As a matter of tradition, we don’t go out of town during the Holy Week. As a lot of city folks now say, “The best place to be during the Holy Week is in Metro Manila. It’s the only time when the streets are quiet and trafiic is light.”
I grew up hearing old folks say, “Be quiet during the Lenten Season, no laughing or having fun especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.” And you know how kids are, it’s more fun to laugh and giggle when you’re not allowed to. Whenever an adult caught us not observing the rule of silence they’d say, “Para kayong mga Hudyo!” Ooopsss… that’s not politically correct to say anymore. But the pilosopo in me and my siblings would say, “But wasn’t Jesus a Jew?”
While our kids were growing up we always stayed home during the long weekend break of Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. We did Visita Iglesia on Holy Thursday. We prayed the Stations of the Cross in seven churches around Metro Manila. We always included UP Chapel in the list and would end up eating fishballs, inihaw na mais and other street food along the way, no meat of course.
On Good Friday we all go through our respective closets to cull out the things we don’t need anymore to be given away. I’m a self-confessed mambubulok so this is not an easy task for me. For things that I haven’t worn in a year but still don’t have the heart to part ways with, I put them inside my upper cabinet (a level so high that I need a ladder to reach). If I do not wear them after another year, that’s the time I finally get rid of them. It works as a transition stage to prepare me for our eventual goodbye. Part of me wants to have a really nice boudoir like those of some divas but part of me wants to keep it small so I will be more disciplined in accumulating stuff. And this annual closet inventory makes me more conscious of the things I buy. I’m still a work-in-progress as my closet remains crowded.
During the break we also watch movies about Jesus, attend church services and then get together for lunch with family members to celebrate Easter Sunday.
A couple of years ago, we also discovered this modern take on the Stations of the Cross at Bonifacio High Street by a group called Church Simplified. It has become popular because of its practical take on this Catholic tradition. Each station makes you reflect not only on the biblical aspect but connects the insight to something that’s happening to us right now. It also gives you the opportunity to carry a cross.
Things change when your kids get older. They end up having busier schedules than their parents. (This is another reason why parents should savor their children’s growing up years, which by the way happen so fast.) It becomes a challenge to schedule trips with them. Even for summer. Working son’s vacation leave has to be filed ahead of time and should not conflict with his boss’ leave. Youngest son wants some of his summer days free for a concert he’s preparing for. College son is up to his neck with schoolwork right now. Last summer he missed our beach vacation because he had to do school work in preparation for his Junior Term Abroad. This summer his only available time to travel is the four day Lenten weekend because his finals won’t be done until then, plus he will have to start with his internship after Holy Week. So for the first time in our family history, we will be joining the mob on Maundy Thursday in going to our vacation destination. We need special prayers for this challenge plus the fact that we’re taking the airline that’s been on the news lately for its missing plane.
We will have to carve out time off our vacation to do some reflection on our own and as a family. Thanks to Fr. Johnny Go’s online retreat we can do this wherever we are, provided there’s internet connection. To those who will also be out of town/country/in transit or just want to do their retreat in the comforts of wherever with their gadget, you may wish to visit http://pinsoflight.net/2014/03/27/pre-online-holy-week-retreat-2014/. I’ve done this a couple of times and they were very helpful.
No matter how we intend to spend this long weekend break, let’s try to carve out time to reflect on our life. It’s an opportune time to stop, listen and reboot ourselves. Have a blessed weekend and Happy Easter everyone!
1.) My next book, a children’s book on the Basic Laws of Money is coming out soon! I am so happy right now as I receive the generosity of the people in the industry who have agreed to take part in this little project of mine. Watch out for it!
2.) My husband Marvin and I will be part of iCon 2014, a whole day Financial Summit on May 17, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center. Students are entitled to special discounted rates. Check this link for details. iCon 2014 FAQs