HOLY Week to some Filipinos seems to have lost its solemnity as they would rather enjoy the long work break at a beach or a favorite tourist spot, instead of visiting churches and spending time reflecting on spiritual things.
But some Catholic lawmakers still observe Lent seriously.
Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd is among those who still follow the Holy Week traditions that have been passed down to them by their elders.
According to Sotto, he and his brothers have kept the traditions taught by their mother, including the “Pabasa ng Pasyon” (Reading of the Passion of Christ), which usually starts on Holy Monday and ends on Good Friday.
The senator said they have been doing the ritual since they were children.
Besides the “pabasa,” Sotto added, they also do “penitensiya” (penitence) by walking from their house in Quezon City to Antipolo Church in Antipolo City either on Maundy Thursday or on Good Friday.
The distance between Sotto’s house and Antipolo Church is roughly about 18 to 19 kilometers and the Sotto brothers have been doing the walk since 1978.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito is also one of the many Catholics who still follow the traditional rituals, regarding Lent as a time for reflection and prayer.
He said he usually observes Holy Week in Manila and participates in all Lent-related activities of their parish.
Ejercito and his family also do the traditional “Visita Iglesia” or Church Visit, during which they pray before the Stations of the Cross in seven Catholic Churches in their area.
The senator will again visit the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and join processions and other activities leading to Easter.
He likes to stay in Metro Manila during the Holy Week because it is more peaceful and quiet, he said.
“Holy Week is a time to reflect and refresh the spirit rather than to enjoy and have fun, which I can do the rest of the year. Holy Week should be dedicated to the Lord,” Ejercito said in a text message.
Senate President Franklin Drilon in his Holy Week message reminded people that Lent is a time for deep reflection, as well as renewal.
Lent, he said, is also an occasion to think more profoundly about the obligations we have to ourselves, and the obligations we have to one another as human beings.
“Christ demonstrated God’s unconditional love for us. He taught us the importance of helping others. We must, therefore, refocus our goals and values, so that they are truly consistent with the teachings of Christ,” he added.
Other senators, meanwhile, are still out of the country and are expected to return before Congress resumes its session on May 5.