But yesterday we came back.
My husband's nephew was shot when some men invaded the local cockfighting pit to shoot the owner...they couldn't find the owner, but killed the bodyguards and two sons, and our nephew was talking with the sons; he and another bystander were shot.
Here cockfighting is a macho thing. A combination of friendship/fellowship, gambling, and talk with excitement that even the poorest can afford...if they don't gamble away their money...Men raise and train the cocks...you see these magnificent roosters in gardens of the rich and the poor, usually under a small enclosure. They are cared for and petted and trained, and then fought. The men bet on the outcome, and one can either get rich or poor if one bets wrong. Our nephew won a lot, and now he is dead.
They laid his body out at his house, and his wife is still in shock. The roosters are still outside crowing...as if saying yes but there is still life and hope.
One of the morning psalms is "come lyre and harp, come let us awake the dawn"...well, here dawn is greeted by the crowing of roosters...the sign of hope to all of us here below.
My grandson messaged me and asked if his cousin was a Christian...the answer is he was a Catholic. Like most local men, he only attends church now and then. But like most Filippinos, Christ and his mother is a member of the family, and there is a deep belief in fate, or God being in charge.
I told my nephew that gambling is not a sin for Catholics. Allowing farmers like my nephew to have some excitement in a hard working life is not a sin. And we believe that if he is not a perfect "christian" like my stepson, nevertheless Jesus will welcome him and after a spell cleaning up in Purgatory he will join his mom and brother and father, and of course Mama Mary, in heaven...