Are you ready for Mazu?
I certainly wasn’t, at least not until I received a warning message forwarded by a friend. It was an eye-opener full of factual revelations best summed up by the last line: “PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!”
Why? Because Mazu is coming. And who is that? A quick trip to Wikipedia reveals Mazu is a Chinese deity, a sea goddess “now generally regarded by her believers as a powerful and benevolent Queen of Heaven.” In short, a cosmic big shot who would have no difficulty getting a photo shoot in Malacañang Palace. She might even be influential enough to swing a naval procurement deal.
She goes by numerous names, among them: Mazupo (“Granny Mazu”), A-Ma (“mother” or “grandmother”), Linghui Furen (“Lady of Numinous Grace”), Tianfei (“Princess of Heaven”), Tianhou (“Empress of Heaven”), and Huguo Mingzhu Tianfei (“Illuminating Princess of Heaven Who Protects the Nation”).
Able to register under so many identities, she would definitely make a valued voter for a trapo election, or an ideal Facebook Duterte troll.
But here’s the thing: according to Wikipedia, if you urgently need her divine attention, you should NEVER EVER pray to her using “Tianfei”, princess, or “Tianhou”, empress. The reason is that those are official titles and once Mazu hears them, she’ll decide it’s a formal occasion for which she has to prepare appropriately, taking her time picking the right gown, maybe making a quick trip to the Celestial Beauty Parlor choosing the proper look (“Stellar, or Omnipotent?”), then taking a last-minute glance at the holy mirror before sweeping in grandly to receive your desperate plea. This prayer method is probably not the one to use if you’re dangling from a cliff by your fingernails.
Perhaps, too, drowning sailors shouldn’t call out to the sea goddess using one of her other names, Huguo Bimin Miaoling Zhaoying Hongren Puji Tianfei ("Heavenly Princess who Protects the Nation and Shelters the People, of Marvelous Numen, Brilliant Resonance, Magnanimous Kindness, and Universal Salvation"); chances are they’ll be gargling a substantial part of the South China Sea before they finish the greetings and salutations.
Why is any of this important? Because, according to the forwarded message, the Duterte government has made a deal with China to Mazufy Manila. The Department of Tourism (DOT) plans to build a Mazu Cultural Center along Manila Bay, a proud monument which will bear the inscription “To Philippine Chinese Friendship Forever” and under that “HAHA WE STOLE YOUR ISLANDS.”
Just kidding. The cultural center is supposed to attract followers from China (“Mazunurin”) who will worship the goddess here, presumably because the signal is stronger, or the Unli packages are cheaper. This plan is unacceptable to the writer of the message, who warns that “a statue of MAZU will rise up from Manila Bay sometime in the middle of 2018.”
So what’s the danger? Will it be used by Beijing as a marker to indicate Chinese territory? Will it be a Trojan Mazu that will spew Chinese marines? Nope. None of that. Apparently the statue, no matter what size, will PROVOKE GOD’S WRATH. You see, says the writer, “God said there is no other god but Him alone!”
And Mazu, to quote the message verbatim, is “a counterfeit. Shammaness is a witch and if DOT unwittingly really establish her statue, a stronghold of witchcraft will be built in Manila Bay.”
That’s right: Christian Filipinos don’t need no Chinese goddess, we’re quite happy here with our One True Faith and our glorious leader and his minions.
Yep, it’s just a religious thing after all. Disappointing, but all is not lost. This whole controversy can be the basis for a great anime: Mazilla vs Manila. The giant goddess statue in the bay will suddenly come to life, rockets firing from its arms, while shouting “BUILD BUILD BUILD.” The city will respond by feverishly constucting its own Jaeger, the Mocka Mecha, a fentanyl-powered monstrosity that will initialize and then wander all over the place, too stupid to do anything. Will Manila survive Mazilla? Will Mazilla survive the city’s pollution?
In the ensuing carnage, the Torre de Manila will be leveled. At the very least we can hope for a giant celestial foot crushing the senate building. Or the PCOO.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.