17 February, 2009

Scenes of a Rainy Nature: Valentines Day 2009

It was a rainy Valentine's Day afternoon when I got off at Quiapo Church to pray a little before I went on my way to my friends' play. To those of you unfamiliar with Quiapo Church, words fall short in describing this amalgam of Filipino religious, historical, economic, and social traditions; you really have to be there and see for yourself. At the heart of it, is the Basilica of the Black Nazarene [an image of Jesus Christ bearing the cross that devotees flock to by the millions on its feast day], yet by its shadow lurk sellers of talismans, charms, and herbs -remnants of the animistic old ways. But that is another blog...

So by the historic square called Plaza Miranda, located in front of the Basilica, there were flowers stalls with their sellers busy for the day's trade of roses and bouquets... It was a sea of pink and red as even the balloon sellers were out with heart-shaped ones [but I don't think these photos do it justice].

What I found odd were these caucasians dressed in the fashion of those polygamist families I saw on television recently: ladies in dated blouses and skirts with hair white coverings like that of nuns while the men in collared shirts tucked within their trousers. The thing is, the guys who looked like they were in their 20s were really cute! But then again, they give me the heebie-jeebies. The only thing I could make out from their assembly was that they were members of the Philippine Mennonist Church [Whatever that is]. I thought how futile was it of them to seek converts in the stronghold of Roman Catholic faith in Manila. Oh well...that's typical Quiapo for you.

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