Good Friday, bad Friday
We’re really busy at work and overtime has been open everyday and Saturdays, and even on stat holidays, too. We’ve been offered different kinds of incentives just so that people would work the extra hours. And for someone like me who really needs the extra cash, it’s just so hard to resist these incentives and so that’s why I’ve been working really hard.
In February, we were given a new holiday here in Manitoba, The Louis Riel Day. And as much as it was tempting to take that day off on a cold winter day, I just couldn’t pass up the incentive that was offered if I worked on that day. So I did.
Earlier this week, overtime has been opened for Friday (which is a stat holiday, it being Good Friday) and Saturday. I was tempted to sign up for both days, but I decided to work only on the Saturday. Why? Well, for one reason, I already told the kids before I learned about the overtime that I’m staying home that day because it’s a holiday. Second reason, I am from the Philippines, a country of devout Catholics. And I grew up in a culture where you observe strictly the holy days of obligation.
Let me just say that I am not devout. Yes, I am a Roman Catholic. I follow the Ten Commandments. I do follow the Golden Rule. I go to church every Sundays. But I don’t go to Simbang Gabi. I don’t pray the rosary. I don’t do the Visita Iglesia, nor the Stations or the Way of the Cross. And I’m sorry if I offend any Catholics reading this. But this is me.
That being said, let me just share these conversations to get to the point of my post.
My friend Libs popped in my cubicle on Tuesday afternoon.
Libs: Are you coming this weekend?
Me: Only on Saturday. Not on Friday. I kind of feel guilty coming in on a Good Friday.
Libs: Yeah, me too. You know what my sis-in-law would tell me if I worked on Good Friday? Ano ka, Hudyo?
Me: Yeah, my mother and sis would say something like that too.
Libs: Maya is coming. I asked her what her mom has to say about that. She said she hasn’t told her yet that she’s working on Friday. So I told her. You tell her and find out what she says about it.
Maya (not her real name) is this other Filipino girl at work who was born and raised here in Winnipeg.
So yesterday afternoon, I popped in Maya’s cubicle.
Me: Are you coming in tomorrow, Maya?
Me: But it’s Good Friday.
Me: You’re not supposed to work on Good Friday.
Me: Because, Jesus is dead. I know, I don’t really follow all these beliefs and stuff. But most Filipinos do. When you come in tomorrow, find out how many Filipinos will be here. I bet you there won’t be a lot of them. (There are quite a few Filipinos employed at our company.)
And then I told her how the man and I had a big fight last year on Good Friday.
So I thought I’d sleep in. It was Good Friday. I thought I’d have a nice day off. I got up from bed at maybe around 10:00 am. The man was already downstairs. And so were the kids. I’ve heard the TV on earlier and also notes from my oldest son’s flute. I got out of the bedroom and what do I see as I pass by the boys’ bedroom? My oldest son packing up his backpack.
Where are you going?
I’m going somewhere where I can practise my flute.
What are you talking about? You can practise right here.
But daddy said I can’t.
So I went downstairs and confronted the man.
Why won’t you let him play his flute?
Biyernes Santong – Biyernes Santo eh. Mag-i-ingay kayo.
And I realized then where he’s coming from. You’re not supposed to make any noise because God is dead. Just like how we were brought up in the Philippines.
Then he continued on . . .
Kayo’y magdasal at magsisisi ng mga kasalanan nyo.
Which irritated me because he’s not devout either and he was saying these things.
So I argued with him that the flute doesn’t make that much of a noise. And so what if his son plays his flute. For all I knew, he’d be watching a movie in the basement later with the speakers in full blast and the whole house would be shaking from the loud sound.
I went back upstairs to talk to my son. I asked him, just for the sake of peace and quiet in the house, can you not just play your flute for this one day only. But he was upset and still wanted to leave and go to his friend’s house. And I explained to him that I don’t really think his friend’s folks would want company on a day like that. It’s a holiday. It’s their day off and I think that they would just want to be by themselves. So he spent the day moping in the other room.