Contributed by Tina Relampagos
Holy Week in the Philippines is as sacred as it can get. Four to five non-working days is the perfect time to get re-connected with faith, family, ourselves. It’s enough time to finally get that much needed personal R&R. Most people have planned for this break months ago – home to the province or a hassle-free vacation with the family. But beyond that, many of us aren’t really used to planning for a week of no work and where most stores and restaurants are closed.
We only get this blessed time once a year and it would be a shame to waste it. So whether you’re staying in, visiting relatives, going out of town, you can do any of these best bets to making the most of this break:
We don’t really have spring but you get the point. What better way to create a fresh start but by cleaning your home and sorting out through your stuff including the storage. A good tip that I learned when sorting out your clutter is to pick the ones you actually use instead of figuring out which ones you don’t or won’t use. It’s a more effective mindset.
Take a time off from those mystery, romantic, adventure books. Get more attuned with solitude with a book that will help you get your better Self started. I suggest Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit, Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath, and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.
Sort through your music
Every song we know brings with it a certain ounce of memory. Going through and finally sorting out your personal playlist is a good start for your reflection – a look back on the silly, difficult and good times you had all these years.
Some of us are not really into getting in touch with our faith and we find this break instead a good time to chill. Netflix is already in the Philippines so better get on that streaming bandwagon. The shows available are still limited but I have a trick, type a letter in search to show every possible match so you can explore other shows and movies you wouldn’t easily see on your homepage. There’s a free trial period – long enough for the holy week.
If you don’t have a province or you just simply don’t want to bump into another human being, I suggest you book a comfortable condo with a pretty view in the city through Airbnb. Airbnb has a powerful search tool where you can apply a lot of filters including your budget and amenities. There are flats that even allow you to bring your pup or kitty so you can have a not-too-invasive company while you’re away in the city.
Join a retreat
You don’t always have to be with your friends or colleagues to go on a retreat. There are a lot of retreat sessions that are open to the public especially those that you can find in your own parish. It’s a refreshing experience to reflect and open up to strangers.
Get to know your family and relatives
It is a tradition for many Filipinos to go to their provinces or their parents’ provinces to spend time with family and relatives they rarely see. If you’re among them, it’s best to actually use the time to get to know them beyond the family meals. See what their interests are, how they’re doing in school or at work, what they want to do this year or long-term. It’s interesting to know how much you actually have in common.
Go to where your parents used to hang out
Know more about yourself, where you are now and where you might be headed by looking back to how your parents were. Taking a look at your family is another good way to reflect this Holy Week. If you’re in their province, take a walk with your parents and go to the places where they used to and talk about what they did then – a most welcome quality time I’m sure.
Have a picnic
There is something about summer sunshine and green grass that makes you want to have a sandwich, cold juice and light talk with your siblings. So just go ahead and do it! It’s the perfect time to share each other’s stories and reminisce about your childhood.
I don’t expect you to have a life-changing experience but if there’s any time to give it a try (voluntarily and not because you have a company outreach) this is it. Start
Visita Iglesia to somewhere new
It’s typical for families to do Visita Iglesia in their own or adjacent province. The convenience is understandable but it would be a rejuvenating experience to visit churches from a provinces you havent’ been to together as a family. You’ll get to discover new churches with old architecture and picturesque surroundings. It’s a new way of creating another family memory during the Holy Week.
Faithful or not, Holy Week break is a special time for all of us to unwind, relax, and do the things you’ve been meaning to do.
It’s enough time to come back with a clear mind and stronger motivation to do greater things.
However you end up spending your break, we, from the Gifted.PH team, wish you all a blessed and peaceful Holy Week.