Palm Sunday and April Fool's Day
By Rudy Arizala
Today is Palm Sunday or what we call in Infanta "Domingo de Ramos". We Catholics commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ astride a donkey (ass) through the gates of Jerusalem City. According to evangelist Mathew, "most of the crowd spread their cloaks upon the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees, and strewing them on the road. And the crowds that went before him, and those that followed, kept crying ot, saying, ´Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest.´ And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was thrown into commotion, saying, ´Who is this?´But the crowd kept on saying, ´This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.´" (Math 21:8-11).
In Infanta, like in any other towns of the Philippines, the people bring "palaspas" or fronds or palms of coconut tree, to church for the blessing and at the churchyard (patio ng simbahan) there were several make-shift stage where children sing "Hosanna filio David..." They threw on the path of the priest carrying a frod or palaspas petals of various flowers among them roses. The crowd at the churchyard, mostly farmers spread pieces of cloth or opened umbrellas to catch or collect the petals being thrown by the children from the stage singing "Hosanna filio David". Why collect the petals of the flowers from the "mag-oosana"? It was the belief among the farmers that if you mix the petals with the soil on which you will plant rice seedlings, you will have a very good harvest and protect the riceland from calamities.
True or not, it is a good tradition. I do not know if it is still being done or observed today in Infanta.
With respect to the "palaspas" blessed by the priest, the old folks usually place them at the door or at the corner near the door of their homes. They believe that the blessed "palaspas" protect them and their homes from natural calamities such as being hit by a lightning or even a "contra" (antidote) against the entry into the house or premises of the "lamang-lupa", tikbalang, and the like.
With resspect to April Fools Day, how the day originated is unknown. But it is observed or celebrated worldwide usually with practical jokes and harmless pranks.
The closest explanation on how April Fool's Day started can be traced back to the 1500´s during the reign of Charles IX. At that time, the New Year was celebrated from March 25 to April 1. But when the Gregorian calendar, which we are using today, was introduced, New Year´s Day was moved to January 1. That piece of important news, however, did not travel fast enough and it took several years before the rest of the people knew about it. Those who refused to accept the change continued to celebrate on April 1, and were ridiculed as "fools," invited to non-existent parties and subjected to one form of harassment or another.
And for your entertainment on April Foo'ls Day today, 01 April, hereunder are some quotes on Fools.
APRIL FOOLS DAY QUOTATIONS
Compiled by Rudy A. Arizala
01 April 2007
* If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. – Anatole France.
* There is a foolish corner even in the brain of the sage. – Aristotle.
* Wise men don´t need advice. Fools won´t take it. – Benjamin Franklin.
* Wise men learn more from fools that fools from the wise. – Cato the Elder.
* The mistakes of the fool are known to the world, but not to himself. The mistake of the wise man are known to himself, but not to the world. – Charles Caleb Colton.
* Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it.-George Bernard Shaw.
* You don´t have to fool all the people all of the time; you just have to fool enough to get elected. – Gerald Barzan.
* Hain´t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain´t that a big enough majority in any town? – Mark Twain.
* Take all the fools out of this world and there wouldn´t be any fun living in it, or profit.- Josh Billings.
* Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God´s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.- Mark Twain.
* Fortune, seeing that she could not make fools wise, has made them lucky. – Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.
* Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.- Plato.