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How Do Filipinos Transition From Lent to Summer?

Other than the weather, Filipinos identify the change in season through religious and cultural activities.

The Philippines is known to be one of the most beautiful summer destinations in Asia. Many foreign visitors love to stay here and explore the different land and water sceneries that the country has to offer.

Among the things that they love about the Philippines are the festivals and religious occasions which portray the country as the Land of the Morning, Child of the Sun Returning, and Asia’s most religious country. But did you know that the Philippines has its unique ways of transitioning from one religious celebration to another, therefore giving meaning to the popular expression, “It’s more fun in the Philippines?” (Read: PH Gets ‘Safe Travels’ Stamp From International Tourism Council)

One example of this transition is the observance of a hot, long Lenten holiday to a beautiful summer season. How do we live and practice this process?

Change in Religious Activities

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Photo from Greg Martin Photojournalist Facebook

Summer in the Philippines is typically from March to May. But other than the weather itself, Filipinos identify the change in season through religious and cultural activities.

This year, Lent began on February 17, 2021, and ended on April 3, 2021. Right after the end of the season, parishioners began with the preparations for the annual Flores de Mayo— a catechesis in May wherein children bring flowers for the Virgin Mary during afternoon Holy Masses. (Read: Flores de Mayo vs. Santacruzan—what’s the difference?)

In addition, before the pandemic happened, a lot of children would often be seen within church vicinities from April to March. They would be playing while sipping from a cup of cold buko juice to help them cool down from the hot summer weather. They would await preparations for the Flores de Mayo ritual wherein some of them would be clothed like Angels with their white garments and wings.

From School to Outdoors

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Photo from Department of Tourism – Philippines Facebook

Of course, another thing that allows us to transition from a cool weather to the hot summer season is the end of the academic calendar year. Students and teachers love this season because they would have time to rest and do more outdoor activities— plus the weather is nice and sunny!

In these times, malls, beaches, and resorts would be filled with people who would like to enjoy the summer season. (WATCH: DOT Gives Tips for Safe Travels in Breathtaking Video Ad

Adjusting to the New Normal

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Flores de Mayo amid general community quarantine. (Photo from ABS-CBN News/WhatALife!)

We are no longer new to pandemic restrictions, but many of us are still adjusting from the things that we’ve been used to doing every summer season.  While we would like to go out and experience the fresh air, the sand, the beach, and every natural thing that the country has to offer, we have to accept that things are a bit different— for now.

Yes, a lot of our summer plans might have been canceled. But looking at the brighter side, we still have the beautiful summer weather and religious values that we’ve all embraced through the years — we just have to be patient and creative on how we can enjoy all of these amid the pandemic.

What are your plans this summer? Share it with us at mypope@imv.com.sg!

 

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