Saturday, January 21, 2006

A different way to spend Friday night

After work, I went with two friends to evening mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. They are Filipino and very Catholic, and though I'm not, I went out of a sense of pakisama. It's a Tagalog word that doesn't readily translate into English: roughly, it's accompanying a friend or friends, not because you really wanted to go there, but you felt obliged because of friendship. Though my mother is Filipino, I never learned to speak Tagalog. In the last few months one of the aforementioned friends has been teaching me a little here and there, including pakisama.

I've been to mass once before, a few years ago on Christmas Eve. Both times were both interesting, but I prefer the more informal form of Protestant worship. I've mentioned through bits here and there that my parents had me baptized Catholic, but I was never confirmed. My father, whose French mother was Catholic, agreed to my baptism out of tradition, then raised me to be a good atheist like he was. When I became a Christian in my teenage years, I was eventually rebaptized a Baptist.

Afterward we did something more typical of Friday night outings. We went to McCann's, on 46th Street near Fifth Avenue. I'd never been there before and was pleased to find it's a nice little pub. It's wasn't too bustling, which was nice since it wasn't as noisy as other establishments are wont to be, and drinks were reasonably priced.

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