Tuesday, April 6

Semana Santa Etc.

Five straight days off from work! How good is that? I guess we'll be watching more films starting tonight, aside from the usual helping on cable tv. Tomorrow, or tonight rather, is the start of a long repast, in order to observe the holy days of the Lenten Season. I hope Oliver doesn't forget to rent the much-needed vcds on the way home from work.

Years ago, we would travel to Bacolod for this occasion. It becomes a Lenten cum Family Reunion cum Lolo's birthday affair. It was always a great gathering as we were eager to participate the Pieta in the yearly traditional procession of saints and holies. Grandfather reconstructed the very old wooden statue of Pieta which was handed down from many previous generations of devotees. It was virtually falling to pieces when it came to our family's possession, and for many years it was put away among the junks until he decided to do something about it. He used pulped papier mache for the missing parts, and being the artist that he was, painted it new and lifelike. It was our pride when for the first time we marched Pieta right behind the enormous Christ who was nailed on the cross. The people were awestruck with its solemn beauty. Mary is in a purple gown of gorgeous velvet, and surrounding her and Jesus were pretty mauve and lavender roses of fine satin. I wonder who maintains them now, since I have not gone home for many years. I hope he's doing a good job with it.

In the recent years, the airfare and even the boat fare have shot up to impossible rates that it's simply wise and practical to stay at home and go to church and say some silent atonements for our sins. I'd really to take the two guys to the place where I grew up. Oliver has never been anywhere outside Manila, save perhaps for Baguio and Laguna, which are virtually still in the island of Luzon. But this year, with our very limited means, we have decided to be at home. On Friday, we head to Heritage for an overnight stay. That at least is a welcome change.

I've seen The Passion of the Christ but since almost everybody has written about it and their personal experience when watching it, I'd keep my comments to myself. Nonetheless, we watched Frida last night. It's a story of a mexican painter Frida Kahlo who created most of her masterpieces while bedridden, having suffered from great physical pain all throughout her life as a result of a trolley accident which left a pole pierced from one side of her stomach and out to her pelvis on the other side. She could never have children. I admire her for her passion and rebellion, and like the other great women I've looked up to, she was intelligent and precocious. Most of her paintings were self-portraits that cut straight into human emotions, because they depict the surreal ravages of war, deaths, separations and also the bliss of love, ecstasy and passions that are all inherently and fundamentally human. In other words, she speaks the language of the common man through her works. It was one colorful movie.

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