Saturday, December 17, 2005

Simbang Gabi

Simbang gabi has already started. This marks the traditional masses in the early mornings usually 4am held everyday nine days before Christmas. I used to asked my grandmother why it is held so early in the morning and she said that beccause the farmers in the old days have no time during the day because they are out in the field. The farmers also like to work really early when it is nice and cool before the sun is high and it gets too hot to work.

I grew up in the province and I always look forward to this time of the year. When I was young my Inay and I would start walking the 2 km walk to the church around 3am to make it in time and find ourselves a seat in the usually fully packed church. Along the way we would see the blinking parol in the houses, and when were near the church the smell of bibingka and puto bungbong will greet us. I remember I used to bring a rag doll back then to keep me company along the seeming long walk to town and to keep me warm also. That was the only year I was able to complete the nine early morning mass. It was believed that when one completes the simbang gabi a wish will be granted. I still remember the wish I prayed for that year a long time ago-- for my family to have our own house. After a year our very small house in Frisco was built but it was an answered prayer indeed.

I also love the community we have there in our small town. We had a big church overflowing with people and each celebration was sponsored by a barrio was grand. Always there were joyous singing each day I got more more excited in anticipation of Christmas. I guess thats when I learned what anticipation is of the Child that is to come and bring us joy.

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