We're in Cavite to participate in the religious procession of statues with our carroza depicting Simon helping out Jesus with his cross. My family has been doing this for the past 37 years and now, we also got the little lords to join us in this "panata". Hopefully it's something that they'll do with their own families because the Yub and I will definitely do this for as long as we can.
Now here's part two of our unforgettable, blessed, and food-filled Holy Week celebration in Cavite.
I woke up later than my usual time because I stayed up till 3:00am watching DOWNTON ABBEY!
Matthew and Mary forever!!!!!
My family already started eating before me but good thing there were still some of my favorite breakfast food!
Spam and Tinapa!
If I could go back in time, I'll tell my younger self (with high metabolism) to eat loads of breakfast food!!!!!
After eating our delicious breakfast, my family did our usual going around our hometown tradition!
Our first stop was at the miraculous Lady of Mediatrix.
Back in the 1980s, my parents experienced first hand how Mama Mary nodded and smiled at all the church parishioners as if she blessing all of their prayers. This went on for about minutes! Afterwards, a bright ray of light shone from behind and then she stopped. People immediately checked the statue for any contraptions but did not see anything. Many attendees also noted the strong scent of rose inside and outside the church.
That's why every year, we visit her whenever we're in Cavite.
While praying, I pointed out how Mama Mary seems to be looking at Andrei. Something gave me a strong feeling that I have to tell him about it.
Then I proceeded to pray and take pictures.
Check out Andrei's face.
I noticed how he was so entranced with Mama Mary!
After praying, my bunsoy told me that after I pointed out how Mama Mary was looking at him, he noticed that her eyes were really fixed on him! Then, he noticed that Mama Mary's eyes looked at the Marie's daughters (who were with us) and back at him. It's as if her eyes were going around and observing the children. When her eyes went back to Andrei, she gave him a sweet smile as if she's bidding good-bye.
When we recounted this to the caretaker, she confirmed that the Lady of Mediatrix here would usually make her presence known to children at prayer even if the adults cannot see it.
My bunsoy said he felt so happy that he almost cried tears of joy. I somehow choked up with tears too because I was so overjoyed for him that he was able to experience a different kind of blessing from Mama Mary.
Could this be Andrei's figment of imagination? I strongly don't think so. My bunsoy does not tell false stories but he does love to pray and (would you believe) go to confession weekly. YUP. He does. Plus, I cannot explain it but we all felt something different that time. It's like our hearts were bursting with warmth and I can't forget how I felt somebody mentally nudge me to tell Andrei how Mama Mary was looking at him. I really noticed it!
After that wonderful meeting with Mama Mary, we went to the Roman Catholic church.
They have already renovated this grand church making it brighter on the inside.
Offering our prayers!
Up next, we went to one of our favorite stops in this town of Cavite!
The hanging bridge!!!
There is just something so calming and soothing looking at this vast body of water and trees.!!
We always try to go to the middle of the bridge. It just gets wobbly and scary while we're at it!
Master Mati is braver!
After that, we decided to pass by the cemetery and say "Hi" to our Lolo and Lola.
It's too bad the little lords were not able to meet their great grandparents. I heard that they were very kind and loved by many.
And when we got home, it's time to eat again!!!!!!!
Green Mangoes and Salsa!
My favorite pampagana!!
Kare Kare with Veggies!
The kare kare had tripe and chunks of meat innards. It was soooo delicious with the thick "peanuty" sauce!
This was spicy and rich!! Egad! Mapapa-extra rice ako nito!
Lots of grilled Tilapia!
There was also tomatoes and onions inside the fish for more flavor
Yay my Mom and Dad are here!
They dropped by for lunch and to see how everything was going.
My plate!!! My-first-serving-of-all-those-delicious-food plate!
Our husbands tried their best to stay away from the meat dishes. But I guess they were still oh so full from the food because they slept soundly at the couch. He he he he he!
Come night time, it the procession again!
Our carroza followed the numbering and was in slot 11. While waiting for it to pass by, Andrei saw some majorettes! He he he he he he!
For tonight, it was Kuya Jay and Rogee pulling it.
Yesterday Mati was up front doing the job. This time, he joined us in offering candles at the back.
It was a long walk.
I could imagine the road traffic too because vehicles were not allowed to pass.
The crowds converged on public areas like the plaza, 7-11, and the churches.
Most of the guys of the family would help in pushing the carroza at the side and at the back.
We would usually stay behind it.
Me and little Andrei!
He would usually just light up 2 candles and at the back. But then he decided to join the big guys pushing the carroza.
I'm alone again... naturally.
Not for long! The Yub and Mati joined me.
After the procession, our carroza was parked at the garage.
Andrei didn't want to throw away the candles and posted it by the gate.
Now it was time to take down everything.
It's great that the kids helped too!
This made the job extra fast.
For dinner that night, we had Spaghetti and Sandwiches!
Would you believe that the kiddies still requested me to whip this up again? :)
I don't mind because it was so simple to make!
They just loved how cheesy and creamy it was!
The next morning, it was time to go.
We just had a short visit to our church to offer a prayer.
It was a Black Saturday and the church was empty save for the caretaker.
We said a prayer for Jesus and stayed for a short time.
My little Andrei was the last one to finish.
He is my very religious bunsoy boy!
Afterwards, Ninang Saling and family said goodbye to our angels and macho guys!
And the long uber traffic ride home starts!
Uuuuy ang demure ng smile ko!
Even if we had a tiring day, we still had a family night!
And then, the Lord has risen!!!!
Our observation of the Lenten Season may be different from how other Catholic people do it but the values, the practice for tradition, and the vows are all there. Of course, we still include a bit of fun with our "explorins", DVD nights (yes we still watch via DVD ha ha ha ha), and delicious meals that never change year after year.
All in all, these wonderful attributes add up to the loving memories of our yearly family tradition of spending Holy Week together in Cavite.
Next year again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!