A day in December | Inquirer Lifestyle
“A Day in December,” watercolor by Alan Jimenez, 2018, private collection —LYN RILLON

A day in December

“A Day in December,” watercolor by Alan Jimenez, 2018, private collection —LYN RILLON

 

Once upon a time, on a pleasant December day in an old Philippine town, the plaza bustles.

Townspeople head for church.

A bibingka vendor tends her stoves. A wide-eyed little girl eagerly awaits puto bumbong. A little boy with a basketful of yellow candles with round cartón wax catchers skips along with his lola and her bilao-ful of candles, wax tao and calmin (scapulars).

Sabuñgeros compare their bulik competing in the afternoon’s tupada. Boys are at sipà by a nipa-roofed karihan with tapsilog and ginatan on the menu.

A puto vendor is about to make a sale. A trio serenades passersby with guitar, drum and bumbong.

A few notice newly arrived strangers under an awning at church side—Maria, José and their newborn baby named Jesús.

All this is captured in watercolor by Alan Jimenez, an artist well known for his letras y figuras paintings. He lives in Malpitic, San Fernando City.