De Leon: Go and make it ‘simbang trending’

IT’S that time of year again! How excited are you?

As the nine-day “Simbang Gabi” (dawn Mass) kicked off last weekend to start the Christmas season in the Philippines, the Catholic faithful, especially the youth, were heavily reminded that the traditional novena is for worship -- not courtship or anything else.

"It is not defined as SIMBANG TABI and definitely not SIMBANG LANDI," they say.

But in reality, it’ nice to see young people in love going at dawn to attend Misa de Gallo. The church has always been a perfect place to see our beloved. Thus, go.

Go, if you're looking forward to Puto Bumbong and Bibingka afterwards.

Yes, we can always have these anytime, but savoring it during this season makes it even more delicious and special.

Go, if you're attending because of #FriendshipGoals. How nice it is to plan a theme or matchy-matchy OOTD (outfit of the day) together that is instagram-worthy. (This includes our beloved Parade of Gangstas ala Xander! 'Nandiyan nanaman sila!)

Go, if you're wishing to whisper that wish. Growing up with this tradition, we are so committed to complete the nine days because we believe that wishes will be granted. Even if you are on your 20s I know that you somehow still take some chances on this.

Regardless of your current motives, I am sending my big praise to everyone -- not just millennials for continuing to religiously attend the predawn Masses despite the rampant commercialization and materialism in society.

Intentions do evolve over time, and this goes for everyone. What is important is that you're there and the Lord sees you -- struggling to keep your eyes open while in school or office uniform.

We wrestle with the snooze button. We find our space in the midst of the oversupply of churchgoers. We make bets just to push ourselves to complete all nine. That itself is a sacrifice.

You're all welcome regardless of what they say. Go and make it viral. Go and make it trending. Gather more likes, shares and attract everyone. (It's a bit crowded, but there's surely more space.)

May the Lord grant your prayers! Enjoy and have a Blessed Christmas!
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