Monday, May 16, 2011

Holy Week 101

Growing up as a Born-Again Christian in a not so religious family, I'm not very much exposed to the annual celebration and observance of the Holy Week. I prefer how Roman Catholics do it especially in the provinces. People in Manila are just about the thrill of driving around with empty streets.

So when an offer to join an officemate coming home to Pampanga for the Holy Week came up like a beanstalk (from Jack and the Beanstalk), I quickly jumped the gun. It was just after I accepted that I realized how possibly dumb that was, considering I will be a visitor/spectator/observer/pet for a couple of days, as I might be a nuisance in their festivities (hello do I hear reunions?).

I just had a dilemma at that time. It's because the saints, Virgin Mary, and their traditions are so revered, that if my hosts ask me if I want to try it (e.g. kissing the cross), would I? Two points: A.) If I try it for the sake of trying, would that be (a little) disrespectful as I'm just trying something that they consider special? It's just like an atheist wearing a cross because it's a nice accessory. And I abhor this idea. B.) If I say No, would I be channeling Discovery Channel or National Geographic and act as a pure observer of the events unfolding right in front of my pupils?

My first Visita Iglesia after dark was spellbounding! Although it was like I was the odd-man out because I was with my host's relatives, visiting 7 churches around (Bulaon) San Fernando and Bacolor was very memorable. I've never had too much gooseflesh at that time from one church to another. I found it heartwarming that people still acknowledge the importance of the Lenten Season.
One MAJOR concern I had was about cameras. Devotees and visitors pray and observe silence inside the churches. If I had epilepsy, I would have a lot of attacks or episodes inside! The flash from the cameras are blinding, not to mention distracting! Holy Lord, please abolish flash photography inside! Oh, make it 2 major concerns (one plus one is two, right?). This would be those I found sacrilegious. Making suggestive poses in front of the statues of the saints and giggling? Seriously?
San Guillermo. Famous for that series with the character "Santino."

MORAL: A bus ride to Pampanga and lots of car and wheeler (aka pedicab) rides after, Holy Week 101 in Pampanga was an enthralling experience. Not to mention I need to be acquainted on how to speak Kapampangan - my dad is as fluent like how a fish swims (what a great comparison!). :|

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
Inside San Guillermo's museum.

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