It’s been almost a year since we moved back to the Philippines. We arrived just in time for Holy Week – our first Holy Week and Easter as a married couple.
Who would have thought that one year later, we would be pretty much settled, attempting to start this travel business? This was definitely not in our life plan – but we’re glad it somehow made its way in it.
To kick off Spiral Sun, our first tour will be something a little special, a little different – something close to our hearts. We will be taking our first group through a “Soul Searching Pilgrimage” – a Visita Iglesia through the Catholic churches in our archdiocese in Caceres and Albay. Together with Ms. Pilar De Guzman and Mr. Dong Rama, the pilgrimage is slowly taking shape.
Come in a few days to see more details on the pilgrimage! There are a few slots left and we would love to share this experience with you!
Growing up, my brothers and I would spend our summer vacations in Bicol – two months in San Jose (at a time when there were no phone lines, cellular phones or internet). Summers were spent under the sun, on the streets and in the most low-tech ways possible – yet, they were always amazing.
The highlight of our stay would be the Holy Week festivities – going with the processions, watching the caros, the sayos and the rest of the faithful. But the best part would be the production number of the Seven Last Words at the church.
I definitely wanted Tom to see all of this – it was to be his first Holy Week back home in 19 years.
I have never really gone on any other Holy Week procession other than the one in San Jose, so I cannot compare this experience with anything else. But, I have heard that this parish does something a little bit more special. With the help of the families that have been in charge of the festivities over the years, the community comes together to reenact the scene on Good Friday. A mountain made out of ferns and other greens are put together to carry the Cross of Christ, the thieves, the soldiers and the Blessed Mother. Ladies and gentlemen from the town volunteer to stand still in the heat throughout the Seven Last Words until the moment that Christ dies at three in the afternoon. This year, the church courtyard was packed with people. We couldn’t make our way to the front – but at three, we heard the “rumbling of thunder” (I think it was a motorcycle) and saw the bursts of fire coming from the mountain.
The procession in the evening is no different – the Way of the Cross comes alive with the commitment of those that strike the pose of their station throughout the whole procession. Rain or shine, people walk throughout the procession. Rain or shine, the actors hold their pose – as Christ carrying his cross, as Veronica wiping His face, as Simon helping the Lord. An amazing act of dedication, love and faith for everyone involved.
Last year, I was able to share this with Tom.
This year, we will both be able to share the faith experience of the Bicolanos with friends from Manila.