This revisit to Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, Quezon was brief one, mainly to finally break the atmosphere of work and teaching that pervaded even our home. At the same time, it was good to have the chance to get the details of the activities of the church to be shared to would-be visitors.
Upon arriving, it was noticeable that many people were already visiting although the Holy Week for this year was several weeks away still. Avoiding the rush perhaps? More likely. Besides this, the food stores are big winners, particularly the ice cream stalls. Darn, the line was simply amazing. Although it was expected because of the percentage of children present brought along by their parents and relatives. Plus the fact that it was very hot. Aside from that, the area intended as play area for children got additional fixtures. A ‘replica’ of Noah’s Ark was still getting furnished.
The climb up the hill where a series of steps, scenes for the Stations of the Cross, and the huge image of the Risen Christ are placed is inevitable. We noticed visitors from the Southern Luzon area and even from Metro Manila, complete with pilgrimage shirts, and official cameramen. Having no sufficient background on the religious stuff pertaining to Cuaresma, I wondered why one has to count the steps found in the place. Also, although a mixture of elders and middle-aged individuals were seen and heard uttering prayers at every Station of the Cross, most of the people seemed more like tourists visiting a tourist spot, with all those non-stop photos ops and posses here and there. Again, religion and tour merge into a very blurred division line. But who am I to judge? After all, devotion or prater can be done in our own different ways.
As we reached the foot of the Risen Christ, I could not help but look into the general direction of the town proper of Lucban where a few weeks from now, the famous Pahiyas Festival is set to happen. Looking forward to another May, to another summer month full of festivities rooted on different Filipino traditions.