Butching felt the slimy murk gently swallow the front of his shirt and pants as he lay face down in Uncle Tangad’s duck pen. He dared not twitch, blending his feverish breath and the muffled echoes of his throbbing heart in the orgy of dancing shadows.
The light in the bangsal went on. Butching tensed. That would be the older woman. The light went out and, after what seemed an eternity for him, went on again to usher a silhouette with a long hair that shyly curls at the full breasts where a pair of nipples proudly protrude through a loose and flimsy cotton shirt.
The silhouette reached from under her knee-length skirt and pulled down a pink panty sprinkled with dots of red blossoms which she draped like a panuelo on her shoulders. Butching’s heart raced in anticipation, then leapt madly as the silhouette scooped a tabo of water from a burnay and squatted in front of him. The sound of splashing water was music to his ears. Bits of it caressed his face, anointing his burning soul as he tried to peel the darkness and see what is there, his nose struggling to reach beyond the muskiness of the damp earth to catch even a whiff of that treasured patch so temptingly hidden by the shadow cast by the wane bangsal light. It was his ecstasy.
Suddenly, lights pierced the blanket of blackness. There were voices. The silhouette hurriedly got up, balled her panty, placed it in her skirt’s pocket, and went out to find what the commotion is.
The next day, Butching confessed to Kapitan Puyot that he indeed was caught stealing Uncle Tangad’s ducks.
Profile: The Church of Binangonan, Rizal
The ecclessiastical mission of Binangonan was established by the Franciscans in 1621. It was administered by the Jesuits in 1679, by the Augustinians in 1697, and back to the Franciscans in 1737. The parochial buildings were built between 1792 and 1800, and has been renovated several times since then.