Monday, 22 March 2010

Traditionally Impractical

I have this feeling that my Tita Syl is the only resident in our village who holds a Pabasa during the lenten season. Her German neighbor has already complained about the "noise" the readers/singers make. But she doesn't care about them because the screaming of his bratty grandchildren the whole year through is much worse.

To my knowledge, my family's tradition of Pabasa started about 30 years ago, by my Tita Carmen. It was her way of thanking God for all the fortunes she has received. She has her own life sized Black Nazarene and a huge hanging crucifix in her house. But she had to migrate to the States in the 80s and the Black Nazarene and the crucifix were donated to a church in Sta. Rosa Laguna, my family's hometown.

Once a year, Tita Syl borrows the Black Nazarene from the church to bring it to her house and hires a group of devotees for the yearly Pabasa. My Mom would sing for about an hour, tops, usually in the late afternoon when it's amost over. Tita Syl would sit at the side, and from time to time leaves the group when a new visitor arrives.

Personally, I still don't know why the whole family has to come to this tradition. Nobody prays, my nephews are not interested, the elders chit chat most of the time and everytime we visit the place looks more like a party than a prayer meeting because of all the food. I just don't think it's practical anymore. This has become more of a social event.

And when I asked my Mom why my Kuya wasn't there this evening, she said he had a dinner meeting with his friends. Ganon? I should have just sneaked out this afternoon and pretended to have a dinner meeting of my own. At McDonald's.


  1. My mom, her sister and I usually dine at Pancake House in CCP. It's usually on a Saturday Afternoon, and usually its raining whenever we find ourselves eating merienda there. Asked why we go back to that place over and over again - when there are more interesting restaurants nearby,

    I guess that's what you call tradition. No matter how things have changed, still they hold to the vestiges of one's beginnings.


  2. i'm not catholic so i sorta freaked out the first time i heard a pabasa. the old women looked at me like i was the antichrist or something.