On keeping offices open

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


CEBU City’s two top officials, Mayor Mike Rama and VM Ed Labella, will keep their offices open during the Holy Week celebration.

But will they be manning their offices? Mayor Mike said, “The mayor’s office will be open. That means, I will not be going anywhere. Meaning, I will be around.” VM Ed Labella said his office will be manned by a skeletal force to respond to emergencies.

Sure, their offices are open.

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Mayor Mike Rama said he will be attending the “Buhing Kalbaryo,” the 17-year-old Holy Week presentation spearheaded by his office on Good Friday at the San Nicolas Parish church.

But there would be no actual nailing on the cross of the person reenacting Christ’s crucifixion in the Buhing Kalbaryo.

If there were, who would Mayor Mike have wanted to be nailed on the cross?

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The Catholic Church frowns on the practice of crucifixion and self-flagellation during Holy Week. It was only Gilbert Bargayo who actually had himself nailed on the cross during Good Friday in Cebu.

Persons who played the role of Jesus in all other reenactments only had their feet and hands tied on the cross.

In one such reenactment somewhere in the city many years ago, the actor playing Jesus, with his hands and feet tied on the cross, cried for help when a deranged man showed up with a hammer and nails.

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It’s rather uncanny that during Holy Week, some scholarly studies come out on some ancient piece of papyrus scroll about the life of Jesus.

The latest was a piece of papyrus three inches wide and crammed with Coptic text, confirmed as genuine, with Jesus mentioning "my wife" in a conversation with followers.

There was The Gospel of Judas, now there’s The Gospel of Jesus's Wife. What’s next?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 17, 2014.

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