NETIZENS are on an uproar against one “magsasanto” or religious image follower for what Kapampangans on Facebook branded as “arrogant and prejudicial” posts versus Pampanga folks’ Holy Week religious icons.
At social networking site “Anyare!” a page notorious for ridiculing religious symbols, one John Felix Santos is getting more bashing than he expected, after allegedly ridiculing, using invectives and belittling Kapampangans, who posted their comments on the page.
Swamped by outraged, appalled, and anguished members of the Aguman ning Camaderong Kapampangan, a group of religious image owners and caretakers, the posts have been immediately erased from “Anyare!” but not after slighting and injuring Kapampangan religious sensibilities.
Kapampangans, especially Catholics, love their Holy Week images. Not just because they are works of art. They are icons of their unwavering faith and beliefs, laboring years for their creation, upkeep and preservation.
They spend a good fortune to adorn them with expensive garments and whatever else the image needs at home, aboard the “karo” or inside the church.
Santos touched this very nerve of the Kapampangan faithful who would certainly take the battle to the heavens if their icons are belittled and worse, cursed.
Even his apology for the “misunderstanding” would not be taken by netizens who would rather call his actions deliberate, even as Santos professed “it was never his intention to cuss at Kapampangans.”
It will come to pass, he added. Maybe. But the deep wound that scarred Kapampangan religious sensibilities would certainly take a long time to heal and will definitely leave a mark whether posts are taken down each time they pop up.
For the camaderos, it has become a racial matter that demand more healing than expected.
Somewhere along the way or the web, Santos may have lost his religion. But Kapampangans, with their deep religious sensibilities and strong faith, would never lose theirs, come hell or high waters.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on April 21, 2017.
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