Site Overlay

A Good Friday All Those Years Ago

My colleagues from the Mabuhay Guides were invited by our project director, Susan Calo-Medina, to her husband’s ancestral home in Arayat, Pampanga. It was two years ago and I still remember the dishes served by Lucia, their 3rd generation family cook.

This woman prepares traditional Kapampangan dishes fit for a king. Photo by Luisito Tayag.

It was an early ride to reach Arayat. We passed by penitents before reaching the house.

Mr. Johnny Medina is a descendant of José Alejandrino, one of the generals who fought in the Filipino-American War and a compatriot of Dr. José Rizal. The house has this huge photo hanging on the walls of the sala. I got a copy of the photo below from this site.

The Ilustrados in Madrid.

So where’s General Alejandrino?

General Alejandrino is the man wearing a top hat behind Rizal.

We were treated to bits of history lessons and some side stories from Mr. Medina’s relatives while having a fine meal. This was where I learned an old joke about the names of the towns in Pampanga:

“Bago mag-Macabebe (meyka-beybe), Sexmoan ka muna.”

After that, we took our siesta in the sala.

Mr. Medina entertaining his guests after a very fine meal. Photo by Dustin Arnold Ancheta.
Susan Calo-Medina, our project director. Photo by Dustin Arnold Ancheta.
This is a good pic of the four of us. Photo by Luisito Tayag.
All smiles, all satisfied. Photo by Luisito Tayag.

The family carroza was prepared with a lot of flowers and decor for the procession in the afternoon. The Medina family has been keeping this tradition. Some of the santos were stored in a warehouse nearby. They were bequeathed by town mates who are now living abroad to the family so that there would be someone to take care of them.

Trying my best to pull the family carroza. Photo by Luisito Tayag.

It’s been two years. I still remember that trip, the beautiful old house, the delicious lunch prepared by the family and the good company.



Author: Bryan Ocampo

I'm a tour guide, a tour leader, a husband but I've also become an interpreter, an entertainer, an ambassador, a gofer, a matchmaker, a bellboy, a teacher, and a drinking buddy. My job is to show people around, have a good time, make sure that they're all right and talk about the country that I love.