Holy Week, Serious In Cebu

Holy Week is taken seriously through out the Philippines.  Most of my experience with it has been limited to Cebu.  Last year I went up a mountain to witness three men being hung on a cross.  In many cases, the men are crucifictionactually hammered to the cross using nails.  Last year in Cebu City they forgot the local anesthesia but the man went through with it anyway.  Jessie has an uncle that did it for many years.

Jessie went to Cebu City on Sunday thinking it would be an easier trip than what it normally is but there was much more traffic.  It seems lots of people are in Cebu to observe the holiest of weeks.  I read a report that the bus and shipping terminals were packed with people on Friday as people prepared to leave.  That would back up what Jessie found in Cebu City.  She also saw three minor wrecks on her way there.  Amazingly in this crazy traffic, well what looks like crazy traffic to me, there are rarely wrecks.

Bogo City is super quiet.  When I went for a walk yesterday, the streets were remarkably empty.  We did find a lot of people near or in the church.  On Friday there will be a process from St. Vincent Ferrer church to a nearby mountain that has Mother Mary perched on top of it.  It looks like a nice place and I’ve been wanting to go there for sometime.  The procession will be to far for me to walk but it seems like an appropriate way to remember  Jesus dying on a cross.

The entire week but especially Friday and Saturday are treated very solemnly by most Filipino.  Most are offended by loud music or revelry of any kind.  One priest stated that “fun has no place during Holy Week.”

There is a move to ban a bikini contest and other sexually charged parties on Bantayan Island.  Six priest have signed a joint letter asking the Provincial Governor to ban such activities during Holy Week.  When I read that they would be going on during Holy Week, I was surprised as it is very un-Philippines like behavior during this week.  While I don’t have an issue based on the morals of these kinds of parties, I do find it out of place in the Philippines during this week.  Its disrespectful during this time for even most modern thinking Filipino.

Why not a compromise, move these type of events before the beginning of Holy Week?  The resorts could jump start the resorts a few days early by having these parties on the Saturday before Holy Week begins.  It wouold likely be less offensive to Filipino, help make the resorts more money and provide fun that people enjoy.

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Filed under: Cebuanos and Religion

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