Cebu is carnivorous. She is a city that gobbles humba as much as pochero. Yes, a city of guilt. She murmurs a small prayer of repentance after guzzling a sinful slice of lechon. But such prayer disappears with the burp. But with the contagious mantra of being healthy, she changes. She becomes more diverse. Yes, she is
“Okay ra ka diha, ‘te Jo?!” (Are you okay there, ‘te Jo?!) Ice’s voice was almost drowned in the cacophony of rain, thunder, and rushing water inside my tent. “Di!” (No!) I was holding the poles of the tent, preventing it from flying away. The wind hammered against it to no end. Again, lightning struck. It illuminated the slanted poles and the sagging fly for a split second. Like the tent, I shrank, hoping the lightning could not find us. Then, a thunderous roar filled the small space inside.
People pushed forward. “Akong tiil! Ayaw kuno mo panukmod diha! (My feet! No pushing!)” a woman lashed the crowd behind with expletives. Inch by inch, the grand parade’s lane got narrower. “Atras! Atras! (Move backward! Backward!)” someone would shout. But the crowd often dismissed the futile attempts. It necessitated a figure of authority
DECEMBER is sweltering like mid-May. Along General Maxilom ave., passengers and motorists squinted as the sun gradually descended behind the Christmas tree at Fuente Osmeña Circle. From where I stood—in the middle of the street near a food mart waiting for the perfect time to jaywalk—the unlit Christmas tree looked foreboding, even apocalyptic—the late afternoon sun looming behind it. With the dissonance of the road congestion, it would be surprising if the pedestrians and motorists even notice it.