first, a bit of a backstory and somewhat the highlight of my day:
sure, they’re not the most comfortable pair in the world but i reckon it’s only because they have not been properly broken in. i mean, that’s my take on the whole fashion over comfort argument. i tend to lean towards, and even go to the extremes of justifying, the former. so expect to see more of these boots from now on because i will break these puppies in.
and for somebody who doesn’t exactly have the strongest of willpower, i say that with the conviction of a skinny orphaned boy who grew up to be a seasoned fighter with abs of steel to avenge his parents’ deaths like those you see in the movies.
there are two reasons why i’m bent on doing so:
first, they’re special because they were given to me by my very good friend, rosie, who’s like a mother to me in her very german, no bullshit kind of way.
second, she cherished and kept these shoes after all these years. her husband gifted them to her early in their relationship so holding on to them was her way of keeping his memory alive before she decided to leave them by my door because she said she’s already got too many memorabilia sitting around her house and that she would always cherish him in her heart anyway. (although if i remember the conversation i had with her correctly, ‘memorabilia’ wasn’t the word she used. ‘crap’ sounded more like it.)
these boots were definitely made for walking! i feel privileged to have been given the chance to carry on the legacy of their love and i will do my best not to fail because damn, they give people the impression that i’m one cool chick. which i’m totally not.
the truth is, i’m just this shy and quiet girl you’d most likely find reading a book in a freaking festival. or anywhere, really. nothing much has changed since my primary school days. except maybe that now that we have mobile phones, i get sucked into the whole stalking business of social media too.
here’s a cameo of me from a friend’s live video on the day of the sinulog festival. she loves doing videos, emily. some people are just a natural when it comes to having their videos taken. she’s one of those people.
as for me, i get very self-conscious a lot so i end up looking dumb, which i hate because then there’s a graphic evidence of me looking dumb. it’s a vicious cycle. so, yeah, i try to avoid videos as much as i can.
i’m re-posting her video here anyway because it’s kind of weird seeing myself as if from a third person view. like, bloody hell, is that what i look like from a stranger’s perspective?!
you know what i mean?
the video is almost 4 minutes long, on account of emily giving a running commentary about the event. i decided not to cut those bits out because, i don’t know. it’s her story to tell and it would be rude to cut a huge chunk of it simply because i only want the ones where i’m in it. that’s a bit selfish.
but 2:22. that’s where you’ll find me.
with a melting ice cream on one hand and sporting a big bump on her forehead from falling in the playground on that day, raven had fun. she got to spend some time with her cousin and it was so cute watching them two interact with each other.
almost convinced me to have another one. almost. either it was the beer or the bipolar melbourne heat messing with my thought processes, or both. either way, all i know is, i was just happy to have had my fill of leche flan and dinuguan, infamously known in english as ‘pork blood stew.’ it’s not as macabre as it sounds. okay, maybe it does. but, whatever. i love it.
and because i was too lazy to line up for the free food which consisted of bihon (noodles) and lechon (roast pig), i didn’t get to take full advantage of what the festival had to offer. but because i was a parasite, i asked for some lechon from krisfaye who faithfully lined up under the heat of the sun so it was all good.
contrary to the picture i’m painting, sinulog festival isn’t just about the free food that the organizers hand out to everybody. it’s an annual celebration of the cebuano people’s devotion to the child jesus ever since the spanish colonizers introduced him to cebu.
it is now on its 453rd year.
it’s a pretty big deal back home. think 9-day novena masses held practically every hour, 6 kilometer processions of walking and praying, colorful costumes, brilliant dance choreography which takes ages to rehearse and skill to organize considering the number of participants, fluvial parades, street dancing, getting drunk in the streets, trying not to get stampeded in the congestion of human bodies, and beautiful fireworks to cap the festivities off!
now, i’m too old for that shit. at some point, you leave the partying to the kids.
i do wanna instill the core of what sinulog really is all about in raven, though. but it’s hard because unless she actually grows up in cebu and experience all that devotion firsthand, everything else is just a poor imitation of the essence of it.
i mean, i get goosebumps the moment everyone raises their right hand in unison to the song, batobalani sa gugma, which is like the official theme song dedicated to sto. niño. it’s overwhelming. it’s humbling and empowering at the same time. it’s something that cannot be explained, just felt. it’s a collective connection, both human and divine.
so, yeah, how do you instill culture in a child who’s far from it? that’s the question i’m still trying to figure out. the least i could do was to dress her up in the ‘i ♥ cebu’ shirt she got from daddy and sing and dance sinulog songs with her in the morning.
at least i tried.
on the bright side, it was nice to catch up with everyone else in the filipino community.
*raven at 2 years old