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Holy Week: Let’s cross that off my list

#maleldo2016 #cutud #lenten2016 #iskonggala #lakwatsero #crucifixionph

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Dahlings, This week is Holy week (Easter to the rest of the Christian world) to my Philippine friends which is THE biggest holiday in their calendar. It is so big, some of them turn up their piety to a eleven or even a twelve. A few even volunteer to be crucified with some doing it every year becoming minor celebrities.

Some years back, the Philippines Government sorta said ‘Crucifixation is bad ok. We don’t want you to be crucifying yourself but if you do, at least get a tetanus shot for health reasons’.

This year, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has come out a bit stronger and said in a television interview “..the best way to observe Holy Week is by doing charitable works like helping the poor and visiting the sick in hospital.” Continue reading..

The Philippine Nail salon

Trust us, we Roamans don't know anything about this one.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover : A Crucifixion in San Fernando. Hey, we at Roads-2-Roam ain’t taking the hit for this one.. It wasn’t us.

The Philippines are an ultra-Catholic country. So it goes then that Easter is one of the THE most popular holiday of the year.

So much so, that some of the pious volunteer to be crucified. Yes, you understood correctly : they put themselves forward to be fully nailed up on a cross and not the Crucifixion-lite namby pamby roped up version.


Philippines Govt Health Warning. Crucifixions are dangerous

But this is not a small thing done in the local parish. Cities such as San Fernando (NW of Manila), have real life Easter enactments of crucifixions that by themselves are tourist attraction drawing in 10’000’s. From Philstar.com:

Ferdinand Caylao, executive committee chair for Maleldo (Kapampangan for Holy Week), said Telesite company installed CCTV cameras in San Pedro Cutud that would be operational from Holy Thursday until Good Friday. Crucifixion rites annually take place in Barangays San Pedro Cutud, Sta. Lucia and San Juan, but most tourists flock to San Pedro Cutud where “Kristo” Ruben Enaje would be nailed to the cross for the 30th year.

The purpose of the CCTV in such a place of holy reverence is to capture people at ease with their religion catch pickpockets. I see something wrong amiss there.

Not only that but there will be medical crew there. “The city’s health and disaster management officers would also deploy medical teams in the crucifixion sites.” said the Philippines Star.

Nails. Crucifixion. Health and Safety.  I seem to recall hearing about those together before. Now where was that?

Oh yes, back in 2008 where Health officials in the Philippines issued a warning to people taking part in Easter crucifixion rituals. They urged those about to be Flagellated or Crucified to get tetanus vaccination before hand and if being nailed to a cross, to practice good hygiene. Seriously? 

Now to come back to Mr Enaje. He’s a bit of a folk hero where wheresidewalksend has some more details on him. From that page, I just love the picture of the guy self flagellating himself but look at his face mask. Surely it should be Mary Magdalene not Mary Jayne.

Flagellation across de Nation. Man.

Lando hope and glory: Memoirs of a Super Typhoon

Cleopatra's emergency rations

my emergency preparations for Lando.

Dahlings, I know you’ve all been worried sick about me so I should update you on my little business trip in the Philippines. It turned out that the others who were flying to meet me, bailed on me after looking at the weather alert. Something about a Super-typhoon being one of the worst ever made them change their mind.

So there I was. Jilted at the altar hotel due a major storm heading my way and staying in the city that was projected to be an epicenter for 40+ inches of rain.

I naturally called up my local work colleagues as asked I should get back to Manila in order not to be stuck here in the aftermath. “Oh no, it will not be that bad. You should still visit us on Monday. Roads will be driveable on Tuesday.”, they cheerfully said.

Being a bit skeptical, I decided to stay since I had come all that way and may as well get something out of it. Decision made: I would have a short meeting on Monday morning and be on the road by lunchtime and even get back 1 day earlier than planned.

Saturday I bought a weather jacket and stocked up with essentials in case of power outage in my mini-bar:- see my picture. Saturday night the rain started and on Sunday, the strong winds came. By evening it had stopped. I had survived my first typhoon. Nothing to it.

Except it started again Monday morning and got progressively worse. Continue reading..

Where and who’s Lando?

Who's Lando?

Who’s Lando?

Dahlings, it seems the only time I read a paper version of a newspaper is when I eat breakfast in hotels.

So what did the Philippine Star have to say on Oct 15th while I munched away my cornflakes.

I tittered so over the headline”Mirian picks Bongbong” which is as I said last year, not some reference to some stoner activity but the nickname of someone. Politicians do love their Bongs.

Next article, I look up to the top left and spit out my tea. There is a flippin’ Typhon heading towards North Luzon for Monday. Where am I going to be on Monday? North Luzon.

Expecting it to be sunny weather per weather forecast from a few days ago, I haven’t even brought a jacket.

Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) intensified as Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 was raised over northern Aurora, Quirino, and Isabela, weather service PAGASA.

So where is Lando going to make Landfall?  Oh crapola, very near me. Not only but it is going to be an usual storm in that it is going to be slow moving and so will dump a lot of rain. Looks like my plans to leave on Tuesday may be in jeopardy as we can expect a lot of damage.

Where's Lando? Path of the Typhon

Where’s Lando? Path of the Typhon

Even if I get to Manila, my flight was to going to Taiwan which may get the remains of this in a few days.

Oh the joys of travel.

Ciao for now,