As annual tradition that I will probably never get tired of.
Happy Easter everyone!
It started as an agreement between friends. One day, during Lent in 2007, my friends and I were talking about the Filipino traditions that we observe during the Lenten season in the Philippines. I touched on a funny story about a time when my sister and I decided to observe Visita Iglesia on our own while young students in the Philippines.
If you must know, traditionally, we observer Visita Iglesia on foot. We walk from church-to-church. At that time, my sister decided to visit 14 churches as opposed to the traditional 7. I think, we visited non-Catholic churches as well just so that we can complete the journey from Baclaran to Intramuros. We walked all the way to San Agustin Church I think – or was that Manila Cathedral? I don’t really remember well but we did visit 14 churches. At the end of our journey, we were both either tired or bored. We started to pretend that we were Chinese and started talking gibberish to each other. No one would have known that we weren’t really speaking in Chinese unless you’re Chinese of course. It was fun and we both had a great time.
During the conversation, we (my friends and I) decided to do it. We all took Good Friday off and decided to visit 7 churches. I offered to cook breakfast (traditional sinangag (garlic fried rice), tuyo (dried salted fish), and eggs). Someone brought a box of Joe from Dunkin Donuts and the rest was history.
Each year, we would gather at my house for breakfast and journey on to 7 churches. Our final destination has always been and will always be Chinatown where we feast on seafood (no meat on Good Friday) and then head on home.
This year, some friends came back home with me to watch The Passion of the Christ at home. It was an experience. We didn’t realize that one of our friends who is non-Catholic and only joined us for the journey to experience it, have not really seen The Passion of the Christ film by Mel Gibson. As we were watching the film, he had to grab a few paper towels to wipe his tears away. The impact of the film on him was so great that he was brought to tears.
This morning, I went to church for Easter Mass and then headed on to Chinatown for lunch (Dim Sum) to meet with friends.
We will try to keep this tradition going as long as we can. So far, there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.