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It has become a habit that me and my friends from high school meet every Good Friday for a Good Friday hike at our town's Calvary Hill- that was years B.C. (Before Covid era. ) Following the IATF guidelines, the Calvary has been closed and is not allowed to be hiked as it will surely bring in lots of people. And so, to observe today's holiday, we stayed home, and spent time with our families, and of course, cooked the ever present Binignit/ Ginat-an as we call it. It's a creamy dish of mixed fruits, of which recipe I will be posting below:
Sweet potato cubed
Taro/ gabi cubed
Saba banana cubed
Tapioca pearls/ sago
Mix sweet potato, gabi, cassava and banana in a boiling coconut milk with parts of water. Combine in glutinous rice. Continue cooking until the the yam, gabi , and cassava are soft. Add on tapioca pearls and sugar. Note: you can add more water and sugar as needed.
Serve and Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is how we cook our Benignit. Recipe varies according to someone's liking.
Being in lockdown for more than a year now, it made me reminisce the pre-COVID era activities that we usually do in celebration of the Holy week.
Good Friday Hike.
3 Yrs B.C., me and my high school friends would always gather in front of the Cathedral as our meeting place at around 6 am to start our Good Friday hike at the Calvary Hill. It's actually a short hike however, the number of people going up the hill causes delay and it would almost always take us an hour up the hill- from the long lines at the foot of the hill to the crowding at the top. And about 30 minutes to go down. But there's this one time when we were in the mood to make the hike more exciting, and so instead of going down the same way we went up, we would rather use a different path that is less traversed by the people. Too thirsty for an adventure, eh? We even gave our group a name: PAT/Pitad Adventure Team. "Pitad" which is a Waray word for "to take a step". Sometimes the path we take has so much weed and were too steep. "You wanted adventure, I give you one", says the universe. Anyhow, after all the "aren't we lost already?", "we should go back", "my feet are hurting", and "we shouldn't have continued taking this way", we managed to get on the foot of the hill alive. I tell you kids, don't go into an adventure unprepared, and always have with you an expert when traversing an unfamiliar trail.
After the gruesome hike, what we usually get are scratches, body aches, and growling stomach. It's time for Binignit hunt! We would go to whomever has the most food prepared (we always end up at the same house every year, anyway).
Our town in Palo has a tradition where the Palo Pinetentes, an all-male confraternity of the Roman Catholic Church devotees of Palo, Leyte, devote the Holy week into doing penance, hence the name Penitentes. The group highlights their activities on the re-enactment of the "Washing of the Feet", the veneration of the Cross, and the station of the cross, during the Holy week. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1067454
The Pinetentes or tais-dupol, as we call them, participate in the re-enactment of the passion of Christ. Part of their services include cleaning the streets, controlling the crowd, and in carrying the relics of the saints during the procession, all done in barefoot. They're called tais-dupol from the robes and hoods they wear. Tais means pointed, while dupol means blunted. The one on the picture with me is a Dupol Pinetentes.
In the afternoon, after we're all stuffed and freshened up, we'll join the procession around town center, and the Holy mass thereafter.
It's all fun and great to spend the day with some friends, but at the end of the day, it is still the salvation and victory that Jesus Christ has won for us on the Cross that highlights the Holy Week. May we all be reminded that God loves us, and that our salvation has been paid already by Jesus Christ in the cross. May we be reminded that our value as children of God is the holy life of Jesus, and there's nothing that you do or cannot do that will make God love you less.
Anyway, if you liked hearing about how I spent my Holy Week B.C., please like, and feel free to comment how you spent yours.
Photos are my own and were taken by me. Copyright @tenj 2021