Today I woke up and there was no light nor water. It was a city blackout! Of course, the absence of water shouldn’t follow the absence of light, but it seems, in Zamboanga City, living a mere 5 kilometers away from the city proper necessitates the use of a water booster since without it, water would barely make it to your faucet.
As disgruntled as I was at the pesky nuisance of not having any water in the bathroom, I was more worried I couldn’t get to school, since after all, it IS the start of the Ateneo Fiesta, and furthermore, it’s the Feast of St. John Berchmans!
Aside from Christmas, Valentine’s and my birthday, one of my most favorite holidays is November 26, feast day of St. John Berchmans. Most people, even Catholics in the Philippines, don’t randomly celebrate saints’ memorial days unless it’s their town’s patron saint’s feast day, ‘coz that translates into their very own Barangay Fiesta, which is always a cause for a splashy celebration.
The reason that I celebrate November 26 is because St. John Berchmans is the name of my high school class (batch ’99). And ever since my HS freshman year, my classmates and I have viewed this day as one of the highlights of every year, since it means we get together and have a celebration, be it a picnic at La Vista, a mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel or a visit to the local orphanage.
Whenever I think of our feast day, though, I remember one thing. My best friend Christopher handing me a love letter to give to one of our classmates, whose birthday would fall on the following day. Back then I had a gigantic crush on my best friend, unfortunately, it was not to be… for the love letter was to be given to a boy. Yes, it broke my little teenaged heart. I had denied it for the longest time, my crush on him, and yes, his crush on boys.
Ironically, my best friend’s crush rejected the letter I had given to him from my best friend, leaving me to have to return it back to Chris. My only revenge was that that day, we both nursed bruised egos (but, thankfully, our hearts eventually mended!).
Anyways, if you’re wondering how the heck I was able to get to school without water, let me just declare that I did not come without bathing!!! (Eww, you’ve a filthy mind for even thinking it!)
I washed my hair outside in our backyard (the water only spurts out of the faucet when it’s close to the ground) and then I filled a whole bidon with water (took me 30 minutes!!!) and then, veins almost bursting with the effort, I half-hauled and half-pushed the very heavy bidon up to our bathroom in the house and washed my body!
St. John Berchmans, pray for us.