Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Viernes Santo

The Holy Week was a source of excitement when I was growing up. It meant going around with aunts and uncles doing the Via Crucis, eat hot bibingka (rice cakes) and cotton candy at the plaza, watch the colorful procession of pasos (floats) carrying antique life-size sculptures of Catholic images, witness the Sinakulo (passion play) and Tal-Tal (crucifixion), stay up late for the du-aw (visiting the dead Jesus), and going to the beach on Easter Sunday.

I was not raised a Catholic but growing up in a family where religion is a seamless blend of tradition and education, the Semana Santas of my childhood were more exciting than Christmas.

Spending the Viernes Santo in my mother’s hometown of Valladolid brought back warm Semana Santa memories. There were familiar faces, smiles and waves. I saw my ninong whom I haven’t seen in more than twenty years, a sorority sister, an ex-boyfriend, and a childhood friend. A woman also stopped by and told me I look exactly like my mother. I watched the passing procession with cousins and aunts, feeling like a child again.

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