I am not a regular church-goer. I did go to mass regularly up until college, but all those years barely staying awake during Salvation History has taken its toll on my attention span.
I am, of course, a believer. I believe in a higher being, I believe in angels, I believe in the goodness of the universe. My faith, though, has nothing to do with structures and rituals. It has nothing to do with preachy sermons and walking on one's knees. And it certainly has nothing to do with the Yano song that is currently playing--the kind that speaks of holy dogs and horses.
Years ago, I lived next to a crusty old woman who was known for her penny-pinching ways and her sharp tongue. She was notorious in the neighborhood for her colorful language. Because the church was within walking distance, she heard mass every day and she hosted prayer meetings in her compound.
One Sunday, she was her usual screaming, expletive-spewing self. And the subject of her tirade? Her ward, who in her words was a slow poke.
And so it goes that to this day, whenever I see the old woman my mind freezes on that particular Sunday, when she shouted for all the neighborhood to hear: "Arlene! @#$^!@&*! Demonyo ka, Arlene. Bilis-bilisan mo na at magsisimula na ang prayer meeting!
And in true Yano fashion, natatawa ako, hi hi hi hi.