A Twist of Parable

The parable of the multiplication of bread takes a different twist with our batch in college. Scholars would explain the phenomenon as a spontaneous sharing of food by the people. In our case it could be explained by some other means.

Take a usual rainy afternoon when we had nothing else to do. Our batch would congregate in Taning’s house looking for "bahaw" (cold rice). We were impoverished, like the multitude listening to the words of Jesus. But we had enough pooled resources to buy one small can of tinapa (specifically a Youngstown sardines).

How could a small can of tinapa feed six famished and growing boys on a rainy afternoon? Jesus’ disciples faced the same dilemma. How could five pieces of loaves and fish be enough to feed thousands?

In our case, we cooked the tinapa with plenty of water, making it hard to find the fish. In addition to that, we would also put at least 10 sili (chili), causing us to drink plenty of water and eat more rice. (The side effect of sili, we discovered, was it made us perspire profusely and made our head itchy.)

The cooked and super-hot tinapa was then served over tons of cold bahaw. The entire class, including the ever constant “ambushers” (Robert and Ping) would feast to our fill. And surprisingly, we always had just enough for everyone. Ah, miracle. (msa)