On the second day of March this year, individuals all over the country went out to commemorate an annual religious tradition that we haven’t done in the past two years because of the pandemic. The streets were bustling and you would have seen people with a smudged ash cross on their foreheads, signifying the beginning of Lent season: Ash Wednesday.
With more than 85% of Filipinos baptized as Catholics, church customs have become part of our local customs as well. This includes Lent, or Mahal na Araw, the time of the year that focuses on repentance and remembrance of the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we look back on the hardships and sacrifices of Jesus, we are encouraged to reflect on ourselves and our lives. What are we willing to sacrifice in honor of Him? What worldly pleasures can we let go, even during these few weeks?
Thus, we have built common practices that we follow: We offer prayers to spiritually be closer to God, we go on fasting to be reminded of the Lord’s sacrifices, and we give or do good as an act that reflects His generosity.
Through the years, however, the custom has turned into something more than just tradition. Case in point: we use the Lent season to assess ourselves health-wise, and decide that cutting back sinful meals serves as a Lenten sacrifice, which in turn can be a gift to your physical body as well. The occasion has born more than simply following practices—it’s helped us in more ways than one.
To commemorate Lent, the Metro.Style team have shared what they're giving up for the season. From letting go of shopping urges to promises of better health, read on to find out our pledges and get ideas on how you can observe this time, too.
By Metro.StyleDecember 10 2023, 7:39 PM
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Geolette Esguerra, Editor-in-Chief
“For Lent—I'm giving up shopping. I do shop a lot online, but for the next few days, I will just be focusing on the essentials.”
“I’m not big on giving up something for lent, but for this season, I’m thinking of giving up major online shopping! It would help to take a step back when it comes to purchases and just get to appreciate what I have already. Hopefully at the end of it, I’d have new appreciation of material things.”
“I am giving up screen time for Lent. So often, I find solace in my phone and the apps in it. In keeping with the season, I will do my best to avoid the usual routine of escaping through my phone, and will instead say a prayer or read a Bible verse when triggers happen. This is my way of forging a stronger bond with the Lord this Lenten season.”
“Without super planning it out or thinking about it, I actually eased into giving up meats (ex. beef, chicken, and poultry) for Lent by starting my Keto Pesca (@ketopesca.ph) diet in Feb 28. (I only found out when I went to mass on Ash Wednesday! Haha) But more than just giving up certain foods, I try to take more mindful moments throughout the day to pray and be grateful, remembering what the Lenten season is all about—what Jesus did for us—and how truly blessed we are.”
“While I am not a Catholic, I understand that the Lenten season is about making a sacrifice—either food or a pleasurable activity to devote more time in prayer and remember the Lord's own suffering—in the days that lead to Holy Week. Personally, I've been trying to ask myself before doing anything pleasurable lately—do I really need this? Or am I doing it out of selfishness? It helps ground me, and helps me turn my focus on what really matters right now.”
"What I'm giving up for Lent is food. Yes, we usually fast during this time, but I'm planning to really follow that this season (and beyond!). I've been fasting for months, and it isn't just for aesthetic purposes. To me, it symbolizes lessening the weight on my shoulders and freeing myself from the pressures I may have been putting on myself. Food does nourish the soul, but as with anything in life, too much of something can also be bad."