In this first #GenMillenn short, I have a brief conversation with Spanish teens where they talk about the archaic tradition that is Semana Santa.
From what I’ve seen, Semana Santa is an eerily-dressed excuse for people to pound limonada and down tapas. When I learned of its prominence León, I knew immediately that I wanted to get a young person’s take on the whole thing. Semana Santa is a week long celebration leading up to Easter Sunday. Each day the city holds elaborate processions celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I used to think I was Catholic. I went to church every Sunday, participated at every event, and performed The Lord’s Prayer solo in Tagalog at Christmas mass. And I always, always looked forward to the Body of Christ. I thought it was a good mid-mass snack — but not better than the free donuts in Parish Hall afterward. I would be lying if I said I didn’t like parts of church when I was growing up. But week after week, I realized that I didn’t have a single clue what the fuck Father Horacio was going on about.
Years later, and I’m still sitting mindlessly in the dusty pews every Sunday. At this point, my dad stopped attending mass. Actually, I guess he rarely ever attended mass when I was growing up either. He would stand outside smoking his Marlboro Reds. Once high school came around, I started taking Confirmation classes. And at a certain point, I thought, “what the fuck am I doing?” I would constantly question the teachers and youth leaders, and was never satisfied with the answers. I eventually missed too many classes to even get confirmed, and now I’ll probably never fulfill the Seven Sacraments of Catholicism. Sorry mom.
I know my mom always wondered why I didn’t value faith the same way that many of the other Filipino kids that I grew up with did. But after almost sixteen years of reluctantly going to church, and failing to get confirmed, I think my mom is finally starting to get it.
I don't regret growing up Catholic. If anything, church taught me social etiquette at a young age, and as I got older, it helped me become more curious of the world around me.
What I learned from the boys is that it's okay to feel "más o menos" about it all — whether it be Semana Santa, or religion as a whole.
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