Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Semana Santa: Pinoy Traditions and Myths

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish (Proj. 4, Quezon City)
Photo credit: Mr. Randy Dreese

Back in the 80s, Holy Week is the time of the year that I least like.

Why? Because all you can see on the television are grainy screen or a blue one with a note that programming will resume on Black Saturday. If you don’t have a betamax or a VHS player then, more likely you’ll be spending Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in the street looking for other kids to play patintero, tumbang preso or syato with. In our place,  Biyernes Santo is the day Mang Willie does his annual “tuleng pukpok” or circumcision. I was one of his "patients" and after passing through this, the tradition is to watch and tease other kids whose turn to fall in line in front of his house that day.

This morning, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz was interviewed over GMA 7’s Unang Hirit to explain some of the traditions and activities of Filipinos during the Holy week.

On visiting seven churches for Visita Iglesia. Cruz believes that it could have started because of the seven last word of Christ or the seven sacraments. However, he pointed out that when we do the visita, it’s not actually only the church that we will visit but it should be the altar or the Santisimo Sacramento.

On pasyon. The Archbishop admitted that he is actually okay with the rap version of it after witnessing such sessions for a couple of times. He just reminds those who will do this to take it seriously and not participate just for fun. But if it sounds a little off, he hopes people will be sensitive to stop it.  

On Abstinence and Fasting. The former is ideally done on Fridays during the Lenten season where individuals between 14-60 years old are encouraged not to eat meat. Fasting is for 18-60 years old people who actually can eat small portion of food, a little less than the usual.

On selfie photos. Cruz don’t see anything wrong about doing selfie shot like example in front of the church or images. It’s just informing other people that they are actually took time to reflect during the Holy week

On corrupt officials going on pilgrimage. Cruz said, “Wag lang magsisi. Isoli din ang perang kinuha nyo!”

If only I have a chance to ask Archbishop Cruz who was really game to answer just about anything, I would like to get his thoughts on not taking a bath after 12 noon on a Good Friday, kids not allowed to play outside the house,  and other myths.

Share your thoughts. TIA! :)

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