The Tablecloth and The Burned Biscuits
Throwback Saturday #1: Them were the days, Jose Mari (left) and Romeo Vasquez at the back; and Liberty Ilagan (left) and Susan Roces during their heyday at Sampaguita Pictures.
The Tablecloth and The Burned Biscuits
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2020 - 12:00am

Saturday and time again for us to feel good with inspiring stories contributed by friends, a welcome breather from the daily dose of showbiz sizzlers and of news about the pandemic. Okay, take a deep breath, sit back and relax...and think positive.

First, a beautiful story sent by Ali Sotto who, like previous contributors, is clueless who the author is. Ali said it was forwarded to her by a friend who got it from another friend ad infinitum.

The Tablecloth

Throwback Saturday #2: Election lawyer Romy Macalintal and his wife Mila way back when

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.His heart sank when he saw that the roof hadleaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity, so he 

stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the centeraisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor,"she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to checkthe lower right corner to see if the initials 'EBG' were crocheted intoit there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she hadmade this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;but she made the pastor keep it for the church.The pastor insisted on driving her home. Thatwas the least he could do. She lived on the otherside of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested andput in a prison. He never saw his wife or his homeagain in all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor 

had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights ofstairs to the woman's apartment, knocked onthe door and he saw the greatest Christmas 

reunion he could ever imagine.


(From Ali: “It’s a true story submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways.”)


And here’s another heartwarming story contributed by election lawyer Romy Macalintal:

The Burned Biscuits

“When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

“On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!

“All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school.

“I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and
jelly on that ugly burned biscuit…

“He ate every bite of that thing — never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

“When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits.

“And I’ll never forget what he said, ‘Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.’

“Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy goodnight and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits

“He wrapped me in his arms and said, ‘Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real
tired. And besides — a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!’

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and
imperfect people.

“I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone

“But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults, and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.”

“So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.”— Anonymous

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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