouth, God wouldn’t ask you to talk on His behalf.

After attending the seminar, I felt like a better person. I felt better because I don’t bash other faiths. Except my own maybe. And I am no hypocrite.

Something funny happened though. The lady was explaining why it’s important to teach via comparison to the kids. Her example was, here’s a kid who drew on a painted wall. Have the kid compare the dirty wall (with the kid’s drawings) and the clean wall and ask the kid which one looks better. Uhmmm I have a kid and I know which wall she would choose. She would choose the wall she drew something on and tell me that it’s her present for me. Why can’t I just tell my kid that there’s a place for everything like pens and crayons are for the papers and coloring books? This lady from the seminar, obviously, has a lot to learn from a first time mom like myself. But, as she told us, she knows better than us coz she’s been there—with six kids at that. I rest my case.


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