For a country with large Catholic populations, the Holy Week is a great deal for the Filipino people. From solemn celebrations to regular church trips, it’s pretty much your typical Holy Week. But there are some practices which are practiced only in the Philippines which shows their strong belief in their faith.
We list down a few practices most familiar to the devout island archipelago:
On Maundy Thursday, families go out during the evening to visit seven churches in commemoration of the passion of Christ. Each Church will have a beautiful display which will house the sacrament and allow the people to kneel in front of it in prayer.
Usually held during Good Fridays, these processions are led by the local priest. These large lines of people will practice the “Way of the Cross”, visiting station after station with some depiction of Christ’s passion, death, and burial.
The senakulo is a local re-enactment play of Christ’s final days. Both props and actors are acquired from the local talent within each church’s area and usually perform this close to but outside the church building.
This particular festival is held in the island province of Marinduque. Men and women alike wear morion masks that allow them to play the Roman soldiers and Syrian mercenaries depicted in the Passion of Christ. This event re-enacts the story of St. Longinus, whose one blind eye was healed by Jesus’ blood when he stabbed him with a spear.
Taking place during the dawn of Easter Sunday, the Salubong is a special event that happens during Holy Week in the Philippines only. Two processions, one holding a statue of the Virgin Mary and another with a statue of the resurrected Jesus. The two idols are carried from opposite ends, symbolizing the first meeting of the mother after her son was resurrected from the dead.
It’s always interesting to look into the cultures and religions of other countries and see the similarities and differences between their practice and your own.