Thursday, January 05, 2006

rude awakening

We were awakened earlier than usual today. The timekeeper, Paeng, set his alarm clock for 5:00. Another student, Jeff, needed to get up at 3:00 to study. So he changed the time on Paeng's clock without telling him. At 3:00 AM, the alarm went off. Paeng didn't even look at the time on the clock; he just assumed it was 5:00, so he went out and rang the bell . . . loudly and repeatedly.

The Saguds had all of the faculty over for lunch today. I'm not sure exactly what the occasion was. I know several of their family members are visiting right now. I think it may have been Pastor Rheynil's birthday, or possibly his mother's birthday or both. I know when they asked Pastor Bong to ask the blessing on the food, they als0 asked him to pray for Rheynil and his mother. I think Rheynil's mom is working abroad in Hong Kong, so she must have come back to visit for the holidays.

At any rate, the meal was served buffet style. We heard a goat in apparent pain early this morning. Evidence of that was on the table. Besides rice, naturally, there were two dishes of kilawan (?), one with papaitan and one without. Kilawan, according to Pastor Alex, is the goat's skin. There was also caldatera and pancit bihon. Finally, there was a large stockpot of what I assume was pinapaitan. I tried everything but the pinapaitan. As one might suppose, the kilawan was not my favorite, especially the one with papaitan included. I just don't seem to be able to acquire a taste for intestines and bile. The caldatera was pretty good; I went back for seconds. It was, however, very difficult to eat, since every chunk is more than 50% bone and even the meat has little chips of bone in it. It almost requires you to eat kamayan. The pancit was good too, but I don't think I've really had bad pancit.

I spent some time talking to Pastor Alex during the meal. We talked about cowboys and Indians among other things. I was telling him how Tiffany and I each have trace amounts of Indian blood in our ancestry. He told me that his paternal grandmother was full-blooded Kalinga. As a consequence of that upbringing, Pastor Alex experienced an unusual discipline as a child. I'm not positive I have this 100% correct, but as I understand it: Alex was tied in a sack and hung upside down from a tree. His hands and feet were tied, so he could not get away. Then his father hit him with a stick. I don't know anything about the Kalinga, but apparently they are notorious for their "savagery."

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