I’m not religious, but I enjoy the heck out of Holy Week. I like the constant reminders for people to reflect on what the week signifies, and I like seeing that people are making the most of their time off. I even like observing the rituals. One of my most favorite things to do is the Visita Iglesia, specifically, driving my parents to their churches of choice. My favorite Visita Iglesia has to be the one we did when I was about to enter my third year of high school. We decided to go all out and do 14 churches, starting at the Manaoag Shrine in Pangasinan. We had to stop at the 13th church, but all in all, still a good roadtrip. 1
What I really love, though, is how quiet the city gets. But that is nothing compared with the Holy Week quietness we used to get years and years ago, when everything practically shuts down at the beginning of the week, there’s nothing on TV, and there’s no music at all. You couldn’t wait for the long, somber week to be over that when Easter Sunday finally comes, it truly feels like a blessing.
And after a while, we learned how to beat boredom during Holy Week. My sister and I would go to Video City and ACA Video to stock up on movies that we could watch while waiting for the world to come back to life. And eventually, we got cable, which meant we no longer cared that network TV had nothing to offer.
These days, stores and businesses remain open until Wednesday, shutting down only on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with a lot of them reopening on Black Saturday. TV shows continue. Some radio stations stay on the air. My younger self would have been thrilled about that, but me, I somewhat regret not relishing all the quiet as much as I should have.
- Yeah, the Visita Iglesia to me is one cheery roadtrip and one of the rare times I set foot inside a church. ↩