Hong Kong + Just James = News for You (Previously the "JustJames" Blog.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Chapter Three: A Filipino At Its Peak

Determined to make "something happen" on a rainy Sunday, the Filipino decided to retrace his steps back to Central Station and find exits J1 and J2 in order to find St. Joseph's Cathedral. Back to the blue line, he discovered that he left for the wrong exit and that in fact if he had read the signs well, he should have made a right turn instead of a left and would therefore make it towards exits J1 and J2.

Stealing an open spot at the internet kiosk, the Filipino managed to find the website for the Cathedral, look up the times (the next mass would be in 45 minutes), and begin to take his course towards the exits and eventually find his way towards the church. After finding exits J1 and J2, he ascends from the escalators to a wide piazza filled with fellow Filipinos... or actually Filipinas, all the same height about 5ft tall standing and sitting on every corner, floor, and surface of this piazza... but only on the covered areas because rain was pouring incessantly all around. (The Filipino remembered that Sunday was everyone's day off from work, especially the domestic helpers.)

His eyes, learning from its mistakes are now open for signs. Arrows were pointed clearly towards the direction of the Peak Tram, where the church would be located, and the Filipino moved on. Using the elevated walkways that connected one skyscraper to another, the Filipino was steadfast in his approach towards the target in hopes of getting that "something" to "happen" on this Sunday.

Making his way around buildings, up and down stairs, under bridges, and over road networks... he finally made it to target, 45 minutes early. It was extremely difficult to make it here, ie, the journey wasn't as easy from the MTR to the church, as it was when the Filipino just stepped out of the station only to find himself at the IFC mall.

On all the 6 entrances towards the church, and on the church steps, the Filipino saw a sea of women... Filipinas, all 5 feet tall carrying shopping bags, cookies, gifts, and new kitchen appliances, just waiting to get into this mass. This Filipino, did not know how to react. He sat on the side of a wall taking the time to breathe. The halls, walkways, and all the covered areas were packed with women, talking, making gossip, passing food, and SMSing on cellphones while most importantly, waiting for the next mass which wouldn't start for another 40 minutes.

This Filipino was ready and walked up the steps to the church, found another Filipino in the periphery and asked him where the entrance was to the mass. The other Filipino pointed him to the direction of a more discrete entrance to the side, and this Filipino thanked him and moved to the side entrance where there was no crowd and only a few waiting to get in.

Ten minutes later he was surrounded. "Where had this crowd come from?", he asked himself. The women he avoided were now all around him. In ten minutes time they've all discovered the discrete entrance and he was surrounded. It didn't matter if he was standing in "line", to the women, there were no lines. They kept cutting in line, finding friends they knew towards the front, calling their names, and moving on to meet them. More women would arrive, finding the friends of friends, and going up to meet them as well. This Filipino was trapped in this waiting line. Even if one would think that there was no more space to fit in front of him, he would always be proved wrong. More women would come, find friends in line, and would inch their way past this Filipino to make it a bit closer to the front. Eventually this lost and confused Filipino found himself with the other Filipino who he asked a question to earlier. Back in the Periphery and out of the line. He couldn't take it any longer. With thirty minutes left to wait, he felt that he had to leave. His urge to breathe got him out of the line, out of church property, having had to wade himself through a sea of women. He found himself making an escape running away from St. Joseph's.

Finding the entrance to the Peak tram, he decided that he might as well get "something done", even if it means that "something" would be "something touristy". So on this cold and rainy Sunday, a nice and luxurious ride up to the Peak/Peak Tower would better suit the time spent. If there was any religion to find, he was sure to find it on top of a hill overlooking the Hong Kong landscape rather than within a sea of women waiting in line for church, and rather than within a sea of women within a church. Yes... spirituality would be finally fulfilled.

Having paid the costly fee, he entered the tram, and moved up the steep incline towards the top. At 2:30 PM, instead of sitting for a preacher, he has made it on a hill top. Yes, this was more the Filipino's thing.

Unfortunately... the Peak Tower was closed for repairs, and the only thing that was open was... a mall.

So in hopes of trying to have "something happen" the Filipino found himself yet again in another mall... but this time avoiding Starbucks all together for donuts.

It's Sunday... does anything really need to "happen" on a Sunday? The Filipino resigns.


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