Playa-Samaná-02By Victoria Curiel


In a few days, lots of people and families are preparing already to celebrate Holy Week and Easter Holydays. This involves planning the where-to-go according to the economy of each individual or group. The most popular destinations, frequented by travelers are: beaches, rivers and mountains, but there are those who prepare suitcases to travel outside “the Island”.

Others, faithful to Christian religious traditions, especially Catholics, keep these days as God intended, and attend processions, all held within the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo capital city; among the most frequented one is the Entombment. The Holy Week schedule includes many activities and celebrations, being those on Holy Thursday particularly beautiful since the churches will display sets of Christian history, from dusk to dawn, which are visited by parishioners. Diving into the memory of my childhood and youth, I keep thinking of the Roman guards posted in front of the Blessed Jesus Sacramented Set were they keep guard and then lead the procession on on Easter Friday. Young friends of mine from that time were dressed or disguised as those Roman Guards, among others, I remember friend Freddy Beras-Goico. And, all those boys also disguised themselves for the Parade of the Three Holy Kings on every January 5th night. As a television program is called which I watch regularly, I quote: “…Those good old times!”.

balsas en rioBack on Earth, it is time to decide if we would go  to Tetero Valley, or maybe decide which resort to or which country or summer home,  friends or family, we ask ourselves “shall-we-visit-the-cousin?” what if they are “packed”?  We would go on like this until the realization that if we are lucky we can manage a hotel reservation, rate value adjusted. Some of us who enjoy peace and quiet mixed with cultural inclinations, stay home and witness the massive human stampede, leaving behind a  population index similar to years 60´s-70´s when Santo Domingo had no traffic jams, and no gas pollution We take this opportunity to enjoy those books that we treasure in the shelves, especially those of the “Latin American Boom” Rulfo, Cortázar, Garcia Márquez, Sabato, Vargas Llosa, Bosch and his tales,  and Virgilio Diaz Grullón, Leonardo Padura, novels, Isabel Allende, or Marcio Veloz Maggiolo. We also think about recent dominican authors, liek Tony Raful and his genre of chance, as historical category, based on the predictions of “black swan” theory in vogue by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, essayists and researcher New York University.

Another suggestion is Mo Yang, Nobel Prize winner 2012. Check confirmed talent like Julia Alvarez and Junot Diaz. Want to watch a movie? Check the latest Oscar and/or Goya awards winning movies like Lincoln, Les Miserables, History of Pi, etc.. Laugh and cry out with something from Almodóvar: and then about music, well depends on one´s tastes, on my side I’d settle with the Spanish (from Alejandro Sanz Sabina, Martirio, El Cigala and Flowers: Rosario and Lolita), and the poet singers: Serrat, Aute, Víctor Manuel and Ana Belén, the Cuban Nueva Trova and boleros from the 60´s, classic version or rewritten, up to sacred music played during those days that we must keep holy.

 Finally, get together with yourself and with your family, friends and relatives, what a great puerto-plata-semana santatime to go out for a coffee or a beer with tapas, go out one-on-one with whom you choose. We cannot conclude without mentioning the Holy Week dishes, from a yummy fish steamed or baked, sauce on the side, I recommend the coconut one, one day a year won´t hurt, thinking on cholesterol, and to close with a flourish, the  main dessert of the season, Beans and sweet. Decide on your choice and enjoy!

Translated by Eduardo HOUELLEMONT




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