When I was born the whole town celebrated
My mother was convincedshe’d name me after our patron saint, San Sebastian.
When I close my eyes I can still see
the flamboyant parada - marching musicians, swaying crowd,
the multi-coloured banderitas festooning above
like the jumbling wires of electric poles;
I remember the sparkling perya - the tarnished laughter,
and the sour scents of Ferris wheel.
On a bamboo table there’s the sheen, succulent lechon –a charcoal-roasted pig, a claret mansanas in its mouth.
Everyone drooled just by looking, yearning for the host
to start chopping the humongous treat.
My mother tells me how my uncle lifted her into a tricycle
and hurled his arms like a traffic officer,
trying to break the string of devotees,
and cut through the swelling waves of procession.
Once, a whole town celebrated and I was born,
and at times I still wish I was named Sebastiana...
|Las Banderitas festooning above|
|blowing my cake with my pamilya :-)|