Thursday, September 14, 2006


I had just finished Talk 10 of the Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) weekend seminar being given to some parishioners. I looked for a chair to rest for a while at the Secretariate corner. Five children coming from the side of the Parish Center slowly approached me. Two were probably twelve years old; one small girl was being carried by another bigger girl in her arms; the other was just following them.

I looked at them as they approached me.

"Sikayo may pari dia, awa?" The bigger of the girls asked me if I was the priest of the parish.

"Yes, I am", I said.

That started a conversation between me and the five little girls.

"Akin et anggapo kayo ed eskwelaan? Agkayo manaaral?", I asked them wanting to know why they were not in school.

Big girl said, "I am not going to school. I have stopped going to school."

"Why?" I asked her.

"My mother wanted me to wash clothes." She told me, as a matter of fact.

"Lots and lots of clothes." Volunteered the second big girl.

"And, how about you why are you not in school?"

"My mother said we do not have money for my education."

"But, it is free."

"My mother could not afford to buy notebooks for me to use in school."

'Your mother? Where is your father?"

Big girl: "He died already."

Second Big Girl: "My father also died already."

"And what do you do?"

"I sell native cakes near the school."

She continued, "At least I go to school still even if I am not studying! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

She laughed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Familiar walls!

Muddy paths!

Rev. Julius and I arrived at Sitio Baraoas, Brgy. Anonang at a little past 12 noon. "The prayer meeting must have ended already", I told Rev. Julius.

"Probably, Father", he replied.

We were met by one of the BEC members who insisted that we wear rubber boots for the walk going to the place of the prayer meeting.

"We have only one pair right now, Father", she told me. "The other pair are with Sis. Cathy. She will be bringing them with her when she comes."

I wore the rubber boots which were borrowed from a man who was all smiles as he handed them to Sis. Susing, our guide. "They are my cousin's", she told me.

I wondered if the boots would fit me. I looked inside cautiously. There were pieces of papers inside the boots. The markings on the paper were familiar. "Of course!" I told myself.

We arrived at the house where the prayer was held. We were on time for lunch!


When we went back, we passed by a huge lot with high walls.

The markings in the paper inside my boots? They were Jueteng bets! The lot with the high walls were apparently meant to hide some operations being done three times a day!

So many in the barangay knew the existence of that lot, and what was being done there.

Except its officials. And the police.

As usual.

See no evil. Hear no evil. Say no evil.