Good Friday, bad Friday

March 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm 10 comments

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?

Maya:  Yes.

Me: But it’s Good Friday. 

Maya:  So?

Me:  You’re not supposed to work on Good Friday.

Maya:  Why?

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.

As I’ve said before, I know that parents should be supportive of each other in raising their children.  But I do tend to stick up for my children, especially when I find the man being unreasonable


Entry filed under: Raising the 3Rs, Roadblocks, Winnipeg.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kyels  |  March 21, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    No one can judge you for not being a devout b/c everyone has different belief systems. Also, it doesn’t mean that if you are not devout you are left w/o a religion. I guess all of us find our faiths in various ways — ways which we are comfortable w/, diba?


  • 2. bw  |  March 22, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Just because people in this part of the world don’t imprison themselves in their bedrooms on Good Friday doesn’t mean that they are less spiritual than those in Pinas.

    Notice I did not use religious but spiritual because in my own understanding, “religious” is one word that connotes hypocrisy.

    I’d take off from work on Good Friday not because it is sinful but because it is a Canadian statutory holiday 🙂 But if I was selected in a lottery to pick who will work on Good Friday, I will 🙂

  • 3. Toe  |  March 23, 2008 at 3:37 am

    When I was a music student, Good Friday was my favorite day to practice piano because I could concentrate as there was nothing else to do. I was allowed to do so by my parents naman but my Mom would make me stop at 3 PM for a few minutes to pray.

    I think working or practicing the piano or flute is no different, or even better, than going to the beach or to Baguio as most Filipinos do.

    Happy Easter to you and your family Niceheart! 🙂

  • 4. myepinoy  |  March 23, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Happy Easter!

  • 5. JO  |  March 25, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I went to work Good Friday for a few hours… I honestly don’t know why…

    Belated happy easter!

  • 6. pining  |  March 26, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I’m a Catholic too,and like you I’m also not devout,much to my mother’s annoyance he he
    good Friday, I fried some bacon for my husband (an atheist) , was tempted to have a bit but I resisted; no meat passed on my mouth that day, or I’d be feeling like a guilty Catholic.
    Belated Easter greeting Niceheart 🙂

  • 7. haze  |  March 27, 2008 at 6:50 am

    I am a Catholic and a member of religious organization. It is by choice but that doesn’t mean I am devoted neither a passive Christian (because I could miss sessions) I am like everyone else. I wanted a balance life (personal and spiritual). Filipino culture: Friday should be solemnly celebrated because we grew up in that practice and superstitious beliefs but personally there are other ways for abstinence. I think it is better to play flute rather than playing drums, game videos, or noisy music. In the family we don’t say Jesus is dead on Good Friday rather it is the day that Jesus died.

    There are people that practice voluntary crucifying theirselves, whipping their back until it bleeds these I don’t understand. I don’t think the Jesus will be happy to see that people hurt themselves just to show and prove they’re making sacrifices for HIM. He will rather be happy if we avoid sin that I guess is a sacrifice because we aren’t saints right ?

    Catholic or non catholic, devoted or not, religious or sinners we all have different ways to celebrate Holy Week. What is important is to reflect, pray and do good things to others.

  • 8. julie  |  April 2, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Here is wishing you and your family well, Niceheart 🙂

  • 9. annamanila  |  April 4, 2008 at 4:05 am

    The flute is sonorous sounding, isn’t it. Conducive to reflection and meditation. Would have thought it would play good Lent music.

    Oh, well.

    I know a lot of Good Friday do’s and don’ts too. And we have been complying with some. Tradition is good too, to an extent.

  • 10. Belle  |  April 4, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    what did i do on Good Friday? i went to work whole day, but attended a Memorial of Jesus on Sunday.

    if the situation were reversed, my children would not let their dad get by with watching television either..hehe. and i would say, “the kids are right, what makes viewing the television as an exception.”


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