This was my first Easter away from home, and what an eventful one at that! I feel compelled to write about it. Here goes!
I had the honour of being one of the twelve youth whose feet were washed by Cardinal Tagle during the service in the Manila Cathedral. To be honest, I am still asking God why he gave me this opportunity– it really came out of nowhere– but whatever the reason, I’m glad that I could experience it. The grandiosity of the service reminded me of the majesty of God.
Friday was, unsurprisingly, the most sober part of the Triduum. After a night of vigil, we fasted for most of the day. Side note: I’ve become much better at being a functional human being on days of fasting during this past year 🤷🏻♂️
I also joined Ligaya (the Christian community that is hosting me) for an afternoon-long Good Friday recollection, followed by a Catholic service. The whole program was typical Ligaya– that is to say, large, elaborate and very liturgical.
We started off Saturday with a jolly enough mood, made even better after a light breakfast. Next, I helped Adrian made some chapatis, which would serve as the unleavened bread for the Christian Passover Seder later in the afternoon.
This whole concept of a seder meal is new to me, but I really enjoy traditions like these. I was (unfortunately) not the youngest at the table, so, while I couldn’t ask questions, I could sit back and enjoy the 2000+ year old tradition.
Stomachs full, we headed to the venue of the final part of the Triduum service with Ligaya. It was a great service, and again, classic “Ligaya”.
Easter marks to tail end of my stay in Manila—I am actually in an airport on my way to India right now—and celebrating the summit of the Christian calendar with some of my most favourite people was a fitting end.
As I write this, reality is just starting to set in, accompanied by bittersweet emotions. I’m going to miss these people. I know that I will always look back to these days with a heart full of pride and a head full of memories.
Knowing what I know about the global fellowship of Christian communities, I believe that this more of a “see you later” than a “good bye”. Until then, ingat kayo!