My grandmother always said that it always rains on November 1 and will always be hot — as in extremely hot — during the Holy Week. Whereas we were hitting lows of about 60°F-70°F on average last week, I anticipated this week's temperature to really rise, on account of Grandma's constant Lent reminder as had been told us year after year, as if to stop us from complaining of the heat and take the lazy, quiet, humid afternoons as a matter of Lenten fact and of sacrifice.
Grandma, it seems, was always right about her November 1 and Holy Week declarations, while we, as always, never quite too ready for the downpour — or the extreme heat.
. . .
In a brief visit to Ilocos Sur a few days ago, I was able to successfully squeeze in a very quick ocular of the altar of St. Dominic's parish in Sto. Domingo, my Grandma's hometown, for some lighting consultancy. It's still a work in progress, but I thought perhaps if Grandma saw how her hometown altar is like now — prepped for the Easter mass — she'd be most pleased with the workmanship of Mel Andino ("ikit (ko) a taga Vigan", she referred to him with a smile, although the relation is as distant as Vigan is to Sto. Domingo).
Another nice surprise is that the church court yard has been paved as well (thanks to the uncle, my mother's brother) — so unlike two years ago when we marched Grandma out from the necro mass to the cemetery and all our footwear, for those who were shodden, powdered with dust.
. . .
So this year's Lent is like all others past, largely unchanged, except that there are malls to provide comfortable distraction, cable TV to extend some degree of pleasure, the internet for continuation of work and leisure, and the proverbial (some say Biblical*) flies in the ointment in society and other such encumbrances that get in the way of modern living. And, for those in Sto. Domingo, a newly-painted altar and church interior to welcome them on Easter, none of which provide real [body/mind/spirit] relief from the Lenten heat.
. . .