Holy Week

‘Bawal maligo!’: Holy Week rules we had to follow as kids

‘Bawal maligo!’: Holy Week rules we had to follow as kids
No gadgets, no smiling, no music, and no having fun – what other Holy Week rules do you remember having to follow as a child?

MANILA, Philippines – Memories of Holy Week as a child in the 2000s are still very vivid to many of us aging millennials and adults: staring blankly at screens because of our parents’ “no gadgets allowed” rule on Good Fridays until even Black Saturdays.

We weren’t allowed to play music either, have fun, talk loudly, or even laugh; all we could do was read, pray, and watch 2004’s Passion of the Christ on repeat every year.

Good Friday was reserved for only contemplation and “sadness” because this was the day Jesus died on the cross for our sins, according to Catholicism. However, these weren’t the only “rules” imparted on children – many Filipino families’ Holy Week traditions even go as far as not being allowed to shower on Good Friday! (READ: Holy Week superstitions in the Philippines)

We asked our Rappler readers what rules they were told to follow as a child, and here are some of their answers:

No music and no meat

Aside from using electronics for fun, making noises or playing loud music was also a big no-no for many families – especially if it was rock or punk music. Silence was a must to make time for prayer and reflection.

Bawal mag-ingay (Making noise was prohibited)!” For a reader, even talking wasn’t allowed – they were only allowed to whisper at home.

As with every Friday of Lent, meat isn’t allowed as well in many households on Good Friday and Black Saturday. Only fish and veggies are usually served, and large feasts are discouraged.

No having fun

For a reader, this meant not leaving the house “to honor God’s death.” No outings, “good times,” and out-of-town trips – everyone was to stay at home, pray, and, at most, visit a church. And for one reader, this also meant no Tiktok!

Other traditions such as praying the rosary, Visita Iglesia, Stations of the Cross, and having family over for dinner were what the “vacation” was for.

‘Bawal maligo,’ ‘bawal masugatan’

Others believe you shouldn’t leave the house because you can’t have fun. But for others, it’s more of a safety precaution – “bawal bumiyahe kasi prone sa accident (traveling was prohibited because you’re prone to accidents).” Also, if you happen to get wounded during Good Friday while playing outside, good luck: one reader said that “‘pag nasugatan, hindi na gagaling. (When you get wounded, your wounds won’t heal, because God is “dead” during these days and won’t be able to “heal you.”)

A lot of readers also shared the same hard rule – you can’t shower on Good Friday! Why? Some believe it’s because the water will turn into blood after 3 pm, which is the hour of Jesus’ death.

Aside from not showering, some also believe that you can’t sweep or clean the house on Good Friday.

How about you, which Holy Week rules do you remember following or have instilled in your own children at present? – Steph Arnaldo/Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.