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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3, Maundy Thursday. In Filipino, it’s called Huwebes Santo.
Maundy Thursday is the name given to the Thursday before Easter Sunday, and it is part of the Holy Week, or in Filipino Semana Santa. According to the Bible, this was the day when Jesus washed his disciples' feet and had his last supper. Because most Filipinos are Catholics, this is considered one of the most important days in the country.
In this lesson, you will learn how Filipinos contemplate and reflect during this time.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know why every Maundy Thursday there are almost no cars in what is typically the most traffic-congested street in Manila?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Maundy Thursday, the last mass before Easter Sunday is celebrated. The mass is important because it contains the reenactment of Christ’s Washing of the Feet of the Apostles, in which the priest, who symbolizes Jesus, will wash the feet of the lay ministers, symbolizing the apostles.
This mass also depicts the origin of the Eucharist according to the Last Supper, or Huling Hapunan, followed by the procession of the Holy Sacrament.
Because this is the start of the Passion of Christ, Filipinos have different ways of reenacting, reliving, and participating in the Passion. On this day, many Filipinos, especially the youth from Metro Manila, conduct a procession, or prusisyon. They walk for approximately 25 kilometers up the mountain to Antipolo Church.
Another way of reflecting and remembering the suffering of the Lord is the tradition of Visita Iglesia, which is usually conducted among one’s family on the evening of Maundy Thursday. According to this tradition, people visit seven churches while praying at the Stations of the Cross. This prayer, or dasal in Filipino, describes the events in the Passion of Christ or the last hours of Jesus in the fourteen stations of the cross.
During Maundy Thursday, only a few establishments remain open, and even the channels on television only broadcast a few shows. Thus, many Filipinos use this time to be closer to their family, or pamilya, by staying at home.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know why every Maundy Thursday there are almost no cars in what is typically the most traffic-congested street in Manila?
Maundy Thursday is the start of a series of consecutive holidays during which people usually go back to their home province or go abroad for vacation. So only a few people stay in Manila during this time.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What do you normally do during Holy Week?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!