Happy Easter!

April 4, 2010

Morong, Rizal, Philippines – In this final entry commemorating my Easter Season posts, Bob and I just came home from attending the Easter Sunday celebration.  The mass was held in the patio of the church, with lots of pageantry, recollections and readings from the Old and New Testaments.

We started from our street joining with our neighbors, walked to the church with candles and someone led the saying of the rosary.  Stopping at the church gate, no lights, so we walked with candles lighting our path.  We brought bottled water to be blessed during mass.  When the mass started the whole place was dark, with only the stars, no clouds in the sky.  Then there was a bright light that came from the church tower (La Torre), then a ball of fire came crushing down to the patio floor,  and the services began.  Oh, what a feeling of awe and reverence.

The Easter message as delivered by the celebrant is a time for transformation:  A time to feel the heartfelt joy of  caring, kindness, compassion.  It is a time for sharing, music and laughter.  It is a time to reflect on the goodness of the past, joy of the present, and a hopeful tomorrow.

As I close this Easter dialogue, I hope you all enjoyed reading the traditions of my hometown.  I also hope that the images of these traditions leave a better appreciation of people’s beliefs and cultural makeup.  My dear villagers, thank you for sharing your traditions – they are joyful, beautiful and inspiring.



59 thoughts on “Happy Easter!


    Easter Sunday is an annual family reunion honoring four generations. There will be a family mass, then we gather at the town plaza, parade in the streets where many family members live, with the band following (the only band in town is also family owned). Then we gather for all day of fun, games and food. Every family is assigned specific food to share in the table, and there’s always plenty to go around!


  2. Good Morning, Villagers…”peep a boo” with the sun today, lots of clouds, with overnite lows in the 30’s, highs in the upper 50’s…rain expected for Easter!!

    Normita…what a pleasure it’s been reading your travelogue of the past week…the names of the procession you told us about…San Pedro, San Mateo, etc. sounds like a list of the towns in California.(LOL) Is that street in front of your house exclusively a walking street or a drive small cars with extreme caution zone? I imagine you could use some of our CA weather about now…a siesta in that kind of heat is mandatory! Thank you for sharing your week with us, the many traditions, food and the beautiful sites…especially the pictures, they’re wonderful!

    Teri…I hope all the Village Kids are in good shape for Easter…enjoy them while they’re young…it should bring a spring to your step!!

    Taylor…It’s not a measurement of humidity, it’s a measurement of water content in the snow. They go to the same locations each winter to get the snowpack measurements and the water content in that pack. Sometimes it snows and there’s very little water in the snow.

    Errands to run…enjoy the day…

    • If the snow was all water it would be 100%? I still don’t know how it could be 106%? Can you tell I’m a left brainer!!

    • Karel, the streets here are narrow. Mostly two way streets, so pedestrians really have to know how to maneuver ways to deal with their own safety. In fact our street is by far one of the widest compared to some of the neighborhoods. During processions, there are volunteer personnel who work side by side to help manage the turns, get the electrical lines out of harm’s way from the carousels. Generations of these processions have made people aware of the critical nature of providing a safe and joyful celebration.

  3. Normita,

    Most interesting posts about Easter. I hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy it.


    This is terribly late, but yes, I received your Christmas card and I appreciated receiving it. My dad and I both had long-lasting cases of bronchitis for about a six-week period which included two rounds of antibiotics for me and also Prednisone (with its strange side-effects), so getting over the medicine has been “interesting” too. Also, I was also occupied caring for both parents. Things look better now.

    Happy Easter, everyone.

    • Steve, we will make sure Teri sees this. She is currently having computer problems. Glad to hear that everyone is on the mend.

      • Thanks, Taylor, for your help. I appreciate your kindness. Hope you’re doing well.

      • Thanks, Normita… I LOVED your interesting posts about Holy Week back home! Very nice! I hope you enjoyed the whole week!

  4. Good morning everybody – I spent yesterday by myself, working in the Historical Site garden, observing Good Friday at noon,. I too had silence, nothing on, just me and my thoughts. It was wonderful. Today they have an Easter Egg Hunt at the Historical Site, and we are ready for the little guys. The gardens are pretty, the site is festive with banners and balloons. I truly enjoy this Earth that was given to us to enjoy, what a marvelous gift, the best one could ever imagine.

    KEY, I read your comment about pulling an all nighter at work. I used to do that too, and I understand how hard that is. Rest, you need it, get plenty of sleep. Enjoy this weekend.

  5. Normita, I looked at the Good Friday pictures that you posted. Two questions: Are these saints specially connected with the Phillippines? Was Judas the betrayer or a different Judas? Thanks again for sharing.

    I’m done with my prep except for the table and finishing up the baskets. We are doing a noon dinner because one person has to catch a bus to NY in the afternoon.

    Hope all is well with you.

    • Taylor, San Judas de Tadeo is different from the Judas, the betrayer is Judas of Escariot. De Tadeo is St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases.

      All the saints shown are the same saints worshipped by Catholics. They are just named here in their Spanish tradition name. For instance, San Pedro for St. Peter, San Juan for St. John, etc.

    • Tanya, I hope you’ve had time to check out the images of the processions. I always think about you when I did the posts and the images. Happy Easter to you and Jenn.

  6. Happy Easter everyone!! I am preparing a traditional lamb soup for after midnight. Tomorrow we are having a traditional dinner at my sisters.

    Drumroll please…..next week I travel to Canada for a business trip. On the way back I am making a stop in Chicago to visit with MJ and Robin. Villager meetings are the best.

    Good to see you Steve. Normita, thank you for all the threads this week. They were the best. Have a blessed holiday dear villagers.

    • CT, drumroll on its way. Have a great trip and have a happy meetup with MJ and Robin. I will never forget ours and look forward to our July meetup. Maria said she’ll be joining us.

    • Your drumroll will be the winds blowing across Lake Michigan! You are destined to have a productive Calgary trip and a kindred adventure in Chicago with MJ and Robin.

      MJ has a great new book review in the Forum. Check it out.

      • And red eggs, sweet easter bread, traditional cookies and some cheese…..Its the first meal to celebrate the coming of Easter. There will be red eggs given out at church too.

  7. Hello Family,
    We just returned from our annual Holy Saturday dinner at my brother and sister-in-law’s house. I am SOO stuffed.
    Jackie will be all dolled up for church tomorrow. She’s singing in the Children’s Choir @ 10:00 A.M. mass. I just finished filling her basket…think I got a hernia from picking it up! If I can figure out how to do it I’ll send some photos of Jackie in her Easter finery.

    Happy Easter to all! Blessings on our Village and all who dwell within her gates.

    Ann & Jackie

    • Ann & Jackie, enjoy your Easter. We don’t Easter baskets as a tradition, but it’s customary to go to the market to get fresh fruits and share with family and friends.

      This morning, my nephew and I went to the market and bananas, payayas and pineapple were sitting on top of each other. Magnificent to just watch.

  8. Easter Sunday is family reunion day! Start with mass then gathering in one place with the parade.

    Since I had to go to the market to get stuff for tomorrow’s breakfast, I missed the parade. I heard the band, I opened the window and yelled at my cousins to let them I was running late and still had to take a shower. They yelled back, “hey, you were suppossed to be holding the banner”! I yelled back, “sorry, I’ll catch up with you.” LOL

    Tonight there will be an Easter dance at the town plaza. Got to be there.

  9. I forgot to mention that red eggs are prevalent here during Easter too.

    I’m not sure if any villager is familiar with eggs that are hard boiled, preserved with salt, then painted red. People were buying them in dozens this morning at the market, but since I’m watching my cholesterol, I stayed away.

  10. Tomorrow morning for breakfast, Bob and I will have the two parish priests in the two Catholic churches in town. Our family has a long history of good relations with the church and when new priests come, they become engaged with us. When I was growing up, my parents were always involved with the church, and had priests visiting us. When one of us were not in church, the priest will if someone was sick. On Sundays and church holidays, all twelve of us, including cousins sat in almost the same row, so if someone was missing the priest will notice. We were all dressed up to church, something that we continue to do this day.

  11. Taylor, you’ve asked where Lanz was staying. He stays with one of the boys and his family. But since this week is spring break, he will be dropped off to one of our neighbors to stay for a week. One other neighbor will walk him twice a day. Only possible problem is, Lanz refusal to walk in the rain. We’re thinking of calling one of the neighbors to get his raincoat from the garage.

    After spring break, he will be picked up by the kids again until we return. That’s one huge vacation for Lanz, plus he gets all the attention from many people. LOL

  12. Happy Easter everyone – looks like rain here, it is coming in tonight. Taylor, it is the Reyes Adobe Historical Site, a pretty little Adobe house on top of a hill, surrounded now by development, too bad, but there is a park around it, and the families come to enjoy the Easter Egg hunt, lots of people, lots of fun…

  13. Happy Easter, Villagers…the Easter Bunny made his appearance ahead of a mostly cloudy day with cool temps, highs in the mid 50’s, windy at times and wet…possibly an inch or more of rain! Just enough time for all those Easter Egg Hunts to be over! In the Sierras, possibly a couple feet of snow…we may get a dusting of white on our Mountain and the surrounding hills.

    My son left for work early this morning…so we’ll have Easter dinner around 5pm. Enjoy the day with family and friends…Happy Easter!!!

  14. Easter dinner was a success and we have leftovers for a few days. I’m putting the ham bone and some of the ham in the freezer to make 15 bean soup later.

    The liked their Easter tin roaster that was filled with goodies including all the ingredients to make BBQ ribs. All they need to do is buy the ribs.

    Enjoy this beautiful day.

  15. Happy Easter in your part of the village. It’s morning after here. Got up at 6:00 AM to get things set up for another Breakfast with the Fenns – this time our guests are the two Catholic priests in the parishes.

    Enjoy your day!

  16. Happy Easter everyone!

    Someone ran into the cable unit in town. I have been without internet for two days!

    Thank you Normita for sharing your traditions. They are very involved! I enjoyed reading and looking at the pics.

  17. Good evening villagers – we had a quiet Easter Sunday, no big fancy meals, just a meal, with a nice bottle of wine, just the two of us..

    Well, I felt the earthquake, it was a gentle roll. It was epicentered close to Mexicali, a 7.2. Have been watching for pictures of the area close to the epicenter, but not much are coming in. Not much damage around here, I am getting tired of seeing pictures of swimming pool water sloshing around in people’s back homes. I am sure there is severe damage in Mexico, I am just not sure how bad…

  18. Our neighbor across the street collapsed and died this afternoon. He and his wife are original owners in this neighborhood and have lived in their home for fifty years. They raised a family of four that are all married with kids of their own now. An ambulance, rescue squad and firetruck showed up first and then three police cars. When we saw the police and no was being taken to the ambulance we suspected that the news was not good. Then all the ambulances disappeared and only the police stayed. It took over 2 hours for the coroner/funeral home to show up.

    The neighborhood will feel the loss. I’m glad their two sons live nearby so that they can help their mother. She is a strong woman who still drives, golfs, and stays involved.

  19. goandersen, Happy Easter to you too. Our wifi works so well! We have the laptop in the second floor facing an open space which makes the internet connection magnificent. So far so good!

    Taylor, sorry to hear about your neighbor. Neighbors like that who lived close and are good, will be missed.

    My brother-in-law’s older brother, a doctor, passed away last week. He was amazingly loved by his patients. Patients and colleagues came from different places to pay their respects. Such a caring, loving and compassionate man, who never turned away anyone even if they can’t pay. He was true to his oath to healing and serving his fellowmen, His kids are doctors too but will never be able to walk the path where their father walked.

  20. Good morning villagers!

    Taylor, am so sorry to hear about your neighbor. A sudden loss loke this are so had.

    Have a good day all.

  21. Good Morning, Villagers…the sun wins the morning, the rain the afternoon, with highs in the mid 50’s and possible thunderstorms!

    Taylor…sorry about the loss of your neighbor, I’m glad to hear she has her sons nearby to help out and that she’s an active woman. This reminds each of us to enjoy the life we have and to be sure to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us…life and loving are blessings beyond measure!

    Normita…a doctor blessed to have touched so many lives, what an amazing testament to a life well lived.

    Mary…glad you just “felt” the earthquake and everything’s fine with you.

    Rainless clouds at the moment…off for a walk…going to sneak up on a latte…enjoy your day…

  22. Just got this e-mail:

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  23. The Monday after easter:

    Normita, I smile to think you thought of me when writing your Easter posts. Your days were filled with extravaganza ritual, dress, food and prayer. I know you so enjoy these times. Sorry to hear about the loss of such a humanitarian in your loss of your relative doctor. Life is such a balance of joy and pain is it not? Easter week is such a special time to pas I think.

    Taylor, sorry to hear you lost a good, old time neighbor so suddenly amidst the joy of Easter celebration. Your neighborhood will not feel the same for a long time; but then all will adjust to the change. Perhaps a new born will arrive soon too to fill in the gap.

    KEY, I am so happy for your trip that will coincide with a short visit with MJ and Robin. Be sure to give her a hug from me and a chirp from Tybby. You are correct, village meetings are the best medicine for whatever ails us. I look forward to seeing Normita in July again and it will be a treat to see Maria too. and of course al always , you. You know if I had a car I would be a regular visitor at your house!

    Yes, villagers, something perhaps you did not know about me: I don’t own a car. My car was totaled by a driver who ran a red light in January 2004 and I never bought another one. I walk to most places I need to go or Jenn and I go together like food shopping. Most of my business is done by walking in my small town area. I live in a typical NE village like town with a green and a few small stores and then we have larger stores on a main highway outside of town.

    I really don’t miss having a car. I feel I am like Ralph Nader and not adding to the air pollution. I thought years ago that I would not be able to survive without a car. I loved my Betsy, a 1987 Buick Regal white roadster with a navy blue rag top and plush navy royal blue seats and dashboard.She and I traveled 5 times across the country to South Dakota. She was my trusty steed.

    Well, I think I will go out for a walk now. Sunny and 68 degrees today with a slight breeze. My chi class is at 5 pm.

    I was exhausted last night from standing all day to cook and bake. I made a strawberry and whipped cream jelly roll and Ukrainian Baked Pieorgi I had a good time but it took a lot of time. Cleanup was alot too. Jenn was with her dad all day at the nursing home. We ate at 6 pm. I love to cook and bake though.

    Okay this was a long post. Happy as always to see you all here. Love, Tanya

  24. Hi, folks! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Robin and I have been super busy preparing for fellow villager KEY’s visit. Good exercise!

    Taylor and Normita, sorry to hear about the loss of your neighbor and the loss of a great doctor and a good man.

    My parents, who live in downtown San Diego, felt yesterday’s quake. It shook my mom up! She ran around their place trying to keep things from falling. I hope Veyry and her family are okay.


  25. Good morning all – It is quite brisk for an April day in Southern California, rained last night, and they got about a foot of snow in the local mountains. This is good, we need all the rain we can get.

    Cal Tech scientists say that an earthquake above 7.0 can trigger not just after shocks, but independent earthquakes of its own. Did not know that. I hope in this case it does not happen here, since it could be within a couple of days, or weeks to cause the trigger to occur. I have not yet heard of damage in Mexicali, just read that at least one person died, and I saw some real damage at the University they have there. Thankfully, it was Easter Sunday, and not very many people were there, I hope…

    Taylor, I lost my neighbor last year like that, and his wife moved away, who was getting to be a close friend, since we were both retired. It is a loss, but I go see her in Central California once in a while. It is a sad event, and makes yourself wonder about your own mortality… Smile, have fun, enjoy life, that’s what really matters.

  26. I made curry chicken salad and dill egg salad to take to our neighbors tomorrow as well as chocolate chip cookies. We bought dinner rolls and the Red Hot and Blue potato salad to round off the food supply. I love adding curry and dill to spruce up these salads.

    Tanya, I know several people who have given up a car for one reason or another. Do you ever use the Zip cars? I also know several teenagers that put off getting their licenses until they finished college. I had my driver permit when I wa14 so this is foreign to me. As the oldest of five kids, my parent couldn’ wait until I could drive.

    MJ, I hope you and Robin have a blast with Kathy. It’s not even necessary to do anything special–just getting together is special.

    I hope Butler continues its cinderella story and slams Duke tonight.

    • Thanks, Taylor. Our meet-up should be interesting and fun.

      Good luck to Butler! (About 5 years ago I picked Duke to go all the way and they didn’t disappoint. It felt sweet to beat my competetors (several guys and Robin).

  27. Did you hear about Obama’s 17 minute response to a question regarding health care at one of his town hall sell jobs?

    CHARLOTTE — Even by President Obama’s loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.

    Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package. “We are overtaxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.

    Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.

    He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer — more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).


  28. Hey everybody I am calling it a night. Going to read a book.. Sleep well everyone, Teri I hope the kids are okay, MJ travel safely.

  29. His long winded answers are meant to confuse and dazzle everyone.

    Mary, hope you’re okay up your way. The aftershocks are very demoralizing and upsetting.

    Veyry, are you okay?

    Tanya, I am not dependent on a car. Public transportation if accessible are best.

  30. Good Morning Villagers!

    Normita you lead such an amazing life. You are a wonderful woman with a priceless family and great friends!

    I am just stopping in to say hello and read about your Easters!

    Question: What is the best address to write or send something to our Hillary????

    Have a great day all!!!!!!

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