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The Semana Santa I'm Missing | Podcast

Updated: Jan 12

Hey, you! ✝️

When I was younger, Holy Week felt like the longest and most boring week ever. But oddly enough, I miss it.

I'm Elodie and I'm French-Filipino. I grew up in the Philippines and in 2011, I moved to France with my husband and my daughter. I'm very happy to be here but every once in a while, I do get nostalgic of the past, especially during special occasions.

Growing up, my mother was immunocompromised, so she wasn't allowed to go out in crowded places. She couldn't go to church and be around people. So there was no mass or visiting of churches, no street processions, no Way of the Cross for us during Holy Week. We basically just stayed home the whole week from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday.

Television was also limited because the only interesting thing on was the series, 7th Heaven. Do you know it? Through the years, I think I watched the whole show several times over. This series follows the Camden family as the minister father and stay-at-home mother deal with the drama of having seven children ranging from toddlers to adults, all with families of their own. This is the show that launched Jessica Biel's career, by the way. Unfortunately, the dad in the show, Stephen Collins, was later accused of sexual abuse involving underaged girls. I immediately stopped watching the show after I heard about this.

For no clear reasons, my mom never wanted me to participate in the household chores. This fact always makes my husband laugh because in his family he was strongly encouraged to do the household chores. Now that I am mother, I can see that this is very important and our daughter does participate in the chores. I remember wanting to learn how to iron my clothes and my mom would shoo me away and take the iron away from me. She also refused that I wash the dishes and clothes. In her own words, "she didn't want me ruining my hands". Hahaha

Anyways, because of that I never got to see how she cooked our meals as well. Which is such a pity. In fact, to this day I still try to replicate her delicious dishes, but I still can't get it.

If you grew up in Cebu, Philippines, you will most certainly associate Holy Week or Semana Santa with Binignit and Biko. Why do Cebuana mothers love to prepare this dessert / snack every Good Friday of Holy Week? I do not know, but this is reality. You should have seen my Facebook and Instagram feed last Friday. Mostly photos of Binignit and Biko, including mine! Hahaha It's undeniable that for most Cebuanos, the dessert evokes a nostalgic feeling bringing back their mother’s, aunt's, lola’s special Binignit or Biko recipe. It has become a soul food that every Cebuano craves.

Photo taken from:

Binignit is a Cebuano dessert-snack that is traditionally made with glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with various slices of saba bananas, taro, and sweet potato, among other ingredients.

As a child I wasn't a fan of Binignit. Something about the root crop I think. I probably should try making it and eating now as an adult to see if my taste has changed. It happened with spinach and beetroot, so why not with Binignit, right?

Aside from Binignit, my mom would make Biko especially for me. This, I love very very much. In fact, I have a fool-proof recipe here in the blog. Click here for the post. Biko is made from glutinous rice, muscovado sugar, and coconut milk. Then I top it with latik, or coconut curd. It is definitely delicious! Every year, we eat this and only this on Good Friday.

On Saturday, we would usually go back to eating meat, then Sunday was the big meal. In France, it is very common to eat Lamb on Sunday. I talked about it on a recent post. Click here for the post.

Truthfully, I don't really have any memories of celebrating Easter Sunday when my mom was still alive. But after she passed away and especially after I gave birth to my daughter, we would go to the beach. Usually a beach resort which organised an Easter Egg Hunt and other fun activities. My dad would come along and would always have a blast with the hotel buffet and just chilling by the beach.

Thinking about it now, I feel like the beach is THE destination for Easter weekend. Boracay island was known to be super busy and crowded at this time, but this was before the whole issue they had regarding waste disposal. Beaches on our island and nearby are also very busy during this period.

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Regarding the food? No lamb, but for sure Lechon Baboy - a dish in which the entire pig or piglet is stuffed, glazed, and slowly spit-roasted over coals. There is nothing better than Lechon. Trust me.

So again, Holy Week felt like the longest week ever. But oddly enough, I miss it.

How do you usually spend Easter? 🐰

xoxo Elodie


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