My earliest memories of Holy Week are my grandmother telling us about how solemn the days off were supposed to be and that we kids were supposed to be quiet and not make so much noise and not be playing around so much. That, and the only thing being available on TV being The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner. In the early 2000s, what we often watched were the marathon episodes of Seventh Heaven shown on Studio 23 (the actor for the dad/pastor in that show later on confessed to being involved in a child molestation scandal, ironically.) Back before cable TV you didn’t have much of a choice, you could only watch what the local channels gave you and all the malls were closed, so you often are forced into some form of quiet reflection. These days, well, the internet.
A lot of people in the Metro skip town for the Holy Week, heading off to beaches or wherever to beat the summer heat or taking advantage of the holiday to visit their family in the provinces. Our family generally doesn’t do that, being practicing Catholics and all, we like to just stay at home and suffer the summer heat. The great thing about all these people leaving the city is that the normally super congested Metro Manila gets to breathe for a bit. From Maunday Thursday through Easter Sunday, traffic is the lightest it ever is for the entire year (culminating in the post-Easter traffic mess caused by all the people travelling back from the provinces). The power and water crises we’ve been going through for the past few weeks is temporarily alleviated as the demand from the city residents goes down - our water pressure has been pretty good since Thursday, though we did end up using more power to aircon our way through the summer afternoons.
This summer seems hotter than it has ever been, not uncommon during the past few years. It’s a free pentitensya that comes with living in the Philippines that even non-Catholics have to suffer through (a joke I’ve made to three different chat groups now) Ignorant people who don’t believe in global warming need to live closer to the equator.