Tuesday, April 15, 2003

holy holidays

Tomorrow begins the long Philippine Holy Week, from something Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

Multitudes will take the opportunity to get out of the city, hoping to get to the beaches for some fun, sun and relaxation.

If you are part of this lemming horde, forget about going north, as significant sections of the North Expressway are under renovation. It will take you days to negotiate the stretch of road.

Going south, expect horrendous traffic as every man and his family heads off to Tagaytay, Batangas and beyond.

Others with more money are opting for the tried-and-truely overcrowded Boracay for nights of drinking and days of swimming, or just being around "beautiful people". The recently concluded Boracay Bodies 2003 (winner Elaine Matawaran bears a slight resemblance to Zeta-Jones) would seem to imply that "beautiful people" abound, but really, there are more regular people and beauty is scarce. You'd have better luck in the more expensive and inaccessible (read: exclusive) resorts - though you also run the risk of being kidnapped along with whichever assummed rich person.

In various provinces, streets and roads will be lined with the Philippines' gory contribution to the Holy Week mythology - crucifixion.

Certain penitents, in a show of incredible remorse (absurd stupidity? faith?), have themselves nailed to crosses and bake under the sun on Good Friday in imitation of Christ. There is no David Blaine trickery involved, just barbaric nails pummeled into hands. The Catholic Bishops Conference, in the spirit of compromise, have officially declared that while they draw the line on crucifixion, they are willing to accept the delivery of the traditional pabasa through rap music. Pabasa is the practice of reciting bible stories in a prescribed monotone.

While everyone is either at the beach or nailing themselves to a cross, I plan to stay at home and write, visit friends in the city and watch the cache of films we've saved just for the occassion.


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