Monday, May 7, 2012

A St. Helen and Constantine Feast Day in my Town

Our municipality’s feast day is celebrated every 21st of October but in our barrio in Binangonan, Rizal, we also have our own separate fiesta and it just happened yesterday. Every first Sunday of May, we go to my lola’s house to aid in the food preparation and cooking for our handa. We treat this as our thanksgiving day for the blessings that we have been receiving.

my lola, in her wacky shot

When we got there, we readily lifted down all our stuff from the car and started helping. My lola, who has been the chief cook of the house and has taught her siblings her innermost secrets in cooking, was the busiest of all. She roughly cooked all the dishes in the buffet table. My uncle who just came from Dubai for a vacation prepared the pulutan for our drinking session afterwards. While he was seasoning the papaitan, he asked me to fry the tokwas and tenga ng baboy. The tokwa’t baboy is a perfect accompaniment for every drink. In our dirty kitchen, we have a decades-old stone stove which is heated by charcoals or uling. Cooking there is motivating because you need to maintain the fire on it.

Placed on the table were the traditional delectable fiesta dishes such as chicken hamunado, lumpiang gulay, pork morcon, pork embutido and of course, gelatine.  I remember the old feast days, we used to prepare fruit punch in a classical punch bowl as a beverage. But now, we only bought a ready to mix apple flavored juice for the drinks.

The first batch to eat was my lola’s church mates since she is a mother butler’s guild member and also some friends. After that, our relatives came in and we had some sensible, serious and humorous talks while eating.

our pulutan, papaitan ( left ) and tokwa't baboy ( right )

MBG, hehe

Right after eating, my uncle called for the session. The men in our family circled together on the 10-seater round table and sat with the Alfonso brandy in the middle. I also took bowls of papaitan and tokwa’t baboy for our pulutan. I ate so much of the foods because this is what I usually do while drinking. The untold stories also started while we were biting the okoy freshly fried by my lola. On the other side of our table was the circle of church servers drinking red wine. They only had a healthy drink and some witty conversations. I easily felt groggy from drinking so I transferred to our neighbor to stay for a while and to release the raging heat from that drink. When I came, my barkadas were also drinking so I was forced to take some shots. I almost vomited but I was able to control myself and just diverted my dizziness to some ear-splitting activities. I sang videoke so loud and cracked some jokes.

It was 5 in the afternoon when I felt the intensity of being under the influence of the alcoholI’m really weak in drinking, hehe. I lay to the bed to take a nap but when I woke up, it was already 6:30 pm and my uncles were already drinking beers at that moment. I decided to take a shower before eating dinner to reduce the heat. What we had for dinner was sinigang na pink salmon sa miso, so tasty. We were watching the PBA grand finals when we were enjoying our food. All of us rooted for B-meg, and they actually won even though it was a close fight.  

Holy Cross with St. Helen ( left ) and Constantine ( right )

some of the partners ( sorry for the blurry shot )

a long line of arches connected with one wire

The santacruzan is also witnessed during the first Sunday of May in Binangonan. I positioned in an elevated spot for taking photos. The procession was led by the children costumed as angels and the Holy Cross image. It was followed by romantic pairs under their exquisitely decorated arches. These partners portrayed as Constantine and Saint Helen came from different barrios. According to the theoretical story, St. Helen firstly found the cross where Jesus died in Jerusalem. Her son, Constantine, on his way to Rome saw a luminous cross in the sky and a vision in his dream. He was told to engrave a cross and a saying on their shields and they in fact conquered the battle. The purpose of this activity is to honor St. Helen and Constantine for finding the Holy Cross.

Some of the arches were properly spotlighted so it was easy to take a shot. The last was Ynna Asistio, a young Kapuso actress and personality in television. She was simple but attractive. I now admire her kind-hearted character and angelic face, wew, how I wish I was his partner. She even favored the annoying requests of avid fans like photo shots. The procession lasted for half an hour and still I wasn’t convinced with my photos of Ynna although I took a pile of shots. J

sayang yung pagtingin sakin ni Ynna, if the lighting was evenly set, I should've taken a better photo of her.

wew, :))

When I went home, it was already 11 pm so I planned to sleep immediately.

I saw an angel coming down from heaven. ||

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