I live in Luzon, the island north of the Visayas, and didn’t feel the earthquake at all. I was worried definitely about the earthquake as I have friends and family who live in Cebu. I am one of the many who are thinking, let’s count our blessings that the 7.2 quake wasn’t as destructive as the 7.0 quake that almost decimated Haiti. However, the crumbling of the churches in this region was what bothered me the most.
I’m not an avid Catholic (hahaha), but I love churches – firstly, the architecture just always blows my mind. Secondly, it’s not just the physical makeup but the solemness – sitting in a church, a beautiful, grand church, always gives me an overwhelming feeling of peace. Yes, overwhelming and peace are not quite congruent, but that’s how I feel, like my cup runneth over or something. Despite the flaws in the religious practice, I do believe that God visits these churches and this is where the serene vibe comes from.
I saw this post on FB trying to insinuate that the damage to these churches was God’s doing, like He wanted to punish us as in the old testament. WHAT. Hello, people, these are super old churches that were built by indio slaves under the stern eye of the whip-holding fraile (okay, I exaggerate). And this was a 7.2 earthquake. God did not smite us. Get a grip.
This short blog post on the churches and the Catholic Church’s scope of responsibility by Angela Stuart Santiago resonated with me and you should read it too. Her main point is the Church is very able to rebuild the churches on their own without the government’s help – although it would be nice if the government did help (my 2 cents). But do read her: http://stuartsantiago.com/catholic-churches-crumbled/
I don’t fully believe in Catholic religion, but I believe in people having something to believe in, and having a place to worship that belief. So, I hope that the churches be rebuilt as soon as possible, and made safe for the people with this faith. Like Stuart Santiago said, this is the place where the faithful feel the safest in. Game na.
On a lighter note, my sister-in-law Erica shared this hilarious post on FB, still on the subject of the earthquake and faith: