The people of the Philippines are sacramentalized but not truly evangelized. Bishops at the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCPII)
Before the Spaniards landed to the Philippines, our first Filipinos who dwelt on the old Philippines were engaged in a trade called barter system wherein products were being bought and sold not by money that we modern people are using today but by products also in exchange of products according to the agreement between or among the parties involved in the trade. Here, our ancestors of old were connected not only for the products but also for meeting people from different lands who came from places of unknown tongues.
Our neighbor land China was one (actually, it still exist : MADE IN CHINA is familiar to you right?) of our trading friends in these barter system. Chinese brought their almost everything together with themselves, that is, they will be living here and so today, in this very Philippines, we have so many Chinese who were engaged in higher places of public and private standing especially, in businesses (Hmmmmnnn.... Isn't it unfair? As far as my poor intelligence is concerned, the population of the Filipinos now in China is more or less or absolutely, zero.)
After they brought their sleepy-looking shaped eyes of themselves here together with their goods contaminated by so many dynasties there from their big land , many of them decided to live here and do living.
Then afterwards, the Spaniards came.... Bringing the Cross of Salvation from this pagan world. Those who appreciate the old stories of the Philippines who felt the feet of the Spaniards walking on its land will know the adventures of the ships of Magellan and the rests of the Spaniards who came to the Philippines and neighboring lands. Evangelization began In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.... Many pagan Filipinos now became heir and heiress of the Kingdom of God.
Now, how about the Chinese? There were Chinese who were baptized by the Spaniards and called them Binondo, while the unconverted ones were called Parian.
Then how is it so that paganism is still alive in the Philippines despite the evangelization of the Spaniards on this land?
Because our native Filipinos hid underground their animistic/pagan practices during the stay and evangelization of the Spaniards who came bringing cross and sword to the Philippines. Before the colonizers from Spain landed here, the Philippines is far from the Christianized West meaning, it is a far land that received Christianity openly in general unlike the neighbors of the Philippines who were untouched by evangelization. I really believe the fact that we were speedily baptized because we're really, really, Filipinos of old and of now are very very friendly and super hospitable that all is always welcome to us! Whether the foreign is good or bad. Whether it is good culture or bad. All is really welcome to us that so, we embraced the Christianity that led us to the Holy and True God who is the Creator of all creatures and, sadly, we added it with bitter, spice, and everything that are not nice like the foreign paganism combined with our own paganism and so on. And also, before we embraced Catholicism, the Filipinos were so amazed by the animism and paganism of their own that they were moved to use it constantly because of its efficacy, the things of it which brought good luck and protection to them, etc. that they laid underground when the good and great gift that the Spaniards gave was only the Christian Faith and the most of the rest were of course, bad.
And here were foreign paganism that the foreigners, especially the Chinese, hid also from the Spaniards and later on were flourished by them decade after decade and up to now, mixed of superstitions, paganism/ animism, occult practices and many more are living up to now. And the causes of Filipino paganism's undying power and longevity are the antiquity of it passed and grew from generation to generation from our great, great, and even super great grandparents whom they shared to their sons and daughters and so on with matching credibility on the way they verbally shared and/or handed these things to them. Also, it is because of our true and real nature, the very nature of Filipinos really of being super friendly and hospitable individually that we welcome additions of paganism to our own practices, depending on the variety of one's own needs and wants and what are the most prominent and endorsed by famous people especially those who enjoy stardom. And sadly also, many of us are so easily getting in believing things already even if there is a great percentage that these sayings were ultimately untrue.
In addition, people nowadays are bombarded by so many invitations of "lucks" from reading materials like newspapers (whether tabloid or broadsheets) who cater horoscopes and fortune-telling especially palm reading and dream interpretation everyday, from always available neck-fashion medals or amulets or agimat or anting-anting that're sold just outside of the sanctuaries and churches like the Quiapo Church, from the bystanders who offer palm reading, fortune-telling, card reading, potions, many forms of "healing", from Chinese colorful and eye-catching paraphernalia advertised as lucky charms for any dealings of a person's day to day life, etc. and the hidden tactic of it all was that these things have new faces today and their appearances as I said, were quite or totally fancy and tempting and many are super filled with mystery, excitement, thrill and adventure that no one can resist oneself not to avail or not to use it - this things of neo-paganism, and its sister, New Age Movement.
How can we combat these?
First, let us all be guided by The Word of God from the Sacred Scriptures. And God is speaking to us right now. Now, what is He telling? About paganism/occult?
"When you come into the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of the peoples there. Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations the Lord, your God, is driving these nations out of your way."
Here, we see that the Lord, our God, is telling us that such deeds that He mentioned then to the Israelites, His chosen people, was, (and still now) a disgust to Him. There are rites or rituals or practices that God prescribes to us to praise, to adore, to venerate, to glorify Him, and now, He entrusted it to His Church. The rites or deeds that He mentioned were not of Him, so, it was (and it is) not a right or a good way to address Him through these things because by doing so, using these rites or practices, people were addressing it to other powers that are not of God, not of the Lord and, these powers were no other than, Satan the devil, and his demons.
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