Personal Reflections this Holy Week

We are not allowed to go anywhere when it’s Holy Week and we commemorate the Passion and Death of Christ. A few years ago, my siblings and my then-boyfriend (now the hubby), had the gall to book tickets to Boracay, choosing to stay on the island for three days. When we came back on Easter afternoon, our mom was not talking to us. One, for choosing to break her “no-travel-on-Holy-Week” rule and the second one, for ditching her “Pabasa” which happens year after year.

My mom had been doing the yearly recitation of the Passion of the Christ for sixteen years now, after my grandmother passed away. Before her, my grandmother had been doing it for more than 30 years, after inheriting it from her husband (my grandfather) who in turn inherited it from his dad. My mom is now in a dilemma. At 58 years old, she already asked us, her children on who would inherit the yearly Pabasa. I declined because it’s not something that I see myself doing and I used to be to COMMITTED to something as binding as this. Again, you can blame my allergy to anything that will bind me, and second because my mother’s brand of hysterical fanaticism, blind religion is not something that I subscribe to. Both my sister and my brother seemed averse to continuing the family tradition. I told her that maybe she can adopt a child off the streets for the sole purpose of continuing the Pabasa. I hope I was kidding but I am not. The rigors of continuing a tradition as constricting as this is just crazy: the building of the altar, asking neighbors to sing the Passion of Christ for you, the buying of food and all that. Actually, the buying of food and serving is the easiest part of the experience.

It’s not like, I just slept and stuffed myself with food during the Holy Week. I observed it, my own brand of sacrifice for this blessed part of the year. The hubby and I started our tradition of Visita Iglesia, where we visit seven churches to say a prayer in reference to the 14 Stations of the Cross. This year, the hubby was rendered unavailable due to work so I chose to do it on my own. Only this time, I went to one place only to relive the 14 Stations.

I’ve heard before how Church Simplified has been staging Walkway:Reflections on the Stations of the Cross at Bonifacio High Street for a few years now. Been wanting to check it out but since I have chosen the traditional Visita Iglesia route, I only get to experience it this year. Yes, these are the 14 stations of the cross presented in a more simplified manner in the middle of Manila’s upscale mall. The only difference is you do not feel like you’re in the middle of the mall, with people gawking at you. Here, you’re on your own, free to express your faith without people judging you.

Since this Station of the Cross is interactive, in Station 2 we were asked to drop a marble on the things we chose before our faith.

Like many others, it’s Ambition that’s bringing me down.

Other pictures from my Station of the Cross:

this stone represents the person I branded negatively immediately
Did you know that the lashes Jesus received is intended to reduce him to near death?

At the Station depicting the Crucifixion of Christ, we were asked to nail black cloths to the big cross placed in the middle of the area. The black pieces of cloth symbolized our sins and we were asked to write them on the piece of cloth using only our finger. I wrote “Envy” and “Hatred”.

a representation of sin

I wanted to carry this cross, said to mirror the size and weight of the one Jesus carried but since I am on my own, I was afraid that I’ll buckle under the pressure. So what I did is just carry it for a bit, around ten seconds tops, in one place and I had to ask the guide to get it off my shoulder. IT WAS VERY HEAVY. So, imagine how the Lord must have felt? Though I felt a slight tinge of regret that I didn’t just carry it and see how it goes…

carrying the cross

I am glad that I went through this, even if I was on my own. I had some pretty good realizations that Thursday morning. Looking forward to doing this again next year.

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