My first grader is obsessed with wall ball.

“Wall ball” is a game involving throwing a ball against a wall with a bunch of kids and making up all kinds of silly rules to get people “out”.  

He walks around with a “wall ball” (racquetball) all the time.
He throws it against the walls in our house. 
He throws it at people.
“Dad, come play wall ball”

How was school today?

“So good.  No wall balls got roofed!”

Getting roofed is the worst thing ever for a first grader.

If someone throws the ball onto the roof (which I guess happens almost every day), the ball is gone.  Poof.  Done. You’re not getting it back until next Wednesday when the Janitor goes up onto the roof and throws all the balls down.  But then…someone else is probably going to get your ball.

One day he came home crying because his ball got roofed.
Stranded.  No ball. 

This week is Holy Week in the Philippines.  I don’t want you to get roofed.

You should expect that your OFS are going to take at least Friday – Sunday off.  Maybe more. 

This gets long, but here’s Julias telling of what goes on during Holy Week in the Philippines.


What do Filipinos do during the Holy Week

The next long holiday in the Philippines you have to watch out for is Holy Week. This year, the start of the regular holiday and observance of Holy Week traditions will start on Maundy Thursday (April 1) up until Easter Sunday (April 4).

Yes, some of us do go on vacation during this time. But like any other Catholic country, Holy Week is a somber and serious affair. It’s also steeped in tradition that dates back to when we were colonized by the Spaniards back in the 1500’s. That’s why even though it’s considered a holiday, for some of us it’s actually going to be a busy week starting with:

1. Palm Sunday Mass. On Palm Sunday, we go to mass and bring woven palm fronds or “palaspas” for the priest to bless. It’s believed that these blessed palm fronds would protect our homes from evil spirits.  Next year, the palaspas would be burned and that’s what we use for Ash Wednesday.

2. Fasting and Abstinence. One way to show your devotion is to sacrifice. That’s why most abstain from meat during Holy Week. But if giving up meat isn’t possible, we also abstain from other things that give us pleasure like TV or social media. 

3.  Pabasa ng Pasyon  (Reading of the Passion). Some parishes and homes have a “pabasa” which involves the round the clock reading of “Pasyong Mahal”, an epic 16th-century poem narrating the life and death of Jesus. 

4. The 13 Stations of the Cross. The 13 Stations are basically prayers that commemorate the passion of Jesus Christ as he walked to his death. But instead of just praying in one place, we walk to different stations, as though we’re following the crucifixion as it happens. And depending on where you’re celebrating Holy Week, that walk could be a simple stroll around the church or a serious hike that would take you to different parts of your hometown.

5. Visita Iglesia. Another tradition handed to us by the Spaniards. Visiting 7 churches on Maundy Thursday to Good Friday is a way of showing devotion.

6. Washing of the Feet. This is a special Maundy Thursday Mass where the priest and members of the community re-create the washing of the apostles’ feet during the Last Supper.

7. Senakulo. The Senakulo is a play that tells the story of Jesus’ life and death, usually done in public places like in parks or on the street. In some places, the performers perform self flagellation and crucifixion as a form of penance and sacrifice.

8. Salubong. The Salubong is usually done really early on Easter Sunday. It starts with a play where we reenact Jesus and Mary meeting after His resurrection. The play would involve actors and statues representing Jesus and Mary. After the reenactment, there would be a mass to officially start the Easter celebrations.


It’s on my calendar from Thursday – Sunday.  I won’t expect much output.