I had two options: to sit it out or stick to tradition. Despite the really strange weather, tradition won. So off it was to the Good Friday procession.
Negotiating the still-wet-from-the-downpour road in bare feet took some getting used to. But as I slowly picked my way, past familiar landmarks and forgotten side streets, I knew that this was another chance to round up, and to reconnect with, the old hometown.
Funny how each year, Sorsogon seems exactly the same and yet different. There’s a new building where a turn-of-the-century house stood last year. The school where two of my sisters went to has taken on a colder façade. And there’s this bar tucked away in a quiet neighborhood whose banner is both a name and a statement: Gay-Friendly Bar. And unabashedly open on Good Friday, too.
This year’s crowd is as varied as usual. There are the pious and the devout, the lost and the restless. There are those reciting rosaries and those exchanging phone numbers. There are punks tripping on a group of fully made-up gays. There are fresh-from-the-big-city school girls feigning difficulty with the dialect. There are those waiting in the wings to strip the carrozas of their precious flowers. And there are those who, like us, are in this for the tradition, for the re-connection.
The procession presented a lot of photo ops. But when you’re in the thick of things, you don’t get that many opportunities to do the shooting. Besides, there’s always next year. Or the next.