As obvious from my previous post, I just spent a week in Capiz – a week which was spent reconnecting with the place and with relatives, as well as seeing it through the eyes of a first-time visitor.  The last one was a first for me since I have always been the one who knows the littlest about the place, never having lived there.  It was the first time that I brought a visitor with me, and I thoroughly enjoyed showing her around and sharing our clan’s Holy Week traditions with her.

I was very happy when it turned out that two other cousins, Dondon and Lala, also planed in from Manila.  In fact, we were on the same flight as Dondon’s fiancee.  However, we haven’t met before, so we couldn’t pick her out of the crowd.  We only got to talk to her when we finally landed at Roxas City.

Upon arriving at our house, we had a late lunch of shrimp and crab, a very yummy ‘welcome home’ tradition.  Afterwards, we attended Mass at the Sta. Monica Church.  Later in the evening, Tintin and I went on a Visita Iglesia with my cousins Dondon, Lala, Ritchelle, their friend JR (who’s studying to become a priest) and Me-Ann, Dondon’s fiancee.  It’s been a long while since I did my last Visita Iglesia.  Actually, the last one was also in Capiz when I was still in college, but that covered even farther places in the province.  Anyway, we went to these 8 churches in the following towns/barangays, respectively: Pontevedra; Bailan; Panitan; Luktugan, Roxas City; Carmelite Monastery in Lawa-an, Roxas City; Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Roxas City (the former seat of the Bishop); Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Roxas City; and finally back to Sta. Monica Church in Pan-ay.

pontevedra.jpg    bailan.jpg    panitan.jpg    luktugan.jpg

carmelite-monastery.jpg      mt-carmel-shrine.jpg    cathedral.jpg    panay.jpg

We also did the Stations of the Cross (2 stations per church).  Afterwards, we hung out for a while at the patio in front of Sta. Monica Church before going home.  It was a nice bonding time for me and my cousins.  It’s been a while since we’ve all been together like that.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them again at Don’s wedding sometime this year.

On Good Friday, we joined the procession, again my first time in so many years.  Unlike in our Parish here, the procession there starts right after the Adoration of the Cross, at around 5pm.  The main difference of the procession in Pan-ay is the Considerad, which leads the procession.  Little boys hold up decorated poles with items related to Jesus’ passion and death hanging from the top.  Some of the items are nails, a rooster (only a drawing of course), sponge, and crown of thorns.  The boys shout out the significance of the items in Spanish and Ilonggo throughout the procession.  Apparently it’s some sort of a rite of passage for a lot of young boys in our town.  My own dad and most other male relatives are alumni of the Considerad.

Me and Tin, tired but still smiling after the procession (hmm…is it really ok to be smiling after a Good Friday procession?) :

after-procession.jpg

Black Saturday was spent on the beach, but more on that in another post.  The first part of Easter Sunday was spent bringing Tintin to the airport for her flight back to Manila.  Then, we attended the 4pm Mass to celebrate Easter and my cousin’s 25th anniversary in the priesthood.  Afterwards, it was chow time!  And story time with the relatives of course.

The rest of our days were quite uneventful except for another party to celebrate the graduation of a niece (Kindergarten) and a nephew (Grade 6).  Both graduated in the top 3 of their respective classes.

During this trip, I realized that Capiz is becoming more and more like home to me.  It’s slowly transitioning from simply being a vacation place to a second home.  And that ‘can’t-wait-to-go-back-home-to-Manila’ feeling only hit me on the last day.  It has also become easier to come up to my relatives and join in the chatter even though I understand and speak very little of the dialect.   And of course, I never really had complaints about the food from the very beginning. 😉

All I can say right now is that I can’t wait to go back and I can’t wait to see some of them here in Manila.

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