Tag Archives: lenten season

Satisfying and Appropriate Lenten Season Filipino Food Options

The Lenten Season is a time of reflection and sacrifice for Christians around the world. In the Philippines, the season is marked by fasting, abstinence, and a focus on religious observances. For those who observe the Lenten Season, it is important to find food options that are both satisfying and appropriate for the season. Here are some popular Filipino foods that can be prepared and enjoyed during the Lenten Season.

Paksiw na Ayungin (Silver Perch)

Vegetable Dishes

During the Lenten Season, many Filipino households prepare vegetable dishes that are both healthy and filling. One popular option is the Pinakbet, a dish made from mixed vegetables such as bitter melon, eggplant, okra, and squash. Another popular dish is Ginisang Monggo, a dish made from mung beans and various vegetables such as ampalaya (bitter melon), malunggay (moringa), and tomatoes.


In the Philippines, seafood is a popular option during the Lenten Season due to the Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays. Seafood dishes such as grilled bangus (milkfish), fried tilapia, and shrimp sinigang (sour soup) are among the most popular choices.

Meat Alternatives

For those who are looking for meat alternatives, there are many options available. One of the most popular is tofu, which can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as sautéed, grilled, or fried. Another option is seitan, a plant-based protein made from wheat gluten that can be used as a meat substitute in dishes like adobo or mechado.

Rice and Noodles

Rice and noodles are staples in Filipino cuisine and can be prepared in a variety of ways during the Lenten Season. One popular dish is the Pancit Bihon, a noodle dish made from rice noodles, vegetables, and sometimes seafood. Another option is Arroz Caldo, a rice porridge made with chicken broth, garlic, and ginger that can be topped with boiled eggs and fried garlic.

Fruit and Sweets

In addition to savory dishes, there are also many sweet treats that can be enjoyed during the Lenten Season. One popular option is the Turon, a Filipino snack made from sliced bananas and jackfruit wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried. Another option is the Bibingka, a traditional Filipino cake made with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and salted eggs.

Vegetable and Seafood Soups

Soups are a popular option during the Lenten Season as they can be both comforting and filling. One popular soup is the Sinigang na Hipon, a sour soup made with shrimp, tamarind, and various vegetables. Another option is the Tinola, a ginger-based soup made with chicken or fish and various vegetables such as green papaya and chili leaves.

In conclusion, the Lenten Season is a time of reflection and sacrifice for Filipinos who observe the religious celebration. By choosing appropriate food options, you can still enjoy satisfying and flavorful dishes while observing the traditions of the season. Whether you prefer vegetable dishes, seafood, or meat alternatives, there are many delicious and healthy options available. By incorporating these foods into your meals, you can stay true to your faith and still enjoy the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine.

Top Pilgrimage Sites to Visit in the Philippines During Holy Week

The Philippines is known for its deeply rooted religious traditions, and Holy Week is one of the most important religious observances in the country. During this time, many Filipinos participate in various religious activities such as attending church services, performing traditional rituals, and going on pilgrimages. For those planning to visit the Philippines during Holy Week, here are some of the best places to visit.

Quiapo Church, Manila 

Quiapo Church is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Manila, especially during Holy Week. The church is home to the Black Nazarene, a life-sized statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross. Thousands of devotees flock to the church to participate in the annual Traslacion, which honors the Black Nazarene. The Traslacion takes place on January 9th, but Quiapo Church is also a popular destination during Holy Week.

San Fernando, Pampanga 

San Fernando, a city located in the province of Pampanga, is known for its elaborate reenactments of the Passion of Christ. During Holy Week, the city holds a week-long festival called the Lenten Season, which features various activities such as processions, street plays, and crucifixions. The crucifixions are a reenactment of the event where volunteers are tied to a cross for a few minutes to symbolize the suffering of Christ.

Mount Banahaw, Quezon 

Mount Banahaw is a popular pilgrimage site among Catholics in the Philippines. It is considered a sacred mountain and is believed to have healing powers. During Holy Week, many pilgrims climb the mountain to perform traditional rituals such as fasting, praying, and bathing in its streams. However, climbing Mount Banahaw can be challenging, so it is advisable to prepare for the climb and to seek guidance from a local guide.

Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica, Naga

Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica is one of the most important religious sites in the Bicol region. It is home to the Our Lady of Penafrancia, a revered statue of the Virgin Mary. During Holy Week, the basilica holds a week-long festival called the Penafrancia Fiesta, which features processions, street plays, and a fluvial parade. The fluvial parade highlights the festival, where the statue of the Virgin Mary is carried on a barge and paraded along the Naga River.

Cebu City 

Cebu City is a popular destination during Holy Week, especially for those who want to witness the grand procession called Sinulog. The Sinulog is a colorful and lively parade that features dancers in elaborate costumes, colorful floats, and traditional music. It is held on the third Sunday of January and is a celebration of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, a statue of the child Jesus.

Guimaras Island 

Guimaras Island is a small island in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It is known for its beautiful beaches, pristine waters, and sweet mangoes. During Holy Week, the island also becomes a popular destination for pilgrims who visit the Trappist Monastery. The monastery is home to a group of monks who produce various products such as cheese, jam, and pastries. Visitors can also attend daily masses, participate in the stations of the cross, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the monastery.

It is worth noting, however, that traveling during Holy Week in the Philippines can be challenging, as many people travel to their hometowns or go on vacation during this time. Therefore, it is advisable to plan your trip, book your accommodations early and expect heavy traffic and crowds in popular destinations.

Additionally, while it is significant to respect and appreciate the religious practices of the locals, it is noteworthy to be mindful of your actions and behavior during your visit. Dress modestly, avoid loud noises and rowdy behavior, and be respectful of the traditions and customs of the locals.

In conclusion, Holy Week in the Philippines is a unique and meaningful experience that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Visiting the places mentioned above can provide an immersive and unforgettable experience that combines faith, culture, and natural beauty. Just remember to plan, be respectful, and enjoy the journey.

Pasyon and Visita Iglesia online

How I wish to visit at least seven Catholic churches this Holy Week for the traditional Visita Iglesia but the scourging heat prevents me from doing so. Good thing there are now available sites online where those who practice the Catholic faith can virtually visit several churches from different areas and do their station of the cross. And for those who wish to hear the traditional Pasyon but don’t know where can check out this site to hear all of 21 Pasyon audio clips. You can refer these sites to family and friends who are unwell to go out to observe the Lenten activities.