Recent highlights on the charmed life of Utoy, the saintly seminarian from hell.
- my dad had a stroke last week. I’m flying to bicol on the 5th of July to visit him. My sister said he’s calling out for me. Weeks ago, when I called him up on his birthday, he pleaded me to visit him there before I leave for my pastoral exposure. When I said I’ll try but I can’t promise, he told me in high Batangueño: “Ay ala, anak, bakin ga gay-on? Baka ga ako eh magpantay na ang paa habang ikaw eh naanduon sa malayo. Alaan mo namang tuong ikapamamanglaw ko ang pagyao mo duon.” (translated: Alas, my son, why is it so? I fear that I should perish while you’re at a great distance. You knew very well the sorrow it would cause me once you embark on the journey yonder.) I then answered (also in high Batangueño), “Ay, tatay, ako ga nama’y ubos na ang bakasyon eh kainaman din naman sa hirap magpaalam sa aking supiryor at gawa nang ang pagkakaingli ng pari dine eh ako’y naghihikap laang.” (translated: Dad, I’ve used up all my vacations and it’s just darn dificult to get permission from my superiors as these priests often suspect that I’m just playing hookey.) To that he replied, “Ay gay-on ga? Ay sya’t ako na laang ang gagawa ng paraa’t nang harimanawari’y tayo eh makapagpanagpo laang at makapaglipon-lipon.” (translated: Is that so? Well then, let me find a way so that, God willing, we’ll be reunited again to enjoy each other’s company.) Two weeks later, he indeed gave me a valid and urgent reason to visit him. Haaay, Tatay… Seriously speaking now, I very much worried. Please pray for my Tatay.
- I called a plane ticketing hotline to reserve a plane seat to Bicol. They gave me a round trip to Legaspi. That same day, I went to pay for the reservation where I was given a printout as a ticket. Gone were the days when tickets really looked like tickets. Later that day, my sister called me up so say how stupid I am for booking a flight to Legaspi instead of Naga. How on earth would I know there’s an airport in Naga? Oh, well, at least, I’ll get to see Mayon again.
- Last thursday I went to apply for a visa. As I checked from the embassy’s website, I learned that I am to set an appointment first before I can submit my requirements. And so I called their visa section for a schedule. A foreign-sounding lady answered.
me: helo, helo, gudmowning, mam, ay wud layk to inkwayr haw mats syud I pay por bisa prasesing? tenkyu beri mats.
foreign lady: (paused a little) 99 euros, monsieur.
me: (with a certain thickness of the face) haw mats is dat in pesos?
The lady, patient enough to bear with my temerity, gave me the amount. I thanked him again and put down the phone. Then, I realized, I forgot to set an appointment! So I called up again. A Pinay answered.
me: helow poh, pede poh akong magpa-sched ng appointment?
Pinay: mamaya pang alas dos. (then she banged down the phone).
hmmmm… rudeness. So I waited for 2pm and just to be sure, I called up at 2:30pm. A different pinay answered.
me: helow poh, pwede pong magtanong kung…
Different Pinay: Hindi ito tanungan. for setting of appointments lang. (then she banged down the phone)
uunganaman. My bad. As in every situation with a lady, I always deliver the wrong pickup line. So I called up again. Yet another Pinay answered.
me: helow poh, magpapasched poh ako ng date of submission. Pede po sa byernis?
Yet Another Pinay: Ok. 8am, tomorrow. (then she slams down the phone. Standard procedure siguro nila ang maging rude.)
My conclusion: If you happen to call or visit an embassy for visa, for your own sake, avoid the Pinay. Most likely, she’s got PMS or is simply a bitch.
- Two weeks ago, I gave our novices a talk on… -I don’t think you’ve guessed it- the breviary. It’s actually an expertise of mine as I knew the history, the structure, the theology, the inner logic (or the lack of) and quite a host of trivia about this beloved prayerbook. It was some serious conference on prayer which the novices had no choice but to attend. The good priests, God bless their humor, paid me with movie passes (or in today’s lingo, invites). I spent them all at once with Kung Fu Panda and The Happening. The Kung Fu Panda recounts my own battle with gluttony and low self-esteem and how I overcame them by eating siomai with a Master. The Happening is a very funny movie about people killing themselves faster than they do today. I mean, don’t pollution, over-eating, smoking, fad diets, substance abuse and sleep deprivation already examples of suicidal acts? And the way Mr. Wahlberg acts: Downright hilarious.
- I gave a recollection talk to the community last Saturday which I conscentiously and lovingly prepared 30 minutes before it started. It wasn’t bad, it turned out. Some even congratulated me. Now it’s official: I’ve got a special talent, a gift of winging things out. hehehe…
- Again, please pray for my Tatay. and for Bluep’s Dad as well as he undergone (underwent? undergoed? alin ang tama?) surgery today. And pray for Jhoen to who will be ordained tomorrow to the Order of Deacons. God bless!