Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Well, that's me. The Ninong. I didn't know what it meant at first, to be chosen for this, but I kind of like it, knowing I have been entrusted with some responsibility in someones life like this.

At first it was a baptismal and of course I had no idea what to expect or what to do, so I just tried to go with the flow of things, hoping not to make too many mistakes. Ok, not too bad, just do what everybody else does and try to look cool, like I've done this a thousand times. I guess I did it ok, at least the church part. But wait, we're all leaving the church together to go to the beach for the reception. No one said anything about going to the beach, that's why I'm dressed in white pants.

Well, it's a really nice place at the beach, some sort of resort or something, but the only bad thing is that I can't sit down. I have on these really white pants, and if I sit here at the beach it will look like I couldn't wait for the CR or something. So I'll squat. Not bad until you realize I'm not as young as springtime any more, the food isn't here yet, so by the time I get up my legs don't want to straighten out like I want them to. Anyway, the food comes, wow, there's a lot of it. Filipinos love to eat, that's good, something we have in common. And the food is really good too.

Ninong again, but this time it's a wedding. Well, I learn quickly, this time it's black pants, and I was able to borrow a Barong from my brother in law, so I'm really looking the part. Grab the gift, get a taxi, and off to the church. When we arrived I was pleased because I was looking good in my barong, but then this older lady who was in charge started telling us where to go, and I was in front. Trying to tell her I had no earthly idea of what I was supposed to do didn't seem to matter, I was still stuck in front. The other sponser arrived, he was coming in from Japan, and had as much idea of what was going on as I did. We kept looking at each other as if that would help us figure it out. But the lady in charge came through, and we walked down the aisle to our seats and eventually got through the rest of the wedding, pictures, etc. Then to the reception, they showed us our table, which was also up front next to the bride and groom, and here came the food. Now, I'm in my element, this is great, and there's a lot of it! All in all, it went very well, and I was proud to be a part of it.

Another couple of words I've had to get used to are "manong" and "dong". At first I was there in the village, meeting people, talking to everyone, but I keep hearing Katherine talk about manong , who lives on one side, manong on the other, manong up the street, and finally I couldn't take it any more, so I asked "why is it that everybody has the same first name"? So she explained about the term "manong", and then after several trisikad rides I wondered why they were all called "dong", when I know I had already heard them called by other names. Normal names like Ray, Michael and such. So again she explained. It's a lot of fun learning, and I'm very glad that I have a patient teacher.