TaDi Snap Shots

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pabasa lives on and enriches relationships, spirituality and culture

 Bayanihan Republic:

After Christmas, Holy Week is the next most awaited occasion in our family as it brings us to valuable traditional activities that were started decades ago.

On Holy Thursday, we have the "pabasa" (public reading), an activity where people chant the book that narrates the Passion of the Christ. In pre-colonial Philippines, poems are not read but sang or chanted (like in epics Lam-ang and Alim). That I think is the reason why pabasa is done that way.

On Good Friday, we have the "Walk to Kapitangan" which I will blog next, the "prayer at Barihan" and "prusisyon at Barasoain". Come Saturday, since there are plenty of kids, we usually have a swim. =)

My Tita Elvie said they started in 1986 and Tatay (that's how we call our grandfather) were very much happy to learn that everyone's eager to do this Filipino tradition for it will not only bring the family together but it will also enrich our spiritual life.

video
the Leoncio's pabasa 2010

They are 13 siblings so you could imagine how fun and disastrous it is to bring us all together. =) The pabasa usually starts at 12 MN and ends at around 7 PM. Good food also accompany those who give effort and time reading and reflecting the life of Christ. And that's something that excites us too. At midnight, chicken sopas, chicken sotanghon and arroz caldo take turns each year. At lunch time, there should always be fish bundled with vegies and of course meat for the minors and seniors. Okay okay, we sometimes skip the rule! =) During merienda (afternoon snack), ginatang halo-halo and pancit are the favorites!

video
Tita Elvie doing the pabasa

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Kids taking over

 Cousins Jelly and Myther grew up in this tradition that's why they can easily remember all the tones.

the book that we read during pabasa

Tita Elvie (left) showing grand daughter Rochelle (right) how to read the "pasyon".

In our family, it's glad to know that the young ones embrace the tradition which their peers may find "uncool".

One of the best singers in the clan, Nina shares her angelic voice in the activity.

Jessa and Nina used to be toddlers and just played around during our pabasa. Now, it's their turn to get serious! =)

Cousin Noemi makes a birit rendition. Inang (our late grandma) always wanted to do it the traditional way. We used to try to chant the verses using pop tunes. =)

Good food accompany the tradition. Photo shows Tita Elvie preparing the ingredients for merienda - pancit bihon and ginatang halo-halo.


 
Tita Tina checking the rice.

Insan Myleth, Tita Nene, Mama and Tita Elvie taking a break.

Inihaw na bangus await those who did the pabasa at dinner time! At lunch time, menudo and lumpiang sariwa were served!

The tradition is also a bonding time for the entire family. Photo shows (from left): Tita Tina, Mama, Sanpit Ruth, Tita Manlou and Tita Elvie.

I also remembered bringing my very good friends in Malolos to experience this wonderful tradition of our family. So if you've been invited here, that means you are an extended part of the family! =)

Tita Elvie said that she first planned of doing this just for nine years but it eventually became part of our lives. "Tuloy-tuloy 'to habang nabubuhay ako pero masmaganda kung ituloy nyo (This continues as long as I live but it would be better if y o u will continue the tradition)," added Tita Elvie.

And all I could say is why not? The tradition doesn' t only bring us closer to each other but to God as well as we read, go back and reflect on the life of Jesus - making our Holy Week celebration meaningful yet enoyable. To add, culture thrives only if people makes traditions functional in their lives and not just ceremonial. And I think families doing this will be able to keep a distinct Pinoy culture.

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