Are you embarrassed about being a probinsyana?

There are two Oh My Buhay readers that think I am embarrassed to say that I am originally from Binangonan, Rizal. This is the opposite from the truth. Why would I post and give much prominence to the town of Binangonan kung ikinakahiya ko?

And what is wrong if I came from Binangonan? It’s no different coming from a province in any part of the world.

Having experienced living in the province gave me a lot of unique experiences and memories of sagala, fiesta, senakulo, giwang-giwang, tumbang preso, igib ng tubig sa poso, ligo sa ulan, madulas sa palayan, mang-umpit ng tutubi, simbang madaling-araw, pospas, puto-bumbong, inihaw na pusit, bahay kubo, at marami pang iba.  Yung mga taga city,  meron ba kayong kwento tungkol sa tikbalang, manananggal, butiki, tiktik, manglukulam?

Even if I now live 36 kilometers away, I make it a point to visit our town a few times a year. And one of those times is in October. I no longer like to visit on the very fiesta day because it’s too chaotic.

I schedule several things to do each time para sulit ang byahe.

Sunday, October 23, 2022
I swung by the pritil  (fish port) to buy tilapia and bangus (milk fish).  Our maids like tilapia and they would enjoy the freshness of the catch here.

I couldn’t get off any closer to where the vendors were because the street was flooded.  Oo nga pala bumagyo nga pala the week before.

mymdriver parked farther away where the road was dry.  I walked and hit a dead-end because around me was dirty flood water.  Nung araw, kahit merong baha, pwedeng lumusong kasi malinis yung tubig ulan.  Ngaykn tingnan ko lang yung tubig parang nakikilabutannna ako.  Nung araw, the worst thingnthat could happen was, dudumi ang tsinelas.  Today pwede kang pumanaw sa mundo dahil sa leptospariosis.

For about 5 minutes I just stood there thinking of a strategy.  Shall I leave? I hailed a tricycle and talked the driver into buying fish for me.  He asked me to ride on his tricycle.  I did,  then he parked it closest to the vendors.  Sya na lang ang bumili.  I gave him money to buy 10 kilos of tilapia, 5 kilos of bangus.  Nilagyan pa nya ng yelo.  He brought me to my car and helped load the fish.  He was so helpful I gave him P100.  Sobrang sumaya yung mukha nya.  Mas masaya ako kasi he helped me. He came from Pila-pila where I would be going next.

Nuestra Senyora de las Angeles Parish

My mother loved this church very much.  This was where she went to pray in times of challenges.   I have come to love this place too in honor of my mama.  I brave the long ride of two hours coming here and sometimes 4 hours of going back to our house,  I still try to come here 3 times a year.

I said hello to Saint John.   This is technically mine but the church volunteers take good care of it on my behalf.  They are so nice.  They know I don’t live here so they adopted him. The dress is luma na, needs a new outfit.
Annie Tan Yee, Saint John

The next stop was at the cemetery. I don’t intend to come here on November 1 kasi grabe sa siksikan. An excellent driver is also necessary to navigate through the chaos. Our current drivers are far from that. I just asked my friend Malou to bring flowers and light candles for Kuya Ben. She was so kind to oblige.


By chance, the high school class of Malou is having an early dinner get-together to welcome a visiting classmate from North California. They invited me to join them. I was pressed with time and couldn’t include this get-together in my itinerary.

I swung by for a few minutes only to say hello to them.  They took some group photos from their cellphones.  I also handed over to Malou the money for the candle and flowers.

My next stop was at the St. Ursula Parish office.
I offered 9 consecutive novenas for my son, holy masses for my daughter, apo, Edmund, my siblings, and their families, souls of my parents, Kuya Ben, Edmund’s papa, Kuya Ben’s son Bembol who died of hydrocephalus at 2.

While I was waiting for my turn to hand over the list of mass offerings, there was a Korean couple filling out forms. I guess they wanted to get married in that church. Natatawa ako sa kanila kasi when they reached the question if it’s their own free will, that no one forced them to get married, they looked at each other and started arguing. The woman sounded pissed and the guy looked scared. A family member, I guess the woman’s mother intervened. She spoke better English than the couple. She asked the guy in English if it’s his own free will. Tingin ko the Korean guy couldn’t understand what it meant.

I noticed the addition of the Latin words PORTA SANCTA at the doorway.   Porta Sancta means Holy Door in a basilica or cathedral that remains closed and only opened for pilgrims during Holy Years such as the Jubilee Year of Mercy.   Not all churches can designate their own Holy Door.  But in October 2015, Pope Francis broke tradition by allowing each Roman Catholic church worldwide to designate a Holy Door during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy so that their parishioners don’t need to travel to Rome to gain the plenary indulgences granted during the Jubilee Year.
Porta Sancta, St. Ursula Parish Church

“To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone….
Let us set aside all fear and dread….”
—Pope Francis



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