4 a.m. masses, churches are packed, and the only reason for going is to bring two new-to-Manila folks for something seasonally specific. Luckily both visitors were Catholic and also didn't mind standing for over an hour. We left the church, a little holier (ha!), and went outside to look over the available drink and food. But neither visitor felt in the mood for heavy starch, so all we took was the free salabat.
The church was one I had gone to as a child, rekindling memories of Sunday masses, walking home one January (I was 11, and the family were going to lunch for my brother's birthday. Everyone in one car thought I was in the other vehicle, so they left. I walked home, and they all came streaming back aghast I hadn't just waited in the church (what the heck was I going to do there?). My brother's never quite forgiven me for the ruined birthday lunch.), and sitting through sermons bored out of my mind. The altar is a bit more gilt than I remember, a friend told me they have renovated it recently. All that new rococo doesn't quite fit the stark modern lines of the ceiling. It looks out of place.
Instead of having our early morning repast after mass, we joined a friend's family for breakfast at Dulcinea. I had a filling chicken galantina breakfast, but later in the afternoon, I felt like more breakfast food, so had corned beef with atchara. Of course we had churros con chocolate, what is a visit to Dulcinea without Ch con Ch?