At one point in my young life, I was a researcher for a UN-funded project on folk media in the Philippines, tasked with documenting traditional forms of expression and events all over the country. That was how I witnessed the various rituals that make Holy Week unique and special among our people -- from the meditative cadence of the pabasa that brought a community together to the disturbing flagellants and the sacrificial re-enactments of Jesus' nailing on the cross in Pampanga. There too were the pageantry of the Moriones festival in Marinduque and, of course, the Seven Last Words, the Visita Iglesias and the long Easter masses of the Catholics -- all of them traditions that showcase the richness of our culture.
Some of our contributing photographers sent in some images of Holy Week in the Philippines. Enjoy them again in "Images of Semana Santa."
For the undocumented in the US who are currently going through their own personal tribulations due to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies, here's a useful legal guide from immigration lawyer Lourdes Tancinco, "Undocumented's Options: Depart Voluntarily or Be Detained."
Advice on an equally significant topic is given by Dr. Glenn Vives, a cardiovascular specialist of Kaiser Permanente in Martinez, California. Regular contributor Manzel Delacruz mines the doctor's insights on why Filipinos and Fil-Ams are prone to cardiovascular problems, in "He Wants You to Have a Healthier Lifestyle."
Positively Filipino Correspondent and food expert Elizabeth Ann Quirino provides us two pieces this week: a feature on Tanya Maynigo Louks, founder and owner of Craft Kombucha, a healthy tea-making entrepreneurship in Washington D.C.; and her Good Friday recipe for Baked Tilapia, this week's Happy Home Cook feature.
For those who missed out on stories from other publications, here are the In The Know links for this week:
Dealing with Duterte's Philippines
Drug war sends OFW rushing home for son who ‘couldn’t run’
Inside a Filipino cybersex den
So Beats Onischuk To Win 1st U.S. Championship
Philippine invasive plant could fuel the country's kitchens
And our Video of the Week: “Bibingka” a 2015 short film by Kay Cuajungco, who explores the lives of Filipino migrants through the foods they grew up with and the recipes that were passed through them.