30 May, 2008

on an easter sunday dawn [that's about four days late]

re-posted from a march 27, 2008 blog

easter sunday at 3:30am, my cousin aurelia woke me up to more than the usual panic i have been feeling the past few days since i came home to antique for semana santa...but unlike the reaction one should have after waking up in that state, i just laid there and let the minutes pass by -this considering that all the santo owners should have their carrozas lined up by the church courtyard at 4:00am- ah, the procrastinator in me...

needless to say, some time later, i sprung out of bed, groomed and dressed myself against the grind of the space-time continuum only to realize that I was the one to open the roll-up doors of the ancestral house, waking up the old mute man [a tanod whom we hired] who was sleeping by the carroza which was made ready with the santa already dressed the night before. of course, can we forget my ever animated mother who was already mouthing out instructions in the background, and my cousin benjamin [my partner in crime and as we call it in kinaray-a "imaw sa kabiga-an" -crudely translated 'kasama sa kalandiang ito'] and his wife were just waking up...

so it came to pass that we really had to pull out of the house or else we would be embarrassingly late for the salubong...i ended up pulling the carroza from it's makeshift canopy with my mother hanging on to the side of it as the mute old guy was trailing behind with tri-bike that carried the generator -oh yes, i felt like hercules... [and thank the heavens for the ingenious welding skills of the wheel mechanism maker, it was easy to maneouver and felt lightweight]

when we got to the church courtyard, the choir of kiddie angels were already a-singing the hossanas and some of the female saints were already in-line behind the image of the blessed mother as the male saints were on the other side behind the image of the risen christ. and we were not the last to arrive...

the salubong was very simple and went on without much ceremony except for moving the carrozas to follow the images of the risen christ and the holy mother. as i learned on the spot, the carrozas and their respective rebultos were obligated to stay for first sunday mass at dawn as was tradition...well, who am i to argue with tradition aber?

and so, as we watched first light creep up from behind the carrozas, i got to speak with the other santo owners -being the new kid on the block so to speak- i was glad to know that some of them were blood relations i have met before, others new friends i have made in the run of the holy thursday and good friday processions, and one asking for help to find a proper restorer and encarnador for her century old santa...it's like an entire social dynamic unto itself.

from there, i realized that this was it...this was the way i'm going to be spending my holy week from now until my breath leaves me.

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