HAVING a well-planned out-of-town trip during Holy Week is becoming a new norm for us Filipinos. For many, it’s the only period of the year when they can spend some relaxing days together with family and friends without having to apply for vacation leave.
While the Catholic Church encourages us to stay and pray during these holy days, people would still take the opportunity to pack their bags to fly away or flood the main highways for a road trip. For those who feel the guilt of taking sabbatical over chastity, they opt for a spiritual vacation.
Here in Angeles, tourists from around the world come to witness the yearly activities of the locals in Barangay Lourdes Northwest during Lent. For seven years, the local government set the stage for the re-enactment of the Seven Last Words of our saviour Jesus Christ.
Siete Palabras is a 2-day play that starts with the portrayal of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. On the following day, the program would continue around 1:00PM with the carrying of the cross and crucifixion.
This year, the play will again be casted by the local talents of Uyat Artista under the direction of the visionary, Jayson Pabalan. The very energetic John Montances and Zeny Ponce of the City Tourism Office said that there will be three devotees who would be crucified this April. But unlike the year 2011, no spectator will be allowed to go near the cross to take selfies.
For those who are hemophobic, the Angeles City Local Government also features a less gory and non-violent way of observing the Holy Week.
Multi-awarded choreographer Peter de Vera has “Panata at Panalangin” which embarks on a spiritual journey through another treasure of the city… its culture and arts. This special Lenten presentation will showcase the customs of the Catholics and also the Kapampangan faith. Highly talented performers from Sinukwan Kapampangan and from Bale Balayan have been combined to let viewers capture Jesus Christ’s suffering and death.
My brothers in the Knights of Columbus, Holy Sepulchre Council, would again lead the religious procession around the Heritage District from the Holy Rosary Parish every Good Friday. Here, we get the see familiar faces walking while praying, and their hands holding a lighted candle.
Going on a Holy Week vacation may not be a sin but let us spend these days wisely and reflect on ourselves and our relationship with God, with our family and with other people as well.