Monday, April 25, 2011

Biernes Santo 2011

While most people I know were in Boracay or Hongkong, taking advantage of the Lent holidays, you would find me and my girls tagging along at my husband's hometown in Cavite. Take note, not for an outing but to observe the Holy Friday the way a Catholic should do. With the long hours of masses and long queue of processions. Always! Annually! It has been like this since the first year I changed my surname. More than 16 years or so. . haha. Do I sound complaining?/?
A bit. . yeah. . It's just that, no matter how soooo Catholic my upbringing ( I even graduated from a exclusive for girls Catholic college) was, I am no way fanatically traditional.. Just like the family I married to. You know, if I would have my way, I'd rather spend the Holy Week in a quiet place of our choice, spend hours for spiritual reflections and give my working husband who is usually tired at this time of the year, a vacation he deserves.. instead of the assigned task he carries for almost decades now as "apostoles" and has to attend all the traditional roles. We are practically tied-up to this tradition up to when? I don't know! Those 16 years, there were irking thoughts. There was a time that it was my birthday, I was pregnant and nearing delivery. But had to be left alone at home cos the husband had to do the task. There were others but too many to mention. My husband has 3 older siblings, all married with kids of their own. None of them, goes to the same parents' church. The two are born-agains and the other one is based abroad.

Husband would lighten the issue with thoughts and love for his parents, way out of the tradition. He thought it would be too much for his kind parents ( I actually love my parents-in-law), if he too would take his back away from this church which the parents breath and live for. He has to do it, no one in the family would, anyway. I, on the other hand, treat it as a sacrificial note which in a way the Lent Season calls for, isn't it?

In the long run, I had taught myself to live with it. Diverted my attention to enjoy the Lent scenes which the old town of Bacoor is rich. I actually can recommend this town in Cavite as one of the best place to observe the culture during this season in the country. Why not_ the town doesn't only have one main church but three. And it's so near from Manila. The peak which happens on Holy Friday procession is spectacular cos of the countless beautiful carted statues participating the procession around the town.

And never to forget, this is also where the famous "halo-halo"of Digman can be found. see here

It's given that we had to arrive so much earlier than the procession time which would be around past 5pm. Why?. .cos the main road would be closed before that and no cars could enter the town anymore, not until the street activities had ended. It was actually a ok cos we have time to roam around the town which at this point is preparing the statues for the big procession.

buying candles is a must

In this town, presentation of the heritage statues of the saints is b-i-g! I even heard that most owners hire florist talents to do the flowers of the carts. They usually use fresh flowers in massiveness. The statues' gowns are also treated like reinas' gowns in a Santacrusan, sometimes even grander.

Chandelier lights surrounded the statue and complimented the awesome floral arrangements.

And when the sky gets  dim, the magnificent collections of statues of Jesus, Mary and other saints float around the streets of the town. The sight is so beautiful.

Most of them are hugely more than life size and really magnetic in their own way.

I actually see them annually, but they never failed to amaze me. Last year I posted a different set of these statues. see here.

the apostoles

This is for me, the best spot to take photos of the procession, with the historical bahay na bato as the background.

There are actually many other characters in this procession. Most of them participate in the name of beliefs and tradition.

Supposedly the body of Christ. . who is the main character of the procession.

I envy the faith of these people. . .can move mountains. . .

I have to confess (please don't hate me. . .) my indifference to the way faithful believers kiss and caress the statues, believing that the acts would bring them miracles. .Well, who am I to judge them anyway. They might be right , you know.

Let me say, I'm not traditional but I have this deep faith to God, only me could comprehend. . I'm sure we are all different in our own ways. . let's respect each other.

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