As I stepped out of the house to attend Mass last night, the first smell that hit me was that of the ocean…or something like that since the sea is nowhere near our place. There’s a river very near us though, and it’s relatively clean for a Metro Manila river that’s why it doesn’t stink. I just love the tangy, salty smell of the ocean or any body of water. Have you noticed that the air always smells like that just before it rains? At least in water-surrounded Philippines. It’s never rained when I’m in another country. A light drizzle in Paris yes, but it was winter and everything smelled like ice. My former officemates thought I had this uncanny ability to predict when it’s going to rain, but I always tell them it’s all about the smell of the air. Last night, I just kept inhaling deeply while walking to the church. I was remembering another night, in another place, when the air smelled just like that.

After the Mass, it was the smell of palm leaves that greeted me as I exited the church. The vendors were already cleaning up and packing their stuff (it was the last Mass of the day). I was pleasantly surprised to see that instead of the usual black plastic trash bags, they used big (two people could fit inside) bayongs as trash containers. Very environment-friendly of these vendors. I went home smiling, also because for the first time in many Palm Sundays, I didn’t get hit in the face by wayward palm fronds, haha!

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