Waiting for Mass

Just across the St Joseph Cathedral, along J.A. Clarin St in Tagbilaran, stood an old quaint house owned by the Ceballos family.

There was a small patio with a garden set under the shade of a solitary kaimito tree.

In the late 70's I remember sitting on a steel chair, watching the children in the playground and the churchgoers just across the street. Traffic was very light then. Noise produced by tricycle was not as bad. Most families would prefer to walk to church in their Sunday’s best. I used to walk to church with my family from our house, which was around 700 meters away. My brother and I--in clean, well-pressed bush jackets--would walk ahead of my 3 sisters and my parents.

It was not unusual to see Jecebu sitting on the chair waiting for the next mass to start. A few times, I would join him there and we would talk as we waited for mass. Even after high school, when Jecebu decided to take up medicine in Cebu, I would still pass that house on my way to the church and I could imagine Jecebu sitting there, waiting for the mass.

Several years after I left Tagbilaran, I heard news that the house burned down. The house is no longer there. In its place stands an appliance store. But I can still picture the view of the Cathedral from there. (nox)