Inabot na kami ng madaling araw nung Byernes Santo

Ano bang madaling araw, nakauwi kami 4 am na. Walang traffic kaya 4:43 nasa bahay na kami, 5:55 ako nahiga and past 6 am ako nakatulog. The sun was already peaking through our thick draperies when I laid my head on the soft pillows. Ay sarap humiga. I was walang pahinga the minute we arrived in Binangonan and that was at 3:30 pm the day before. I didn’t expect to come home this late. Or this early— morning the next day. Grabe. But it’s worth my time, effort, resources. Konting pagod lang.


The number of Santos joining in the Holy Week procession grew steadily year after year in the town of Binangonan. The population also grew exponentially. Maraming gusto merong Santo. As of last count, I was told there were 62 who joined last Holy Wednesday, Can you imagine the thousands of people joining in the procession? Idagdag pa yung isang dosena na musikero (marching band).

Good Friday 2024

The first santo came at past 7 pm which was fairly late. Dati rati mga 5:30 nadito na, maliwanag pa. The organization vary depending on the parish priest. When there’s a new parish priest, he imposes something new again.

Good Friday 2024

Good Friday 2024 Santo

A few years ago the route was changed kaya hayan pasado alas tres na dumaan sa tapat namin instead of the usual 10 pm to 11 pm.

Good Friday Giwang-giwang 2024 devotees

Baka next year 4 am na. I will prepare by bringing pillows and folding beds. Or I will construct a tiny shanty with a decent toilet. I say that every year but I don’t do it. This time I think I will.

I don’t remember when I started giving away cold drinks to the devotees. For sure more than 10 years ago na.
My mama and papa had a pitcher and two glasses sitting on a stool in front of our house, on the side walk. Kasi dati wala, but biglang merong darating, “painom nga po” eto yung pawis-pawis, uhaw na uhaw, bumuhat sa Giwang-giwang. Maybe that’s how giving away cold water rubbed on me. A small gesture in my mind but the satisfaction that I get in seeing how people quench their thirst from the tiny cups of ice cold water was enough to push me to do it every year.
Good Friday 2024 free ice cold water

In 2019 we served more than 2,500 cups of water. Last Good Friday, about 2,200. 17 Containers of filtered drinking water, 8 sacks of ice, one caldero of chicken arroz caldo equivalent to 45 cups, kabayan bread and biyak na bato bread about 800 total, and 758 pieces of white towels. “Pahingi nga ng bimpo” are common pakiusap which I cannot refuse. But I only give to those who carried the Giwang-giwang. Not for women, children, etc.

In 2019 I upped the ante and gave away 2,500+ white towels pero nainis ako because many took advantage. Nandadaya, pabalik-balik kunwari wala pa sila. They gave to the women neighbors who prodded the men to come back for more. I felt betrayed. Nawalan ako ng gana that’s why this year I only ordered a lot less. For next year I will probably give away 1,500 white towels if I can, 4,000 cups of water, 2,000 pieces of bread, and maybe a much bigger caldero of lugaw.
Bread biyak na bato

Why lugaw and bread and water? Kasi, thousands of these people have been waiting around the church grounds since 3 or 4 pm, by the time they reach our place, gutum na gutom na sila at uhaw na uhaw. The least I could do is to rejuvenate them so they’ll last for another 4 hours at least.

White towels? Two purposes— to wipe their pawis (perspiration), and they use this to wipe any part of Jesus’s body. The towel become invaluable once it has touched any part of Jesus’s body, that’s our belief. I myself place the towel on my chest when I am feeling sick or distraught. This is my personal faith. And others too.

Good Friday 2024 white towels

Good Friday towel collectors

Good Friday 2024 men wait for the white towel

When I see the towels flying, ibinabato nila sa carroza, nawawala ang pagod ko. Never mind the pagod and gastos.

It’s funny because my staff Kay Anne is the one helping me order the towels each year. I didn’t know that for this year she ordered the Royal Cannon brand, beautiful, thick, quality talaga. Parang pang hotel or pang regalo. Kaya pala the price was a lot more. But it was worth it. For next year I will opt for that brand and quality.

Good Friday 2024 Giwang-giwang devotees

I prayed with all my heart when the image passed in front of me.


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