Last year I wasn’t around for the Holy Week rites in our town. A close relative of mine, Jaymar Paralejas, took charge in preparing our santo, St. John the Evangelist for the Holy Wednesday procession.
March 28, 2018
We left our house at 4 pm hoping that we would reach Pila-pila by 6 pm. However, the processions in Tayuman and Darangan set us back by an hour. I was agitated and worried we would not make it in time for Pila-pila’s procession.
My husband didn’t want to believe me that there’s a saint named Bernard. The only Saint Bernard he knew was the big furry dog. Only when he saw the church’s name that he believed me. Matagal na kaming friends ni St. Bernard, teenager pa ako. My mom used to attend novenas here nung chapel pa lang.
Sinalubong na namin ang haba ng prusisyon sa ibang mga barrios. Ang dami na nilang mga santo.
Luckily we still made it to Pila-pila on time. Although we got there at 7 pm, the procession was just about to start. And since St. John the Evangelist was at the end of the procession, that gave us time to settle down.
Kevin was the one who bought the fresh flowers from Dangwa and he was also the one who arranged the flowers for Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, for the Good Friday procession plus for the Easter Sunday.
The budget I left with Jaymar only covered flowers up to Good Friday. I gave Kevin some extra cash to buy flowers for Easter Sunday. I didn’t know kasi that there’s procession pa rin on Easter Sunday. Kala ko only Jesus and Mary. Kasama rin pala si St. John.
When my parents were still living, my father always irritated my mom by contradicting her when she would go to church during Holy Week. Sarado daw ang simbahan dahil nagpapahinga ang mga santo, kaya daw nga may taklob ang altar.
My husband saw Nonie who retired a year or two ago after working at Ford EDSA for many years maybe 20. Am not sure. Sobra syang namayat. I didn’t even recognize him at first. My husband wasted no time in scolding him for moving to Bacolod with his wife. His wife kasi is from Bacolod.
Naku duon pa sinermonan. Eh sanay naman si Nonie sa sermon ni Edmund sa tagal nyang nagtrabaho sa amin. Sinermonan kasi bakit daw sa Bacolod tumira eh wala silang makain duon kasi wala silang trabahong mag-asawa. Kaya hayun parang patpat sa payat. They were just relying on his retirement pay. Paubos na yata. Naalala ko tuloy several years ago he told me he’s retiring and moving to Bacolod. When I asked him why in Bacolod, he said because his wife inherited a parcel of land. Akala ko ekta-ektarya, tila 80 square meters. I remembered telling him, “Naku, sa Binangonan ka na lang ang layo ng Bacolod”. Hayan na nga, no work, no money, no food, no eat, no muscles. Tumanda tuloy hitsura nya. Bata pa yan. Wala pang 60.
He made a choice, for love.
St. John’s clothes and carossa are the simplest among all the carossas here.
Ang sabi nung una, simple lang daw dapat, tapos hindi naman nasunod, puro gold na rin ang damit nung ibang santo.
There was a group of sacristans behind us and one was holding the incense burner. My husband told the young fellow “gusto ko ang amoy nyan, dito ka lang sa tabi namin”. Dios mio, after an hour, ayaw ko na yung amoy, nauubo na ako sa amoy nya. Edmund told the boy “lumayo ka sa amin, bakit ba lagi ka dito?”. Siguro sabi nung bata, kanina ang utos sa akin dito ako sa tabi nila tapos ngayon naman pinapaalis ako.
Naamoy namin ang sarap bagong lutong pandesal.
A to Sgt. Pepper —- Bumili ka dun ng pandesal bagong luto.
After one minute.
SP—- Mam wala daw pandesal, alas dos pa sila maggawa. .
A—– Pande coco na lang.
He came back after two minutes with one supot of freshly baked pandesal.
A—–Kala ko wala pa silang lutong pandesal?
SP—-Wala silang pande coco mam, pandesal lang daw meron.
After the procession, Jaymar introduced me to the new parish priest in Pila-pila Fr. Marc Anthony Ramos from San Mateo, Rizal. He’s in his early 30s.
He was probably briefed beforehand kasi kilala na nya agad ako. Ang sabi ni Jaymar ay napakabait daw ni father. Aba dapat lang ano, hindi welcome dito sa mundo ang mga barumbado, balasubas at bastos na mga pari.
The procession ended after two hours. Not so bad. It was overcast kaya presko. I didn’t perspire and my feet began to ache only towards the last 30 minutes.
Two years ago we made daya by stopping after an hour of walking. It was so warm and humid that night. After resting we then hailed a tricycle to bring us to where the procession was (cutting trip). This time we didn’t stop from start to finish. Ang bait namin. Edmund said last year kasi we were absent so dapat double walk kami ngayon.
We brought two maids to the procession. I made the mistake of bringing Norma. She’s not used to riding in cars pala, nahihilo. Naku suka ng suka nung pauwi na kami. Pati ako gusto ko na ring masuka. She was seated behind Edmund, ang worry ko baka masukahan nya ang bumbunan ni Edmund.
After a long drive, two hours of walking, this was my comfort food, at 12 midnight.