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Good Friday in the Philippines Coming Soon

As I reported last year, Good Friday is the biggest holiday in the Philippines. On all other holidays including Christmas, Easter and the many national holidays all malls, most restaurants and many businesses are open. Not on Good Friday, on that day Davao is like a ghost town. All businesses are closed and there is hardly any traffic on the roads.

This year Good Friday is April 2nd. If you are planning to visit the Philippines during this time, tock up with everything you need. I would guess all the sari-sari stores will probably be closed too. Have enough food and beverages stocked up. And we need to pray cable and internet does not go down since there will be nowhere to report an outage.

Since nobody is working, there probably will not be any brownouts because there will be nobody to turn off the main switch.

Last year Elena and our nieces went home to Bislig for Holy Week. On Good Friday I went out to see what was happening, and the answer was nothing. I hardly saw a taxi, jeepney or even people on the streets. I was not able to find any place to have lunch.  It was nice to be able to drive round and learn more of the streets without the crazy traffic, but it was a little eerie.

I will try to report on how this holy week turns out.

9 Responses to “Good Friday in the Philippines Coming Soon”

  1. roy says:

    Hello Bruce, I kind of doubt that there will be something for you to report on how the Holy Week turns out. Nothing really. That does not mean though that I do not look forward to Holy Week. If I want to be a good catholic, I insist on staying put for the week w/c for me means I stay in Manila and not be swayed to join friends going to all sorts of direction away from the city. You are so right on how you describe the city starting Wed. During Thurs, if you’re doing Visita Iglesia, you’d run to old classmates/ acquaintances, or just familiar faces to the 12 churches you’d visit. By Friday, nothing moves and it’s really hot. I would be reading old issues of Reader’s Digest in the 60s.

    • Bruce says:

      Roy,
      as I did last year, I will report any observations of the business shutdowns and activities I notice. It will be interesting if the Election campaigns have any activities during this time. Last year Elena and our nieces went back home to the province for Holy Week and left me home alone. This year they are staying home so I will not be alone, but I will not get the half pound Giant shrimp I got on their return as I did last year.

  2. Tommy says:

    Hi Bruce, made the mistake one time to travel to the Philippines during Holy Week, if you can avoid it do so, I ended up waiting 9 hours for a connecting flight from Manila to Davao, and even then my tickets were booked on PAL the only flight was on Air Philippines with a captain that must have got his license to fly that day it was a horror flight I don’t know when I have been more worried on a flight and I fly often, the decent into davao was at nearly 90 degrees, just be warned …

    • Bruce says:

      Tommy,
      I guess at that time you did not know PAL INC did not only stand for the airlines name but the initials also stands for Planes Always Late, If Not Canceled.
      I have a reader arriving on Good Friday. I told him I will pick him up at the airport and advised him of everything closed on the day except restaurants at the hotels. I emailed him also to ask him if there were any provisions he would like me to buy for him since he is staying in an apartelle with a kitchen.

  3. rich says:

    Hey no more website links on your front page? lost my bookmarks came to get some of them back and cant find??

    • Bruce says:

      Rich,
      Sorry about that. I upgraded WordPress and some of the widgets fell off the page. I did not notice that. It is fixed now. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Tom Martin says:

    Each year I dread Holy Week. It is the most depressing time of the year. As you said it is like living in a ghost town. I was in Manila three years ago on business and decided to stay over through the weekend forgetting it was the Easter weekend. There was absolutely nothing to do, but stay in the room and watch television. Finding a place to eat outside the hotel was nearly impossible and the service in the hotel was terrible because everyone was on holiday except for a skeleton crew.

    • roy says:

      Hello Tom,
      I’m sorry you found the Holy Week depressing. For most pinoys, it’s the opposite whether for religious reasons or not. When I was in the Philippines, I’m always caught between my choice to stay put in Manila or accept the invitations from friends that give me a myriad of choices. I am convinced though that once you go out of the city, the religious element is usually compromised. While some insist that they were able to observe the Lent with the right amount of abstinence & prayerful reflection, I still think that there is the fiesta atmosphere that you will unwittingly experience if you are out of the city. I had sometimes looked forward spending the Lent in the city because of its ghost-city character. One can be just as charged by just staying put. If one opts to go the provinces of one’s friends, or relatives or out for domestic tourism, you can expect that it is also the season where business operators make a killing.

    • Bruce says:

      Tom,
      If your hungry or lonely this Good Friday, you and Cardowe (sorry for spelling) are welcome to come eat here with us.

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