Fish be with you; A pilgrim’s checklist for car and soul

WHEN fast food chains begin to advertise their fish ‘offerings’ I know Lent has come. I look forward to the Lenten Season because for me it is the perfect time to relax, recharge, and most of all reflect. I look forward to it because finally fish and fries are available again.   

For Catholics, it is the call for fasting/abstaining (cutting down on meals or giving up food or things we like), almsgiving (giving or sharing to those in need), and prayer (conversation with God). These millennial times, these came to be known as to detoxify (a.k.a. diet); to travel (a.k.a. sharing your blessings to your family and barkada; and to do penitence (a.k.a. Visita Iglesia/mass/confession/procession).

To prepare for the long drive this semana santa, drivers are encouraged to check on  B.L.O.W.B. A. G.E. T. S. but it is also good acronym to check on your spiritual being as well.


B – Brakes

For your Car: Are your brake pads less than 2mm thick? Maybe it’s time for a replacement. Top up brake fluid if fluid levels are less than the recommended for your car. Flush and fill brake fluid at least once a year to replace brake fluid and keep your brakes running efficiently.

TRY: Prestone Brake Fluid

For You:  It is also time to take a break from saying negative things and thinking negative thoughts and beliefs. Hit the brakes on your temper and your tongue when you’re about to scold the kids if they are getting on your nerves or if your kasambahay can’t get a single thing you tell him/her right.



L – Lights

For your Car:  Make sure headlights, taillights, park lights, and turn signals are working properly. Take time to clean headlight housing so you get adequate lighting especially during night drives. Replace dim headlights—and if possible do it in pairs so you get even field of vision. You can always upgrade your basic headlights for better and safer drives. There are many options that offer great downroad visibility.

TRY: quality lights from Phillips,PIAA, among others

For You: Be the light when on the road. Bring emergency LED flashlights. Also, be the light during this season. There are two kinds of light: one that illuminates and one that obscures. Be the one that shines and brings smiles to everyone. Lead the way by being a responsible driver who obeys traffic rules and regulations. It’s the Lenten season, it is not a time to be somber, but it’s the time to show God’s grace especially when on the road.

O – Oil

For your Car: Have your oil level checked. Change oil a week prior to a long drive. Remember, the heat can stress out your motor faster, so make sure you have changed oil so your engine is properly and adequately lubricated.

TRY: Pertua and Liqui Moly


For You: Pack your essential and medicinal oils when traveling to soothe nausea and all types of aches and pains like what our lolas used, however, smelly they may be—they work and bring you back to your senses in no time. In a spiritual sense, oil symbolizes anointing and healing. This season, send out love and a prayer instead of a curse to the driver who cut you from behind the toll gate.


W – Water

For your Car: Is your radiator filled with water? Top up water and coolant as needed to keep your ride and up and running properly while on the road. Top up windshield washers as well. Don’t forget to replace squeaky and streaky wipers. Late summers bring in a little drizzle so to keep your driving visibility clear, combine a rain repellent treatment with quality wipers. Remember good visibility makes your drive safer.

TRY: Blade, Prestone, Mitasu, and Peak (coolant); Blade, MicroMagic, Shark, Microtex, and Wurth (washer fluid)


For You: Hydrate. Did you know that cracked lips and thirstiness are already signs you are severely dehydrated? Always carry a bottle of water for you and your family and for your car (prevent overheating), too.

Water symbolizes purity, cleansing, refreshment. It is the best time to clear your mind. It is also a reminder to be like water. If things don’t go your way, just trust the process and stop controlling what you can’t control. Take the least path of resistance and you will find a way through a problem. Enjoy the journey.


B – Battery

For your car: Test batteries by checking if electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Replace batteries if they’re over three years in use. Replace it with a battery that’s as rated as high as your original battery. Check battery fluid and make sure battery terminals are free from corrosion-which can inhibit current flow. Dirty battery? Dirt can become a conductor, which in turn can drain power. Are your headlights and interior lights dimming? Have your battery checked. Stat. You may need a replacement soon.

For you: Charge, charge, charge. Before the road trip, charge all devices including your power banks. Bring along the OMP or the Energizer Jump Starter and Power Bank to power up devices especially if you have no plans on being off grid for the duration of your vacation. Don’t let your isotopes get fired up. Be a proton that keeps the positivity during the drive. Be a positive influence to your children or nephews and nieces and encourage them to play more, talk to you and relatives, and participate in prayer more instead of sulking in an area with their gadgets.

Also take time to recharge your mind and soul and take in these moments with loved ones and with God.


A – Air

For your Car: Check that all your tires including the spare are properly inflated. Tires lose one to two psi per month, so check air pressure regularly especially after hitting a bump in the road or hitting a curb. Check up with your casa or have a handy Digital Tire Inflator and keep that Air Compressor inside the trunk for road emergencies.


Also check that air filters are not clogged to ensure proper ventilation inside the car and also ensure better engine performance and fuel economy. To eliminate any more smells from food or from the pets, place an Under Seat Air Freshener inside.


For You: Inhale the good and exhale bad vibes. Be a breath of fresh air to everyone you meet. Do not nag. Do not scold. Hold that judgment and instead understand the drivers in front and at your rear. Greet everyone, even the stranger at the gas station with a smile or a ‘Good morning!’ you may never know they may be the good Samaritan that might help you along the way when you blow out a tire.


G – Gas

For your Car: No, surprises here. Always run on a full tank of gas when embarking on a long journey.


For You: This Lenten season, refuel and recharge. It is time to go back to your inner self and discover your true being and maybe your purpose. Since you are also replenishing, bring snacks for your tribe, your family and keep tummies happy when on the road and prevent the ‘hangry’ spells. Keep some too for hungry souls on the street you might encounter. It is not just the season to give up something, but it is the season to give something to somebody. So, share your blessings or give up that sandwich and feed the hungry.


E- Engine

For your Car: Is your engine running properly? No clunking noises? Is your spark plug working as it should be? Keep it well lubricated with quality motor oil like Pertua or Liqui Moly which improves your gas mileage and fuel economy. A good running engine also runs clean. So be a mindful and eco-friendly car owner.

For You: Most of us travel to escape the daily grind, so if going on a trip with family or just by yourself, take advantage of this time to reflect or meditate or pray. Check the state of your heart? Do you need to let go of some things or issues that hinder you from moving forward? Go to confession and prepare your heart for Easter.


T - Tires

For your Car: Do your tires pass the tire tread depth test? Uneven tread wear could be a sign of improper inflation. Always do your P.A.R.T – check the pressure, air, rotation, and tread wear – of your tires regularly. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System can help you monitor your tire pressure in real time and when you need to be doing a maintenance checkup.



For You: Keep your sanity during long drives intact. The heat, noisy kids, traffic can take a toll on your driving. Keep calm and keep a cool head at all times when driving. If you feel misaligned, try to play calming or upbeat music in the car. Keep the proper mindset. Say your positive affirmations before making that drive. Say your prayers before the drive.


S- Self 


Wear your seat belt, keep your eyes on the road, and always obey traffic rules. Don’t be an aggressive driver. Stay focused.

Take advantage of the time “prayer driving” or to reconnect with your own spiritual life. Driving can be a relaxing and nourishing practice, too. Just have the proper mindset and know that you’re going through the journey with God, too.


Yes, it’s time to reconnect with family, thus the yearly Holy Week exodus which sees many families going home to their provinces to be with their loved ones. But, however you celebrate one of the country’s longest holidays, we are all pilgrims that are called to make the pilgrimage toward a deeper faith or inner strength.

Lent is a call for spiritual healing and recharging. So, as you enjoy your fish and fries, remember, this season is also a call to be ‘fishers of men,’ because through good works and deeds we can spread the Good News and goodwill to fellow drivers and travelers and maybe, just maybe, touch a soul or two on our way which in return will pass the good deed forward. And the cycle goes on.

So, fish be with you!