From My Inbox – Childhood Memories

This post is from a note written by Sandy Tan, a childhood friend from Padada, Davao del Sur. He was actually reminiscing about people, places, events, and other things from our town. I tried to translate this to English but the resulting prose lost the richness and the undertones of the Cebuano dialect. So, I kept its original language.

Here it goes.

My town's boundary's marker
My town’s boundary’s marker

 

 

Kahinumdum ka pa ani?

30 centimos pamasahe sa una, kabit libre pa?
Babae ra gyud ang naay ariyos?
Mga piniriso ra ang naay tattoo?
Ang sabot nimo sa LOL kay ULOL?

San Pedro o Claveria ang shoppinganan sa Davao?
60 centimos ra ang BBQ ug Piso ang isa ka BOL nga kinutil ila Balending?
Kusog ka mokaon ug binignit ila Nene Idea ug?
Chocnut ang imo paborito…usahay Sergs kung naa kay kwarta?

Ang mantika sa baboy maoy ibahug sa kan-on?
Ga-atang sa palengke kay maghinalang kada sabado sa gabii?
Familiar ka ug unsa ang “Underwood” nga brand…unya gamit ka pa carbon paper?
Sulod palengke tigpalit ug Tancho, X-7, o brillante para pampapogi o pangpagwapa?

Darigold ang imo ginainum usa ka matulog?
Piso lang…daghan ka na mapalit sa palengke…apil pa siopao ila Marcial?
Mosugo ka pa ug tao para motawag sa imo amigo kay wala may telepono?
Puniton ang lata kay himoong tarak-tarak…unya pik-on ang papel para himoong pusil-pusil?

Dili mahuman ang adlaw kung dili makabasa ug Liwayway, Bisaya, Hiwaga…song hits pud?
Masuko ka kung sawayon ang ilong ni Vilma kay lapad man?
Kada tindahan gagunit ug Red Cross Ticket?
25 centimos lang ang gupit ila Apyong?
Ginasinggitan si junior ug “BUANG!!!”?

Ang pantalon ug palda naka ARMIROL…tuskig pa sa tuyom?
Maulaw ka kung gabitay imo Halfslip, pero karon kita na PANTY UG PUSOD?
Ginakantiawan ang mga BAYOT sa una?
Boring ang tawag sa GRO?

Payat ka pa sa una?
Taga-Limonzo pa ang tawag sa taga-Padada
Daghan pa ka ug buhok kaniadto?
Combo, songhits pwede na, binuntagay na sa barkada?

Gaharana o ginaharanahan ka pa?
Tuba pa imo gina-inum?
$1 = 4 Peso?

Kung nakahinumduma ka pa ani…TIGULANG ka na!!!

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Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo

 

Today is the first day of the Simbang Gabi – a nine-day novena which starts December 16 and ends on December 24. It is celebrated at 4:30 in the morning. But in recent years, when masses are also regularly held in chapels and other places outside of the main church, simbang gabis are held during evenings – at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 depending on the availability of the priest celebrant.

flickr photo by storm-crypt

But the original practice is to hold it at dawn; at hours before the sun rises. It is common among former colonies of Spain. The friars  convinced the catholic converts to prepare themselves for the celebration of the birth of the Saviour; and  what more fitting preparation there is but to attend nine-day novena mass. The problem however, is that the subjects have to be in their agricultural fields early, so as a  compromise, the clergy began to hold Mass early dawn when the land would still be dark. In fact, it was so dark going to church from their homes that the faithful brought with them lanterns or parol… which later on took various shapes… and eventually into the shape of a star – the Christmas lanterns of today we are familiar with.

I remember with fondness the simbang gabi of my youth, in  Padada, Davao del Sur. Misa de Gallo, as we called it, was an event that everybody looked forward to. Parishioners filled-up the church every day of the simbang gabi. Every mass was sponsored by one or two socio-civic organization, a church-based group, school-based youth organization or barangay units.  The mass sponsors provided the lectors, commentators, collectors, altar servers, the choir and any and all tasks attendant to celebrating the mass.

It was not only a religious celebration; it was a social event as well.  People looked around which ones of the mass goers are wearing new clothes. Some checked out what the offerors give as gifts for to make sure they will give something different when their designated day as offerors come. Kids greeted their godparents and subtly reminded them of the coming Christmas Day (and their gifts). To the teenagers and the singles it was an opportunity to see their crushes and special friends. The bolder ones sat beside them during the mass, and walked them back to their house after.  Those with political ambitions lingered around after the mass and met as many people as possible.

But it is what cams after the mass that everybody looked forward to – the early morning “painit” that awaited you when you came back from the church; or the “painit” that you bought after hearing mass and before going home. The painit can be any or all of the following:  bibingka, torta, suman, and biko with tsokolate or brewed coffee as the accompanying hot drink.  If the lady of the house had not cooked or bought any native delicacy, the family shared a fare of pandesal with margarine bought from a neighbourhood bakery.

But even among families that had no “painit” awaiting them when they come home from mass, the simbang gabi was still something they look forward to. For one, while waiting out for the sun to rise, family members talked among themselves and consequently had some quality bonding moments. Moreover, completing the whole nine day novena without fail has its rewards. It is said that when if you make a wish on the first day of the mass and when you completed the nine day mass, your wish will be granted.

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