01 April 2005

The Old Rock-into-Chair Trick

This is one of all the fun we were having in those days. Here is another one. In those days the Moro they are very popular. It use to be the story of Prince and Princess, the Christian Prince and the Princess against the Moro Royalties. They were shown in the local theatre and the actor and actress are pickup among the young woman and young man from the locale resident. This show was always sponsored by the Pampanga people and about 305 of the resident of our district are Pampanganian people, so that show was very popular in our district especially when the actor and actress were among the local resident. They always rehearse their act in the backyard of the group of nipa houses, which was very common in Tondo and those backyard mostly are good size, enough room for their act and quite a few people use to watch the rehearsal and that's where we kids gather around and watch, usually in the evening.

One evening one of the rehearsal was in progress in one of that backyard of those group of nipa houses. You see, these houses are about six feet high on bamboo pole and no fence around it, so we kids, if we want to watch this practice, we just go through under the house to the backyard, and there they are shaking and dancing and doing their action like nobody's business. (You see, most of them kids in those day if they are playing around they have only camiseta, no pants, no drawers, the lower half of the body is naked). The rehearsal continue about the life of the prince and the princess. So come the last act, they put a artificial rock on the middle of the yard and here come the princess walking slowly as if she is walking under the moonlite and a little while, here come the prince too and come toward the princess and express his love to her. The princess answered, "I cannot love you. You are a prince, yeah, but you have no ability at all. You have no power. Nothing at all." And the prince says, "I have no power? Well, watch this." He draw his sword and says, "Sa bisa itang encanto, maging silla itang bato," meaning, "The strength of my power this rock become chair," and sure enough, the rock split open, and come out a beautiful chair and the prince ask the princess to sit down on the chair. Soon as the princess was seated, here come a little kid from under the house, his lower half was naked. He was just a spectator like us. He was carrying a little paper bag, he walk right in the midle of the yard, and everybody was watching him then. He drop the paper bag on the ground and say, "Sa bisa itang encanto itang tackla manging puto," meaning, "The strength of my power this shit become bread." Soon as the prince heard this, he start chasing us with his sword. Believe me, did we move. We sure ran so fast we were hitting our head on the bamboo posts, but keep on running for dear life and everybody around there are all laughing like anything.
SOURCE: Tomorrow's Memories: A Diary, 1924-1928, by Angeles Monrayo (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2003), pp. 209-210

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