The long 3 hour trip through dusty and treacherous roads.
Hopping from banca to ferry during low tide.
The listing of the ferry when huge waves slams into the bow.
Landing into Santa Fe pier welcomed by tricycles and cargo trucks.
Riding on the cargo truck atop rice sacks towards town.
Driving into dusty Bantayan town and staying at a relative’s house.
Visiting the old Bantayan Church on Holy Thursday.
Looking through the wood rails in the big old wooden house located at one corner of the church square.
Angling for a strategic position to get a good view of the procession.
Watching the procession while listening to the hum of prayers around me.
Watching the lifelike religious images depicting the different stations of the cross.
Hearing the loud hum of the wheeled generators dragged behind the “caro”.
Smelling the diesel fumes from the generators and smoke from the candles.
Eating lechon during good Friday.
Feasting on “sinugbang kitong” and mountains of deep sea “kasag”.
Learning to play mahjong in a house lighted by “Petromax”
Going to “Sugar Beach on Black Saturday.
The somber trip back to the city on Easter Sunday...
These are but snatches of my childhood memories of Semana Santa in Bantayan. My memories have been dimmed by many years of living in a faraway land and of not visiting Bantayan during Holy week.
But thanks to Joe Medida—through his photos, my memories of the island up north are once again--vivid and vibrant. Now I can sit back and enjoy the newly reformatted movie of memories through my mind!-- Stella A. Peyton
*Semana santa is a special religious event nationwide. But in Bantayan it is so much more. The church is one of the oldest in Cebu and those caros date back to Mampor. My grandfather was born there and my father grew up there. My greatgrandfather was the church organista - and if someone can help me find his compositions, I would be most grateful. - Dr Ed Gamboa