As a kid, Holy Week is the part of my summer that I look forward to the most. While every year I spent summer in my grandparents’ home in Candelaria, Zambales, Holy Week is especially fun because it’s when my cousins (of varying degrees) would come from all over. We’d have a few days of going to the beach, eating like there’s no tomorrow and playing in the fields all day long. It’s never boring in the province.
However, Good Friday is always the pits. Our grandparents would put a stop to everything fun. No going to the beach (or at least, no swimming). No playing in the fields. We’d ask why and we were told it’s because Jesus died and we should mourn. The more outspoken cousins would say “Eh bakit pa kasi namatay?” while the meeker ones would just follow what Lolo and Lola said.
It’s doubly bad when my birthday falls on Good Friday. My cousins would get their thrills by teasing me about my “bad” birthday. Being “pikon”, I’d easily get mad. However, my parents and grandparents would try to make up for it the next day. One of my titos, who also has the same birthday would join me in my misery.
Holy Week also counts as a reunion week. We usually have two major reunions: One for the Ebalo family, and one for the De La Llana family. Countless reunions were held here at home, with our branch of the family would be the host. My sister and I are usually delegated to man the registration table. Sad to say, I don’t recognize the people I meet, but it’s a pretty good way to get to know them for a bit.
Holy Week in the city
Since my summer is spent in the province, I grew up thinking that the traditions we’d do here were only for the province. It wasn’t until I started spending time in Manila during the Holy Week did I realize that it was also present. I’d see snatches of it in Manila, in Pasig, in Quezon City.
Wednesday night I got to see how Santolan celebrates. A long procession of statues of saints stopped traffic for a good hour or so. There were about thirty four or thirty five of them, each pulled by their respective devotees. The last of which was the local chapter of the Black Nazarene. The statue is carried by the male devotees, all of who were barefoot.
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I am actually quite scared of these statues.
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As expected the bus station was crowded. Thankfully, even though we had to wait a bit before we could get our tickets, it was organized. The trip took a while though, due to the traffic along NLEX. I slept most of the trip, waking up only to eat.
This cute baby entertained us during the whole trip. He was a smiling, good-natured little boy.
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And my self-imposed Internet exile is a bust, because I needed to be online to work.
Good Friday procession here at home.
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Tomatoes that my Lolo planted.
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My carrot and banana cakes.
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To celebrate Toben’s birthday, TaRuth decided on having lunch at SBMA. Sunday morning, with the sun shining and weather hot, we left Manila. We were going to meet my parents and my cousin Karla there. Mama was saying that the weather was really bad in Zambales, and it hasn’t stopped raining since the Monday.
I was supposed to go to Baguio with a few friends but the foul weather had us change our plans. So I was free to join my family for this food trip.
Storm clouds along the road. It was so think I couldn’t see the mountain.
We passed along SCTEX, which cut the usual trip from Manila to the base by about an hour. I remember when we were younger, we thought Olongapo was halfway to Zambales, where in fact it was just the start of the province. Also, as far as I know, the part that people keep referring to as Subic is still actually in Olongapo, but along Subic Bay. Subic the town is different.
Tita Ruth took us to Xpresso Xpress Cafe inside SBMA. They specialize in Italian food. We ordered this giant pizza; two orders of crab pasta, spicy peanut pasta, appetizer platter and veggie sticks with pesto-mayo sauce; and three giant burgers.