Holy week is a time where families get united again. Before the virus came into the country, Filipino attend mass in churches, go to beaches, or do picnics in the park. Some of them travel back home to provinces to spend and wash away the stress from in the city or workplace.
In Puerto Princesa, the Holy week will be spending this year differently from the previous years due to the spreading virus in the country. There will be no mass gathering outside their houses or beaching and climbing up into the hill of Mount Calvary.
Palaweño and tourists in Palawan mostly visit the Mount Calvary in Barangay Sta. Lourdes in the city. It is the place where catholic choose to climb into the mountain bypassing stations of the cross are temporarily closed to ensure safety and prevent the increasing numbers of infected.
Have you ever wondered why Holy Week is important? How does it affect the lives of Filipinos’?
Holy Week is the time that Catholics take back and recall the events that happened in Jesus' death by crucifixion and his Resurrection. It is like refreshing the faith in Jesus’s sacrifice and love for the humans. A time where people repentance, penance, and celebration.
The Holy Week is composed of Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday. This year, 2021 the Holy week starts on March 28 until April 4.
Filipino’s are mostly Catholics, about 80 percent of the population in the entire country. As an acceptance and respect for these days in the religion, it has been approved to be a holiday. Government offices are closed, malls minimize their open hours, and companies have implemented shorter working times. The Terminals of buses and vans or ports will be lined up for travelers.
Through the week, only two days were turned into a holiday-the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday but that doesn’t mean that the other days are not as important as them.
Most churches today will be streaming live for masses and other activities to prevent people to be congested. But, below are the way Filipino celebrate Holy Week in previous years (without the virus).
Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday is a major procession in the streets of the Journey to Calvary.
Holy Wednesday is the last day of the working days and a day to travel. Some of the companies offer to lessen the working hours.
Maundy Thursday is a day to Reenactment of the Last Supper including the reenactment of washing the Apostle’s feet by Jesus and then followed by a Holy Mass.
Good Friday is a sign of penance and devotion, there are street possessions with people who sacrifice to walk in miles barefoot, carry a cross or hang into the cross with ropes.
Black Saturday is a silent day it is the death day of Jesus’. It is traditionally believed that there must be no loud noises, evil spirits are everywhere and you should stay at home.
Easter Sunday is a joyful day. There is a mass at dawn and a procession, a celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. Families go out and enjoy the beach or gather around and serve sumptuous food.