One finger out, four fingers back at you.
(Courtesy of neillneill.com)
After my breakfast in Greenbelt, I decided to take the less frantic route back to work (read: through the mall, and not the pedestrian walkways) since the mall would be open by the time I finished my meal.
As expected, there was a "sleepy" feel walking through Greenbelt, as shops were just beginning to open. As I got closer to the escalator, I noticed that some people were frozen in their spots. (About less than half of the people in my range of view.) Everyone else was either strolling through or getting to their shops for work.
Curious as to why some people were rooted where they are, I became cognizant that something was blaring through the mall speakers: a prayer that was asking for blessings for the day's shoppers, and the mall workers. Since there is a Catholic chapel in the midst of Greenbelt, I concluded that this was a Catholic prayer. I proceeded on my way to the escalator as originally planned.
Fortunately for my blog, I had to pass a group of "rooted" middle-aged ladies. Their heads were supposedly bowed down, but they would look furtively from side to side to see what everyone else was doing. In my mind, I described them as not really being that deep in prayer if they had time to survey their surroundings while going through the motions and appearance of being "prayerful", but that's their life, not mine.
Perfectly content with not minding them, I was not returned with the same courtesy.
The lady standing in the middle started giving me the evil eye, and nudged her companion to her left, shaping her mouth like an aardvark's towards me. And as I was about to step on the escalator, they both lifted their heads to audibly say, "Bastos. Di nagdadasal." (So rude, not praying.)
I smiled back, and said "I'm not Catholic."
As my ride was getting higher, the one on the left tried to have her parting shot: "Dasal parin to. (This is still a prayer.) You should have prayed."
In one fell swoop, she has outlined the problem with organizations like the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) in the current RH Bill debates: they don't care if you're Catholic or not, they have to get their way.
I could hear the prayer still being said over the speakers. And since writers should have the last word, I motioned my finger to my ear, and hollered back:
"You're a Catholic, why aren't you praying?"
That shut them up.