Good Friday Procession 2017

"Biernes Santo" or Good Friday. This is the most awaited day of Lent for the Catholic faithful. Though this is not really the highlight, most people prepares for this activity. This is when a procession of different tableaux or carriages depicting the passion of Jesus Christ is held. People walk behind each carriages praying and reflecting. 

Lent is also one season where families get to bond for a religious activity. 
Since we now belong to a new parish, our family  had a new experience. Like we saw new but fewer carriages. There were lesser distractions during procession  since there were fewer people compared to our previous parish.

This is St. Vincent Ferrer Mission Station


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Sounds like a mountain, huh! But it's not.

One day I had my car blessed by a priest.

“Father, can you please bless my car?” I  asked.

“Sure.” he said. 

I thought  he would be expecting a brand new one and  don’t want to frustrate him so I said, 

 “Father it’s second hand,  my brand new Ford car is still on the way. When it arrives I would already be an excellent driver.” I told him. I know it would sound a joke to him but for me it was a prayer.

“Yes, next time it will be a brand new
 Everest," he said.

Oh my...!  I just said Ford car now he's saying Everest! I led him to my car. I know he was also joking.

The next day, when I reported for work, the tricycle that I rode stopped at the back of a car parked in front of our office. It was as if my head was really led to the direction of  the car’s butt where there was an ingraved letters FORD and below it was EVEREST!

So, Everest is a FORD car!


"Allow yourself to be surprised by God.” 

This was one of the messages of Pope Francis when he visited the Philippines in 2015.

Yes, indeed! God’s surprises can come in funny moment such as this.


Good Friday Procession 2015

To most people, the procession on Good Friday is the highlight of the Holy Week. As a child, I would look forward to see tableaux with life-size statue of Jesus and the people during his time.
Semana Santa (H0ly Week 0r Easter Week in English), is the m0st imp0rtant date in the Christian Calendar. It c0mmem0rates the life and death 0f Jesus Christ -- His passi0n and resurrecti0n.

Semana Santa is 0bserved in different ways thr0ugh0ut the c0untry. Vari0us traditi0ns and rites ab0und t0 celebrate this sacred week. In s0me parts 0f the c0untry, it is celebrated with s0lemn pr0cessi0n 0f tableaux depicting epis0des fr0m the Way 0f the Cr0ss and statues 0f Dolorosa - M0st S0rr0wful M0ther -- and 0ther significant female characters in the bible that were present during the passi0n 0f Jesus.

This event happens 0n G00d Friday 0r Biernes Sant0. In l0cal dialect we call these tableaux 0r carriages as "paso".  A pr0cessi0n is held in the street where pe0ple g0es behind these carriages. A gr0up 0f pe0ple prays the r0sary with s0ngs in between decades.
This is 0ne traditi0nal event I am thankful f0r where I am able t0 share in Jesus sufferings.





















The feeling hasn’t changed. It was a decade ago. Still I was star  struck, speechless, had goose bumps, teary eyed, feeling so very blessed. I had  almost seen the Lord! Yes, seeing him is like meeting Jesus himself.  However, there was  a big difference this time.  Twenty years ago, I saw him in person. He was just a stone throw away, but now he was so miles away.
I was in the office when Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines. I watched his arrival in my cellphone TV which I purposely bought for this event.  It was so amazing. Even on my cellphone, I couldn’t help feeling excited as if I was also at the tarmac with many others waiting for him. For me, his holiness comes out from my phone which made me teary eyed. I wanted to shout with excitement just like the people who patiently waited for him. Going home, I still held my phone inside the  tricycle.  It was getting noisy around and I decided to connect my head set. Then I noticed my seat mate switched on her cellphone TV, too.  Obviously she was watching on my TV and since she couldn’t hear anymore, she had to switch on her own. I thought I was alone doing it. I couldn’t wait to get home already,where our TV screen is wider.
At home, I had a better view of the Pope. For me it was better than being in Manila. I was comfortably seated holding my phone taking photos and videos. Whenever Pope Francis  was closed up, I almost feel his holiness. I felt that we were so close and I wanted to hold his hand and hug him, too, like others that gets near him.
He was so humble. It was like Jesus himself came to the Filipinos.  He came to live with the Filipinos. To mention a few, he wore the same colored raincoat that the peop had, we braced the same typhoon that day, he road in a jeep (one of the Pope mobile was made and designed from a jeepney) he ate with the very majority  kind of people that we had. The poor and the lame and the sick were his guests. They were the VIP’s or the people in front and on stage. A few mothers with children outside the  Apostolic Nunciature were he stayed were surprised when the guards told them the Pope wanted to meet them.  They were brought  to him and blessed them and gave them rosaries and medals. He love children too. On some of his motorcades he would bend and touch his driver to stop and made his guards get the babies among the crowd to kiss and bless them.  
There were many incidents that made me cry while watching on TV. Whether it be the actions of the Pope or the people.  I cried a lot  watching his visit to Tacloban City. Signal number two typhoon Amang didn’t prevent him from going there. In the first place, it was the main reason that he came to the Philippines. Like the people in Tacloban, I also felt sad that he had to leave so soon because the typhoon is getting stronger. He was also sad, because he had prepared something  for them. There he had lunch with the typhoon victims. They talked with each one of them, listened to them, ate the same food with them.
Many of Pope Francis' messages touched me, too. Like;
      *The most important subject that we have to learn in life is to learn how to love.
      *Allow yourselves to be surprised by God.
       *If you don’t learn how to cry, you can’t be a good Christian

His last message to the people in Tacloban was to pray for him and keep quiet.
On the Pope’s last day, I was in the office again. Unfortunately, we were having a meeting and I didn’t get the chance to watch on my cellphone TV. When I noticed that it was already ten o’clock, I felt a pinch of sadness in my heart.  The Pope had left.
The love of every Filipino for the head of the Roman Catholic Church was overwhelming that even just on TV, almost everyone I know was  affected by the then popular "POPE EFFECT" hush tag.
Thank you and I love you, Holy Father Pope Francis, I will continue to pray for you.

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