In the Philippines, the Holy Week is a significant religious event for majority of Roman Catholics and most Protestant groups. Families tend to plan their activities ahead of time, and most people choose to go home to their respective provinces and spend the long holiday with friends and family. Those who are left in the city also take this break as an opportunity to engage in activities that enrich the soul, or simply get things back in order, especially that it is a relatively long period of time away from work.
Beginning Maundy Thursday, offices in the Philippines either shut down operations until Black Saturday, or shorten working hours and schedules. During these public holidays, a few local television stations and radio stations sign-off, or feature films and programs that are relevant to the religious event being observed. Many communities also observe Spanish-influenced Catholic rituals including processions and visiting churches (Visita Iglesia).
However, while the Holy Week is shaping out to be a busy week, many people who have yet to make plans are still weighing their options on how to spend the 4-day break. Below is a list of activities to consider during the Holy Week (if you don’t have anything planned yet):
1. Clutter-free your condo.
Tradition has it that three days after Palm Sunday are devoted to a thorough cleaning of the home, as observed by many countries around the world. All furniture are dusted outside, and, if possible, left without any trace of dirt. This Holy Week, it is also fitting to do a full cleaning of your condo just in time for family feasts or simple gatherings.
2. Rearrange your home.
If you’ve always wanted to redesign your condo but never got around to it because of your busy schedule, the upcoming 4-day weekend may be the perfect time to finally do so. A great condo redesign idea you might want to consider is shifting to eco-friendly home furnishings. This will ensure a more sustainable lifestyle for you and your family.
3. You may also mimic Holy Week practices of other cultures.
For example, Poland and other Slavic countries embellish their homes with green plants and artificial flowers made of colored paper with traditional prints and designs. As such, you may create ornaments made out of Filipino-inspired materials. On the other hand, in Germany, families enjoy creating Easter Egg trees in their gardens and back yards. If you live in a condo, you can create smaller versions of these trees and place them in your living room or kitchen.
4. Watch a movie.
Most cinemas are closed during the Holy Week, but if you’re staying at home or in your condo, it would be a fun idea to bond with the entire family over movies that will enrich the soul. Choose films that heighten the spirit of the season, such as those that are about family, devotion, prayer, and spiritual pilgrimages.
5. Take a hot afternoon dip.
The beach is a popular destination amongst Filipinos during the Holy Week. But because of their popularity, beach destinations can get a little crowded during the long weekend, which can end up leaving you with a stressful holiday experience. If you’re looking to relax and spend time with your family, a great alternative to a beach trip is to dip into the luxurious condo swimming pool. This way, you can avoid the holiday crowd and enjoy the privileges of living in a condo.
6. Visit iconic churches.
Visita Iglesia, or the practice of visiting different churches during the Holy Week, is a tradition that takes place in different areas across the country. Laguna is one of the most popular destinations for this practice. Near Manila, churches to visit include San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Sta. Ana, and the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, among others.
7. Experiment in the kitchen.
While some people plan out the holidays and do leisurely activities outdoors with friends and family, many also choose to stay at home to spend the Holy Week indoors. As far as family activities go, nothing quite does the job of keeping bonds tight as delicious home-cooked meals. Filipinos are known for our love for food, so it goes without saying that cooking together at home will always be a fruitful activity for the entire family. Look up recipes that are Lent-appropriate, and add your personal touch to each of the family meals.
Families of the condo lifestyle opt to stay in and bond with each other at home, which is why it is always a good idea to explore activities that can easily be done without leaving the condo premises. Families can choose to explore nearby vicinities, but either way, what’s important is to engage in meaningful activities whether you choose to stay indoors or outdoors.