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Showing posts from December, 2002

David: A Christmas Story

For a while back, Union Church of Manila had this yearly practice of giving gifts to urban poor pastors during Christmas season; they could be books or bags of groceries. Being involved both in UCM and Penuel School of Theology (which trained pastors from the urban poor), I was usually asked to provide 10 names of would-be beneficiaries. I never made any criteria to determine who got to be on my list, everyone in Penuel was basically from urban poor communities, and since the turn-over of students was often brisk, it was easy to come up with 10 different names. But I was never strict about it, there must have been an occasion or two where a student got on the list twice. This story has to do with one "two-timer".

I was given a heads-up and so I wrote my list. As it was the practice of Union Church, they sent the gifts to Penuel, and in turn we distributed the gifts to those on the list.  So then the gifts arrive: except there were 20 of them. Quickly looking at the cov…

I Never Went to Sunday School

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BEHIND ELLINWOOD (1976)
PENTAX SPOTMATIC + SUPER TAKUMAR 135/3.5 + KODAK TRI-X
So I had this thing for the playground in the back lot of Ellinwood Malate Church, I loved those acacia trees and the way the filtered sunlight softly lights the sandbox on sunny Sunday mornings (see here if you missed it).  Anyway, that or the childhood urge to play kept me from focusing in Sunday school and I whined myself out of attending.  It was a surprise that my mom actually allowed me not to attend—the condition was I had to go to the adult worship with my mom and dad (and soon with my younger brother, Noel).

The surprise comes from the fact that most of my cousins were in Sunday school.  In fact, some of my teachers would have been my cousins and it was only a matter of time that my mom started taking flak from my uncles and aunts—who were elders and deacons at some point of their lives in Ellinwood—for consenting to my whims (“kunsintidor”).

So I never went to Sunday school.

Now the nice thing about be…

Behind Ellinwood

Image
BEHIND ELLINWOOD (1976)
PENTAX SPOTMATIC + SUPER TAKUMAR 135/3.5 + KODAK TRI-X

I had a well documented childhood (except for the time I messed up my dad's camera) and was raised by a mother who reminisced a lot. Looking at the photo albums was a routine for me and mom that it gave me to the sense of being there all over again. That dedication and the repetition formed a continous link between the event and the memory: including and especially moments in my childhood as early as when I was two or three years old.

I can still smell the cool air that Sunday morning behind Ellinwood Malate Church. Like watching a silent movie, I recall other kids lining up for Sunday school (in hindsight that must have been because language was still beyond me and my memory) while I sat on the swing with my mom hovering around. I think we were waiting for the service to start; if I can read my mom's mind, she was probably allowing me to use up my energy before having me seat with her in church to…