Apr 9, 2007

Semana Santa

Well, another holiday not spent in the Philippines.

Holy Week is of course one of those big holidays where everyone in my family is required to return to the ancestral house and well, reunite, i.e., attend reunions. I never thought it was fun. Us kids always had to answer the misdeeds we've made since the last family reunion over Christmas. It's usually about grades that are not perfect, which cousin has started dating while still in school(big giant no-no), which cousin is going to which college. blah. blah.

When the grown-ups were done, then it was time for my generation to update each other, go see the sights, enjoy the beach 'til we're sunburned beyond recognition. Of course, being the oldest cousin meant I get to boss everyone around, while it also meant I would be responsible for any trouble everyone else gets themselves into.

So all in all, I would say I really didn't get to enjoy the 'holiday' part of Holy Week. I was never that religious, but the reflection and prayers and vigil right before Easter Sunday was something that made me feel 'clean' somehow. And then of course, we all looked forward to the Easter Sunday party on the beach.

Holy Week also meant getting to wear Sunday's best clothes on the Wednesday and Friday processions. And getting to stay out late at night on Saturday night before Easter for the annual 'Sugat' - when Mary sees the Resurrected Christ for the first time. There was always a play at the churchyard and it involves an angel (a REAL child) suspended on ropes from the bell tower to another point somewhere in the church grounds. That said angel is supposed to unveil the mourning Mary to show a happy Mary.

Yesterday was my second Easter Sunday away from the Philippines. All my other Easter Sundays involved waking up late, driving to my auntie's farm to get bananas to take to the beach, and making reservations for a cottage at the beach resort near my grandparents' house. And then the rest of the day would be spent swimming, eating and making sure all my younger cousins were accounted for, fed, and that none of them have drowned.

Yesterday, my Easter Sunday involved going to a Japanese Christian Church where my in-laws are members, a three-hour nap, a few minutes staring at the koi in the pond behind their house, dining on tri-tip and having a Wii tournament with my in-laws. Not bad at all. Just different.