Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Semana Santa

Holy Week - the Christian holiday of Easter. Mahal na Araw in the Tagolog language. It is the week that Metro Manila becomes a ghost metropolis. A great portion of Metro Manila's populace leave the city and proceed to their provinces - to rest, visit their families, celebrate the Holy Week and generally to enjoy a break from Metro Manila. One observes the gradual exodus each day as one commutes to and from work. Less traffic , despite the presence of those pink fences, and less people riding the MRT. You meet fewer people on the road. The building seems somewhat deserted and the food court sparce of life. And of course the cinemas extending the run of last week's movies or adding filler movies. Though as people go about celebrating and remembering the feast of Easter the ammeneties or creature comforts of our modern world is still prevalent. Restaurants will be open. In some places parties and concerts will be happening. And again the cinemas will be showcasing the normal Holy Week movies. Some TV channels will be open airing religious ceremonies like the seven last words, Bible-themed movies and some other fare. Cable channels will be airing their program as normal. And of course for those with video machines have set aside a compendium of movies for viewing. Back in the pre-cable tv and Internet age when one had only three to four television stations. And they did show movies and programs you would usually watch at EWTN. But they also showed the Robe and the 300 Spartans. This I never figured out. Why did they show the 300 Spartans during Holy Week? The 300 Spartans aside, I guess for all us Holy Week is a welcome break from things. Some rest, some break the monotony of everyday life, some go out with friends, some do holy obligations. To each his own. And what will I do? First, Accomplish the Visita Iglesia, make pilgrimage to different Churches around Metro Manila. Pray and meditate the station of the cross at each church. My take on prayers is that to pray is to commune with God, meaning to experience a deep emotional or spiritual relationship with God, and you do not do this by merely repeating phrases. The act of repeating prayers or sacred words is a means to commune with the Almighty. I use prayers like koans, instruments to focus the mind during meditation. My nephews usually go along with me when I make my church pilgrimage around Manila. Second, accomplish unfinished businesses - mostly mundane stuff. Third, welcome and meet friends. Fourth, read my books I have two or three books to finish. Fifth, watch a compendium of videos And what are you doing this Holy Week?


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