Tuesday, February 05, 2013

i went to church on new year's eve in boracay.

And it was one of my favourite experiences of the whole trip.

This sign was in front of the church, and I think it's perfect, whether you're religious or not.

I'm not Catholic, but when an employee of the hotel we stayed at asked me if I wanted to go to Mass with him,* my response was "Yes!" I thought it would be interesting because I had never attended a Catholic service (other than Christmas Advent at STU) and the service would be Filipino. 

I ended up going with the owner of the hotel (picture a classy, grandmother type) and two of the female employees.

The church was simple, but beautiful. All of the Christmas decorations were still up, making the building seem magical. And there were small lizards hanging out on the ceiling; I counted 7.

We arrived an hour before the service started and were some of the last people to get a seat. The sides of the church were gates and they were open so more people could fit and crowd inside. The pews were beyond full and there were a lot of people standing at the back, the sides, and outside, even though it was pouring rain (the result of another small typhoon).

I was one of three Caucasian people there; the other two were older men, who I think were married to Filipino women. I was stared at a bit (I've gotten used to it since coming to China), but everyone was smiling.

It was a beautiful service. Most of it was in Filipino, but the songs were in English. My favourite part was when they did the offering and the choir sang "O Come All Ye Faithful." (It's one of my favourite Christmas carols.) They sang other Christmas carols, too. I've never heard anything like it; my smile must have been huge the whole time.

I felt so honoured to be there, that the Old Lady (as the hotel's employees called her, affectionately) took me with her and made me feel welcome. I'm glad I went, instead of just going to a bar and drinking as planned. I think spending the last night of 2012 experiencing something new was the perfect way to end the year.

P.S. Read about other highlights of my trip here, here, and here.

*I had asked him about church and had expressed interest in attending. Don't worry, no one was proselytizing :)

1 comment:

  1. This makes my heart very happy! Some of the best parts of my Europe were the foreign church services! Glad you enjoyed yourself. :)


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