When I was little, Holy Week meant taking a trip up to Baguio, where my grandparents had a summer home. I still remember having to wake up at the crack of dawn, my eyes half open with sleep, as my siblings and I piled into our Toyota Hi-Ace. During the 4-hour trip, I’d take turns feeling excited to smell the clean, pine-scented air, and a bit apprehensive to see the humongous black lion on Kennon Road, that signaled the nearness of our destination.
How I loved Baguio, and have such fond memories of Holy Weeks spent there! I remember my lolo and lola’s beautiful chalet-style house, with its vast garden where we could even bring horses to ride. I remember the German cuckoo clock on the living room wall, that always fascinated me as a child. I remember Mang Goddy and Aling Nene, our caretakers, who were the nicest and warmest people ever. They were like surrogate grandparents to us, and always took care of anything and everything we needed during our stay.
Ofcourse, no vacation to Baguio would be complete without the requisite boating at Burnham Park, horseback riding at Wright Park, and mini golf at Camp John Hay. Such simple pleasures, but they definitely made for a fun Holy Week!
As I got older, trips to Baguio became less frequent after my grandparents decided to sell their property. I remember how sad I felt, as if a part of my world came crumbling down. The subsequent Holy Weeks were spent at the Meralco Compound instead, with friends of my parents. While it was also a beautiful and much bigger place, it still did not hold a candle to my lolo and lola’s home.
During the latter part of my high school years, and into college, my parents stopped taking trips to Baguio all together, and we began to spend Holy Week in Manila. Starting Maundy Thursday and up until Black Saturday, we would participate in all the weeks rituals and masses such as the Stations of the Cross, the Washing of the Feet, the Veneration of the Cross, the reenactment of Christ’s passion, and the Easter Vigil. All these activities would take up pretty much the entire day, resulting in my growing impatience and lack of interest.
Because of this, I began to dread Holy Week, having associated it with boredom, and being forced to do something I wasn’t too thrilled to do. I also hated the fact that practically every establishment in Manila was closed down, and worse, there was nothing to watch on TV either! For someone like me who absolutely hates not doing anything, this was torture!!!
This year, Holy Week was sandwiched between a national holiday, and a company-scheduled vacation leave. This meant I had almost a week off of work! All the more I felt the pressure to plan something to take advantage of the 6-day holiday. The thought of doing “nothing” for 6 days was not only horrifying, but unacceptable :0.
At first, the parentals, along with the hubby and I had planned a trip to Kyoto. This trip had been in the works and under discussion for the longest time. We even got as far as making hotel and airline reservations. Eventually, however, we decided to cancel the trip to Kyoto, to make way for a bigger trip to Alaska and Canada this coming May.
So another staycation it was.
Although this time, I was determined to make it as meaningful and as productive as possible. And I think I was pretty successful! Please read my succeeding posts about our family Holy Week activities. Believe me, there wasn’t a shortage of things to do!
But definitely, I realized, Holy Week will be as meaningful as you make it. If you decide to soak in the significance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and how, because of His love, He gave us life, then maybe like me, you can find new meaning to Holy Week, and make new memories and traditions for your family to carry on year after year. 🙂
This has been, by far, the best Holy Week for me ever! Thank you, thank you, Lord :)! My heart is full :).