Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Bohol Diaries, part 2

Dec. 25, 9:03pm

My mom and I bumped into a contemporary of my dad’s at the market yesterday. She told my mom I looked so much like my dad. Funny, I always thought I got more of my mom’s features. But I suppose that’s what age does, make my face more angular. Wait… is it age or my working out, ehehehe? But I guess after this season I’ll be back to curves, ahahaha. Dios ko, we had our Noche Buena at our aunt’s place after the 11:45pm mass that ended at around 1am, and the star attraction of the feast was… hold your arteries… a whole lechon. Good lord. Plus our aunt also had dinuguan and ham and, oh yeah, sotanghon soup. Roasted pig, bloody innards, more pork and a light hearty soup to lessen the guilt.

All over Bilar there are groups of carolers going from house to house. Most of them are the nuisance kind, the ones who sing in one flat note no matter what the song was. Then there are the elderly ones, the ones who take time out to learn the songs and do harmonizing. Then there are the pastores, which I think is a subset of carolers. They’re often all-female and wear matching costumes. They have a set number consisting of several songs and specific choreography that goes with each song. The pastores sing the shepherds’ songs in front of the baby Jesus in the belen; in their songs, the shepherds go looking for the Child Jesus and eventually find Him, thanks to the help of other shepherds.

Thank god most of the songs the pastores sing are in Bisaya; it’s always unintentionally hilarious whenever ordinary carolers sing English or Latin carols. Most of the oldies have fantastic blending; all of them have mature voices, so the natural timbre of each and every voice is solid and full. But their pronunciation and diction! “We wesh yu a miri Krees-mus!” and “Be-ne-te ador-re-mos, be-ne-te ador-re-mos, be-ne-te ador-re-mo-hos domi-noh!” Even my mom, who often shrugs off such things as minor faults, was sorely tempted to teach them right there and then the right way to pronounce the words.

Another weird practice the carolers here have is ending their singing with one big “Pasko!” It’s an exclamation point to signal the end of their singing. But sometimes they say it with such force, it’s as if they were angry at the end. This is especially prevalent with kiddie carolers.

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