06 Apr2012


by Marketman

We weren’t allowed to laugh, smile or make merry on Good Friday as kids. Or at least not in the presence of adults. While I am not particularly religious, I was brought up a Catholic, a promise my mother had to make to her cousin, the Bishop, so that she could marry a Protestant within the walls of the Cebu Cathedral(?), but then only if all the doors of the church were shut closed. Yipes. But those were the dark ages, the late 1940’s or so…

Today seemed the most appropriate day to share a couple of photos of this crucifix, which was inherited from my mother, who probably got it from my father’s mother, an antiques collector, and a Protestant I might add… It is made out of ivory and quite beautiful. It does embody the concept of sacrifice, whether for a religious reason, or if you prefer, not.

Stop reading here if you are very religious. Stop! For the more irreverent amongst you, the following is a memorable set of lines from that classic Monty Python movie “Life of Bryan” from 1979… it is a movie scene burned into my memory banks…

And I quote, from this site:

[a line of prisoners files past a jailer]
Coordinator: Crucifixion?
Prisoner: Yes.
Coordinator: Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.
[Next prisoner]
Coordinator: Crucifixion?
Mr. Cheeky: Er, no, freedom actually.
Coordinator: What?
Mr. Cheeky: Yeah, they said I hadnt done anything and I could go and
live on an island somewhere.

Coordinator: Oh I say, thats very nice. Well, off you go then.
Mr. Cheeky: No, Im just pulling your leg, its crucifixion really.
Coordinator: [laughing] Oh yes, very good. Well…
Mr. Cheeky:
Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the

Hmmm, I must be beginning to lose my marbles, posted the crucifix four years ago, here. :)



  1. bakerwannabe says:

    I remember those days. “We weren’t allowed to laugh, smile or make merry on Good Friday as kids.” Hence the term “mukhang viernes santo” when one has an unhappy face.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 9:50 am


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  3. josephine says:

    No, not at all MM:
    I’ll begin the quote and I hope Footloose et al will follow :
    ” to begin the diatribe of the tribe…”

    Apr 6, 2012 | 9:57 am

  4. Footloose says:

    There’s a good but short history of ivory carving in the Philippines that comes as caption to an ivory image of Our Lady with the infant Jesus at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Here’s the link (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O106771/statuette-virgin-and-child/ ) Probably not the safest time to visit Mexico but there’s also an extensive collection of ivory religious sculptures from the Philippines in Tepoztlán (less that 100 Km from Mexico City) in a previous Jesuit monastery that now houses their Museum of the Viceregal Period. I was fully aware that Spain lorded over the Philippines through the viceroy of Mexico but still found it quite a heart expanding discovery since I went there principally for the gilded altars of San Martin only to stumble on a treasure trove of artifacts with Philippine connection by chance.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 10:11 am

  5. Susie b says:

    Happy Easter, MM and troop! Funny you should mention this….at breakfast this morning, my sister told Tim exactly that. When we were children, we could not look happy on Good Friday or my grandmother would freak. She also told him that if he and the rest of the boys were planning on playng golf, they had to be done by 3pm because that was the hour Jesus died. Of course my beloved heathen asked if that was Calvary time or Cebu time. Poor Lola Pilar must have rolled over in her grave.
    Had all the oldies over last night for a pre-Easter meal and did the 7-hour lamb leg recipe from Saveur. You cook the lamb so long it confits….delicious. A highly recommended recipe! I must admit I didn’t cook it that long, though…maybe a total of 51/2 hours at 250F.
    Looking forward to reading about your Easter spread!

    Apr 6, 2012 | 10:36 am

  6. Chinky says:

    Some oldies even we couldn’t take a bath on Good Friday! Then this was modified to no baths after 3pm!

    Apr 6, 2012 | 12:27 pm

  7. ami says:

    I come from a religious family and we always spend holy week quietly at home. While now it’s uso to go to Boracay or Baguio or HK, we never did that. I think the only time we were away during holy week was for a religious pilgrimage in europe.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 12:27 pm

  8. PITS, MANILA says:

    Catholic Family. Catholic School. Semi-practicing Catholic …

    Apr 6, 2012 | 1:21 pm

  9. denise says:

    usually spent Holy Week in Bataan…a beach side town…and we weren’t allowed to go near the beach during this time (superstitious grandma)…we usually try to count the tour buses that come and go instead.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 2:51 pm

  10. JE says:

    Both my mother’s and father’s side are quite religious, but I think I kinda lost my religious bent when I was in college.

    My relatives did allow us kids (then) the luxury of smiling when it was Good Friday, though; that and eating heartily and playing games and reading books while the adults were getting ready for the local prusisyon.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 3:44 pm

  11. Sgbky says:

    i was just reading your earlier post about the same crucifix last night marketman.
    Maybe you can share with us too about your santo collection, in line with the holy week theme, you said inherited feom your folks.
    This reminds me of the UST museum crucifix with its corpus made entirely of a single piece of ivory, the pose of the christo is the same, and the body following the natural curve of the tusk. Its the biggest ivory cross in the phils or in asia they say.
    Have a blessed holy week to you and your readers marketman.

    Apr 6, 2012 | 5:31 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    sgbky, don’t have too many ivory pieces, most have been featured on this blog. There are some wooden ones, but I am not too fond of them. I only chose to select/retain a few pieces from my grandmother and mother as remembrances, but I am not an avid collector of such…

    Apr 6, 2012 | 5:35 pm

  13. RV Escat says:

    while growing up, did you also have the binignit and puto maya tradition during Good Friday Marketman?

    Apr 6, 2012 | 9:53 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Just had a bowl of benignit this afternoon. :)

    Apr 6, 2012 | 10:00 pm

  15. Lalaine says:

    When we were kids during lent, specially black Friday, we were not allowed to play, climb up trees or raise our voices with giggles or bickering – she said the Lord Jesus is suffering during these times… We would also secretly watch from a hole of my playmates’ house the guys who flagellate themselves. Gosh, mentioning it here brings back vivid memories of my childhood.

    MM, what is benignit? forgive my ignorance…

    Apr 7, 2012 | 12:01 am

  16. kcmc says:

    remembering going with my lola to ttend the mass and prusisyon around town ages and ages ago.coming home and having suman,biko,puto,palitaw and bitso-bitso for snacks while benignit and champorado are for breakfast or dinner…can also reminisce,lola making her annual supply of lana from pure cocomilk(for her hair) and having the latik afterwards…it was always somber and quiet at the house on lent. today, here in europe its a public holiday but daily activities are still going on, only the stores are closed. nothing beats lenten season in pinas.

    Apr 7, 2012 | 4:18 am

  17. Marketman says:

    Lalaine, also known as ginataan to some, fruits and root vegetables with starch or sagu in coconut milk… I have posts in the archives…

    Apr 7, 2012 | 7:26 am

  18. Chach says:

    Just wondering —why is serving something malagkit / kakanins?? common during the Holy Week?

    Apr 7, 2012 | 7:55 am

  19. little mary says:

    i remember during holy week, especially good friday, there were very few stores open for business, but now it is almost like an ordinary day. On the entertainment side, most of the tv and radio stations stop their regular programming, but now that’s no longer observe. i really miss those days when you feel/observe the true meaning of holy week.

    Apr 9, 2012 | 4:46 pm

  20. Betchay says:

    When I was a kid about 4-6 years old, the image of Christ on the Cross terrifies me. I do not really remember why but as I grew up and probably been watching movies where the Crucifix was used as deterrent to evil, the fear slowly disappeared.We now own several Crucifix at home. :)

    Apr 13, 2012 | 9:10 am

  21. nunosapunso says:

    just discovered in galicia, spain that they don’t do visita iglesia….and they serve meat (at least at my hosts’ house) during good friday and sabado gloria… the family I was staying with were not quite religious…

    Apr 15, 2012 | 6:44 am


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