A Time for Reflection

Holy Week or the Lenten Season as we call it, is the best time to quantify, to think deeply, to meditate, to reflect, to recollect and to do some mental concentration in our lives.

During my younger years, we were taught to observe silence during the Lenten Season. We were required to attend more children catechism lessons in the Parish Church, read and sing the “Pasyon” (Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ)  in the  “Pabasa” of our neighbor. “Pabasa” is an old Holy Week practice here in the Philippines that has remained well preserved particularly in the provinces where it is held continuously day and night sometimes for as long as three straight days. In recent years, the melodies of pop songs are sometimes used to make the chanting of the Biblical passages sound more interesting and lively. As kids we enjoy reading it, for we have to sing the biblical lines in the book.  Gathered together are close relatives and friends, day and night until it ends on the third day.

Pabasa Book

Simple foods, mostly fish and vegetables are served during our meals.  We refrain from eating meat for abstinence or fasting. 

We were never allowed to be noisy nor play outdoor games especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. So, my cousins, my siblings and I were just contented in playing “Sungka” (Sungka is a Philippine indoor game)


Black Saturday as said in the old belief is the best time to cut our hairs and trim our finger nails.
We get up early on Easter Sunday, to join the Salubong.  Salubong is an Easter Sunday pre-dawn ritual that re-enacts the Risen Christ's meeting with His mother. It is performed in the churchyard under a specially prepared arch where the veiled image of the Virgin Mary has been placed. A child dressed as an angel is lowered by ropes from a high platform to lift the mourning veil of the grieving Mother. The church bells are rung, and there is a procession of the images of Christ and his mother that ends up inside the church.  The participants in the procession are segregated by gender. The men and boys follow the image of Jesus Christ, while women and girls follow the image of Mary. The procession ends with the two groups meeting in the church, where Mass is said.

As the years go by, people tend to forget the real meaning of this season.  Most go to beaches, go out of town or out of the country, not to commemorate but to enjoy the long weekend vacation. Sad to say, that we are forgetting to feed our spiritual needs most of the time.

This Lenten Season, me and my husband have plans for our family, we will do the Station of the Cross, Visita Iglesia, and try to read Bible passages.  We will spend a day of family recollection to do mental concentration, to think deeply in relation to moral truth and to pray not only for our sake but for the whole mankind.

My children are very cooperative especially when I told them that we will also be on a little fasting, meaning no pork or beef meals for the meantime.

Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, we were able to attend mass and bought "Palaspas" (decorated palm leaves) then had it blessed.  This Palaspas according to the old religious beliefs can drive away evil spirits, it is best hanged outside the windows.


Our family may never be so very religious, but we never forget to give thanks for all the blessing we daily receive and pray all together at night before we go to bed. 

By the way, Elders and sick persons can still do their Visita Iglesia and Station of the Cross online.

May God bless Us all.  Have a Blessed Lenten Season everyone J


  1. I used to read Pasyon at one of my ex's house bec is was his family's panata.

  2. Santelmo of PinoyMuffinTopApril 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    When I was younger, our family used to go and spend the entire holy week at the beach.

    I never experienced the reading of Pasyon nor the Palaspas. But we got to play the Sungka ^__^

  3. Just dropping by to inform you that I have an Easter gift for you... a blogging award :-)... it's at http://mareeyah.com/ako/2011/04/21/i-got-an-award/, so go ahead, drop by and claim it. :-) Happy easter!!!

  4. iba dito talaga...we're even working on good Friday. :( ... i miss playing sungka!

  5. ahahahha nakunan mo ang nagpapasyon sis? Buti di ka binatukan ni Lola? ahhhaa..

    Seriously, i used to do that when I was young and I know am supposed to do that still. but I can't wait for Holy Week to do penance and assess my life. There are moments that I need to do it and I just go to my room and reminisce and magtika :)

  6. i want to host a pasyon here in my house but my mom told me, that i should be doing it every year because it is a panata.

  7. i love playing sungka, i will be buying one, i will teach my children how to play it, so they can pass it also to their children in the future :)

  8. my son JM who's working on a bpo worked on Maundy thursday and Good Friday too :(

  9. nyahaha, ikaw talaga sis.

    correct! we can do pagtitika anyday and anytime of the year, but traditionally it is much solemn if we do it on Lenten Season, sabi ni Father :)

  10. hi mommy joy! sorry for the late reply. i don't know any of these, except for the sungka, my family is non-catholic. there are still some practices or panata that i have to familiar myself with... thanks for the visit! hope you had a blessed lenten season!

  11. hello Pinx! no need to mention, you're one of my fave writers :)


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