Even with the sweltering heat, the headache-inducing humidity and the pesky mosquitoes that feed on your sweat, Holy Week remains one of the most awaited occasions in our homeland. For Filipino expats, especially those who have to work between Noon and 3 p.m. on Biyernes Santo (Good Friday) as if it's just another Friday, the week triggers a lot of nostalgia—for the bisita iglesia (literally, multi-church visits), the pageantry in some places, the flagellating sacrifices, the samalamig (native icees) in town plazas and for the less religious, the four days of lolling around in one of the thousands of beautiful beaches that dot Philippine shores.
This week we've put together a collection of stories we think fit the many moods of Holy Week:
For the faithful, Patricia Araneta gives a first-person account of the most famous pilgrimage in the world in "A Walk to the End of the Earth: The Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage."
For those who pray regularly for our homeland, another reason to kneel and pray, as Elisse Nicole B. Catalan, a newly minted doctor, writes about the intensely gratifying and frustrating experience of working in a government hospital in "Up Close and Personal with Philippine Health Care."
For those who spend the week having fun, Excel Dyquiangco, our regular contributor from Manila, takes us to a semi-secret escape destination, Sohoton in Surigao del Norte, where some of the best natural sites can be reached only on certain days through a challenging course. "So On to Sohoton" is for the adventurous nature lover.
For those who gave up their favorite food for Lent and are now ready to let go, our art director Raymond Virata shares the sweet, sinful joy of the newest rage on the market, SPAM Tocino. In "Can of Nostalgic Delight," be ready to indulge your taste buds after forgoing meat, that is if you manage to find the treat whose supply is still limited.
And for those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to watch "Documented," the film that puts a face on the highly charged issue of immigration reform. It will show for FREE (RSVPs required at firstname.lastname@example.org) at Golden Gate University on Mission St. on Saturday, April 19 from 4-6 pm. Check out the details in the flyer that follows.