It’s the holy week and what better way to celebrate it than staying put, here in my house to reflect and look back on everything that happened to my life lately. I must admit that I came from a semi-traditional conservative family from the provincìa of Negros Occidental and NO! I’m far from being an haciendero if that’s what you’re thinking. Just saying. 🙂 Anyway, I am here to share with you some of the things we do on holy week, how our family celebrates it and how our little community in Bacolod commemorates the Semana Santa.
Let’s start off in our house, well, it’s kinda boring for me thinking about it now, but I’m thankful for it still for I have grown fond of the tradition. We stay in. No one goes out. No one can go anywhere. We are not allowed to. This usually happens on Jueves Santo and Viernes Santo; the only time we go out during these days is when we do Visita Iglesia together as a family or when we watch the procesìon on the streets and the senaculo. Other than the mentioned activities above; we are left with entirely nothing but the television set at home and the dining table that sure does cater to our busy appetite. We do not practice abstinencìa so we still get to enjoy being carnivorous.
Next is in our ciudad, Bacolod City. You would literally see nothing or no one in the plaza. All establishments are closed down and the churches are busy preparing for the thousands of people coming. On Viernes Santo, there’s usually the Pasìon or the epic narrative of Jesus’s Life, Death, and Resurrection done in a series of Pabasa. At night, the Santo Entierro happens where the laid body of Jesus is taken on the streets onto the church to be locked in until the Easter Vigil.
On Sàbado de Gloria, we all continue with the silence and mourning. We don’t really cry just in case you’re thinking about it again, but usually we do little preparations already because Easter Sunday or Linggo ng Pagkabuhay is Linggo ng swimming for us! 🙂 We don’t do the salubong anymore. If you would notice, we are traditional in a way, but not that religious. You would notice it in the activities we choose to do and not do, but what is important here is, as my lolo would always tell us is the respect we show for the solemn days. It is instilling the discipline in us of actually knowing the proper way to commemorate and give importance to events in our lives that mold our values and character. Up to this day, I am still practicing this even on my own. My schedule is cleared on Jueves Santo and Viernes Santo. No plans. No anything. Just me staying at home and doing the Visita Iglesia if laziness doesn’t get to me first. Haha!
Today; however, saddens me. Years ago, people would usually do the same things we do as a family and you will notice that on the streets and even on the web. Years ago, where to eat or buy food is a problem for me because all establishments are closed. Years ago it was. Now paints a different picture. The HOLY WEEK in the Philippines translates more now to an early SUMMER VACATION or unang hirit sa tag-init as everyone would caption it in their photos. Where to eat or buy food is also not a problem anymore now coz majority of the establishments are open. You can literally dine wherever you want. The world has changed. The Philippines is changing. Tradition becomes entertainment. The moment is dying. It saddens me. Do the young generation even know the meaning of the days of the Semana Santa? Have they ever heard a PABASA in their life? Have they ever joined a PROCESION? Do they even know what a MATER DOLOROSA is?
Do you? Tell me…
I’m afraid not. Unless, you Googled it already. 🙂