Philippines is an island where over 80 percent of its population are Roman Catholics. This predominantly-Christian country originated way back to 1500’s when the westerners colonized the Philippines. It can be traced back when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portugese leader and Rajah Humabon, a leader in Cebu, made an agreement which resulted to the conversion of around 800 Filipinos to Christian religion.
Filipinos have entrenched Christianity or Catholicism in their way of life. Thus, it has since been part of the Filipino culture where they celebrate ‘Holy Week’ or best known as ‘Semana Santa’ in the Philippines
Holy week is no ordinary week for Filipinos. It is a week where they devote themselves in celebrating and commemorating the life, death, resurrection and passion of Jesus Christ— in short, it is a week of sacrifice. So, it’s no surprise how Semana Santa has been full of traditional events all throughout the week.
While some practices includes “Palaspas”, “Pabasa”, “Visita Iglesia”, “Siete Palabras”, “Penitensya” and “Salubong”, other cities and provinces celebrate the Holy Week through their annual festivities. One of which is the most familiar festival in the country, the Moriones Festival.
The roots of Moriones Festival is inspired by the story of Longinus, the Roman Soldier who was asked to pierced the side of the crucified Jesus. Longinus was a soldier, blind in one eye and was a participant in both Cruxifiction and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upon piercing Jesus, miracle has it been when the blood gush out from Jesus’ body and where blood-droplets fell into Longinus’ blinded eye making miracle happened. Longinus eye sight came back to which transformed him into a Holy Soldier, follower and believer of Jesus Christ.
St. Longinus is the centurion who pierced the side of Our Lord while He was hanging on the Cross. St. Longinus, who was…
Marinduque, considered as the heart of the Philippines, adapted it and turned it into a week long festival to which they call “Moriones festival.” “Morion” refers to a kind of non-beaver helmet worn by the soldiers during 16th and 17th century. While “Moriones” is the name called to the local residents in masks and costumes replicating the garb of the Roman Soldiers. In Marinduque, mostly farmers and fishermen act as Moriones, parading its costumes and masks during the festival.
Mahaba-habang bakasyon next week, saan ka magho-holy week? Biyahe na, Tara sa puso ng Pilipinas at saksihan ang Moriones…
From Holy Monday to Easter Sunday, the so-called Moriones wander around the town, scaring the community and making commotion as part of the reenactment of the search for St. Longinus. Apart from that, there are still several interesting activities during the festival such as Morion parade, Mask paintings and the long processions. But, the highlight of the festival happens on the Easter Sunday where locals reenact the story of Longinus escaping the Morions but has soon been beheaded.
Parade of Morions and All Government Officials.#MorionesFestival2017#Marinduque#SemanaSanta#LentenRites#HolyWednesday
The Moriones is an annual festival held on Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. The “Moriones” are men and women in costumes and masks
Maleldo is another festival celebrated in San Fernando, Pampanga. “Maleldo” is the Kapampangan term for Holy Week. From walking barefooted, whipping themselves to actually nailing or cruxifying themselves— these are all part of the penitent’s reenactment of Christ’s passion.
On the other hand, Pasko sa Kasakit Festival or Semana Santa sa Bantayan also reenacts the Passion of Christ. However, in a different manner. Bantayan Island in Cebu is not only known for its white fine beaches and pristine body of water but also for its unique way of celebrating the Holy Week from Good friday to Black Staurday. Pasko sa Kasakit is renowned for the scenic procession of life-sized statues depicting the Stations of the Cross.
BANTAYAN HOLY WEEK CELEBRATION . . .CHRIST BEFORE PONTIOUS PILATE
Bantayan holy week !!photo not mine: credits to the owner
Likewise, Ilocanos in Agoo, La Union also celebrate Semana Santa through their devoutness particularly during Good Friday. They display and design carozas which are all lined-up at the Plaza dela Virgen. Apart from expressing devotion to Christ, women also dress in full black in honor of Mother Mary, the mother of Christ.
Although some practices are not recognized by the Catholic Church, such traditions remained and respected as participants’ way of asking forgiveness, showing gratitude which eventually become their vow or ‘panata’ in Filipino.