If the Nativity Happened in Today’s Philippines
a Christmas reflection by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
John would have prevented him, saying ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’
But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented” (Matthew 3:13-15).
If the nativity happened in today’s Philippines, He would be born under a dark gray bridge and left to sleep on an even darker tire. His parents ran out of gas on their way to visit some relatives in another province, and it so happened that all the neater places they could’ve stayed in were closed off because of holiday partying. Fortunately, the construction worker’s house they stumbled upon had quite a kind family, and all its children gathered around Him as their parents proclaimed that He was the Messiah. Mary and Joseph hadn’t even bothered to tell that poor yet faithful family about who their Son really was.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, Mary’s pregnancy would be known more easily, not even being much of a surprise to her neighbors. On the other hand, people like the neighborhood doctors would frown at her, thinking her another poor person ignorant of what they consider proper family planning. Adding to their disappointment would be the fact that she’s a middle-class high school daughter of some very decent and very supportive parents, and that she fell in love with an actually decent but still very much older man of mixed heritage.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, Joseph would be the son of a former corporate executive. When he first met Mary, he was already an Engineering graduate, while she was just about to enter college. He hesitated to further fall in love with her because of concern for her future, but he eventually decided to push through with it and care for her mysterious Son.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, Elizabeth’s pregnancy and Zechariah’s muteness would be all over the tabloids and social media, the only outlets the couple wouldn’t have been able to stop from attempting to cover their situation. As for the others, they were all vehemently refused, no matter how polite and lavish they offered to pay for the coverage.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, those who would bring gifts to Him would be rich and passing acquaintances of Mary and Joseph’s families. They would happen to identify the Holy Family’s parked car on the expressway, and they would pay visits, giving the family of three hard cash and insurance coverages as well. Some of those acquaintances were also government officials under orders to find the prophesized Messiah, whom the ruler of the country would love to kill out of insecurity, but those officials turned against the country’s ruler out of faith in Him.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, the Holy Innocents would be secretly poisoned children, all of them officially claimed to have been taken by some recent viral outbreak. Only few would actually believe in those children’s parents, and the ruler of the country would even mock the victims.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, the Holy Family would flee to America. When they return to the Philippines, they would end up settling down in Mindanao. The Messiah would grow into a well-off engineer there.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, the filing for His government papers as a child would be quite a commotion thanks to His patient and praising believers. The Messiah, without Mary and Joseph’s foreknowledge, would also be found later on as a boy who bothered to stay behind in Manila just to engage in discussion with some believer teachers He found very interesting.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, John would baptize Him in the Pasig River. John would also be killed later on by a sting that framed him as a fascist junkie rapist.
If the Nativity happened in today’s Philippines, He would enter Manila riding a float. He would also die later on between two legitimate criminals through the reinstated death penalty at the chaotic public’s bare-faced insistence. And of course, He would rise again.