As I always admit, I do not go to church every Sunday. However, August 13, 2006 is a more complete Sunday since I was able to push myself to go to my favorite church.
Baclaran, Redemptorist Church for me is the place where I can clearly pray. I can still remember when I was in college that I went to Baclaran on some Wednesdays to recite and sing along the immaculate novena for the Mother of Perpetual Help. I even remember during my early childhood days playing at the aisle of this church and wonder how I could reach those colorful balloons at the church’s ceiling that have flown and skipped other children’s hands.
Surprisingly, every time I come in this place, I feel that my prayer is so complete. People who have gone to this place may say otherwise, but not for me. Other Catholics will admit that there are some churches where they can focus praying better than the one in Baclaran.
Moreover, going to Baclaran is a feat in itself. It’s like climbing Mount Banahaw (which, by the way, I already did). Why? It is because before you can reach the church, you need to penetrate the hoards of people coming in and going out of the church; those sampaguita vendors who would offer their merchandise right to your already oily face; those jeepneys calling and waiting for passengers since they are about to start their route may it be going to Monumento, Divisoria and Sta. Cruz in the north or to Alabang, Zapote and Bacoor in the south; those big black loud speakers playing songs from pirated CDs; those mini-colored TVs running pirated DVDs; those mouthwatering lechons (roasted pigs) for sale being displayed on the street; those carts cooking ‘isaw’ and ‘tokneneng’; those vendors barking aloud their various commodities for sale (curtains, posters of Phoebe Cates, graded eyeglasses, blouses, calculators, slippers, panties, fruits, bottles of ‘pamparegla’, and a lot more); plus other people with varying reasons why they are there. It is so surprising that as soon as you step in the gates of the church, all these mayhems seem suddenly gone. It’s suddenly calm and you would feel a sigh of relief. It’s like being home after a serious battle.
Maybe this is the reason why I love going to this church. It’s like being rewarded by reaching the House of God after passing through the tough hurdles in life.