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Easter In The P.I. Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Easter In The P.I.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Easter in the Philippine Islands is a different custom than Easter in the Good Ole USA.


Ranillo and Chrismar paint Easter eggs.

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

My wife, Christy, never ceases to amaze me. When I got up and headed for my first cup of morning coffee, my nieces and nephews were sitting at the kitchen table painting Easter eggs.

Christy smiled and said, “I told the kids that I would teach them about Easter traditions in the States.”

I smiled and nodded.

Suddenly, I remembered that things you take for granted in one country can be a whole new idea in another country.

I watched Chrismar meticulously painting an Easter egg and realized that he had probably never heard the stories about “the Easter bunny.”


Chrismar patiently paints an Easter egg. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Ranillo sat beside Chrismar and applied brush strokes to an egg like Leonardo da Vinci at work on the Mona Lisa.


Ranillo concentrates on carefully placing paint on an Easter egg. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

“Face painting,” smiled Christy.

“Excuse me,” I replied.

“Kids in the United States get their faces painted for Easter,” smiled Christy.

“Yeah, but, kids getting their faces painted isn’t really an Easter custom. The whole face painting thing goes with carnivals, county fairs, shopping mall openings and events like that.”

THE-ROUGH-SKETCH-FACE-PAINT-DESIGNS-[2]Christy wanted me to sketch out some face painting ideas. I sketched out some rough ideas with a black ball point pen and Christy got out her cosmetics to allow the kids to practice their face painting artistic skills. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Christy gave me that “it could be an Easter tradition” look. “Then, again, kids do seem to like having their faces painted,” I acknowledge.

“Good, get your pad and pen and draw up some designs,” suggested Christy. I tossed down the old yellow legal pad and placed the black ball point pen on the surface and quickly sketched out some designs. “But, we don’t have any face paints or body paints,” I point out.

Christy grins, “I have my makeup.”

Junea smiles and lets Aunt Christy apply the makeup.


Junea models “The Bunny” face paint design by Christy. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Vanissa watches skeptically. I can tell that she is less than enthusiastic about her face being a painter’s blank canvas. Ranyiel Saldana and Mac Mac Roa watch more like multinational business tycoons than curious little boys. Nonetheless, Junea grasp the concept and convinces Vanissa to allow her to apply a flower.


Junea displays her artistic cosmetic skills to face paint a flower on Vanissa. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

“Face painting is one of those activities at county fairs that groups do to raise money. They charge like a buck or two for the face painting,” I explain. Ranyiel and Mac Mac give me the old, but how does face painting apply to men look? “Camouflage. Native Americans — the American Indian, their braves would put on ‘war paint’ before going off into battle. The war paint on the face was part of the custom designed to scare the enemy. And, in American and Filipino action movies, you always see the soldiers put camo paint on their faces, so that they blend into the night or the landscape. Camo painting by Special Ops type guys is a form of face painting,” I explain.

Mac Mac is up for the challenge and earns a star on the face. Ranyiel isn’t fond of his Schwarzenegger Style Combat Commando Camouflage design, so he quickly washes off the design.


Mac Mac relaxes to allow Aunt Christy to apply her face painting skills to add a star to his face. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Christy brushes on “The Star” face paint design to Mac Mac’s face. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Ranyiel decides against the Schwarzenegger Style Camo Combat Commander face paint design and goes to wash it off. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Christy’s face painting idea might become part of the Saldana Family’s Easter traditions. At least, the “face painting” technique provided the kids some artistic entertainment for an afternoon.


19 Responses

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