First Mass

The preparation

Yesterday was a very tiring day for me and my honey. We went to Greenhills, and spent the day looking for presents to give. We ended up feeling like we've never know how it is to take a quiet sit in one corner. At first the malls looked barren without people, as we arrived early at malls yesterday.. then it ended as though, there was no more space left to move!

Yes, feet aching and all, we got home (finally) and had a very much needed sleep. My day today began at 2:05AM. I was actually having a dream that a friend was ignoring me. It gave me a sad feeling. This feeling that you miss someone, but know that you are no longer a part of your friend's life and is intentionally killing you from knowing the fact that you can never be a part of that life again.. Sigh..

Its a good thing I woke up… Yeah, I woke up with aching feet, still. Even so, I woke up to prepare for the first Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo. It has been four years now since I started going to Simbang Gabi. Me and my sister, we are devotees of this tradition, though we leave behind our mom and our youngest sister sleeping soundly and peacefully each time, the feeling of going to the Mass itself was stronger than the yearn to go back to sleep.

Of course, since our house is very near the church (as in walking distance), we only prepare for around 5-10 minutes, then head off to the Church. When we arrived, there were only about less than 50 people inside. My eyes are still heavy from the tiredness since yesterday. Its a good thing though that I did not forget to wear my eyeglasses. I wanted to witness the difference of last year's Masses with the current one.

Yes, at 2:30AM, we were sitting there at our usual 'reserved' seating. We were noticing the different decors that were not there before. The Christmas tree was moved to the right side already, a new rattan structure was being built at the left side (though still empty) and there was a small hut-like structure being built at the horizontal center aisle at the right side. Hmmm… It seemed they lacked some preparations this time. Another good thing to notice was that, they were now playing a different CD of Jose Mari Chan's Christmas songs. Why did I say different??? Its because, for the past years of my Simbang Gabi, they have been playing the same CD over and over again! Hehe, its nice to hear some more Christmas Songs..

Today, the celebrant was Father Benjie. I loved Father Benjie's sermons. I was then eager enough to listen to this one. As we were waiting for the Mass to start, I was brought to wondering if I was ever prepared enough for this Simbang Gabi. For the past few days, yes, I was anticipating for this event, but just now, I felt like I wasn't ready. Its because, I never really have given thought on what I really want for this Christmas. The shopping spree that we did yesterday was quite unsuccessful for me, because I haven't really thought about what I'm going to give who.. and where must I get them.. Just like today, what do I really want to say to Him?

The Mass was all about Preparation. Simbang Gabi was a 9day procession in preparation for the coming of Christ. With this in mind, St. John the Baptist comes to the picture. He was the prophet who prepared the people for the coming of Christ. Father Benjie started with a song about Simbang Gabi. He then followed this introduction by asking all of us: "What is your motivation for going to Simbang Gabi? What are your goals for going to Simbang Gabi?". My thoughts went: "Ano nga ba?!"

It has long been my passion to finish the 9 day Simbang Gabi because my wish would be granted. The first, and second wish came true. The third, I did not complete it, and the fourth? well, it didn't go the way I wished for it, but I was definitely given an answer. And this time, I wanted to grace this procession with a worthwhile wish. But what??? I still haven't made up my mind… I still haven't made up my mind… hmm… I think, that's it! I need to make up my mind… and that was my wish. There is something going on inside of my head. Its something that someone has been putting inside my head for some weeks now. Its something I must actually understand within myself. And so, I knew this was the perfect wish, along with few good hopes for my loved ones of course. And that, finally, was my answer to Father Benjie's question.

Overall, the Mass went well, no rants for me today… though I must say.. shouldn't an iPod be out of place in a church??? To be actually wearing the earphones in the church is so contradicting the real purpose why you're there! And to some, bringing along their cellphones and using them inside is such a necessity that they really just couldn't help it! Ah, well… the kids of today, don't even know how to value the house of God.

As it was then time to go home, I noticed just outside the church entrance was a dog. This street dog (aka askal) was standing amidst the crowd that was going about. He was not barking though, neither was he sitting. He was just standing there, as though he looked like he's someone trying to get in but can't.. or someone who was actually trying to find someone from the thick crowd! Hehe, suddenly this funny bone started to creep into me again. I told my sister, who was seemingly quiet (maybe quite sleepy already), "..tignan mo yung aso, gusto niya magsimba.. (look at the dog, he wants to hear Mass)". She replied with a decent answer: "oo nga, kaso di naman siya papapasukin, di gaya ng pusa madaling makapasok (yeah, though he can't get in unlike cats who can easily slip inside)". Sealed hmmm… not a funny one, so this is what I told her: "..actually, may version 2 pa yan eh.. sabi nung aso, 'teka, asan na yung mga kasamahan ko, sabi nila dito daw meeting place para sa welga.. mali ba napuntahan ko??'" For my honey who regards himself as the master joker, yeah, it might seem korny, but it made my sister laugh.. good enough, and it served its purpose anyway. hehe… Still walking home, quite hungry already, we passed by a bakery, but we had no money, and so we simply carried on. We heard a loud scream from a bunch of girls. As I turned around, they were trying to cross the road, beating a huge truck that was passing by. One of the girls attempted to cross, and so the others were yelling at her in fear that the truck might hit their friend. I was amazed when my sister blurted out: "naku, agang-aga.. parang headling sa dyaryo yan.. 'Sa unang araw ng simbang gabi, babae, nasagasaan ng trak'". Sealed hmmm… not a funny again, so this is what I told her: "di ganyan, ang seryoso naman ng headline na yan.. eto ang headline pag ako ang writer: 'Sa unang gabi ng simbang gabi, Trak, akala, hihinto ang babae! Patay!' Tongue out". Hehehe, and then we noisily headed back home.

Now, as I am closing this post, I think to myself, I consider myself ready. Ready for accepting Christ this Christmas. I have been so thankful for all His blessings, for having my family and my honey and Nyey. As early as today, I wish all my loved ones a joyous Christmas. I'm looking forward to everyday of this Christmas season.

Maricris Nonato

I turn tech ideas into websites using Ruby. I'm a budding Buddhist practitioner, passionate about health & fitness, and a cat fanatic!