The last day of novena, and the only day I forgot to bring the camera! tsk tsk. My sister and I hated me for that. Luckily I had this in store.
This is the part of the Sto. Niño mass that I always always look forward to. I always get teary eyed when I hear everybody sing "Batobalani sa Gugma" (Magnet of Love). Call it corny but there's something about that song that touches the deepest of my heart. Most especially on the chorus when everybody automatically synchronizes in the waving of their hands that you can almost feel the outpouring of emotions.
I say Cebu has a lot to boast when it comes to its natural wonders, and this sight is just one of them. I may not have been to everywhere in the Philippines, but I can proudly say that "Batobalani sa Gugma" is truly Cebuano, and the magnet of culture and tradition.
I don't know why it never fails to rain or shower on the duration of the Sinulog celebration. Maybe it's the niño's way of protecting us from the sun with his cape, but the days prior to the mardigra was just different from the past. It felt like a storm was just hovering somewhere near, ready to blow the umbrellas and faith away.
I don't mind the rain, I love rain. It's one of the priceless gifts in this world, except for rain with thunderstorms, that is just different!. The second to the last day was quite a sight to behold. The faith of the devotees was just an amazing thing to witness. Simply because no drastic weather could keep them from doing their tradition. And don't you just love it when strangers offer kindness to other strangers? From the sharing of umbrellas to the tearing of pages in their notebooks just to keep their seats dry, it's heartwarming. People can do so much. But it's just a matter of consistency.
The least crowded mass I've attended so far. I know it looks crowded in the picture, but trust when I say that this is nothing compared to what I usually witness. It's refreshing to see spaces and seats in between the devotees, but considering that this was held at 11:30am to 1:00pm, I guess it's pretty understood why.
The sun is most painful in the midday but it's worth the solemnity... and a seat. hehehe :)
The great thing about going to this kind of event is the little reminders of life you get along the way.
Just as I was about to enter the church after the mass, I saw this man hanging on to his dear wheelchair to fully support himself. Clearly, he was having difficulty, and clearly he was just recovering from something dreadful. People like him hold my highest regard, for they don't stop moving even when they experienced a short pause in their lives.
It's amazing to encounter people like that, because it's a gentle reminder of how blessed and fortunate we really are. Although I know it's not good to compare, considering that we all have our own paths to walk to, but still it never hurts to be thankful of the little blessings in this borrowed life.
I don't know what this man prayed for, and I sure am very curious (for am always curious of the the internal monologue that goes on in the minds of the people). But am more than sure that this man definitely had thanksgiving in some parts of his prayer. And I believe that that's what prayers should be about more than anything else - a show of gratitude.
Forgive me Lord if my train of concentrated thoughts are lost in the middle of the mass. I can't help it and you can't blame me if the ones sitting beside me are those with the big toys I've wanted for so long. I resolved not to be materialistic for it is nothing but things - things that I unfortunately just wanted to have, THAT bad. And no, I'm still not praying for THAT camera coz what I'm praying for is still something more important than THAT! Nonetheless I'm just happy for those who have THAT and I'm content of the tiny bity cam that I ... or wait cancel the I instead... "my sister" have. Oh well...
Anyway twas the fifth day of the novena, and am getting bored looking at those big digital SLRs hanging round their necks with their telephoto lenses that zooms to even the tiniest pimple on the crowd's faces, while I on the other hand just had to extend my arms to the farthest I can as my own very "manual" way of zooming. But hey that's life, I have my other blessings to count on and be thankful for :)
First time to attend the late afternoon mass. The crowd was overwhelming. With our view from the top, the devotees looked like colony of ants. But it's inspiring to see people gather around for the same purpose. Just makes you imagine the great difference people could do if we only shared that one same goal in mind. Right! Exactly like people power.
According to my father, what makes these kinds of gathering effective is that our personal or spiritual aura is in one with the auras of the people around us, thus making our auras visible to those above making it easier for them to identify our prayers. In short, it's like a goodness-gracious-great-ball-of-fire, that you surely couldn't miss.
On the another thought, this is just one of those moments that makes me truly proud to be a Cebuano :)
My sister and I attended the 2:30pm novena mass yesterday and we were greeted by the colorful costumes of the dancers along with the number of politicos in attendance. Little did we know, that after the mass was the official opening of SINULOG 2010.
We were so excited that we squeezed in between bodies just to get a better spot and tiptoed to the highest just to get a better view. Only to find out that the dancers were immediately shooed to the streets as the Basilica was just the starting point of the street dancing parade. tsk tsk. After all the stiff neck we got!
We would have wanted to go to the City Sports Complex to see the grand performances but aside from having to worry about the entrance, when we could even hardly pay for the parking!, our little camera's battery died on us, so my sister concluded that it would just beat our purpose of going there. It sucked! Much more when our little camera started blinking battery empty, people with BIG cameras and telescopic lenses stood beside us shooting all their time away. Ugh! I'm not bitter just stating an experience. hahaha.
Anyway seeing all the festive colors of the dancers yesterday made me giddy with excitement . I love Sinulog. It's the greatest event to kick off the year! :)
For a not so religious person like me, it's weird to consider myself a devotee of Sto.Niño. Maybe it's the Cebuano in me or the past memory of wearing a necklace in his image when I was still a child, either way it doesn't change the fact that I have this unwavering faith in him. Though unlike others, I just don't have that showy streak. Like what my sister reasoned to our Mom when she called her attention for not singing out loud in the mass, "what happens between God and me is just between us, I don't need to justify myself to others." Oh diba?! bongga si sister! and mind you were still highschool back then, but she always has that quite wisdom in her, unbelievably!
So this year, I decided to be a bit more showy of my devotion. From this year onwards I'll make sure to complete all 9 novena masses. I'm writing it here as a public reminder to myself.
Also in commemoration of my new found tradition, I challenged myself to post one significant picture on each day of the novena mass. Yesterday was the beginning, excuse the lateness, but what's important is that I still get to do my self imposed challenge.
Day 1 tradition begins
I know was only supposed to post 1 picture, but this is an exemption. I just have to mention this lady in red who was nice enough to share her umbrella with us strangers (my sister and I), so we'd be sheltered from the pouring rain. God bless this woman.
"If it ain't broke, break it and then fix it," --> me.
So I woke up one day last month seeing the all the destruction of my so-called "art" in my room. A portion of the wall's paint were peeling off because of my genius attempt at making a mural out of homemade paint - flour and food coloring. But it turned out nice - at first. I know my mom wasn't happy about it so it's no wonder she easily granted my christmas wish for '09, a bucket of paint.
2010. The year of reinvention. Redoing my room is just part of it, or maybe the whole. Anyway, planning the project was the most fun part, especially when visualizing the end result with this website for a reference: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/paint_colors/visualizer/ It's probably one of the coolest sites I've discovered. All you gotta do is take a picture of your room, upload it in the site and then try on different colors that suits your room. Very cool. But that was only the in the beginning, coz I realized that in the middle of it all my head was just bloated with expectations. I had to do the dirty hard work for more than week! I had to evacuate to my sister's room along with my things and then rub all sides of the wall with sandpaper. Who knew that that was how repainting was done. Nonetheless, with all my capitalized EFFORT, I have to say that the end part was very satisfactory.
**** My precious wall.
Aside from the repainting stuffs, I was also excited with the shelves. It's just a wood attached to a bracket that I've seen a lot in design magazines, and I figured that they're really useful in organizing stuffs. It also saves a lot of space. I've done this in our altar/library earlier this year and I just fell inlove with it. It's addicting. I'm even thinking of putting one more in my room and a lot in the house. But it's my Mother's house so I have my limitations.
Speaking of Mom, that net aquarium was my joint project with her. I saw this movie Man of the House when I was a kid and all I could remember was this net on the wall where they hang the driftwoods and stuffs that they found on the shore. I told my Mom about it years ago so we made this together. She knew what a beach bum I am and the stones and shells I collect from every island in the country I go to, so it's a cool way of putting my up my memorabilias.
That's one of the things my mom and I bond on. We like to create stuffs. In fact the man candle holder and the vase wire on the top shelf was her design when she was still in the design business. I think it's one of her few remaining rejects that I just polished and wrapped in tiny abaca ropes. They say creativity is in our genes, but I say it's boredom. We just get bored easily that crazy ideas just pop in our heads out of the blue and often times we tend to leave things undone. Yes, it's a miracle I finished painting my room. haha.
I looooove my bed.
The first thing that I miss when I'm away from home is my bed. NO KIDDING. There's no comfort greater in the world than my bed, no matter how uncomfortable others may think it is. It used to be the bed in the service quarters in the family's old house, but when we transferred, it served as a temporary bed in my room till it became permanent coz I wouldn't let go of it. The bed's foam used to be so thin from old use and I was even pissed when my Mom changed it with the thicker one (that I have now) without my permission. Still it wouldn't change the fact that I heart this cheap bamboo bed.
The paintings. A childhood dream of mine was to really be an artist. I think I was frustrated in that department that there was a phase in my young life when all I did was paint. I started with the used Camel watercolors from my older sisters, and moved on from there. Our parents were really keen in honing our so-called talents. I remember when we were kids, every summer my Mom would request her friends or a relative to teach us how to do charcoal or paint. It was just passing then my dad enrolled me in the summer painting program at UP where I was introduced to oil painting. Again I was hooked - for a while. And those 2 paintings in my room were among the very few products that phase in my life. But I love painting still, and anything that involves paint. No wonder why I painted my room. :)
Books and Organizing.
For a clutz like me, I can be very obsessive about organizing MY stuffs. Weird, but again that's just in the beginning. But I usually reorganize my stuffs every now and then coz I kinda get bored seeing the same arrangement over a period of time. I really have a problem with stability. haha.
I used to hate books, to its very core! I used to have difficulty reading, I was a slow learner and words were just not my BFF. The turning point was when I was in highschool. My sisters have this very thick Judith Mcnaught novels that I always criticized, but one time when I got sooooo bored I attempted reading it and the rest is history. Sometimes I always make sure to have an extra book on hand because by the time I end with a really good book I would immediately want to have another one. It's like a thirst that just can't be quenched. But when the book is really bad that's the time I would have hiatus from reading and pick up another book for after a few weeks or pick up the same book after a year/s. An example of which is Sophie's world. I've had it since 2006 and I've probably had 5 attempts at it, and every attempt would mean starting to read from the very beginning coz I always forget where I left off. That's why I took that book as my ultimate challenge for this year, I really really have to finish it. All in all books are nice. Not only do they feed the brain they also make nice accents to the room :)
*** They say you can tell so much about a person just by looking at his belongings. But I say you can tell so much about me because I blogged so. haha!
Anyway my room got fixed, but I don't know for how long till I break it again. another 2010 challenge.