Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the Weather

One day last week, as I was taking the train to meet a friend, rainclouds suddenly blocked out the sun, and rain started to pour. In another instant the rainclouds were gone, and the sun was shining down again, but the rain perdured, now strong, now weak, drizzling, pouring, all this under a clear blue sky. I was suddenly reminded of an old superstition; whenever rain started to pour while the sun was up, they said, it was a sure sign that two tikbalang were about to be married. Having the body of a man and the head of a horse, the tikbalang is one of the more famous creatures of Philippine mythology; it has a taste for human flesh, they said, and when two of them were to be married, it's said, humans better watch out.

And sure as day, I saw a little old lady of about sixty, no doubt a grandmother, suddenly grab her grandson and give her a medallion of St. Benedict. She pressed it to his foreheard, lips, and heart, before finally crossing the child with the medallion. 'Crux sacra sit mihi lux, nunquam draco sit mihi dux.' Meanwhile, the child played gleefully with his PSP, as even then, the old lady resumed reading her tabloids, no doubt chewing up the latest gossip about her favorite stars' love lives.

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