It was a different Palm Sunday from the usual Palm Sundays that I would have. For one, I spent it in Sydney Australia. I attended the Holy Mass in Australia’s mother church of Catholicism and where this year’s World Youth Day will be held, at St Mary Cathedral.
The experience was very different from the Pinoy set-up. The palms used were not the colorfully decorated ones and not the intricately weaved type like the ones available in Manila.
The palm leaf that they use was a plain and simple leaf cut into small portions. Also, it is for free as provided for by the church. Unlike in the Philippines, you got to spend a couple of pesos to buy the most beautifully designed handcrafted Palm. That is why, palm leaves in the Philippines gets endangered to near extinction during this time of the year.
The mass was simple yet solemn. I was surprise to witness that the cathedral was full-packed and a lot of Catholics attended the mass of different nationalities. That is why the mass had simple short prayers done by selected youths of Sydney spoken in different languages. I was amazed that the second person to pray was a young Filipina praying in the Tagalog dialect. I noticed that it was the only Asian language spoken during the short prayers, the rest were either of European or of African language.
It was so cool to find out that the church officials allowed us to sit on the floor for comfort since the church no longer has areas where church goers can rest their heavy butts.
I also noticed that the folks after the Holy Mass did not bring home their respective blessed palm leaves. They would either dump it into the trash or return it in the basket where they got it at the entrance/exit doors.
In my case, I brought it with me like every Pinoy folk would do. It’s blessed and will be in my house in Manila for the next twelve months. I still believe (like every Pinoy does) that these leaves drives away the bad spirits, ghosts and evil monsters like “bampiras” and “manananggals”.
Siguro walang aswang dito sa Sydney kaya tinatapon lang nila!