the boy with the broken stomach
“Semana Santa o Fiesta?”

I have always wondered why our town Balayan, Batangas seem like celebrating a feast during Holy Week. People are all wearing new clothes, especially the teenagers.

The streets are full of vendors selling religious items, curtains, calamay (rice cake), balloons, t-shirts, toys, fake jewelries and a lot of bizarre things, as if this is not the time of the year where you should repent and contemplate on the things you have done.

It’s like a tradition (or sort of) here in the province to look good and wear your new clothes during special occasion. The only time where people from the barrio get a chance to go to the poblacion is only through these special events. It’s when you get a chance to tour the entire poblacion during the parade at night; together with others in an ocean of swarming devotees holding a paper-held candle.

It’s a devotion to most but certainly a good choice of ally by to teens to meet and greet their friends during vacation. But how much of time do we really spent praying and reflecting to ourselves? Have we forgotten the true essence of Holy Week? Is it really about having a very long weekend? I think over the past few years people has slowly become hallow souls and that Holy Week is just another red-colored-number on the calendar. Please prove me I am wrong.

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