By Joshua Corcuera
This coming Thursday, April 14, we will observe Maundy Thursday as part of the Holy Week which is observed by Catholics globally. Here in the Philippines, the sacred week is widely recognized by the people with work and classes mostly suspended from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. Thus, people usually go home to their provinces during Holy Week and spend time with their relatives. Similarly, that means rest from studies on my part. But before we head on to rest for the coming Holy Week and observe the various traditions and practices associated with such, it is important to look at the events that transpired these past few days.
Who could forget the three Filipino Catholic priests—Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora—whose execution by the Spaniards in 1872 led to a surge in nationalism among Filipinos? Probably some housemates in the popular show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB).
Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora are collectively known as GomBurZa, after their surnames. In PBB, some housemates were asked by host Robi Domingo: Ang tatlong Catholic priests na sina Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora na hinatulan ng kamatayan noong panahon ng Kastila ay mas kilala sa tawag na?
And what did the housemate answer? MarJo. At first, the answer was unsure until the final answer became MaJoHa. Unsurprisingly, this MaJoHa thing trended recently in social media—causing ire among netizens. Some said that schools must be opened immediately, while others said that an education crisis must be declared as suggested by Vice President Leni Robredo and that teachers must be well-supported in motivating students to learn. Others also blamed parents for being allegedly irresponsible in the education of their children, allowing them to lack discipline in their studies.
With all of this, it is essential to remember that the GomBurZa were wrongly implicated as the masterminds behind the 1872 Cavite Mutiny, where roughly 200 Filipinos in the said province protested against the colonizers for repealing the exemption of forced labor.
The martyrdom of the GomBurZa was witnessed by around 40,000 people in Bagumbayan and caused Filipinos to strongly dissent against the Spaniards. The impact of the priests on the Filipinos during that time was strong, including the Rizal brothers Jose and Paciano. As a matter of fact, El Filibusterismo was dedicated in their honor. Hopefully, everyone—including the PBB housemates—know, at the very least, who wrote El Filibusterismo.
There is a strong storm in the east of the country, typhoon Agaton. What is peculiar is that the typhoon occurred during April, something uncommon. Normally, typhoons in the country are active during the months of June to September—though they can occur anytime during the year. Still, it cannot be denied that a typhoon in the month of April is a strange thing, something which we hope would not become a normal thing in the future.
Future storms are projected to be stronger, and stronger storms are expected to be more frequent due to climate change. It is essential for society to be prepared to deal with the impact of typhoons in the future, as well as mitigating climate change as much as possible at present.