The Legend of Billy the Eagle

I don’t usually say it out loud (too often if at all) but I like hanging out with our Pastor. So because of his injury a few days ago, we decided to come visit him after SOL Finals just to update him of our activities in the last two days we haven’t seen each other. Hahaha, yes, clingy much.  Over late dinner and ice cream in his house, we were able to cover topics from how the finals went, who would probably pass (not Jessa, hahaha) and whatever else we did since we were last together.

Our story-telling eventually led to pet-tales and the legend of Billy the Eagle.

Some say it was a true story. It’s hard to say, really. But for the sake of anyone reading this, this is the tale of Billy the Eagle…

There was once a magician who had an assortment of birds and reptiles in his home– magic lair, if you will. He became amused with this high school boy from Caloocan who was equally fascinated by the wonders of magic and animals. This magician owned a Philippine eagle. There was a time when eagles roamed the sky (at least some owner’s patch of the sky) free. Because the magician grew fond of the boy, he gave him the eagle. The boy hurriedly cleared out his pigeons in their cage and made it the new home of Billy the eagle. Billy and the boy bonded, and Billy was well fed with critters and chickens and monkeys and fish.

One day, because the boy outgrew his fascination with the eagle, Billy felt like it was time to fly. And Billy the eagle is now the logo in one dome along Katipunan Avenue.

Hahaha, okay, that wasn’t how the story went but some parts of it are really hard to absorb! I think Pastor Dave is rummaging in his photos of yore to locate proof of this amazing tale. Not that we doubt him but there’s always something about his stories of boyhood that are hard to believe.

Like he’s a batang kalye. Or that he collected texts and comics. Or that he was the gagamba-gangster-head in Cebu. Or that he was a pigeon-master!

Because when you look at Pastor Dave now, it’s just hard to place. But I do love when he talks about things like that. It makes him relate-able and human. Our conversation went to street games we played as kids. He talked about the 70s while most of us recalled the 90s. It’s just really great that we were all part of that generation where games actually required social interaction and physical sweat and tears (and blood, sometimes!).

Even when Pastor Dave was confined in a plastic cast and had to hobble around in crutches, we had a grand time reliving childhoods decades apart.  And for a short moment, it felt really awesome to have played luksong tinik, luksong baka, syato, taguan, agawan base, habulan, luksong lubid, chinese garter… collected gumamela, santan, salagubang, tutubi… ate through candies and chichirya… with these grown ups we looked up to.

I had to ask around his family if they knew Billy the Eagle. They confirmed the verity of the tale. It’s pretty awesome, too because then we’d know  that we’d probably grow up in stature anyway because the leader we’re following turned out to be a great Christian leader.

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‘There’s an eagle… when you look inside your heart…’

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