You can say it. I won't hate you.
"What's Sinulog?" :)
This post probably needs some sort of introduction for people who aren't from the Philippines or don't know the place like the backs of their hands (and really, who does?).
Sinulog is a dance, said to have pagan origin but was later incorporated into the Christian faith by the first native Cebuanos to be converted to Christianity as an expression of praise to the child Jesus (called by the Spanish colonizers Santo Niño, which translates to "Holy Child" in English).The Sinulog procession went on today, as a matter of fact. Being a Protestant Christian, I am not really into that sort of thing but our school made us hapless freshmen into human barricades to control the crowd.
There are now two aspects of Sinulog: the religious ritual and the street spectacle patterned after (but not quite copied from) the South American mardi gras. It became a well-organized annual affair timed to the religious Feast of Santo Niño, which falls on the third weekend of January.
A lot of people (and a few saintly floats) passed us by. If we're going to be specific, they lumbered past us for three and a half hours before we left. There were just too many people... Human barricades were forced to surrender when the procession's members started elbowing and barreling through us. Things seemed to get a bit off-kilter but we survived.
The trauma comes after that, actually.
Somehow, I ended up with no money, no cellphone, and no friends in the middle of a gas station surrounded by traffic at night. The cellphone I had left behind (by accident and with dire consequences). The money I had used up. The friends were on their way to the mall, thinking I was safely going other places in a car.
I couldn't call anyone to get me (or even let my friends know what happened). I couldn't ride a jeepney (no money means no fare, you understand) or even a taxi. Our car and its driver weren't in sight (evidently, it was zipping around town looking for me).
Borrowing the phone at the gas station, I realized how pathetic I was when I couldn't even pay a peso to use it. An old man sitting near the door (the owner? the manager? your average old man?) took pity and told the secretary I wouldn't have to pay. He left before I could thank him, before I even realized he had seemingly paid for me.
The car didn't arrive though, and the station's office had closed for the night. This left me in a rather dark spot. I was seriously at wit's end; what if the car never arrived?
A kind station guy (you know, the one who fills up cars with gas) got me a taxi (which by the way, I still didn't know how to pay for). I figured a taxi would be easier to pay for; it was only one ride and would wait while I borrowed some cash. I worried that the driver might trick me (I'm alone, and a girl, after all.) but he was really nice.
Thankfully, a friend lent me money to pay him, and I arrived whole at church for our meeting.
There were so many things that could have gone wrong this evening; it's freaky to even think of it. Thank God for good people, good timing, and God just being... well, God. :) I don't think I could have gotten out of that fix safely without him.
On a lighter note, I'm tweaking around with Adobe Photoshop and codes. Hopefully, my blog will look different (and better) a few days from now. I have piles of schoolwork to do first though; midterms are around the corner. X_X