Monday, September 22, 2008

What in heaven's name is bondadoso?

Two taps on the forehead with his extended forefinger. Then two thumps on the sternum. This was followed by a pointing in the general direction of his left shoulder. This is my three-year-old Diego's version of the signing of the cross.

We went to the ten o'clock mass in Sta. Maria for a change. Change here being an ambitious word, considering that the pattern is only worth three weeks.

I like the early masses better because there are less babies. Diego, to his credit, was very poised, but it's cruel to expect kids to maintain social grace for more than an hour. To outwit a meltdown, we marched him to the altar for holy communion, came down to give an apologetic and rapid thanksgiving, then exited to the playground outside the side door. We humbly received the final blessing seated in the metal swing.

There are more big people in the ten o'clock too. And the organist was late. i recognized the singer from college. He used to be a seminarian. Bong something. He gave a high school friend The Count of Monte Cristo. Seminarians were popular with girls when I was in high school and college. He was seated near the organist (but sang a capella for the first thirty minutes, see reason above) and throughout the course of the mass, he stoically sang despite the regular visits three little kids paid him. His presumably. An ex-seminarian with three kids. Now you know not to trust a priest-wannabe who gifts you with The Count of Monte Cristo. If he'd gifted me with Calvin and Hobbes, I'd have married him myself. But I wasn't the kind of girl seminarians liked. In college, I thought one of them had the hots for me. I found out later he only desired one thing from my person -- answers to our zoology lecture final exam. To be given to him on a newsprint platter DURING the exam.

i liked that the classics-gifting ex-seminarian father of three chose to sing familiar songs. my mother and i share a dislike for masses where the choir monopolizes heaven's attention. i propose that heaven is pleased by earnestness, not quality singing. and that Jesus and all the saints like people to talk directly to them, not through a choir.

I saw a child with a red baloon in church. Going home, we saw a baloon vendor amongs the kakanin stalls across the road from the church grounds. Go for the puto sold in one of middle stalls. It's the one with five putos to a pack sold for PHP 20. It's bigger than the usual ones, less white, and very hot when we bought it. The smaller putos of PHP 10 per pack, the ones with flat, rather than erupted, tops taste like dry and cold clumpy rice.

In his homily, the priest gave a quite accessible explanation of the difference between being just and being generous and why you need to be both. He talked mostly in chavacano, using some never-heard of words. now i need to look up bondadoso.

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