I never attended any protest rally while I am still a student in the University of the Philippines (UP), a popular bulwark of “left-leaning” groups. I did attend one “program” but that is because my Kasaysayan I professor suspended our class so that we could attend the “program.” However, when the rallyists started marching out of the campus, I walked away and did not join them. Frankly, I never joined any protest rally of “left-leaning” groups because I don’t believe in their ideologies. I may agree on some of their beliefs but that is not enough for me to commit my time for their rallies.
Yesterday’s rally at the Quirino Grandstand was way different from the rallies that I encountered in UP. First of all, yesterday’s rally is different because of the atmosphere on the rally grounds. The people who joined the rally are a cheerful crowd and they do not draw their motivation from angst and anger. The people who joined yesterday’s prayer rally drew their strength and motivation from their deep Faith in God. They did not draw their motivation from the promise of money and bribery. They were not motivated to join the rally because they were terrorized to come. No! The people in yesterday’s rally came and stayed because they know the Will of God. They know that God is asking them to stand and speak to defend the sanctity of life and the Filipino culture that is under attack from the determined move by few groups to pass the questionable Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill).
In a letter, dated March 14, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asked all the bishops, priests, nuns, Catholic laity and all pro-lifers to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25 at Quirino Grandstand. The prayer rally with the theme, “Filipinos! Unite Under God for Life,” is meant to show to send a clear message that Filipinos are against the RH Bill. The prayer rally also shows the Filipino people’s respect and love for life because it was meant to celebrate the event when Mary submitted herself to the Will of God and letting the herself conceive Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many Catholics and pro-life advocates answered the Cardinal’s call. Pro-lifers around Metro Manila and even in the nearby provinces gathered together and filled the grounds of Quirino Grandstand. Among the groups that joined the prayer rally include:
There are scores of groups that filled the grounds of Quirino Grandstand and not to mention the members of Buhay Partylist, El Shaddai, Knights of Columbus, Pro-Life Philippines and hundreds of pro-lifers that are not affiliated to any groups but joined the prayer rally.
Other religious groups sent their delegates at the prayer rally to show their solidarity with the Catholics in the fight against the RH Bill.
Unlike what happened at the Pro-Life and Anti-RH rally at the PICC last February, the mainstream media can’t ignore the prayer rally yesterday so they sent their contingents to cover the prayer rally. This only means that the mainstream media can’t hide the anti-RH sentiments of the people anymore. More and more people are now taking their stand against the RH Bill.
Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media grossly reduced their estimates of the people who joined the Prayer Rally. They stick to the 40,000 count and continues to stick with that estimate as of writing.
Here is the aerial shot of the prayer rally as of 5:27 PM, March 25.
Here are other shots of the prayer rally at around 6:30 PM
Can anybody seriously believe that the number of people that attended the prayer rally are just around 40,000? It seems like the mediamen don’t know how to count.
Pope Benedict XVI sent his message to the pro-life crowd through a letter read during the prayer rally. The Holy Father commended the pro-lifers’ firm opposition against the RH Bill and exhorted the bishops and pro-lifers to continue defending the sanctity of life and the family.
Notable personalities like Lito Atienza, Congressman Roilo Golez, veteran actor Christopher de Leon and former Eat Bulaga host Christine Jacobs-Sandejaz are few of the speakers during the prayer rally. Former Senator Francisco Tatad, Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Oscar Tinio, Cebu Congresswoman Rachel “Cutie” del Mar, Buhay Partylist Representative Rene Velarde, El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde and Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim were likewise present. People’s Champ Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao sent his message of support for the pro-life and anti-RH crowd.
Cardinal Rosales officiated the Holy Mass and in his homily he expressed the Church’s strong opposition to irresponsible sex life, sex education and abortion that will be spawned by the RH Bill if it ever becomes a law. He exhorted the people to reject the RH Bill and lead a life that respects life and the body, which is just under human being’s stewardship. He endorsed the Natural Family Planning and the serious understanding of the body of men and women. At the end of the prayer rally, Cardinal Rosales consecrated the whole nation to Mother Mary.
The fight against the RH Bill continues! The prayer rally last night is just the beginning.
Learn more about the RH Bill and know why we must oppose it. Join us in I Oppose the RH Bill.