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Month of May Blues

Hmmm… that was quick…

There’s a tuklungan several houses down the road, and it seems like the proceedings have ended. Good!

Earlier, there was music from Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses blaring over the pakakak… Hmmm… Even the tuklungan has evolved into modernity.

When my family first moved here, this place could best be described as rural. The cicadas sang away during the day, there were fireflies at night and gazillion stars illuminated the night skies when there were no clouds.

It was utterly tranquil… Except when May came, and the tuklungans were set up for the traditional alay.

I used to dread the coming of May, which only meant sleepless nights for a whole bleeding month! Once – many, many years ago – the locals set up a tuklong right at the vacant lot almost directly in front of the house.

To this day, I cannot understand the need to set up a primitive sound system with the pakakak blaring out the prayers to the rest of the community. In the Base, where I grew up, we didn’t have these tuklungans. The alay was held at the church, and although the faithful were called to prayer by songs playing over the Base’s sound system, the airplay stopped once the prayers started.

In the tuklong, the community used to be called to the site by a guy with a ting-galit guitar who strummed away to his heart’s delight. I hated it!

Worse, once the alay was over – and the nanangs who sang the prayers had gone home – the drunken brigade took over and sang on through the wee hours of the morning accompanied by the ting-galit guitar.

It was not unusual to hear invectives shouted over the pakakak, try to fathom the logic of that. I mean, the tuklong used to be set up as a capilla, yet it was often turned into a karaoke bar – before the invention of the karaoke…

Well, things have changed… I could still hear the ting-galit awhile back when the alay was being held; ditto the voices of the nanangs

But the Bon Jovi? That’s really an improvement! Def Leppard was a bonus! And shutting down the sound system right after the alay, that’s the best of all!

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