The Hedonistic Celebration of Special Occasions
By Impoverished Filipinos
By Apolinario Villalobos
Many Filipinos borrow money to celebrate special occasions such as birthday, fiesta, and anniversaries…I mean here, Filipinos who cannot even afford three square meals a day. They hinge their desire on the wrong justification that the celebration is just once a year, anyway. What they forgot is that the obligation to pay the debt could stretch for not less than three months, especially, if the money is from a loan shark who slaps suckers with as much as 20% interest per month! These unthinking Filipinos are blinded by arrogance as they want to show others that they can afford to splurge money. They also forgot that the people who know them are already aware about their impoverish status in life, so that any effort to cover it up, is useless.
The hedonistic way of celebrating special occasions among Christians is an influence from pagan Romans who were converted into Christianity. The Roman Saturnalia was celebrated for days with fun – dancing, drinking, eating, and sexual activities with wild abandon. Not only was Saturnalia celebrated without let up but anything that can be used as an excuse. This hedonistic practice was brought to the Philippine archipelago by the Spanish friars who preceded the contingents of armed conquistadores who came on galleons. The friars used the celebrations that they masked with spirituality to entice the natives to come down from their mountain abodes with eventual motive of converting them.
Today, the influence is so deeply rooted that it has practically ruined the character of Filipinos in general. As mentioned earlier, many Filipinos would go to the extent of borrowing money from loan sharks in order to celebrate “debut” of daughters, fiestas, birthday, etc, for one day, and suffer from the consequence for months!
On the other hand, those who can afford to feed a barangay as a way of celebrating their birthday, for instance, may go ahead, as nothing could stop them, not even this blog that serves as just a simple reminder, and which they may even view as an idiocy!