The Catholics…I guess! Or, should I say unHOLY? If I had not come across Bob Martin’s posting in his newly-launched electronic magazine ‘Live in the Philippines’, I wouldn’t remember the Holy Week. Indeed, it’s BIG celebration in my country. It may have taken different shades of meaning through the years, but one thing constant–it’s a holiweek (no business for a week) as opposed to a holiday.
Normally, I would feel a certain ounce of holinesss only when Good Friday comes. Maybe, here in the US, life goes on as usual. We have to go to work–no big deal–nobody mentions it. What makes Good Friday different then? Yes, I try to be extra careful since this is the day that I have to be on my own…God is dead!
Fifty years is a long way back to that Holy Week of a 7-year old kid in the remote farm of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. Good Friday was the start of a day that we couldn’t leave the house to play. Many had probably experienced, one way or the other, some of the things that constitute this day to us though my younger siblings may had been too young to remember.
* No play–just listen to the radio for the ‘Siete Palabra’, The Seven Last Words’ of Jesus as he was crucified on the cross. Mind you, I could remember myself crying silently (as I clung to those words I can’t even recall now), not because I couldn’t play but I wasn’t sure though if I felt bad simply with His dying on the cross…or the dying for the sins of the world or just my sins (my mom said I was a good kid).
* No taking a bath–you will develop black spots on your body.
* No ‘sinugba’–maybe it is this grilling that can give you the black spots. I guess I may have to ask my mom again.
My mother is the one that has all the religious/superstitious beliefs, and I was glad that my father was there to balance everything with his humorous and witty dispositions. Still, I had carried all through those long years the respect for Good Friday and Black Saturday until God is risen again on Easter Sunday. Numerous things may have changed in the way I approach Holy Week, one thing I can never bring myself to do is celebrate or go on holiday travel on these days for the sake of enjoyment. There is that certain tug in my heart that prevents me from making plans…you can call it guilt, perhaps conscience. When any member of the family plans on whatever holiday outings or travels within my hearing distance, I could only pray that they would change their minds. I want to hold on to the sacredness of these days!