Most people spent their Holy Week attending various church activities. Some went of town or the country with friends and family. But for me ... every year I make it my "panata" (pledge) to be with my niece, Sophie. When she was little, she was really very hyperactive, precocious, inquisitive.... hahaha I'm running out of adjectives but I suppose everybody gets the general idea... that being with her felt as though it was a sacrifice - "penitensya". Luckily... Thank you, God! .... she is more mature now at 12 and being with her does not feel like a "sacrifice" anymore. I truly enjoy her company ... in small doses.
Sophie and I went to my Ate's house. This is a special time for us to be with Ate and her family and we do this every Holy Week. Gilly's and Sophie's bonding moments.
My Ate makes very good "Bistek" - Filipino Beef Steak , one of my favorite food which I have not mastered yet... so, I asked my sister to cook for me.
Yaya Bebing's Fried Chicken.
It was really crispy on the outside and inside, falling off the bone. I asked what the secret was, Ate said, they used a thermometer for deep frying.
Chinese Stir-Fried Vegetables
Sophie's favorite food of all time is Carbonara.
Pork Sprite.... tender pork belly ... it was like sweet pork adobo or humba.
A day of fasting and abstinence.... but I am exempted from fasting because I am diabetic.
The friend of my brother in law, Butch, gave them 25 pieces of bangus from Roxas City. I helped my Ate debone a few and we made Rellenong Bangus.
I now have 5 pieces of bangus in my freezer I have yet to debone.
Yaya Bebing's Fish Tempura
I cooked the Meatless Pancit Canton using the Mama Sita's Soy - Stir sauce.
After lunch, I told my Ate that I have been having back to back dreams of my Mom ever since Holy Week started. So, we visited Mom at Manila Memorial Park.
We went to BF to check if there were establishments open for merienda. Lo and behold! I saw several cars parked outside Little Quiapo.
I ordered Mais con Yelo. I know... I do not make sense ... I can not do fasting because I'm diabetic but I can eat this..... shakes my head.
Ate ordered the Halo- Halo.
We just shared the meatless Pancit Palabok.
Sophie and I went home before dusk because I did not want to drive late at night with a child. We ordered from Shakey's, Ultimate Cheese and Garlic Pizza, Mojos and Friday's Special. (No picture, too tired.)
I asked Tita Portia where she wanted to go. I told her: "The streets are clear, we can go anywhere in Metro Manila!" We went to Resorts World, Newport City.
Lunch was at Johnny Chow's.
Seafood Siomai (forgot to take a picture)
Tofu Salad with Sesame Dressing
Yangchow Fried Rice
Merienda was at Stacker's
Chocolate Malt Shake
Jing invited Mariger and I for lunch. It was an "ihaw ihaw" affair. It was so cute and sweet of Jing to use Easter place cards she brought home from the UK.
Grilled Pork Belly - Sherman's expertise.
Grilled Squid. So tender... even the "dentally" challenged can chew it!!! hahahaha
Thank you, Jing and Sherman!
We, the girls, had an Easter Tea at The Pen. We just shared the Afternoon Tea Set plus ordered another pot of tea. Hahahaha sorry ... could not help it ... lots of "tea".
I did not forget God in the midst of all the activities ... I prayed and went to the Easter Vigil Mass. My first time... I did not know that there were SIX readings!!!! And SIX Responsorial Psalms! The mass was 2 hours long but it was a new and good experience for me.
Holy Week is best spent with the family .... it is a time for reflection, prayer, sacrifice and thanksgiving. As my Ate would say: "Thank you, Lord for dying for us ... so we may be able to enjoy the Halo-Halo."
It may seem funny and trivial .... but in my opinion ... that is truly the essence Holy Week.... to remember to say, "Thank You, God for dying and saving all of us so that we may celebrate the life that You have given us."