Avoiding Travel-cum-Penance

kiddies in the poolHappy Easter! We’ve just come from our annual church outing, which usually involves swimming to accommodate the water baptism of new (and not-so-new) members. The church rented a private resort in nearby Antipolo, which, I admit, was a relief compared to the original plan of a week-long church camp in Baguio (about 6 to 7 hours away). It was nice to have the place to ourselves. The super light traffic and short travel time were definite advantages as well.

Back in the day, our Holy Week activities were not so simple. A family camp in Baguio was a frequent choice, and it was always an experience that was, for the most part, a blessing, but was, fittingly, rather a demonstration of penance as well. The travel is enough to have you frothing at the mouth with Tarlac boringly stretching forever and Pangasinan roads frustratingly congested… And then we always scheduled a city tour on Good Friday, the last day before we headed back to the Manila. This would have been strategic, except that a million other tourists usually had the same idea.

If it were up to me, I’d really avoid travel during Holy Week. In this day and age of easy Internet and cable TV access, I wouldn’t mind holing up at home while the rest of the world frantically contend with each other in Easter break holidaymaking (which is quite the contact sport, for all intents and purposes). The Holy Week of yore with the punishing heat punctuated by the eerie wailing of neighbors doing the Pasión and a Charlton Heston extravaganza being the sole source of entertainment (and this would have been from Monday to Wednesday as Thursday through Saturday would have been completely dead) is no more.

Consistent with my contrary self, I prefer to travel when it’s unpopular to do so. As homeschoolers, we find it easy to go for a vacation during off- and shoulder seasons, which are definitely cheaper times to travel. We’ve also been able to get weekday rates (sometimes almost half of what the weekend and holiday rates are) since we don’t need to wait until the weekend to travel. We are able to avoid the throngs of people and appreciate the vacation more. Then again, I’m an introvert, so perhaps my perceived benefit is not quite the perk I make it out to be for other people.

Incidentally, we’re not making any elaborate travel plans this year as we have our sights on a more salutary use of our funds. Travel, however, we shall still do as that’s a huge element in the lifestyle we’ve chosen for our family. But perhaps not at such great distances. Thankfully, there’s still much to explore in the vicinity of the Metro.

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