30th Sunday_OT_B
October 25, 2015


As I write, tens of thousands of my fellow Pinoys are jostling, inching, and struggling their way through the snarled traffic to get to the venue of “Tamang Panahon” – a phenomenon gone world wide, if we are going to judge by the sheer numbers of tweets that it has gotten – and, still – getting – the “Yayadub” phenomenon!

I beg the indulgence of my foreign readers in North America and Europe who do not have the faintest idea about what I am referring to. Suffice it to say that millions of us Filipinos, both here and in the diaspora of more than 130 countries all over the world, have been, since July 16, glued to their TV sets at lunchtime to join the noontime show known as “Eat Bulaga” – in particular, what they call the kalyeserye featuring Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. (Let us not forget Wally in his role as Lola Nidora!)

Only the most dense person would not see this as a phenomenon worth observing! Even the blind in our midst follow the story line by line, with television sets all over the country kept blaring almost all day. The teeming masses of both educated and not so much educated people follow the story. They see more than what others don’t seem to see. They find excitement, entertainment, fun, love, disappointment, joy, tears, laughter and the whole gamut of normal human emotions in the show. They find meaning. They find values. They identify with characters. They see themselves in one or the other of the main characters.

They see more, not less!

Our readings today are an invitation to see more, not less. They are a rousing call to faith, to see beyond, to see what others may not see.

We live in a faithless world. One educator and writer that I chanced upon today. Mary DeTouris Poust wrote that in her religious education classes, she looks today at her students and see the future ex-catholics! And she minces no words when she says that it is due to poor faith formation classes, lousy homilies, and the failure of catechesis in general – given to the parents of these same students.

We are all blind in some way!

And yet, like Bartimaeus, teeming millions of people are endlessly running everywhere to look for meaning, for guidance, for light! Many of the tens of thousands who flock today to Tamang Panahon, are looking for more than just the “kilig” factor (the feel-good emotions). Those who will stay home but will stay glued to the TV sets are there not only to find occasion to laugh, cry and root for their favorite character, but also to find some sense in a seemingly senseless world of violence, corruption, and terrorism.

Many of them want to be reminded of the good, old-time values of a bygone era, of the unwritten rules of etiquette and good breeding, and a sense of trust in a personal Higher Power, who guides our existence and reminds us that being good and moral is never outdated.

I would like to invite my friends and readers to do two things… The first is simply this … admit that all of us are like Bartimaeus … blind, in darkness, but in search!
The second is to imitate him who made good his search and operationalized his desire for light.

He got up from the roadside. He stopped his dependency trip and quitted begging when he heard the Lord was passing by.

He took his future into his hands and cried out: “Master, I want to see!”

Friends, I admire you for your desire to get entertained by Al-Dub or “Tamang Panahon.” I am one of you and one with you in hailing the show and praising it to the skies. It is an undeniable phenomenon, by now. But I ask you to do more. I ask you to see the beyond that you really are looking for, for behind all our earthly desire is the ultimate desire for God!

Look beyond Al-Dub. Look beyond this “dubsmash” phenomenon. Look beyond the earthly desires that you have! See more!

See God inviting you inspite of your blindness. And “he who seeks, finds!”