"Kayong mga bakla talaga, kung hindi kayo magbibihis babae pagtanda niyo, mag-aalaga kayo ng mga Santa." ["You gays... It's either you dress up as girls when you get older, or you end up taking care of images of female saints]
A mother of a dear friend of mine once commented on how most of the owners and caretakers of processional images happen to be gay. She herself has a cousin who has a personal chapel with his own collection of processional images he takes out during the Holy Week processions [thus quoting her above]. For all the non-Filipinos or the non-Catholics out there reading this, you have to understand how much Lent is a big deal to a fair portion of the gay population in the Philippines.
Aside from the Flores de Mayo or Santa Cruzan -a tradition wherein beautiful young women would dress up in their finest ball gowns and would promenade or walk through the streets at the end of the month of May representing heroines christian legend and apocryphal traditon to commemorate Empress Helena's quest for the true cross of Christ- [of course the cross dressers also have their own version of this and they often give the real ladies a run for their tiara -now isn't that ironic? the true cross and cross dressers?], Lent also enjoys a place of importance in the hearts of many a gay men here. You ask why?
Well, it's either the gay population converges to Puerto Galera or Boracay during the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday break to do a Gays Gone Wild or some of them take on the Herculean task of taking out the religious images they own or are obligated to. No judgements here...to each his own.
I own three processional images myself [featured in the photos with this blog]. When I was a kid, I used to dream of having my own processional image as I saw the owners take out their rebultos dressed in the richest fabrics and fine array. So, when the opportunity -and the money- came, it was just a matter of which one came my way first.
My cousin once blurted out, "Let me take a picture of you with your doll." and I suddenly went, "What?" -She thought I got offended or something but it was more of me realizing that she actually had a point. I know a few people who treat their images like they were life-sized Barbie dolls entirely missing the point that these were blessed images representing or commemorating the men and women who played a role in the life and passion of Christ. This kind of got me thinking about my obligation to beauty in the context of my religion and spirituality... then again, I do tend to over think things therefore expect a follow-up to this post. oh well...