Holy Week in the Philippines

This is one of those times where I miss living in the Philippines. Holy week there is observed unlike here in the US. Aside from my kids having a couple of days off from their Catholic school, I wouldn't even feel it. When I was growing up, I always participate in the Holy Friday procession in Pasig City. My dad's family has always been a part of this procession. All the things that depicts Jesus Christ's life are in the procession (i.e. bread and wine for the Last Supper, rooster for the time Judas betrayed Jesus, the handkerchief that Veronica used to wipe his face, etc.) along with the different saints. Our family has been carrying the bread and the horn. The participants wear a long and shapeless black dress, a black lace covering the face and a round crown of leaves and sampaguita flowers on the head. There were a lot of people along the way that give away different kinds of food and drinks to the participants so we always carry plastic bags with us. This is what we call 'panata' or 'devotion'. I did this every year when I was still living in the Philippines. I wore flip flops or sneakers under the dress since we had to walk a long way. I remember the procession lasting for hours since it goes from the church and around the city and then back to the church. I am always dead tired at the end of the procession. My feet ached, my back ached, everything ached. It would have been nice if I had a sleep number bed to lie down on. This certainly brings back memories. If you're a Catholic, how do you celebrate Holy Week?


  1. I miss this time of the year too in the Philippines. I use to attend procession, prayer and vigil. Here I don't feel like holy week, but I tried not to eat meat until end of the holy week.

  2. Christian Holy Week processions are quite low-key in Malaysia due to the fact that Good Friday is not a holiday. Nevertheless I've been to a Catholic church on Good Friday and was surprised to see such a huge crowd turning up.


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