Pots, Faith and Photos: Rekindling Tiwi

I don’t know if it works for all, but I have a really blurry memory of my childhood. While some could vividly describe their first days in school for instance, I can barely remember how it was for me. I have come to accept that maybe some people are just gifted with photographic memories and story-telling skills while I have a gift of short-lived memory, if that is indeed a gift. Or in another attempt to explain my forgetfulness, maybe my memory has been suppressed while growing up, only remembering in parts and selectively.

Either way, some memories flash back once in a while — especially in what we call Dejavu.

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The same happened when my mother, Yuri and I went to attend mass at St. Lawrence Parish in Tiwi, Albay last Sunday. We have planned to come after I got well from an unexpected illness in April, as a way of thanking God for the family’s wellbeing. While I am quite sure that I’ve been there before I found it hard to recollect images of the place in my head.

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It took around an hour good for two jeepney rides from home. When we arrived there at 7 am and I saw the church’s facade, it slowly looked more familiar to me although no memories were flashing back. We came in and said a little prayer and soon, the mass began.

 

I noticed that a lot of people were still coming in even right after the mass, many of whom are also pilgrims. I don’t know for what reason but the smallish and not-so-grand church is popular with devotees. With the significant amount of people, souvenir shops also thrive outside the church. Many of whom sell pottery works, for which Tiwi is known.

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Going home, I realised that having an issue with remembering past events can also come a blessing to me. Say: Had I remembered my first time going to that beautiful church, I wouldn’t be as excited to go — or perhaps I wouldn’t. It also gives me a chance to always feel mesmerised by things I see as if it’s the first time. It’s as if every day is a chance to discover life anew — it should be anyway.

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