Join me in welcoming this month’s guest blogger, Prinsesa Musang from Prinsesa’s Anatomy. Recently a group of terrific bloggers completed a 30 day blogging journey together and Prinsesa is one of the bloggers. We spent the month learning new things about one another and about ourselves.
Now Prinsesa is giving us a glimpse into life in the Philippines.
Normally religion is not an acceptable topic for a guest post but this is not about religion, it is about how a particular religious celebration is carried out in a certain country. As I always ask of you, please leave a comment for Prinsesa to reply to. Thank you.
A Glimpse On The Holy Week Celebrations In The Philippines
I’d like to begin this guest post by saying how silly I felt trying to come up with a topic to write about. It was like there were a thousand things I wanted to talk about and nothing at the same time. :lol: I mean, pooping in your own blog is one thing, but pooping in another’s, is a whole different story, I found out.
So with that out of the way, I decided to go with the Holy Week celebrations in the Philippines. I know it is kind of gross but it is really curious. My sisters hate the Holy Week celebrations because they are scared of the practices around town. For sure there are different ways different countries celebrate Easter but here it is quite interesting. There are those who normally take vacations and troop to the beach and visit relatives around this time but others do more interesting things.
How interesting? See for yourself:
Is that blood? Yes, yes it is. Are they flagellating themselves until their backs tire of bleeding? Yes, yes, they are. What they use is a set of wooden sticks to hit their backs. A blade is used to cut lengthwise wounds. I have a photo of the actual cutting but I decided not to post it because it may be uncomfortable to some. It depends on the person how many cuts he wants to get: five, seventeen, twenty. Mind you, these are boys my age in the photo. The photo is actually showing my friends doing it. They have been doing this for years. I got the photo from one of them on Facebook.
Does this mean all the people in this country are crazy? Not exactly. This is a choice these boys make and many men do actually, always on Good Friday. All the men I know from the place where I live have done it, young and old: Don Domeng, my uncles, my cousins, my friends. My Man has not participated though. He is not from where I live. The church does not encourage this practice. I think this is more of a cultural thing than a spiritual one. I don’t know though because they are the ones doing it and for certain they have a good reason to do so thinking what it takes!
My friends said they are doing this because of a panata. It means they are trying to do this in exchange of something they are asking for from the heavens. For example, one might decide to do this in firm belief that in exchange, the heavens will keep all his family members healthy. This is how the story goes for many. Naturally, I am not here to judge them but I am not sure how much bargaining works when heaven is the other party. I admire their faith though.
In other parts of the country, there are those who literally volunteer to be crucified. The best part is, I’m not even joking! The most well known place to do this is just outside my province. I have never watched it though. I’m not sure how I feel about it but I’m certain it will be creepy. It takes role playing to a different level, don’t you agree?
This is just one facet of the Holy Week here in the Philippines. There are a whole assortment of other things happening like the pasyon or public reading of the passion of Christ, people walking around town carrying crosses, and women in black walking around in the heat of day barefoot. This is largely a Catholic country but for sure there are many places who are also Catholic but they do not do anything close to what is being practiced here. Oh well, only in the Philippines, I guess!