Idolatry In The Philippines: A Glaring Issue

Pic taken from http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/
Pic taken from http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/
Pic taken from http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/

“I the Lord Am Your God, Thou shalt not have any other god before Me.”

This is the first commandment of the Ten Commandments. Pretty simple, or so it would seem. The thing is, when this is discussed among common Filipinos, their idea of “another god” is usually another religion. However, the true definition of idolatry is a lot more complicated than some people might think, especially here in the Philippines.

Yes, we like to claim that we are a “Christian country” but I cannot help but wonder if majority of Pinoys even know the essence of Christian values. Sadly, despite the way so many Pinoys like to clamor about being “Christians” or at least devotees of Christ, corruption, crime and immorality take center stage in the Philippines. Note for instance how the issues of the Pork Barrel are now being forgotten even though it is probably one of the chief reasons the Philippines is so helpless against foreign invasion and natural disasters. Note also how the SAF 44, the brave men that they were, are now being overlooked and swept under the rug because the government is too busy furthering its own agendas despite the fact that their deaths were a clear act of murder and terrorism.

While it may seem far-fetched to some or even a lot of people, I think that idolatry or the worship of false gods is pretty commonplace in the Philippines. Of course, again, these people will probably claim that they are Christians and not even realize that what they are doing is or can be called “idolatry” even though it probably qualifies. If you aren’t convinces, well, here are my points:

People Jealously Protect Celebrities From Criticism

Okay, first and foremost, I think that it’s okay to admire some celebrities. It’s also probably okay to imitate some of their antics from time to time. Heck, I’m willing to admit that there are also quite a few celebrities out there that I admire as well.

Unfortunately, with some people, they begin to worship celebrities. Instead of simply admiring them, they treat them like gods and center their lives around them. Think of how some people continue to praise and glorify Kris Aquino despite the fact that her actions in the past would probably make her a very poor example for the youths of today. Take note also the large number of people who seem to think that Manny Pacquiao is some kind of savior to the Philippines who can somehow lift the country out of its current issues despite the fact that he isn’t exactly the most astute member in Philippine congress.

People Put Celebrities in Office

Another glaring problem here in the Philippines is the way celebrities manage to become politicians even when they aren’t exactly qualified for the role. One of my previous articles was criticized by commenters claiming that it was our corrupt politicians to blame for the current state of the Philippines and not the people. However, I need to ask, who was it that put said corrupt leaders in office to begin with? Was it not the people who voted for them in the first place.

Sadly, while we may claim to be a Christian and democratic country, I can only say that majority of us probably don’t know or understand the responsibility of being a Christian or a democratic country. All things considered we, as a people, are more of a cult of personality wherein it is all too often the most popular who win elections and not the person with the right qualities.

15 Comments

  1. Jose Rizal is Icons of Filipino people, Ninoy also is an Icon of Filipino, So as Sultan Kudarat was an Icon of Himagsikan in Mindanao. Now ang mga ito ay may Rebolto ika nga nila. at sinasabi nila na ang mga filipino daw ay mahilig sa Diyos Diyosan. ang ibig sabihin ba nito ay Diyos sila ng mga Filipino. I don’t think So for this people are one of the best examples of faith. pag sinabi kasing Idols, Icons or Idolatry is that sila yong mga taong Dapat tularan dahil nagawa nila makipaglaban sa kasamaan ng mundo, they strive themselves to make it despite their being ordinary man into Holiness..

  2. Based on your perspective I highly suggest you read more books and less television. Because you’re quite into deep with the belief that most Filipino people are savages living in holy wood. That’s practically saying you’re demeaning your own race which is definitely not a good idea.

    Celebrities and Criticism – Well, the lack of culture and art in this country says it all. However I think its because the people who lack the appreciation of authentic Philippine art and culture, so if it bothers you then checking out historical landmarks and other important national figures and icon in history would help instead of bashing how most people you’re surrounded with are benighted gnats.

    Celebrities and Government Offices – First of all their called public figures and reaching out to the masses is their main job description. What is the point of being a public figure if you’re not doing something for the good of the community – no matter how shady you do it – the point here is their influence over the masses is huge, and that power alone can topple a government figure. You should be just glad being a simple commoner because celebrities are merely scapegoats and sacrificial lambs. Who would want to wish them into office? I would. (Hint, hint – I’ve been in a political skirmish before and its totally corrupt, so I wouldn’t be surprised about people whining after the official they’ve selected by default.)

    Christianity Vs. Paganism – Excuse me but I have to ask you to retract your statement that Christian beliefs have pagan roots. Based in history we all know that the early Filipino’s were conquered and forced to accept Christianity. However our roots as Filipino is clearly Pagan after all we are a nature based tribe, so did the early Greeks and Roman cultures, Gauls, and other early people. Christianity was merely introduced by a radical prophet called Jesus Christ – his not a god merely an instrument of the spirit and to be considered merely as an avatar or an ascended master.

    Christianity as a whole – Is an organized religion. It’s a monotheistic religion that focuses on the belief of salvation and damnation. What their clergy men don’t tell you is how you legally furnish papers on defecting from your membership. The formal act of defection however has been abolished since 2009 so us people who wanted to choose atheism over any more religions are insulted by this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_act_of_defection_from_the_Catholic_Church

    Since ancient times people have been carving doll size humans to worship and to symbolize the different faces of nature and spirit. It’s merely how humans express their inner self through tangible means.

    You’re god exist only within your heart. It doesn’t mean his not real but trust in the unknown and have faith in yourself. You’ll be shown the way whether your good, bad, christian, or not everyone is guided by the spirit. Your belief are yours and other people’s belief are theirs. Don’t be foolish to be dogmatic just accept the eccentricity and live with it.

  3. Most Filipinos Catholics have forgotten that this statues are just mere images of the Lord and His Holy Saints. Christians in the Philippines are abnormally demanding and by this action, they overpower the Sacred Authority of our Priests, ignoring most of the Church’s doctrines and sufficing to their own beliefs. Putting the idea of graven image worship aside, Christians (and also people of other religions) have infested by the vice of giving more importance to material things than people.
    These are some of the reasons why most Filipino Christians can be already considered as a cult.

    These are spiritual problems that we surely must solve together with the grace of God and by our prayers and good works

  4. Probably even you yourself Idolized Pacquiao for he honor to our nation. if its true that you believe Idolatry then don’t make any selfie or you should not take picture of your self or your family. for they have the same principles in your so called Idolatry.

  5. Does that mean when the Filipino who Idolize Manny Pacquiao means that Pacquiao is their God, Huh are you totally Absurd and out of your mind. are you Blind when we say Idol we don’t make them as God but only as an example to do the best thing we can for they are the best example. they have inspire as.Rezal has a atatue Ninoy Aquino has a Statue, Sultan Kudarat has Statue, does that mean they are God?

      • Filipinos are fonds of Idolatry and Mwnny Pacquiao is one of their Idols therefore manny Pacquiao is their GOD!

      • they have the same principles as your so called Idolatry, you are talking Saints in the Catholic Faith na nakipaglaban sa kasamaan ng mundo, they strive themselves to make it despite their being ordinary man into Holiness. and they are not Gods But they are the best example of faith they have followed the teachings of Jesus Christ of being Pure and Chaste and be Holy

  6. I thought Definitely Filipino doesn’t allow topics with religious (or atheistic) themes? I should point this out as precedence in case I feel compelled to write something.
    Pinoys started as pagans before the Spaniards came and introduced Catholicism. They compromised and let Catholicism and paganism mix to make it easier for the pagan Pinoys to accept this religion. Take note of this.
    As for your ‘real Christianity’ thing, I could care less. You can yammer about how RP is a nation of idolaters and it would make no difference. RCC or whatever brand of Christianity you adhere to makes no difference. The bible, the basis of your faith, is full of rubbish anyway.

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