My Chi-niece Angel asked me last month, “Ninong kailan ang summer vacation n’yo?” She’ll be a fifth grader this June. I told her that the industry doesn’t offer such perks anymore
(which made me miss school more) and that the lengthiest breaks employed people get would be long weekends (which thanks to our present administration are reduced to zero now — I still believe that the government and industry must invest on long weekends, so that workers can rest and in turn be more productive, but anyway). The Easter Triduum would be the longest (not counting Christmas shutdowns for select companies) break — from Maundy Thursday extending to Easter Sunday. Some even get it started on Spy Wednesday, but moving on.
It’s no wonder then that people would choose to schedule most of their out-of-towns and vacations during this four-day stretch. Being in a very traditionally Catholic country however
(which has good and bad points, presently the balance tips to the bad side), the Church is always vocal on remarking how secular its faithful have become. Religious authorities are making a fuss of it. They’ve always looked through a particular set of lens for a long time.
My point is, no one can blame us employed people for booking flights to Bora or Galera this Holy Week as it’s OUR ONLY CHANCE. For the whole twenty other days of each month, eight or more hours are spent in search of money. Weekends are actually short — shorter even for those who have to go back and forth to their home provinces. (Try going back to Metro Manila every Sunday afternoon and anticipate the workweek ahead. You’re going to drain all your energy.) The Holy Week is actually a “bonus” for employees so as they don’t have to worry about maxing out their limited precious leaves. In fact for 2011 which UNFORTUNATELY has MOST holidays on weekends (and again with our current administration here in the Philippines), Holy Week is one of the few long weekends an employee can get (except June 24 and August 19 for Manila and Quezon Cities employees, but still they’re shorter).
Besides in His Paschal Mystery, Jesus Christ destroyed death through dying and restored life by rising up again? Shouldn’t we somehow celebrate this fact? In Catholic Masses, isn’t this the Mystery of Faith part? Then going to the beach and actually enjoying can be considered a commemoration of the life Jesus breathed into us during the first ever Holy Week. It may at first seem secular at one point, but if you think of it, that’s a better way of using your faith-renewed life than wasting it on sinful acts, like human trafficking and drug abuse perhaps?
Probably we can meet with what the Church wants us to do by just pausing for moments of silence on Good Friday 3:00 PM. Whether you are sun-bathing or snorkeling by that time, stop whatever you are doing and praise Jesus Christ for His unconditional love.
So this Easter Triduum, go ahead and hit the beach. Go ahead and celebrate the beauty of life God has bestowed on us. 🙂